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1985 Denver Broncos season
Head coach Dan Reeves
(5th season)
General manager John Beake
(Since 1984)
Owner Pat Bowlen
(Since 1984)
Home field Mile High Stadium
Record 11–5
Division place 2nd AFC West
Playoff finish did not qualify
A ticket for a December 1985 game between the Broncos and the Kansas City Chiefs.

The 1985 Denver Broncos season was the team's 26th year in professional football and its 16th with the National Football League (NFL). Despite finishing with an impressive record of eleven wins and five losses, the Broncos failed to make the playoffs. The Broncos were coming off a loss to the Steelers in the divisional round, and were picked by many to make the Super Bowl at the end of the 1985 season. The Broncos would start out well, as they started 6-2 and 8-3. However, two losses in overtime to arch rival Los Angeles resulted in the Broncos needing to win their final two games of the season to try to sneak into the playoffs. They did just that, beating Kansas City 14-13 and Seattle 27-24. However, even though the Broncos finished 11-5, they failed to reach the playoffs by virtue of a tiebreaker with the New England Patriots. The tiebreaker was based on the teams' common opponents record; and the Patriots beat the Broncos in that category by finishing 4-2 against the Raiders, Seahawks, Dolphins, and Colts, while the Broncos finished just 3-3 against the same four teams. The 1985 Broncos are one of two teams in NFL history since the 1970 merger to end the season with eleven or more wins and not qualify for the playoffs - the other is the 2008 Patriots.



1985 Denver Broncos staff
Front office

Head coaches

Offensive coaches

Defensive coaches

Special teams coaches

Strength and conditioning



1985 Denver Broncos final roster

Running backs

Wide receivers

Tight ends

Offensive linemen

Defensive linemen


Defensive backs

Special teams

Reserve lists

Practice squad

Rookies in italics
Active, Inactive, Practice squad

Regular season[edit]


Week Date Opponent Result Game site Record Attendance
1 September 8 at Los Angeles Rams L 16–20 Anaheim Stadium 0–1
2 September 15 New Orleans Saints W 34–23 Mile High Stadium 1–1
3 September 22 at Atlanta Falcons W 44–28 Atlanta–Fulton County Stadium 2–1
4 September 29 Miami Dolphins L 26–30 Mile High Stadium 2–2
5 October 6 Houston Oilers W 31–20 Mile High Stadium 3–2
6 October 13 at Indianapolis Colts W 15–10 Hoosier Dome 4–2
7 October 20 Seattle Seahawks W 13–10 (OT) Mile High Stadium 5–2
8 October 27 at Kansas City Chiefs W 30–10 Arrowhead Stadium 6–2
9 November 3 at San Diego Chargers L 10–30 Jack Murphy Stadium 6–3
10 November 11 San Francisco 49ers W 17–16 Mile High Stadium 7–3
11 November 17 San Diego Chargers W 30–24 (OT) Mile High Stadium 8–3
12 November 24 at Los Angeles Raiders L 28–31 (OT) Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum 8–4
13 December 1 at Pittsburgh Steelers W 31–23 Three Rivers Stadium 9–4
14 December 8 Los Angeles Raiders L 14–17 (OT) Mile High Stadium 9–5
15 December 14 Kansas City Chiefs W 14–13 Mile High Stadium 10–5
16 December 20 at Seattle Seahawks W 27–24 Kingdome 11–5


AFC West
Los Angeles Raiders(1) 12 4 0 .750 5–3 9–3 354 308 W6
Denver Broncos 11 5 0 .688 5–3 8–4 380 329 W2
Seattle Seahawks 8 8 0 .500 4–4 6–6 349 303 L2
San Diego Chargers 8 8 0 .500 3–5 7–7 467 435 L1
Kansas City Chiefs 6 10 0 .375 3–5 4–8 317 360 W1


  1. ^ 2010 Denver Broncos Media Guide. p. 357. Retrieved March 13, 2011. 

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