30 years ago, one of the greatest plays in Denver Broncos history happened in a span of five minutes and two seconds. Most of you may know this play, dubbed “The Drive.”

On January 11th, 1987 the Broncos found themselves down 20-13, 1st and 10 on their own 2-yard line with 5:32 left to play in the fourth quarter. 98 yards later and 37 seconds left on the clock, John Elway threw a 5-yard touchdown pass to Mark Jackson and an extra point from Rich Karlis tied up the game. The Broncos would go on to win that game 23-20 in overtime with a field goal.

“That game was like a game out of a movie, motion picture,” said former Broncos wide receiver Mark Jackson to Gill Whiteley and Whiskey Kate on Mile High Sports Radio. “It was Hollywood esque. It definitely was not the norm.”

At the time, Jackson was a rookie who had never been in a situation like that before. He caught two clutch passes: a 3rd-and-18 conversion and the touchdown, which bought the Broncos to within a point.

Elway has said that touchdown pass was the “hardest he has ever thrown the ball.” Jackson would also agree with that sentiment.

The Drive is known to be one of pro football’s prototypical clutch performance. Elway and his team spanned almost all of the 100-yard football field.

Listen to the full interview with Mark Jackson, including the difference between him and today’s wide receivers, in the podcast below.


Catch Gil Whiteley every weekday from 11a-12p on Mile High Sports AM 1340 | FM 104.7 or stream live any time for the best local coverage of Colorado sports from Denver’s biggest sports talk lineup.