Playing in a full-scale Rocky Mountain snowstorm tonight, the Denver Broncos held off the Green Bay Packers, 17-14, in a National Football League game in which the snow was ankle-deep by game's end.
The victory was the 11th straight at Mile High Stadium for the Broncos (6-1), winners of five straight. The Packers (1-6) have lost six straight for the first time since 1958.
Defensive backs Steve Foley and Louie Wright returned Green Bay fumbles for touchdowns in the game's first 37 seconds, but the Packers came back from a 17-0 halftime deficit, pulling to 17-14 when James Lofton caught a 54-yard touchdown pass from Lynn Dickey with 7:31 left in the game.
The Packers' final possession, ended with a fumble when Dickey was hit by defensive end Rulon Jones with 3:08 left in the game, inside the Denver 20. Denver ran out the clock, gaining two first downs on third-down passes.
Green Bay gained more yardage, 423-193, but had five turnovers. Dickey completed 27 of 37 passes for 371 yards; Lofton had a career-high 11 receptions for 206 yards.
Denver scored on the Packers' first two plays from scrimmage. On their opening play, Gerry Ellis was hit in the backfield by linebacker Tom Jackson and fumbled. Foley picked up the loose ball and ran 22 yards for his first NFL touchdown.
After the kickoff, Jessie Clark gained five yards but fumbled when hit by linebacker Steve Busick. Cornerback Wright took this one 27 yards for a 14-0 after 37 seconds.
After Del Rodgers' 45-yard kickoff return, the Packers drove to the Denver 11, but Eddie Garcia was wide on a 29-yard field goal attempt.
On the ensuing possession, John Elway passed 16 yards to Steve Watson and 18 yards to Sammy Winder to move the Broncos into scoring position. Three plays into the second period, barefooted Rich Karlis kicked a 30-yard field goal for a 17-0 lead.
Dickey's four straight completions got the Packers to the Denver 19 before Garcia missed from 37 yards.
Dickey again moved the Packers on a drive highlighted by a 19-yard throw to Lofton. But Foley's interception preserved the Broncos' 17-point halftime lead.
Early in the second half, Dickey and Lofton teamed for three straight completions covering 49 yards, but Dickey fumbled a snap at the five and Denver's Jim Ryan recovered.
Safety Mark Murphy's interception and eight-yard return to the Denver 14 with 3:04 left in the quarter set up the Packers' first score. On fourth and one at the five, Ellis went off right tackle for the touchdown to make it 17-7.