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Denver Broncos

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1960-69  1970-79  1980-89  1990-99  2000-2009 

Coaches  Hall of Famers  Retired Numbers

The History of the Denver Broncos

 1960: The Denver Broncos are among eight teams in the start-up American Football League, playing in the Leagues Western Division. On September 9th the Broncos wearing vertically striped socks defeat the Patriots 13-10 in the first official AFL game in Boston. After splitting their next two games, the Broncos made their Rocky Mountain debut. Playing before 18,732 at Bears Stadium, an old Minor League Baseball stadium, the Broncos defeated the Oakland Raiders to improve their record to 3-1. However, the Broncos would only win one more game the rest of the season finishing with the worst record in the AFL at 4-9-1. 

: Despite Wide Receiver Lionel Taylor, becoming the first player to catch 100 passes in a professional season; the Broncos still struggle to finish with a 3-11 record. Following the season Coach Frank Filchock is fired and replaced by Jack Faulkner.

: The Broncos come out of the blocks strong and sit at 7-2, and in first place through the first nine games. However, the Broncos would stumble and would lose their final five games to finish with a 7-7 record. However despite the end of the season struggle Jack Faulkner is named Coach of the Year.

: The Broncos go winless in their final 10 games to finish with a dreadful 2-11-1 record. However despite the horrid season Fullback Billy Joe shines winning the AFL Rookie of the Year.

: After a 0-4 start Coach Jack Faulkner is fired and replaced by Mac Speedie. The moves pays off right away as the Broncos win in Speedie's debut. However, the Broncos would win just one more game finishing with a horrid 2-11-1 record for the second season in a row.

1965: Despite continuing to be the laughing stocks of the AFL by finishing with a 4-10 record, the Broncos continue to develop a loyal fan base, easily surpassing their goal of 20,000 season tickets sold.

: After getting off to a 0-2 start Coach Mac Speedie is replaced by Ray Malavasi. Under Malavasi the Broncos would still struggle finishing with a 4-10 record for the second year in a row. Following the season the Broncos hire Lou Saban a proven winner to run the team as both General Manager and Coach.

: Funding is approved to renovate Bears Stadium into a facility compliant with the current pro football standards is approved as the Broncos are able to sign Running Back Floyd Little making him the first top draft pick ever signed by the Broncos. In the season open the Broncos win for new Coach Lou Saban beating the Boston Patriots. However the Broncos would lose their next nine games and would finish with a horrid 3-11 record.

: Wearing new uniforms featuring a bucking Bronco in a D, the Broncos show signs of improvement as capacity at their stadium is increased to 50,000, during a 5-9 season. Prior to the final game of the season Bears Stadium is renamed Mile High Stadium. During the season the Broncos made history as Marlin Briscoe became the first black starting Quarterback in professional football during the modern era, throwing 14 Touchdown passes, and running another three in.

: The Broncos close out their first decade on a disappointing note, by finishing with a 5-8-1 record. In the decade of the AFL, the Broncos are the only original AFL team not to win a division or finish with a winning record.

: The Broncos get off to a promising 4-1 start. However, it would not last as they would win just one more game in their final nine games on the way to finishing in last place in the AFC West with a 5-8-1 record.

: After getting off to another horrid 2-6-1 start, Coach, and General Manager Lou Saban resigns. Under interim Coach Jerry Smith the Broncos finish the season with another poor 4-9-1 record.

: Under new Coach John Ralston the Broncos continue to be one of the worst teams in the AFC finishing with a 5-9 record. Despite the losing Denver fans continue to be loyal buying up season tickets at a record pace.

: After a 2-3 start the Broncos host the Oakland Raiders, on what is billed "Orange Monday," in front of a primetime National Television audience. The Broncos would come-from-behind and would earn a tie on Kicker Jim Turner's 35 yard Field Goal. The tie would be the start of a six game unbeaten streak that saw the Broncos climb into first place with a 6-3-2 record. After a loss to the Dallas Cowboys the Broncos beat the Chargers 42-28 in San Diego to assure their first winning season in franchise history. However, with the AFC West title on the line the Broncos season ends with a 21-17 loss to the Raiders in Oakland.

: With demand for tickets increasing the Broncos expand Mile High Stadium to 75,000 seats. After dropping their season opener the Broncos host the Pittsburgh Steelers in the first regular season game that goes to overtime. However, the Overtime settled nothing, as the game remained tied at 35 through 15 minutes. After losing in the following week to fall to 0-2-1, the Broncos turn their season around to finish with a 7-6-1 record, for their second winning season in a row.

: In Running Back Floyd Little's final season the Broncos play mediocre football all season and finish with a disappointing 6-8 record.

: With Running Back Otis Armstrong rushing for 1,008 yards the Broncos play strong football all season on the way to an impressive 9-5 record. However the record is not good enough to get the Broncos into the playoffs. Despite the strong showing Coach John Ralston would resign following the season.

: Under new coach Red Miller, the Broncos finally click on all cylinders, posting a terrific 12-2 record, winning the AFC West, for their first ever playoff berth. The key to the Broncos success was a hard-nosed defense known as "The Orange Crush." With players like Defensive End Lyle Alzado, Linebacker Randy Gradishar and Linebacker Tom Jackson the Orange Crush smoother opponents all season allowing just 148 points on the season. Playing in their first playoff game the Broncos hosted the Pittsburgh Steelers in the Divisional Playoffs. The Broncos and Steelers would battle back and forth until Kicker Jim Tuner broke a 21-21 tie with a 44 yard Field Goal. The Broncos would go on to win the game 34-21 to earn a trip to the AFC Championship Game. Mile High Stadium was a sea of orange as the Broncos hosted the Oakland Raiders in the AFC Championship. After jumping out to a 14-3 lead at halftime the Broncos would hold on to win 20-17 for their first ever trip to the Super Bowl.

Super Bowl XII
: Playing in New Orleans the Broncos faced the Dallas Cowboys in the first Super Bowl played in a dome. Down 13-0 at halftime, the Broncos played fast and loose with the football all day turning the ball over 8 times in a disappointing 27-10 loss, in which they were never real in the game.

: With Linebacker Randy Gradishar winning the Defensive Player of the Year, the Broncos defense continues to crush its opponents allowing only 198 points as the Broncos win the AFC West title for the second year in a row with a 10-6 record. However, in Divisional Playoffs the Broncos season would end with a disappointing 33-10 loss to the Steelers in Pittsburgh.

: The Broncos get off to a 9-3 start and appear to be in line for their third straight Division Title. However, the Broncos would lose three of their final four games all against division rivals to finish with a 10-6 record. Despite the poor finish the Broncos still qualify for the playoffs as a Wild Card. In the Wild Card Game the Broncos faced the Oilers in Houston, and trailed at halftime 10-7. Both teams would hunker down in the second half with neither giving an inch. However, time would run out on the Broncos would run out on the Broncos whose season ended with a 13-7 loss.

: The Broncos once great defense struggles and allows 323 points, as the Broncos play mediocre football all season ending their run of four consecutive playoff appearances with an 8-8 record. Following the season, Coach Red Miller would be replaced by Dan Reeves.

: Under new coach Dan Reeves the Broncos get off to a fast start winning five of their first six games. However, the Broncos could only manage a split of their final ten games to finish with a 10-6 record. However, it would not be good enough to earn a trip to the postseason.

: After returning from a two month player strike the Broncos struggle on both sides of the ball and finish with their first losing record in seven years at 2-7. Following the season the Broncos would acquire and sign number one over draft pick Quarterback John Elway, after he refused to sign for the Baltimore Colts.

: The Broncos would give John Elway the starting job at Quarterback right away; as he showed flashes of his ability to make a comeback leading the Broncos to 4th Quarter win Baltimore against the Colts to get the team off to a 2-0 start. However, Elway would struggle with turnovers and would be benched in favor of veteran Steve DeBerg. However, by the end of the season Elway was back under center, and would get the Broncos into the playoffs with a 9-7 record. In the season next to last game Elway would bite the Colts again leading three Touchdown drives in the 4th Quarter to beat the Colts 21-19, after entering the final period down 19-0. In the Wild Card game in Seattle Elway would struggle mightily before being replaced in a disappointing 31-7 loss to the Seahawks.

: Prior to the start of the season the Broncos are sold to local businessman Pat Bowlen. After a 1-1 start the Broncos would embark on an impressive 10-game winning streak establishing a new franchise record. The Broncos would go on to win the AFC West with a 13-3 record, as John Elway passes for 2,598 yards, while Sammy Winder rushes for 1,153 yards, and Steve Watson collects 1,170 receiving yards. However, the Broncos season would end in disappointment with a 24-17 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers at Mile High Stadium. The Broncos would hold a 17-10 lead entering the 4th Quarter but costly turnover by John Elway would cost the Broncos a chance at playing for the AFC Championship.

: John Elway continues to establish himself as one of the best Quarterbacks in the NFL by passing for 3,891 yards, while adding 253 rushing yards. However, the Broncos would fail to make the playoffs despite an impressive 11-5 record.

: The Broncos win their first six games on the way to a 9-2 start, establishing themselves as the class of the AFC. The Broncos would go on to claim the AFC West title with an 11-5 record. However, there was major concern over the fact the Broncos did not play well at the end of the season losing three of their final five games. In the Divisional Playoff the Broncos hosted the New England Patriots. Trailing 17-13 in the 3rd Quarter it looked as if the Broncos were in store for another quick exit. However, Elway would hit Vance Johnson on a 48 yard Touchdown pass that ended the 3rd Quarter with Broncos on top 20-17. In the 4th Quarter both teams defense would hunker down before Defensive End Rulon Jones sacked Tony Eason in the end zone for a safety with 1:37 left to lock up the Broncos win at 22-17. In the AFC Championship game in Cleveland the Broncos had their backs to the wall trailing the Browns 20-13 with 5:43 left in the game, and starting a drive on their own two yard line. Knowing a trip to the Super Bowl was on the line Quarterback John Elway began a clutch drive using both his arm and his legs to get the Broncos down the field before he tied the game on a five yard Touchdown pass to Vance Johnson with 37 seconds left. After the historic drive the game went to overtime where Rich Karlis sent the Broncos to the Super Bowl with a 33 yard Field Goal.

Super Bowl XXI: The Broncos went into the Super Bowl in Pasadena as underdogs facing the New York Giants. Throughout the first half the Broncos clearly outclassed the Giants, but only held a 10-9 lead. The Broncos had two drives stall deep in Giants territory, and made things worse when Kicker Rich Karlis missed two short Field Goal Attempts. The Broncos missed opportunities would catch up them as the Giants scored 24 unanswered points in the first 20 minutes of the second half. The Broncos would never recover, as the Giants claimed the Super Bowl with a 39-20 victory.

: After a win and a tie in their first two games the Broncos were forced to use replacement players as the NFL Players went on strike. In the scab games the Broncos would manage to stay afloat winning two of their three replacement games before the regulars returned. After losing two of their next three games when the regulars returned, the Broncos were in danger of falling to .500 when John Elway led a miraculous 4th Quarter Mile High Comeback against the Chicago Bears. The win would be just the spark the Broncos needed as they went on to claim the AFC West with a 10-4-1 record, as Elway won the NFL MVP. With Home Field advantage in toe the Broncos easily defeat the Houston Oilers 34-10 to advance to an AFC Championship Game rematch with Cleveland Browns. The Broncos would jump out to a 21-3 halftime lead, but the Browns would battle back and tie the game 31-31 in the 4th Quarter. John Elway and the Broncos would answer right away and take a 38-31 lead with four minutes left. However, the Browns appeared to be on the way to tying the game when Jeremiah Castille stripped Ernest Bynar at the goaline to end the Browns hopes, as the Broncos went to the Super Bowl for the second year in a row with a 38-33 win.

Super Bowl XXII
: Playing in the Super Bowl for the second straight year the Broncos faced the Washington Redskins in San Diego. The Broncos took control early taking a 10-0 lead in the first five minutes. However, a stunning 35-point lashing by the Redskins in the 2nd Quarter doomed the Broncos to their third Super Sunday loss. The Redskins would go on to win going away 42-10 as the Broncos, and John Elway got the reputation of losing the big one.

: Despite acquiring Running Back Tony Dorsett from the Dallas Cowboys, the Broncos struggle with mediocrity losing three of their first four games, before going on to finish with a disappointing 8-8 record. Despite the poor showing Quarterback John Elway still passes for 3,309 yards, while Dorsett passes Jim Brown for second on the all time rushing list with 703 yards on the season.

: Despite losing Running Back Tony Dorsett to a career ending knee injury the Broncos rebound and reclaim supremacy in the AFC earning the Division Title and Home Field with an impressive 11-5 record. Helping to fill the gap in the running game is Rookie Running Back Bobby Humphrey who rushes for 1,151 yards. In the Divisional Playoffs the Broncos trailed the Pittsburgh Steelers at halftime 17-10. The Broncos would tie the game quickly in the 3rd Quarter, but the Steelers would retake the lead and led 23-17 late in the 4th, when John Elway led the Broncos on another clutch drive to take a 24-23 lead with 2:27 left in the game. The Broncos defense would force a fumble allowing Elway to run out the clock for the win. In the AFC Championship Game the Broncos would face the Cleveland Browns again establishing a 24-7 lead in the 3rd Quarter. The Browns would battle back to get within three points heading into the final quarter. However, the Broncos would ice the game on a John Elway 39-yard Touchdown pass to Sammy Winder, going on to claim their third AFC Championship in four year with a 38-21 win. 

Super Bowl XXIV
: In the Super Bowl for the third time in four years the Broncos faced the San Francisco 49ers who were trying to win their fourth Super Bowl. The 49ers jumped out first scoring five minutes into the game on Joe Montana Touchdown pass. The Broncos would respond with David Treadwell Field Goal. However, that it is as close as the game ever was. The 49ers would go to score 55 points establishing a new Super Bowl record, as the Broncos tied an NFL record by losing their fourth Super Bowl in humiliating fashion 55-10.

: After a 2-1 start the Broncos season goes down in flames as the teams lose nine out of ten games. During the losing streak it becomes apparent that the relationship between John Elway and Coach Dan Reeves has become strained, when Elway complains out his coach in a Sports Illustrated interview. The Broncos would go on to finish the season in last place with a 5-11 record.

: The Broncos open their season with a 45-14 pounding of the Cincinnati Bengals at Mile High Stadium. The Broncos use this as the catalyst to a strong season in which they reclaim the top spot in the AFC West with a 12-4 record. The Broncos would get to 12-4 despite an early season injury to Running Back Bobby Humphrey that limits him to just 11 carries. In the Divisional Playoffs at Mile High the Broncos would fall behind the Houston Oilers 21-6 early in the 2nd Quarter. The Broncos would get back in the game with a Touchdown  just before halftime, but after exchanging Field Goals all hope look lost down, 24-16 midway through the 4th Quarter. With 6:53 left Greg Lewis plunged over the goal line for the second time in the game to get the Broncos within one point. However, facing 4th Down-and-6 on their own 28 with no time outs, all hope looked lost. Facing desperation Elway could not find a receiver and tried to get the first down himself diving straight ahead Elway barely kept the drive alive. However, after three incompletions the Broncos faced 4th down again. This time Elway, who was flushed out of the pocket again was able to find Vance Johnson on dump off, Johnson would use his skills to get the ball deep into Oilers territory racking up 44 yards. The Broncos would use Steve Sewell to get closer, and take time off the clock setting up David Treadwell for a winning Field Goal with 16 seconds left. In the AFC Championship Game the Broncos would shuffle off to Buffalo to face the Bills. The game would be a defensive struggle, as it remained scoreless until late in the 3rd Quarter. Down 7-0 heading into the 4th Quarter, the Broncos miracle man John Elway was forced to leave the game with an injured thigh. After the Bills padded their lead with a Field Goal backup Gary Kubiak got the Broncos on the board with a three yard bootleg. However, it was not enough as the Broncos ran out of time and the Bills went on to the Super Bowl.

: Before the season even started the feud between Quarterback John Elway and Coach Dan Reeves was coming to ahead as the Broncos used a first round Draft Pick on Quarterback Tommy Maddox and fired Offensive Coordinator Mike Shanahan. Despite a poor season from Elway the Broncos were off to a solid 7-3 start. However, the Broncos season would go down form there as Elway was injured and Maddox struggled miserably during a four game losing streak. The Broncos would go to split their final two games to finish at 8-8, as it became clear that the relationship between Elway and Reeves was irreconcilable. A day after the season ended Dan Reeves was fired, as the public, and ownership sympathized with Elway.

: Under new Coach Wade Phillips, Quarterback John Elway was given a greater say in the offensive play calls. The move worked as Elway responded with one of his finest seasons passing for 4,030 yards. The Broncos too would benefit returning to the playoffs with a 9-7 record, despite costly losses in their final two games that cost them the division, and a home game in the playoffs. In the Wild Card Game the Broncos would travel to Los Angeles for a match up with Raiders. The first half was a shootout as the Broncos tied the game at 21 with 32 seconds left in the 2nd Quarter. However, the Broncos would fall flat in the second half as the Raiders went on to win going away 42-24.

: The Broncos stumbled out of the gate losing their first four games as the Broncos defense yielded 134 points. After ending their losing streak with a 16-9 win over the Seahawks in Seattle John Elway and Kansas City Chiefs Quarterback Joe Montana met in an unforgettable Monday Night Duel. Elway appeared to have pulled off his 4th Quarter magic again, but the Broncos defense faltered and the Broncos fell to 1-4. The Broncos would win six of their next seven games to get back into the playoff picture, but three straight losses would end their season at 7-9. Following the season Coach Wade Phillips would be fired, and Mike Shanahan, whose firing was protested by Elway, would be hired back to replace him.

: Despite establishing seven franchise records on offense, the Broncos defense struggles allowing 345 points in an 8-8 season, where the Broncos seemed to alternate wins and losses all season. One of the most pleasant surprises of the seasons was the running of rookie Terrell Davis who rushed for 1,117 yards after being selected in the later rounds of the draft.

: The Broncos get out of the blocks fast winning their first three games on the way to a 12-1 start. With Home Field, and the AFC West already sewn up the Broncos go into cruise control in their last three games losing twice to finish with a 13-3 record. However, a problem with cruise control is that it's hard to get it going again and the Broncos would find that out in a Divisional Playoff match up with second year Jacksonville Jaguars. The Broncos would jump out quickly grabbing a 12-0 lead in the 1st Quarter, but would give it up quickly as the Jags scored 23 unanswered points. Midway through the 4th Quarter it looked as if John Elway was going to weave his magic again scoring a Touchdown, to get the Broncos within a Field Goal after Terrell Davis notched the two point conversion. However it was not meant to be as the Jaguars answered the score, and took a 30-20 lead. The Broncos would get back to within a Field Goal, but the game would be sealed when the Broncos could not recover an on-side-kick.

: Wearing new modern style uniforms with a sleek horse's head on a dark blue helmet, and dark blue uniforms the Broncos get off to an impressive 9-1 start. The Broncos would endure a stunning fashion in Kansas City, when Pete Stoyonavich nailed a long Field Goal with no time left to give the Chiefs a 24-22 win. After winning their next two games the Broncos lost two key games on the road to division champions, which cost them the AFC West title. The Broncos would go on to win their final game of the season to finish with a solid 12-4 record. In the playoffs as a Wild Card the Broncos would start the playoffs by getting revenge against the Jacksonville Jaguars, in a 42-17 route. The following week the Broncos returned to Kamas City, and found themselves in a defensive struggle trailing 10-7 entering the 4th Quarter. The Broncos would take the lead on a Terrell Davis Touchdown, and let their defense do the rest stopping the Chiefs cold, including knocking down desperation pass on the game's final play. From there it was on the Pittsburgh where the hoped to avenge a late season loss to the Steelers with AFC Championship on the line. Led by 17 points in the 2nd Quarter the Broncos would go to halftime holding a 24-14 lead. From there the Broncos defense would take over shutting down the Steelers, until Kordell Stewart hit Charles Johnson on a 14-yard Touchdown pass, with 2:46 left. However, the Broncos would get the ball back and would run out the clock and would earn a trip to their fifth Super Bowl.

Super Bowl XXXII
: The Broncos were back in the Super Bowl hoping to erase the bad memories of their previous four appearances by upsetting the defending champion Green Bay Packers. From the start you could tell this game was going to be different as John Elway played with an even greater determination then usual diving head first for first downs, and a 2nd Quarter Touchdown as the Broncos jumped out to a 17-7 lead. However, the Packers would cut it to 17-14 just before halftime. When the second half began the Broncos appeared to be in trouble fumbling the kick off. However, the defense would not allow the Packers to cross the end zone, and they had to settle for a tie. Late in the 3rd Quarter Terrell Davis would score his second Touchdown of the game to give the Broncos a 24-17 lead. However, the Pack would answer back with a Touchdown early in the 4th Quarter. From there the two stood deadlocked, late in the game, when another Elway head first dive kept a drive alive setting the Broncos up 1st Down and Goal from the 1-yardline. With 1:45 left the Broncos would take the lead on a MVP Terrell Davis' third Touchdown of the game. However, it was not over yet as Brett Favre quickly led the Packers down field into Broncos territory. From there the Broncos defense tightened as Steve Atwater knocked away a key 3rd Down Pass. On 4th down Linebacker John Mobley's finger tips disrupted a Brett Favre pass just enough for it land safely on the ground sewing up the Broncos first Super Bowl Championship. Finally John Elway answered his critics and won a Super Bowl, as the Broncos ended the AFC's 14 game losing streak in the Super Bowl.

: With rumors floating that Quarterback John Elway would retire at season's end the Broncos get off to an incredible 13-0 start, sewing up the AFC West title in November. Among the highlights of the quick start is Jason Elam's 63-yard kick on October 25th that ties the NFL record for longest Field Goal. With everyone looking forward to a Monday Night showdown in Miami with the Dolphins undefeated legacy on the line the Broncos drop their first game in New York the Giants 20-16. A week later the Broncos would lose that game to the Dolphins and appeared to be slipping at the wrong time. However, they would close the season out strong with a 28-21 win over the Seattle Seahawks as Terrell Davis rushed for 178 yards to eclipse the 2,000-yard mark on the season, thus earning him NFL MVP honors. Meanwhile, John Elway had another fine season passing for 2,806 yards on his victory tour. In the Divisional Round the Broncos showed they were all business avenging a late season loss to the Dolphins with a 38-3 route that sent a message to the entire league. However, a week later the Broncos appeared to be in trouble trailing the New York Jets 10-0 in the AFC Championship Game. However, the Broncos would snap back to life scoring 23 unanswered points to claim their second straight AFC Championship with a 23-10 victory. After the game John Elway sent another hint to his retirement by taking a victory lap with AFC trophy.

Super Bowl XXXIII
: The Broncos looking to repeat in Miami, faced the Atlanta Falcons who were coached by Dan Reeves. Instead of the ordinary Super Bowl hype, the week was filled with John Elway retirement reports, and a rehash of the Elway-reeves feud, this time with current Broncos coach Mike Shanahan being dragged in. However, the Broncos were not allowed to let the past get in the way of a good finish, and nobody knew a good finish like John Elway. Throughout his career Elway made the 4th Quarter comeback his trademark, but in his final game such a thing would not be necessary as the Broncos controlled the game from the start establishing a 31-6 lead, early in the 4th Quarter. The Falcons would score two meaningless touchdowns as the Broncos went on to claim their second straight Lombardi Trophy with a 34-19 victory. Following the game, John Elway would indeed head into the sunset, but he would do it in style winning his second straight Super Bowl, and taking home MVP honors in his final game.

: Without John Elway the Broncos would stumble out of the gate losing their first four games. Making matters worse was season ending knee injury to Terrell Davis in the 4fourh game of the season. The Broncos would go on to split their final 12 games, to finish with a 6-10 record. However despite the disappointing record there was plenty to be proud of, as backup Running Back Olandis Gary filled in admirably for Davis rushing for 1,159 yards, while second year Quarterback Brian Griese passed for 3,032 yards giving hope the Broncos road back would not be a long one.

 2000: In their final season at Mile High Stadium the Broncos would get off to a slow start losing three of their first five games as Running Back Terrell Davis continued to struggle with injuries. Complicating matters further was the fact that Olandis Gary would be injured and lost for the season as well. However, late round draft pick Mike Anderson would step in to rush for 1,500 yards whole scoring 15 TDs to claim Offensive Rookie of the Year honors, as the Broncos won nine of their last 11 games to finish with a 11-5 record, which was capped by a 38-9 victory over the San Francisco 49ers in the final game at Mile High Stadium. In the Wild Card game in Baltimore the Broncos were forced to take on the Ravens without Quarterback Brian Griese, who had injured his shoulder at the end of the season. Playing one of the best defenses of all-time the Broncos could not get it going, and would be out of it quickly with a 21-3 loss.

: On September 10th the Broncos opened Invesco Field in style by beating the New York Giants 31-20 on Monday Night. However, the win was costly as Wide Receiver Ed McCaffery suffered a season ending leg injury. Without McCaffery the Broncos offense would struggle, as Terrell Davis, Olandis Gary, and Mike Anderson each had disappointing seasons scoring a combined five Touchdowns. The Broncos would go on to complete a disappointing 8-8 season, as it seemed no one could deliver the big play.

: Despite continued inconsistency from Quarterback Brian Griese the Broncos got off to a solid start winning seven of their first ten games a Running Back Clinton Portis gave the Broncos a breakaway running threat they had been lacking since Terrell Davis's career was interrupted by a series of knee injuries. On the way to winning the Offensive Rookie of the Year Portis would rush for 1,506 yards while scoring 17 Touchdowns. However, the Broncos would struggle at the wrong time losing four of their next five games as to fall out of playoff contention the Broncos would win the final game of the season to finish with a 9-7 record, by beating the Arizona Cardinals in the final game of the season but it was not good enough for a playoff berth. Following the season the Broncos would release Brian Griese and sign Cardinals Free Agent Quarterback Jake Plummer.

: With the addition of new Quarterback Jake Plummer the Broncos got off the ground strong winning their first four games as they entered a Week 5 match up against the Kansas City Chiefs who were also 4-0. The game was close throughout but the Broncos special teams were burned by Chiefs star return man Dante Hall in a 24-23 loss, as Jake Plummer suffered a shoulder injury that would put him on the shelf for a month. The Broncos would be able to win with backup Steve Beurlein the following week on the road against the Pittsburgh Steelers. However things would get even rougher in Week 7 when Beurlein was hurt in a 28-20 loss to the Minnesota Vikings. With third string Quarterback Danny Kannel now under center the Broncos scuffled losing 3 straight heading into the bye week with a 5-4 record. The week off was just the medicine the Broncos needed as Jake Plummer returned in a 37-8 win over the lowly San Diego Chargers. However the Broncos took a step backward the following week as they were stunned by the Chicago Bears 19-10. Needing to finish strong making the playoffs the Broncos beat the Oakland Raiders 22-8 on the road to head into a rematch with the Chiefs with a 7-5 record. Though the division title was out of reach for the Broncos they wanted to send a message to the AFC West Champs, while securing a Wild Card berth. The Broncos not only won they dominated the game as Clinton Portis galloped his way to five Touchdowns and 218 yards rushing. After an overtime win over the Cleveland Browns the Broncos clinched a playoff berth with an impressive 31-17 win on the road against the Indianapolis Colts despite playing without injured Clinton Portis, whose replacement Quentin Griffin had a strong game with 136 yards rushing. With the playoffs locked up the Broncos sat a number of banged up players in a 31-3 loss to the Green Bay Packers as the closed the season with a solid 10-6 record. However, the rest would not help as the Broncos returned to Indianapolis and were humiliated 41-10, with their defense looking confused and bewildered, as they allowed 31 points in the first half, as they allowed 479 total yards.

: Once again the Broncos were able to use a solid running game to get off to a good start as Reuben Droughns took over for Clinton Portis who was traded to the Washington Redskins for Champ Bailey, rushing for a team high 1,240 yards as the Broncos won 5 of their first 6 games. After losing their next two games the Broncos responded with a 3-game winning streak. The Broncos would recover winning their next two games as they sat atop the AFC West with a 7-3 record. However a stunning home loss to the Oakland Raiders in the snow and a loss on the road to the San Diego Chargers on the road would cost the Broncos the division and would put the playoff in jeopardy. After splitting their next two games the Broncos needed to win their final two games just to slip into the playoffs after beating the Tennessee Titans 37-16, the Broncos benefited from a Indianapolis Colts team taking the week off for rest and advanced to the postseason with  a 33-14 win at Invesco Field as they posted a 10-6 record. A week later they would face the Colts again this time with their full arsenal of weapons as they were chewed up by Peyton Manning in the Wild Card Round again losing 49-24, after trailing at halftime 35-3.

: The Broncos heading into the season appeared to be in a make or break year, as fans no longer willing to rest on their laurels were beginning to turn up the heat on Coach Mike Shanahan who had not won a playoff game since Super Bowl XXXIII, and Quarterback Jake Plummer who was underwhelming in his first two seasons in Denver. The season would not start well for the Broncos who were hammered in Week 1 on the road by the Miami Dolphins 34-10. Coming home for Week 2 the Broncos had a big game already facing the defending AFC West Champion San Diego Chargers. The Broncos appeared to be in trouble as they trailed at halftime 14-3. However late in the 3rd Quarter the game swung as Champ Bailey returned an interception 25 yards for a TD as the Broncos would rally to win the game 20-17 on a 36-yard field goal by Jason Elam in the final seconds. The comeback win provided just the spark the Broncos needed as they went on a five game winning streak highlighted by a 28-20 win over the defending champion New England Patriots. After a heartbreaking loss to the New York Giants, the Broncos returned home and slammed the Philadelphia Eagles 49-21, starting another four game winning streak that gave the Broncos the inside track to the AFC West Title. After a loss on the road to the Kansas City Chiefs, the Broncos again stayed hot winning their last four games to finish in first place with a solid 13-3 record. In the playoffs the Broncos would face the Patriots again in the Divisional Playoffs; since Tom Brady assumed the starting role he was unbeaten in the postseason leading the Patriots to three Super Bowls in Four years as they headed into Denver. After a scoreless 1st Quarter, the Patriots got on the board first late in the 2nd Quarter with a Field Goal. The game would turn after the two-minute warning as Ian Gold recovered a Kevin Faulk fumble at the Patriots 40. The Broncos would then take advantage of pass interference in the end zone, as Mike Anderson scored on a one yard Touchdown run to give the Broncos a lead, as lead they would extend to 10-0 at the end of the half as the Patriots fumbled the kickoff. Anderson would add another one yard Touchdown run as the Broncos took a 17-6 lead into the 4th Quarter, following a dramatic 100-yard Interception return by Champ Bailey who picked off Tom Brady in the end zone. The Broncos would go on to end the Patriots two year reign with a 27-10 win. In the AFC Championship Game the Broncos would host the Pittsburgh Steelers who were coming off a stunning upset off the Indianapolis Colts. Earlier on it was clear it was not the Broncos day as the mistake prone Jake Plummer committed four turnovers, as the Steelers won going away 34-17.

: Coming off their disappointing loss in the AFC Championship Game, the Broncos stumbled out of the gate again losing the season opener to the St. Louis Rams on the road 18-10. A week later in their home opener the Broncos struggled again as they needed overtime to beat the Kansas City Chiefs 9-6. A week later on a Sunday Night the Broncos frustrated the New England Patriots again winning in Foxboro 17-7, as they held the Patriots offense in check all game. The Broncos continued to play well winning their next three games to enter a showdown at Invesco Field with the Indianapolis Colts with a five game winning streak. In a game that would live up to the hype the Colts and Broncos would battle back and forth all game, before the Colts Adam Vinatieri delivered a game winning 37-yard Field Goal with two seconds left to give the Colts a 34-31 win. The Broncos would recover from their loss to the Colts, by winning their next two games on the road, as they entered a showdown with the San Diego Chargers at Invesco Field with first place on the line at 7-2. Quarterback Jake Plummer would have a shaky game completing less than 50% of his pass attempts, as LaDainian Tomlinson scored four touchdowns to lead the Chargers to a 35-28 win. Four days later in a Thanksgiving showdown with the Chiefs on the road, Plummer would struggle again as the Broncos dropped their second straight game 19-10. At 7-4, Coach Mike Shanahan decided to roll the dice, as he benched Jake Plummer, in favor of Rookie Quarterback Jay Cutler. In Cutler's debut against the Seattle Seahawks, the Broncos Quarterback of the Future had a solid first game with two touchdown passes. However, with two interceptions, the Broncos would drop their third straight 23-20 losing on a 50-yard Field Goal by Josh Brown with five seconds left. A week later Cutler was helpless to stop the losing streak from continuing as the Chargers crushed the Broncos 48-20, as LaDainian Tomlinson scored three times setting a new NFL single season Touchdown record. With the AFC West out of reach the Broncos focused on the Wild Card, with wins in their next two games the Broncos just needed to beat the San Francisco 49ers at home in the final game of the season to reach the playoffs. However, after jumping out to a 13-0 lead the Broncos would be stunned as the 49ers rallied to take a 23-16 lead in the 4th Quarter, as Jay Cutler had a pass picked off and returned 28 yards by Walt Harris for a Touchdown. With the season on the line Cutler showed veteran poise leading the Broncos on a game tying Touchdown drive to force overtime. In Overtime the Broncos would be unable to move the ball as the 49ers won the game 26-23 on a 36-yard field goal by Joe Nedney, as the Broncos at 9-7 missed the playoffs. The Broncos sadness from missing the playoffs would turn into heartache less than 12 hours later when second year defensive back Darrent Williams died in the arms of teammate Javon Walker after a drive by shooting in the early morning hours of New Year's Day. Williams who was just 24 had urged his teammate to leave a New Year's party sensing trouble was brewing. The Broncos would be hit with more tragedy just 50 days later when third string Running Back Damien Nash suffered a fatal heart attack during a charity basketball game.

: Following the trying off-season, the Broncos started the season in Buffalo where they saw nearly another tragedy as Bills special teamer Kevin Everett laid motionless after tackling Domenik Hixon during a kickoff to open the second half. Everett suffered a severe spinal injury, which would later require hours of surgery and experimental procedures, to enable him to regain control of his legs. In the game the Broncos also needed a miracle to win as Jason Elam kicked a 42 yard Field Goal as time expired to give the Broncos a 15-14 win. In their home opener a week later the Broncos needed more heroics from Elam as the veteran kicker nailed both the tying and winning field goals as the Broncos beat the Oakland Raiders in overtime 23-20. However, over the next three weeks there would be no heroics as the Broncos lost three in a row including a 41-3 drubbing at home by the San Diego Chargers. Starring another loss in the face the Broncos again turned to Jason Elam who hit a 49 yard Field Goal as time expired to beat the Pittsburgh Steelers 31-28. A week later Elam would deliver another clutch kick as his 21-yard field goal at the end of regulation forced overtime against the Green Bay Packers. However, on the first play from regulation in Overtime, Brett Favre hit Greg Jennings on an 82 yard Touchdown pass to give the Packers a 19-13 win. Still reeling from their stunning loss at home to the Packers the Broncos, suffered an embarrassing loss in Detroit as the Lions hammered the Broncos 44-7 to drop the Broncos to 3-5. The Broncos would respond by winning their next two games to get back to .500. However, a heartbreaking 37-34 loss in overtime to the Chicago Bears all but ended their playoff hopes, as return specialist Devin Hester lit the Broncos special teams up for 151 return yards including two touchdowns. The Broncos would lose again the following week as they were beaten by the rival Oakland Raiders 34-20. After a win against the Houston Texans the Broncos dropped two in a row and needed a win in their final game just to avoid ten losses. Fortunately, for the Broncos that would come as Jason Elam nailed another game winner in overtime from 30 yards as the Broncos beat the Minnesota Vikings 22-19. It would be the last kick Jason Elam would make as a Bronco, as he signed a free agent deal with the Atlanta Falcons in the offseason, ending a 15-year career in the mile high city.

: After missing the playoffs two straight seasons, the Broncos knew they needed to get off to a fast start as they faced the Oakland Raiders in a Monday Night Game on the road. With Jay Cutler passing for 299 yards with Touchdowns the Broncos looked strong in a 41-14 win. A week later, the Broncos won another key divisional match up against the San Diego Chargers 39-38 in their home opener, as they scored the game winning Touchdown with 24 seconds left on a pass from Jay Cutler to Eddie Royal. After blowing a 31-17 lead, Coach Mike Shanahan not taking any chances decided to go for two and the win, as Cutler found Royal again in the end zone against the stunned Chargers defense. However, the win was not without controversy as a fumble by Cutler was mistakenly blown dead by Referee Ed Hochuli, allowing the Broncos game winning drive to continue. The Broncos would take control of the AFC West early with a 4-1 start. However, after three straight losses the Broncos defensive struggles again became the source of frustration in Denver. However, with Cutler passing for 447 yards in a 34-30 road win against the Cleveland Browns the Broncos appeared to be back on track winning four of their next five games. At 8-5 the Broncos just needed one more win to clinch a division title. However, Jay Cutler struggled in a 30-10 Week 15 loss to the Carolina Panthers on the road. A week later it was more frustration as they were stunned by the Buffalo Bills 30-23 at Invesco Field. The loss opened the door for the San Diego Chargers who appeared to be buried at 4-8 just a few weeks earlier. In the season's final game the Chargers would run up and down the field all game against the Broncos winning 52-21 to win AFC West as the Broncos season ended with an 8-8 record. Following the late season collapse the Broncos would fire Coach Mike Shanahan, ending a successful 14 year reign that included two Super Bowl Championships.

: To replace Shanahan, the Broncos hired offensive guru Josh McDaniels, who despite being 32 had an impressive resume on the coaching staff of the New England Patriots. However, McDaniels created controversy right away upon arriving in Denver as he clashed with Quarterback Jay Cutler after flirting with acquiring Patriots back up QB Matt Cassel. Eventually it would lead to the Broncos dealing their young Quarterback to the Chicago Bears for QB Kyle Orton and three draft picks.


Frank Filchock 1960-1961
Jack Faulkner 1962-1964
Mac Speedie 1964-1966
Ray Malavasi 1966
Lou Saban 1967-1971
Jerry Smith 1971  
John Ralston 1972-1976
Red Miller 1977-1980
Dan Reeves 1981-1992    
Wade Phillips 1993-1994
Mike Shanahan 1995-2008
Josh McDaniels 2009-Present

 Hall of Famers:

Willie Brown CB 1963-1966
Tony Dorsett RB 1988

John Elway QB 1983-1998
Floyd Little RB 1967-1975
Gary Zimmerman OT 1993-1997

 Retired Numbers:
7 John Elway QB 1983-1998
18 Frank Tripucka QB 1960-1963
44 Floyd Little RB 1967-1975

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