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Denver Broncos

DENVER BRONCOS HISTORY & INFORMATION

Charter members of the American Football League (AFL), the Broncos have played in the city of Denver, Colorado throughout their nearly 50 year history. The Broncos did not win any championships as members of the AFL. Since the 1970 AFL-NFL merger, the Broncos have won ten division titles, and played in six Super Bowls, following the 1977, 1986, 1987, 1989, 1997 and 1998 seasons. They won Super Bowl XXXII and Super Bowl XXXIII. Their most famous player is former quarterback John Elway, starting quarterback in five Super Bowls and holder of many NFL records. The Broncos currently play in the National Football League’s American Football Conference West Division (AFC West). Their current leadership includes owner Pat Bowlen, head coach Josh McDaniels, and quarterback Kyle Orton.

For much of their first three decades, excluding teams in Texas, they were the only major pro football team between Kansas City and California (and the only team in the Interior West). This distinction ended in 1988, when the Cardinals moved from St. Louis to the Phoenix area.

The Elway Years

1980s

Quarterback John Elway arrived in 1983. Originally drafted by the Baltimore Colts as the first pick of the draft, Elway proclaimed that he would shun football in favor of baseball (he was drafted by the New York Yankees to play center field) unless he was traded to one of a selected list of other teams, which included Denver. During the 23 seasons prior to Elway’s arrival, Denver used over 24 different starting quarterbacks.

Under Elway and head coach Dan Reeves (hired in 1981), the Broncos would become one of the most dominant AFC teams of the 1980s, winning 3 AFC championships (1986, 1987, 1989), with Elway winning the NFL MVP Award in 1987.The first two Super Bowl appearances were preceded by storied victories over the Cleveland Browns in the AFC Championship game, each acquiring its own nickname: The Drive in 1987, in which the Broncos drove 98 yards to score a late game-winning touchdown, and The Fumble in 1988, in which Brown Earnest Byner lost the ball, and a game-tying touchdown, late in the game. However, the Broncos lost all three Super Bowls during this period, all by at least three touchdowns. In fact, Super Bowl XXIV against the San Francisco 49ers was the most lopsided Super Bowl in NFL history.

During the 1980s, the Broncos played in at least two storied Monday Night Football games. On October 15, 1984, the Broncos played a famed game against the Green Bay Packers during a major blizzard. The following season, on November 11, 1985, the Broncos won a Monday Night Football home game when a fan threw a snowball onto the field during San Francisco 49ers kicker Ray Wersching field goal attempt. 49er holder Matt Cavanaugh picked up the ball and threw it incomplete, losing three decisive points in a 17–16 loss.

Last season

The 2008 Denver Broncos season was the franchise’s 49th season for the team (their 39th season in the National Football League). They improved from their 7-9 record from 2007 but failed to make the playoffs with an 8-8 record. On December 30, 2008, two days after the regular season ended, Mike Shanahan was fired as the Broncos head coach.

Team Records

The Broncos all-time regular season record (as of the conclusion of the 2008 season) including AFL games is 357–325–10.
Their all-time playoff record is 17-15.
John Elway is the Broncos all-time leading passer, with 300 touchdowns and 51,475 yards passing.
Terrell Davis is the Broncos all-time leading rusher, with 60 touchdowns and 7607 yards rushing.
Rod Smith is the Broncos all-time leading receiver, with 68 touchdowns, 11,389 yards receiving.
Jason Elam is the Broncos all-time leading scorer, with 1786 points.

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