Denver Broncos

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia - View original article

Denver Broncos
Current season
Established 1960
Play in Sports Authority Field at Mile High
Denver, Colorado
Headquartered in the Paul D. Bowlen Memorial Broncos Centre
Dove Valley, Colorado
Denver Broncos logo
League/conference affiliations

American Football League (1960–69)

  • Western Division (1961–69)

National Football League (1970–present)

Current uniform
Team colorsOrange, Navy, White


Mascot"Thunder II" (live horse)
"Miles" (costume suit)
Owner(s)Pat Bowlen
ChairmanPat Bowlen
CEOPat Bowlen
PresidentJoe Ellis
Head coachJohn Fox
Team history
  • Denver Broncos (1960–present)
Team nicknames
Orange Crush (1977–79 defense)
League championships (2)
Conference championships (6)
Division championships (12)
Playoff appearances (18)
Home fields
Jump to: navigation, search
Denver Broncos
Current season
Established 1960
Play in Sports Authority Field at Mile High
Denver, Colorado
Headquartered in the Paul D. Bowlen Memorial Broncos Centre
Dove Valley, Colorado
Denver Broncos logo
League/conference affiliations

American Football League (1960–69)

  • Western Division (1961–69)

National Football League (1970–present)

Current uniform
Team colorsOrange, Navy, White


Mascot"Thunder II" (live horse)
"Miles" (costume suit)
Owner(s)Pat Bowlen
ChairmanPat Bowlen
CEOPat Bowlen
PresidentJoe Ellis
Head coachJohn Fox
Team history
  • Denver Broncos (1960–present)
Team nicknames
Orange Crush (1977–79 defense)
League championships (2)
Conference championships (6)
Division championships (12)
Playoff appearances (18)
Home fields

The Denver Broncos are a professional American football team based in Denver, Colorado. They are currently members of the West Division of the American Football Conference in the National Football League. The Broncos began play in 1960 as a charter member of the American Football League and joined the NFL as part of the AFL–NFL merger of 1970.

The Broncos have been a successful franchise, having won two Super Bowls and six AFC Championships. The team leads the league with only six losing seasons during a 35-year span between now and their first Super Bowl appearance in 1977. They play at Sports Authority Field at Mile High, and have four players in the Pro Football Hall of Fame: John Elway, Floyd Little, Gary Zimmerman, and Shannon Sharpe.


Franchise history

1960–69: AFL era

The Denver Broncos were founded on August 14, 1959 when minor league baseball owner Bob Howsam was awarded an American Football League charter franchise.[1] The Broncos won the first-ever AFL game over the Boston Patriots 13–10, on September 9, 1960. On August 5, 1967, they became the first ever AFL team to defeat an NFL team after beating the Detroit Lions 13–7, in a preseason game.[1] However, the Broncos were not successful in the 1960s, compiling a record of 39–97–4 in the league.[2]

Denver came close to losing its franchise in 1965, but a local ownership group took control and rebuilt the team.[3] The team's first superstar, "Franchise" Floyd Little, due to his signing in 1967 and his Pro Bowl efforts on and off the field, was instrumental in keeping the team in Denver. They were the only original AFL team never to have played in the title game, as well as the only original AFL team never to have a winning season while a member of the AFL during the upstart league's 10-year history.[4]

1970–82: "Orange Crush"

In 1972, the Broncos hired former Stanford University coach John Ralston as their head coach. In 1973, he was UPI's AFC Coach of the Year after Denver achieved its first winning season at 7–5–2. In 5 seasons with the Broncos, Ralston guided the team to winning seasons three times, the franchise's only three winning seasons up to that time. Although Ralston finished the 1976 season with a 9-5 record, the team, as was the case in Ralston’s previous winning seasons, still missed the playoffs. Following the season, several prominent players publicly voiced their discontent with Ralston, which soon led to his dismissal by the team owner.[citation needed]

Rookie coach Red Miller, along with the Orange Crush Defense (a nickname originating in the early '70s, also the brand of a popular orange-flavored soft drink) and aging quarterback Craig Morton, took the Broncos to their first playoff appearance in 1977, and ultimately first Super Bowl, where they were defeated by the Dallas Cowboys, 27–10.[5]

In 1981 Broncos owner Gerald Phipps, who had purchased the team in May 1961 from the original owner Bob Howsam, sold the team to Canadian Financier, Edgar Kaiser, Jr., grandson of shipbuilding industrialist Henry J. Kaiser.[6]

1983–98: John Elway era

Quarterback John Elway, who played college football at Stanford, 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 and was also a pitching prospect), unless he was traded to a selected list of other teams, which included Denver.[7] Prior to Elway, Denver had over 24 different starting quarterbacks in its 23 seasons to that point.[8]

Elway remained the quarterback through 5 Super Bowls, with the Broncos winning two of them. The Broncos lost Super Bowl XXI to the New York Giants, 39–20; Super Bowl XXII to the Washington Redskins, 42–10; and Super Bowl XXIV to the San Francisco 49ers, 55–10; the latter score remains, to the present day, the most lopsided scoring differential in Super Bowl history. In 1995, the Broncos debuted a new head coach, Mike Shanahan, and a new rookie running back, Terrell Davis. In 1996, the Broncos were the top seed in the AFC with a 13–3 record, dominating most of the teams that year. The fifth-seeded Jacksonville Jaguars, however, upset the Broncos 30–27 in the divisional round of the playoffs, ending the Broncos' 1996 run.[citation needed]

During the 1997 season, both Elway and Davis helped guide the Broncos to their first Super Bowl victory, a 31–24 win over the defending champion Green Bay Packers in Super Bowl XXXII. Although Elway completed only 13 of 22 passes, throwing one interception and no touchdowns (he did, however, have a rushing touchdown), Davis rushed for 157 yards and a Super Bowl–record 3 touchdowns to earn the Super Bowl Most Valuable Player Award – this while overcoming a severe migraine that caused him blurred vision.[9] The Broncos repeated as Super Bowl champions the following season, defeating the Atlanta Falcons (led by Elway's longtime head coach Dan Reeves) in Super Bowl XXXIII, 34–19. Elway was named Super Bowl MVP, completing 18 of 29 passes for 421 yards, with an 80-yard touchdown to wide receiver Rod Smith and one interception.

1999–present: Post-Elway and Manning era

Broncos' quarterback Jay Cutler in 2007.

John Elway retired following the 1998 season, and Brian Griese started at quarterback for the next 4 seasons. After a 6–10 record in 1999, the Broncos recovered in 2000, earning a Wild Card playoff berth, but losing to the Baltimore Ravens. After missing the playoffs the following two seasons, former Arizona Cardinals' quarterback Jake Plummer replaced Griese in 2003, and led the Broncos to two straight 10–6 seasons, earning Wild Card playoff berths both years. However, the Broncos went on the road to face the Indianapolis Colts in back-to-back seasons and were blown out by more than 20 points in each game, allowing a combined 90 points.[citation needed]

After losing the 2005 season opener, the Broncos won five straight games. Plummer and the Broncos clinched their first AFC West division title since 1998 on December 24, and finished with an 8–0 home record and a 13–3 overall record. The Broncos entered the playoffs for the third consecutive year with the momentum of a four-game winning streak. After a first round bye, the Broncos defeated the defending Super Bowl champion New England Patriots, 27–13, denying New England from becoming the first NFL team ever to win three consecutive Super Bowl championships. The Broncos' playoff run came to an end next week, after losing at home to the Pittsburgh Steelers in the AFC Championship Game, 34–17. Denver turned the ball over four times and were outscored in the first half, 24–3. The Steelers went on to win Super Bowl XL.

The Broncos' defense began the first five games of the 2006 season allowing only one touchdown, an NFL record, but struggled down the season stretch. Plummer led the team to a 7–2 record, only to lose two straight and be replaced by rookie quarterback Jay Cutler. Cutler went 2–3 as a starter, and the Broncos finished with a 9–7 record, losing the tiebreaker to the Kansas City Chiefs for the final playoff spot. Cutler's first full season as a starter in 2007 became the Broncos' first losing season since 1999, with a 7–9 record.

The 2008 season ended in a 52–21 loss at the San Diego Chargers, giving the Broncos an 8–8 record and their third straight season out of the playoffs. Shanahan, the longest-tenured and most successful head coach in Broncos' franchise history, was fired on December 30, 2008, after 14 seasons.[10]

On January 11, 2009, two weeks after Shanahan was fired, the Broncos hired former New England Patriots' offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels as the team's new head coach.[11] Three months later, the team acquired quarterback Kyle Orton as part of a trade that sent Jay Cutler to the Chicago Bears.

Tim Tebow playing against the Kansas City Chiefs in January 2012.

Under McDaniels and Orton, the Broncos jumped out to a surprising 6–0 start in 2009. However, the team lost eight of their next ten games, finishing 8–8 for a second consecutive season and missing the playoffs. After the season, Pro Bowl wide receiver Brandon Marshall was traded to the Miami Dolphins, and the Broncos set a new franchise record for losses in a single season, with a 4–12 record in 2010.[12] On December 6, 2010, McDaniels was fired following a combination of the team's poor record and the fallout from a highly-publicized videotaping scandal. Runningback coach Eric Studesville was named interim coach for the remaining four games of the 2010 season.[13] He chose to start rookie first-round draft choice Tim Tebow at quarterback for the final three games.

After the season, Joe Ellis was promoted from Chief Operating Officer to team president, while John Elway was named the team's Executive Vice President of Football Operations on January 5, 2011. In this capacity, Elway will report to Ellis and will oversee the position held by the General Manager (Brian Xanders) and head coach positions. On January 13, 2011, the Broncos hired former Carolina Panthers' coach John Fox as the team's 14th head coach.[14][15]

After a 1–4 start to the 2011 season, it was announced on October 11, 2011, that Tebow would replace Kyle Orton as the Broncos' starting quarterback. In his first start, Tebow would lead the Broncos in a come-from-behind 18–15 overtime victory over the Dolphins, after being down 15–0 with under three minutes to go in the game.[16] On November 22, 2011, Kyle Orton was waived and since the quarterback change, the Broncos went 7–4, including four consecutive game-winning drives in the fourth quarter or overtime against the Jets in Week 11, the Chargers in Week 12, the Vikings in Week 13 and the Bears in Week 14. Despite losing their last three games of the 2011 season, the Broncos clinched their first playoff berth and division title since 2005 (the Broncos finished in a three-way tie with the Raiders and Chargers, but won tiebreakers over both teams).[17]

In the Wild Card round of the 2011–12 NFL Playoffs, the Broncos defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers in overtime 29–23. After Denver built an early lead, the Steelers managed to tie the game late in the fourth quarter. The Broncos set the NFL overtime record (regular season or playoffs) for the fastest overtime ever, winning in 11 seconds with only one 80-yard play, following a 20-yard touchback. This was also the first overtime win under the new rules that allow for sudden death only in touchdown or defensive point scenarios.[18] This game became known as the 3:16 Game due to the wide range of stats that correlated with the verse John 3:16. The following week, the Broncos were blown out 45–10 by the Patriots in the Divisional round.[19]

On March 20, 2012, the Broncos and Peyton Manning reached an agreement on a 5-year contract worth $96 million. [20][21] The following day, the Broncos traded Tim Tebow and a seventh round draft pick to the New York Jets in exchange for fourth and sixth round draft picks.[22]


Kansas City Chiefs

  • First met in 1960 (with the Chiefs based in Dallas from 1960–62 and named the Dallas Texans)
  • 55–47 Kansas City leads series (Denver leads playoffs 1–0)
  • Signature moment: The Kansas City Chiefs were victimized by 8 of John Elway's 47 legendary fourth quarter game-winning drives, the most he had against one NFL team. Perhaps the most memorable comeback occurred on October 4, 1992, at Mile High Stadium. The Broncos trailed 19–6 late in the 4th quarter, and hadn't scored a touchdown in the previous 12 quarters. After the 2-minute warning, Elway threw a 25-yard touchdown pass to Mark Jackson to narrow the gap to 19–13 with 1:55 left. After the Chiefs subsequently went three-and-out, the Broncos returned a punt to the Chiefs' 27-yard line. Three plays later, Elway threw a 12-yard touchdown pass to Vance Johnson with 38 seconds left for a 20–19 comeback win. The Chiefs, however, got revenge in the season finale, with a 42–20 win at Arrowhead Stadium, which denied the Broncos a playoff berth.
  • Signature moment: Legendary San Francisco 49ers' quarterback Joe Montana finished his career in Kansas City, and led the Chiefs to a memorable comeback at Mile High Stadium on October 17, 1994.
  • Signature moment: After suffering a last-second loss at Arrowhead Stadium in the 1997 regular season, the Broncos redeemed themselves with a 14–10 win there in the playoffs, eventually winning Super Bowl XXXII.

Oakland Raiders

  • First met in 1960
  • 59–43–2 Oakland leads series (Playoffs tied 1–1) (from 1982–94, the Raiders were based in Los Angeles)
  • Signature moment: The Broncos beat Oakland in 1977 to win their first AFC Championship.
  • Signature moment: September 26, 1988 – The Broncos led 24–0 at halftime on Monday Night Football, but the Raiders sparked one of the largest comebacks in NFL history, winning 30–27 in OT. After serving as an offensive assistant under Dan Reeves in the mid-80s (and again in the early-90s), Mike Shanahan's first season as an NFL head coach was with Oakland in 1988, before he was fired 4 games into the 1989 season.[23]
  • Signature moment: In the 1993 season finale, the Raiders beat the Broncos in overtime to make the playoffs and set up another game between them in L.A. the following week. Outspoken Raiders' owner Al Davis said before the playoff game that Denver was "scared to death of us."[24] Despite the Broncos' protests, the Raiders won 42–24.
  • Signature moment: In 1995, former Raiders coach Mike Shanahan, who was at the time in an ongoing contract dispute with Al Davis, became the Broncos' new head coach, heightening an already contentious AFC West rivalry. Prior to his arrival in Denver, the Broncos had lost 13 out of 15 games against Oakland from 1988–94, but during Shanahan's 14 seasons as their head coach, the Broncos went 21–7 against the Raiders.
  • Signature moment: September 16, 2007 – As Raiders kicker Sebastian Janikowski kicked what would have been a game-winning field goal in OT, Broncos head coach Mike Shanahan called timeout right before he made it. After the timeout, Janikowski attempted the field goal again, but it hit the upright and missed. Denver then won on a field goal by Jason Elam.[25]
  • Signature moment: October 24, 2010 – The Raiders scored 38 points in the first half in Denver. Oakland beat the Broncos 59–14, not only making it the most points scored in a single game in franchise history, but also tying the highest point total that the Broncos have allowed in a single game, since a 59–7 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs in 1963.[26]

San Diego Chargers

Broncos playing against the Chargers
  • First met in 1960 (with the Chargers based in Los Angeles in 1960 prior to relocating to San Diego in 1961)
  • 55–48–1 Denver leads series (No playoff matches)
  • Signature moment: November 17, 1985—Dennis Smith blocks 2 straight field goal attempts, and San Diego takes the ball to the Broncos 29 in the first overtime possession. On 4th and 7 from the Broncos 29,Dennis Smith blocks a Bob Thomas field goal attempt only to see it brought back by Smith being called offsides. They move the ball forward 5 yards to the 24. Now 4th and 2 from the Broncos 24, Thomas tries a second attempt and this was also blocked by Smith and returned by Louis Wright for a 60 yard touchdown and the win.[27]
  • Signature moment: September 14, 2008—With 52 seconds left, the Chargers were leading 38–31. The Broncos hiked the ball on 2nd & Goal from the Chargers 1-yard line. Jay Cutler rolled out to the right and fumbled before he brought his arm forward, which was recovered by the Chargers' Tim Dobbins. However, referee Ed Hochuli called the play dead as he believed it to be an incomplete pass, so the ball was returned to the Broncos at the 10 yard line (the spot where the ball hit the ground). Two plays later, on 4th & Goal from the 4, Cutler threw a touchdown pass to rookie Eddie Royal to make it 38–37. Instead of kicking a PAT to tie the game and send it to OT, Coach Mike Shanahan opted for a 2-point conversion. Cutler completed the conversion with another pass to Royal, giving Denver a controversial 39–38 victory. However, San Diego had their revenge with an emphatic 52–21 win in the 2008 season finale, denying the Broncos a place in the playoffs.[28]
  • Signature moment: October 15, 2012—Trailing 24–0 at halftime after back-to-back special teams turnovers and an interception returned for a touchdown, Peyton Manning led the Broncos to a stunning 35–24 comeback win in San Diego. Three second-half interceptions and two lost fumbles by Chargers' quarterback Phillip Rivers swung the momentum in Denver's favor, as Manning and the Broncos took full advantage of each Chargers mistake. Manning went 13-14 for 167 yards and three touchdowns in the second half, hitting Demaryius Thomas on a 29-yard score with 10:56 left in the 3rd quarter to finally get Denver on the scoreboard. Following a 65-yard touchdown on a fumble recovery by cornerback Tony Carter, the Broncos suddenly found themselves down only 10 as the Chargers watched their comfortable halftime lead dwindle. Manning added two more touchdown passes in the fourth quarter, finding Eric Decker on a 7-yard score and then connecting with Brandon Stokley on a 21-yard pitch and catch that gave Denver a 28–24 lead with 9:03 remaining. Chris Harris sealed the game with a 46–yard interception return to put the Broncos up 35-24 with 2:06 left. The defense added one final takeaway as Rivers' fumbled in the game's final minute to end what was certainly an instant Monday Night Football classic.[29]

Cleveland Browns

  • First met in 1971
  • 18–5 Denver leads series (Denver leads playoffs 3–0)
  • Signature moment: Over three playoffs in four years, Cleveland lost to Denver in the AFC Championship Game. On January 11, 1987, after the 1986 season, John Elway led The Drive to secure a tie in the waning moments at Cleveland Municipal Stadium; the Broncos went on to win in OT 23–20.
  • Signature moment: On January 17, 1988, at Mile High Stadium, after the 1987 season, the Broncos and Browns met up in the AFC Championship Game again. Denver took a 21–3 lead, but Bernie Kosar threw 4 touchdown passes to tie it up at 31 halfway through the 4th quarter. After a long drive, John Elway threw a 20-yard touchdown pass to Sammy Winder to give Denver a 38–31 lead. Cleveland advanced to Denver's 8-yard line with 1:12 left, but Jeremiah Castille stripped Earnest Byner at the 2-yard line, a play that has been called The Fumble by Browns fans. The Broncos recovered it, gave Cleveland an intentional safety, and went on to win 38-33. The game after the 1989 season was not as close, easily won by the Broncos.[citation needed]

New England Patriots

  • Met in the first-ever AFL regular season game on September 9, 1960, with the Broncos defeating the Boston Patriots 13–10.[30]
  • 25–18 Denver leads series (Denver leads playoffs 2–1)
  • Signature moment: January 4, 1987 – In the divisional round of the 1986–87 NFL playoffs, the Broncos defeated the Patriots 22–17 at Mile High Stadium, in John Elway's first career playoff win.[31][32] During the John Elway era, the Broncos went 11–0 against the Patriots, including the playoffs.
  • Signature moment: November 17, 1996 – The Broncos routed the Patriots 34–8 at Foxboro Stadium. Shannon Sharpe infamously said "Mr. President, call in the National Guard! Send as many men as you can spare! Because we are killing the Patriots! They need emergency help!"[33]
  • Signature moment: November 3, 2003 – The Patriots were trailing 24–23 with 2:49 left. Backed up to their own 1-yard line and facing a punt, Patriots head coach Bill Belichick ordered an intentional safety that gave the Broncos a 26–23 lead. After a free kick backed up the Broncos to their own 15-yard line, they immediately went three and out. After a Broncos punt gave the Patriots great field position at their own 42-yard line with 2:15 left, New England drove 58 yards in 6 plays, culminating in an 18-yard touchdown pass from Tom Brady to David Givens with 35 seconds left that gave the Patriots a 30–26 win.[34]
  • Signature moment: January 14, 2006 – In the divisional round of the 2005–06 NFL playoffs, Champ Bailey made a game-changing 100-yard interception off Tom Brady that gave the Broncos a 27–13 win over the Patriots. This not only gave the Broncos their first playoff win since John Elway's retirement, but this also ended the Patriots' NFL-record 10-game postseason winning streak, and gave Tom Brady his first playoff loss as well.[35]
  • Signature moment: October 11, 2009 – The Broncos were trailing 17–10 with 9:59 left in the 4th quarter. Backed up to their own 2-yard line, Kyle Orton led the Broncos on a 12-play, 98-yard drive, culminating in an 11-yard touchdown pass from Orton to Brandon Marshall to tie the game at 17 with 5:21 left. The Broncos won the overtime coin toss, and subsequently marched down the field, with Matt Prater kicking a game-winning 41-yard field goal for a Broncos 20–17 overtime win. This was then-head coach Josh McDaniels' first game against his former team and mentor, Bill Belichick.[36] This game also dropped Tom Brady's personal record against Denver to 1–6.
  • Signature moment: December 18, 2011 – In Tim Tebow's first game against the Patriots as a starter, the Patriots won 41–23. Tebow and the Broncos started off strong leading the Patriots at one point by a score of 16–7, but New England fought back to score 27 unanswered points to take the lead. Tebow's late game heroics that became the trademark of the previous four games fell short, as New England's defense forced multiple turnovers and stopped the Broncos from extending their winning streak to seven games. The game received a lot of hype from many sports networks, citing Tebow's record of 7–1 as a starter going into the game, and the quarterback duel between Tebow and Brady.[37] The two teams met again four weeks later in the divisional round of the 2011–12 NFL Playoffs, won by the Patriots.

Seattle Seahawks

  • First met in 1977
  • 34–18 Denver leads series (Seattle leads playoffs 1–0)

The Seattle Seahawks were originally part of the AFC west. In 2002, when the league switched teams around, the Seahawks were moved to the NFC West where they gained three new rivals: The Arizona Cardinals, San Francisco 49ers and St. Louis Rams. The rivalry had many famous players such as John Elway, Shannon Sharpe and many others.

Logos and uniforms

Denver Broncos uniform set from 1968–96. The team briefly wore orange pants with the away jerseys between 1969–1971 and 1978–1979.
Denver Broncos current uniform combination. Navy blue was the team's primary home jersey color from 1997–2011, while orange was the alternate jersey color from 2002–2011.
Broncos alternate logo (1997–present)

When the Broncos debuted in 1960, their original uniforms drew as much attention as their play on the field. It featured white and mustard yellow jerseys, with contrasting brown helmets, brown pants, and vertically striped socks.[38] Two years later, the team unveiled a new logo featuring a bucking horse, and changed their team colors to orange, royal blue and white. The 1962 uniform, designed by Laura North-Allen, consisted of white pants, orange helmets, and either orange or white jerseys. In 1968, the Broncos debuted a design that became known as the "Orange Crush". Their logo was redesigned so that the horse was coming out of a "D." Additionally, the helmets were changed to royal blue, with thin stripes placed onto the sleeves, and other minor modifications were added. From 1969–1971, and again from 1978–79, the team wore orange pants with their white jerseys.[39]

The Broncos wore their white jerseys at home throughout the 1971 season, as well as for 1980 home games vs. the San Diego Chargers and Dallas Cowboys, the latter in hopes to bring out the "blue jersey jinx" which has followed the Cowboys for decades (it worked, Denver won 41–20). Denver wore its white jerseys for 1983 home games vs. the Philadelphia Eagles, Los Angeles Raiders and Cincinnati Bengals, but would not wear white at home again for two decades (see below).[39][40]

In 1994, in honor of the 75th anniversary season of the NFL, the Broncos wore their 1965 throwback uniforms for two games—a Week 3 home game against the Raiders, as well a road game at the Buffalo Bills the following week.[39]

The team radically changed their logo and uniforms in 1997, a design that the team continues to use to this day. Navy blue replaced royal blue on the team's color scheme. The current logo is a profile of a horse's head, with an orange mane and navy blue outlines. They began wearing navy blue jerseys, replacing their longtime orange jerseys that had been the team's predominant home jersey color since 1962. This new uniform design features a new word mark, numbering font and a streak that runs up and down the sides of both the jerseys and the pants. On the navy blue jerseys, the streak is orange, with an orange collar and white numerals trimmed in orange, while on the road white jerseys, the streak is navy blue, with a thin orange accent strip on both sides, a navy collar and navy numerals trimmed in orange. When they debuted, these uniforms were, once again, vilified by the press and fans, until the Broncos won their first ever Super Bowl in the new design that same season. The navy blue jerseys served as the team's primary home jersey until the end of the 2011 season (see below).[41]

In 2002, the Broncos introduced an alternate orange jersey that is a mirror image of the aforementioned navy blue jerseys, but with orange and navy trading places. Like the road white jerseys, the white pants with the navy blue streaks running down the sides are worn with this uniform. This jersey was used only once in the 2002 and 2004 seasons, and were used twice per season from 2008–2011. Former head coach Mike Shanahan was not a big fan of the alternate orange jerseys.[42] The Broncos previously wore orange jerseys as a throwback uniform in a Thanksgiving Day game at the Dallas Cowboys in 2001.[43]

The team also introduced navy blue pants in 2003, with orange streaks to be worn with the navy blue jerseys. Though they were part of the uniform change in 1997 (in fact they were worn for a couple 1997 preseason games) and most players wanted to wear them, the only player who vetoed wearing them was John Elway, thereby delaying their eventual introduction.[44] Since 2003, these pants have primarily been used for select prime time and late-season home games, excluding the 2008 season.

On November 16, 2003, the Broncos wore their white jerseys at home for the first time since 1983, in a game vs. the San Diego Chargers. This was compensation for a uniform mix-up, after the teams' first meeting at San Diego's Qualcomm Stadium in Week 2 earlier that season, when the Chargers were the team that was supposed to declare their uniform color. The Chargers were planning to wear their white jerseys, but the visiting Broncos came to the stadium in white, and were fined $25,000 by the NFL as a result. When the two teams met at INVESCO Field at Mile High later that season (Week 11), the NFL allowed the visiting Chargers to choose their uniform color in advance, and they chose navy blue, forcing the Broncos to wear their white jerseys at home.[44]

In 2009, in honor of their 50th anniversary season as one of the eight original American Football League teams, the Broncos wore their 1960 throwback uniforms (brown helmets, mustard yellow and brown jerseys) for games against two fellow AFL rivals—a Week 5 home game vs. the New England Patriots, as well as the following week at the San Diego Chargers.[45][46]

Beginning in 2012, the orange jerseys that served as the alternate colored jerseys from 2002–2011 became the primary home jersey, while the navy blue jerseys that served as the primary home jersey from 1997–2011 switched to alternate designation. The change was made due to overwhelming fan support to return to orange as the team's primary home jersey color.[41] The navy blue jerseys (with the navy blue pants) were most recently used in a November 18, 2012 game vs. the San Diego Chargers.[47]

Home field

Sports Authority Field at Mile High, when it was known as INVESCO Field at Mile High

For most of their history, they played in Mile High Stadium. The AFL Broncos played at the University of Denver's Hilltop Stadium from time to time, including the first-ever victory of an AFL team over an NFL team: The Broncos beat the Detroit Lions on August 5, 1967, in a preseason game. The team has sold out every home game (including post-season games) since the NFL merger in 1970, with the exception of 2 replacement games during the 1987 strike (but both were sold out before the strike).

During home games, the attendance is announced to the crowd, along with the number of no-shows (the fans subsequently boo the no-shows). The fans are also known to chant "IN-COM-PLETE" every time the visiting team throws an incomplete pass. The stadium's legendary home-field advantage is regarded as one of the best in the NFL, especially during the playoffs. The Broncos have had the best home record in pro football over the past 32 years (1974–2006, 191–65–1). Mile High Stadium was one of the NFL's loudest stadiums, with steel flooring instead of concrete, which may have given the Broncos an advantage over opponents. In 2001, the team moved into INVESCO Field at Mile High, built next to the former site of the since demolished old Mile High Stadium. Sportswriter Woody Paige, along with many of Denver's fans, however, often refuse to call the new stadium by its full name, preferring to use "Mile High Stadium" because of its storied history and sentimental import. Additionally the Denver Post had an official policy of referring to the stadium as simply "Mile High Stadium" in protest, but dropped this policy in 2004.[citation needed]

On August 16, 2011, Colorado-based sporting goods retailer Sports Authority claimed the naming rights of Invesco Field, which became known as Sports Authority Field at Mile High.[48]

The Colorado altitude has also been attributed as part of the team's home success. The stadium displays multiple references to the stadium's location of 5,280 feet (1.00 mi) above sea level, including a prominent mural just outside the visiting team's locker room. The team training facility, Paul D. Bowlen Memorial Broncos Centre, is a state-of-the-art facility located in the Dove Valley business area in Englewood, Colorado. With 13.5 acres of property, the facility hosts three full-size fields, a complete weight and training facility, and a cafeteria.[citation needed]

In their more than half-century of existence, the Broncos have never been shut out at home, a streak of nearly 400 games as of the 2012 season.[49]


Season-by-season records

Players of note

Current roster

Denver Broncos roster

Running Backs

Wide Receivers

Tight Ends

Offensive Linemen

Defensive Linemen


Defensive Backs

Special Teams

Reserve Lists

Practice Squad

Rookies in italics
Roster updated November 26, 2012
Depth ChartTransactions

53 Active, 9 Inactive, 8 Practice Squad

More rosters

Retired numbers

Denver Broncos retired numbers
7John ElwayQB1983–99
18 1Frank TripuckaQB1960–63
44Floyd LittleRB1967–75

Pro Football Hall of Famers

Ring of Fame

The Broncos have a Ring of Fame on the Level 5 facade of Sports Authority Field at Mile High, which honors the following:

Colorado Sports Hall of Fame


Head coaches

Current staff

Denver Broncos staff
Front Office
  • Owner/Chairman/CEO – Pat Bowlen
  • President – Joe Ellis
  • Executive Vice President of Football Operations – John Elway
  • Director of Football Administration – Mike Sullivan
  • Director of Player Personnel – Matt Russell
  • Director of Pro Personnel – Keith Kidd
  • Assistant Director of College Scouting – Lenny McGill
  • Assistant Director of Pro Personnel – Anthony Kelly

Head Coaches

Offensive Coaches


Defensive Coaches

Special Teams Coaches

  • Special Teams Coordinator – Jeff Rodgers
  • Assistant Special Teams – Keith Burns

Strength and Conditioning

  • Strength and Conditioning – Luke Richesson
  • Assistant Strength and Conditioning – Mike Eubanks
  • Assistant Strength and Conditioning – Jason George
  • Assistant Strength and Conditioning – Anthony Lomando

Front Office
Coaching Staff
More NFL staffs

Radio and television

The Broncos' flagship radio station is currently KOA, 850AM, a 50,000-watt station owned by Clear Channel Communications. Dave Logan is the play-by-play announcer, with former Broncos' wide receiver Ed McCaffrey serving as the color commentator beginning in 2012, replacing Brian Griese.[51] Until 2010, preseason games not selected for airing on national television were shown on KCNC, channel 4, which is a CBS owned-and-operated station, as well as other CBS affiliates around the Rocky Mountain region. On May 26, 2011, the Broncos announced that KUSA channel 9, an NBC affiliate also known as 9NEWS in the Rocky Mountain region, will be the team's new television partner for preseason games.[52]

In 2011, the Broncos began a partnership with KJMN, 92.1 FM, a leading Spanish language radio station owned by Entravision Communications (EVC). The partnership also includes broadcasting rights for a half-hour weekly TV show on KCEC, the local Univision affiliate operated by Entravision Communications.

Notable fans and in the media

Notes and references

  1. ^ a b "Team – Pro Football Hall of Fame". Retrieved 2008-11-28.
  2. ^ "Denver Broncos: American Football League Charter Members". Retrieved 2008-11-28.
  3. ^ "Denver Broncos Team History". Retrieved 2008-11-28.
  4. ^ "Denver Broncos Team Encyclopedia". Retrieved 2008-11-28.
  5. ^ "1977 Denver Broncos Statistics". Retrieved 2008-11-28.
  6. ^ Paton, James (October 2, 2008), "Clock runs out for ex-Broncos owner", Rocky Mountain News,
  7. ^ "John Elway Timeline". Retrieved 2008-11-28.
  8. ^ "Denver Broncos". Archived from the original on 2008-06-05. Retrieved 2008-11-28.
  9. ^ "Super Bowl XXXII box score". Retrieved 2008-11-28.
  10. ^ Shanahan, Broncos Part Ways
  11. ^ "Broncos Introduce McDaniels". January 11, 2009. Retrieved January 11, 2009.
  12. ^ Stapleton, Arnie (January 3, 2011). "Broncos lose franchise-record 12th game as Chargers win 33–28".,0,3858640.story. Retrieved January 3, 2011.
  13. ^ Klis, Mike (December 6, 2010). "McDaniels fired as Broncos coach after controversy, losses pile up". Retrieved December 6, 2010.
  14. ^ Klis, Mike (January 5, 2011). "Broncos officially announce Elway hire, promote Ellis to president". Retrieved January 5, 2011.
  15. ^ Caldwell, Gray (January 13, 2011). "Fox Takes the Reins". Retrieved January 13, 2011.
  16. ^ Klis, Mike (October 11, 2011). "Tim Tebow named Broncos' starting quarterback". Retrieved October 11, 2011.
  17. ^ Zaas, Stuart (January 5, 2012). "How the West was Won". Retrieved January 5, 2012.
  18. ^ Legan, Kenny (January 8, 2012). "Thomas Shines in Overtime Victory". Retrieved January 8, 2012.
  19. ^ Klis, Mike (January 14, 2012). "Tom Brady leads Patriots' 45-10 rout of Broncos, Tim Tebow in NFL playoffs". Retrieved January 14, 2012.
  20. ^ "Peyton Manning, Broncos OK deal". ESPN. Retrieved 20 March 2012.
  21. ^ "How will Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos fare next season?". Los Angeles Times. March 20, 2012.,0,7718384.story?track=rss. Retrieved 20 March 2012.
  22. ^ "Jets acquire Tim Tebow for draft pick". ESPN. Retrieved March 20, 2012.
  23. ^ The 10 Most Memorable Moments in the Raiders-Broncos Rivalry
  24. ^ Crouse, Karen (2006-10-14). "The Raiders Are a Nation That Is Divided and Downtrodden". New York Times. Retrieved 2006-10-14.
  25. ^ Broncos convert in OT after Raiders' second-chance kick fails
  26. ^ Klis, Mike (October 24, 2010). "Raiders blast Broncos 59–14; fans express their displeasure". Retrieved October 24, 2010.
  27. ^ Stadium Stories, 156.
  28. ^ San Diego Chargers vs. Denver Broncos - ESPN Recap, September 14, 2008
  29. ^ Caldwell, Gray (October 16, 2012). "California Comeback". Retrieved October 16, 2012.
  30. ^ "Team » Denver Broncos". Retrieved 2012-09-03.
  31. ^ Denver Broncos: Date Elway was Drafted?, granada hills high school, rocky mountain news
  32. ^ Denver Broncos @ New England Patriots; Through The Years
  33. ^ Sharpe Retrospective Broncos TE retires, leaving fans with memories of quotes and catches
  34. ^ Patriots take safety for field position
  35. ^ Broncos take advantage of turnovers, eliminate Patriots
  36. ^ Hard Fought 5–0
  37. ^ Henson, Max (December 18, 2011). "Patriots Stop Streak". Retrieved December 18, 2011.
  38. ^
  39. ^ a b c White at Home in the NFL
  40. ^ Endzone's Denver Broncos Game-Used News & Price Guide Page
  41. ^ a b Legan, Kenny (October 3, 2011). "Orange Crush". Retrieved October 3, 2011.
  42. ^ "Broncos' RBs turn in uneven performances". August 4, 2010. Retrieved August 4, 2010.
  43. ^ ESC’s Denver Broncos Uniform History
  44. ^ a b End Zone Sports Charities
  45. ^ National Football League. "NFL announces 2009 AFL 'Legacy Games'". NFL. Retrieved 2009-10-11.
  46. ^ Klis, Mike (2009-10-10). "Even if they win, the Broncos figure to look bad in their throwback uniforms Sunday". The Denver Post. Retrieved 2009-10-11.
  47. ^ Klis, Mike (November 18, 2012). "Peyton Manning's Broncos bury Chargers to extend AFC West lead". Retrieved November 18, 2012.
  48. ^ "Broncos stadium renamed Sports Authority Field at Mile High". August 16, 2011. Retrieved August 16, 2011.
  49. ^ "Denver Broncos Franchise Encyclopedia". November 12, 2012. Retrieved November 12, 2012.
  50. ^ Ex-Bronco Tripucka says Manning can wear familiar No. 18
  51. ^ Jones, Lindsay (July 31, 2012). "Ed McCaffrey joins KOA Broncos broadcast team". Retrieved July 31, 2012.
  52. ^ Caldwell, Gray (May 26, 2011). "Broncos Partner with KUSA-TV". Retrieved May 26, 2011.
  53. ^ Tim McKernan, "Barrel Man" to Broncos fans, dies at 69
  54. ^ Celebrity Football Fans - Celebrity NFL Fans - Football Celebrities

Further reading

External links

Preceded by
Green Bay Packers
Super Bowl Champions
Denver Broncos

1998 and 1999
Succeeded by
St. Louis Rams