1996 Denver Broncos season

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1996 Denver Broncos season
Denver Broncos wordmark (1968 - 1996).png
Owner Pat Bowlen
President Pat Bowlen
Head coach Mike Shanahan
General managerJohn Beake
Offensive coordinator Gary Kubiak
Defensive coordinator Greg Robinson
Home field Mile High Stadium
Division place1st AFC West
Playoff finishLost Divisional Playoffs (vs. Jaguars) 27–30
Pro Bowlers
AP All-Pros
Team MVP Terrell Davis
Broncos 1968-96 uniforms.png
Denver vs. Tampa Bay at Mile High Stadium, September 15, 1996 Mile High Stadium during a Broncos game on September 15, 1996.jpg
Denver vs. Tampa Bay at Mile High Stadium, September 15, 1996

The 1996 Denver Broncos season was the franchise's 27th season in the National Football League, the 37th overall and their 2nd under head coach Mike Shanahan. The Broncos improved on their 8–8 record from 1995 and finished the season with a 13–3 record. They also cliched the AFC West for the first time since 1991, and earning the top seed in the AFC Playoffs.


In the playoffs, the Broncos were upset by the Jacksonville Jaguars in the Divisional Round, 30–27. Prior to their defeat, they were the top-seeded team in the NFL and were heavily favored to go to and win the Super Bowl by many analysts, breaking the AFC losing streak from the 1980s. The loss rendered the 1996 Broncos team as a historic failure, as it was a major Super Bowl or bust year. This was also the final year the Broncos wore their "Orange Crush" uniforms.


NFL Draft

1996 Denver Broncos draft
115 John Mobley   Linebacker Kutztown
244 Tory James  *  Defensive back LSU
365 Detron Smith   Running back Texas A&M
378Mark Campbell  Defensive tackle Florida
4100 Jeff Lewis   Quarterback Northern Arizona
4122 Darrius Johnson  Defensive back Oklahoma
5159 Patrick Jeffers   Wide receiver Virginia
6181 Tony Veland  Defensive back Nebraska
7213Leslie Ratliffe  Offensive tackle Tennessee
7226 Chris Banks   Guard Kansas
7235L. T. Levine Running backKansas
7236Brian Gragert  Punter Wyoming
      Made roster    *   Made at least one Pro Bowl during career

[1] The team was also set to pick University of Nebraska quarterback Brook Berringer. Berringer was killed in a plane crash two days before the draft.



1996 Denver Broncos staff
Front office

Head coaches

Offensive coaches

Defensive coaches

Special teams coaches

Strength and conditioning


1996 Denver Broncos roster

Running backs

Wide receivers

Tight ends

Offensive linemen

Defensive linemen


Defensive backs

Special teams

Reserve lists

Practice squad

Rookies in italics


1996 Denver Broncos Schedule

Regular Season

1September 1 New York Jets W 31–61–0 Mile High Stadium
2September 8at Seattle Seahawks W 30–202–0 Kingdome
3September 15 Tampa Bay Buccaneers W 27–233–0Mile High Stadium
4September 22at Kansas City Chiefs L 14–173–1 Arrowhead Stadium
5September 29at Cincinnati Bengals W 14–104–1 Cinergy Field
6October 6 San Diego Chargers W 28–175–1Mile High Stadium
7 Bye
8October 20 Baltimore Ravens W 45–346–1Mile High Stadium
9October 27 Kansas City Chiefs W 34–77–1Mile High Stadium
10November 4at Oakland Raiders W 22–218–1 Oakland–Alameda County Coliseum
11November 10 Chicago Bears W 17–129–1Mile High Stadium
12November 17at New England Patriots W 34–810–1 Foxboro Stadium
13November 24at Minnesota Vikings W 21–1711–1 Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome
14December 1 Seattle Seahawks W 34–712–1Mile High Stadium
15December 8at Green Bay Packers L 6–4112–2 Lambeau Field
16December 15 Oakland Raiders W 24–1913–2Mile High Stadium
17December 22at San Diego Chargers L 10–1613–3 Jack Murphy Stadium


RoundDateOpponent (seed)ResultRecordVenueAttendanceRecap
Wild Card First-round bye
Divisional January 4, 1997 Jacksonville Jaguars (5)L 27–300–1 Mile High Stadium


AFC West
(1) Denver Broncos 1330.813391275L1
Kansas City Chiefs 970.563297300L3
San Diego Chargers 880.500310376W1
Oakland Raiders 790.438340293L2
Seattle Seahawks 790.438317376W1


AFC Divisional Playoffs: vs (5) Jacksonville Jaguars

AFC Divisional Playoffs: (5) Jacksonville Jaguars at (1) Denver Broncos – Game summary

at Mile High Stadium, Denver, CO

  • Date: January 4, 1997
  • Game time: 2:00 p.m. (Mountain Time)
  • Game weather: 36 °F (2 °C), sunny
  • Game attendance: 75,678

Awards and records

Pro Bowl

QB John Elway

RB Terrell Davis

TE Shannon Sharpe

T Gary Zimmerman

DE Alfred Williams

DT Michael Perry

LB Bill Romanowski

S Steve Atwater

S Tyrone Braxton

AP Offensive Player of the Year – Terrell Davis

UPI AFL-AFC Offensive MVP – Terrell Davis (1996 was the last year this award was given out)

Terrell Davis sets Franchise rushing record For Carries (345) in a season and touchdown's rushing (13) in a season


Terrell Davis reaches 1,000yds faster than any Denver Bronco running back in Franchise history

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  1. "1996 Denver Broncos Draftees". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved December 18, 2013.
  2. "1996 Denver Broncos starters and roster". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved November 20, 2014.