1998 Denver Broncos season

Last updated

1998 Denver Broncos season
Denver Broncos wordmark.svg
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
Results
Record14–2
Division place1st AFC West
Playoff finishWon Divisional Playoffs (vs. Dolphins) 38–3
Won AFC Championship (vs. Jets) 23–10
Won Super Bowl XXXIII (vs. Falcons) 34–19
Pro Bowlers QB John Elway
RB Terrell Davis
WR Ed McCaffrey
TE Shannon Sharpe
T Tony Jones
C Tom Nalen
LB Bill Romanowski
G Mark Schlereth
FS Steve Atwater
K Jason Elam
AP All-Pros RB Terrell Davis (1st team)
TE Shannon Sharpe (1st team)
WR Ed McCaffrey (2nd team)
K Jason Elam (2nd team)

The 1998 Denver Broncos season was the franchise's 29th season in the National Football League, and the 39th overall. The Broncos entered the season as the defending Super Bowl champions and looked to become only the fifth team in league history to win consecutive Super Bowls.

Contents

Finishing with a record of 12-4 the previous year, the Broncos improved on that mark by two wins and tied the Atlanta Falcons for second best record at 14-2. They won their first thirteen games, the best start since the unbeaten 1972 Dolphins.

After sixteen seasons, John Elway retired following the Super Bowl. He finished his Broncos career with 51,475 yards passing and 300 touchdowns. Until Peyton Manning won in Super Bowl 50, Elway stood as the only Broncos quarterback to win a Super Bowl. However, Elway even played a large role in that victory as the general manager and president of football operations for the Broncos.

Running back Terrell Davis set a team single season rushing mark. His final total was 2,008 yards, making him only the fourth player to rush for over 2,000 yards in single season.

In 2007, the 1998 Broncos were ranked as the 12th greatest Super Bowl champions on the NFL Network's documentary series America's Game: The Super Bowl Champions .

Offseason

NFL draft

1998 Denver Broncos draft
RoundPickPlayerPositionCollegeNotes
130 Marcus Nash   Wide receiver Tennessee
261 Eric Brown   Safety Mississippi State
391 Brian Griese  *  Quarterback Michigan
4122 Curtis Alexander   Running back Alabama
5153 Chris Howard   Running back Michigan
7200 Trey Teague   Center Tennessee
7219 Nate Wayne   Linebacker Ole Miss
      Made roster    *   Made at least one Pro Bowl during career

Personnel

Staff

1998 Denver Broncos staff
Front office

Head coaches

Offensive coaches

Defensive coaches

Special teams coaches

Strength and conditioning

Roster

1998 Denver Broncos roster
Quarterbacks

Running backs

Wide receivers

Tight ends

Offensive linemen

Defensive linemen

Linebackers

Defensive backs

Special teams

Reserve lists


Practice squad



Rookies in italics

[1]

Regular season

Schedule

WeekDateOpponentResultTV Time(MT)TV AnnouncersGame siteRecordAttendance
1September 7 New England Patriots W 27–21ABC 6:20pm Al Michaels, Dan Dierdorf, Boomer Esiason, and Lesley Visser Mile High Stadium 1–0
74,745
2September 13 Dallas Cowboys W 42–23FOX 2:15pm Pat Summerall, John Madden, and Pam Oliver Mile High Stadium 2–0
75,013
3September 20at Oakland Raiders W 34–17CBS 2:15pm Greg Gumbel, Phil Simms, and Armen Keteyian Oakland–Alameda County Coliseum 3–0
56,578
4September 27at Washington Redskins W 38–16CBS 11:00am Verne Lundquist, Randy Cross, and Michele Tafoya FedExField 4–0
71,880
5October 4 Philadelphia Eagles W 41–16FOX 2:15pmPat Summerall, John Madden, and Don Tollefson Mile High Stadium 5–0
73,218
6October 11at Seattle Seahawks W 21–16CBS 2:15pmVerne Lundquist, Randy Cross, and Michele Tafoya Kingdome 6–0
66,258
7Bye
8October 25 Jacksonville Jaguars W 37–24CBS 2:15pmGreg Gumbel, Phil Simms, and Armen Keteyian Mile High Stadium 7–0
75,217
9November 1at Cincinnati Bengals W 33–26CBS 11:00amGreg Gumbel, Phil Simms, and Armen Keteyian Cinergy Field 8–0
59,974
10November 8 San Diego Chargers W 27–10CBS 2:15pm Kevin Harlan & Sam Wyche Mile High Stadium 9–0
74,925
11November 16at Kansas City Chiefs W 30–7ABC 6:20pmAl Michaels, Dan Dierdorf, Boomer Esiason, and Lesley Visser Arrowhead Stadium 10–0
78,100
12November 22 Oakland Raiders W 40–14CBS 2:15pmGreg Gumbel, Phil Simms, and Armen Keteyian Mile High Stadium 11–0
75,325
13November 29at San Diego Chargers W 31–16ESPN 6:15pm Mike Patrick, Joe Theismann, Paul Maguire, and Solomon Wilcots Qualcomm Stadium 12–0
66,532
14December 6 Kansas City Chiefs W 35–31CBS 2:15pmGreg Gumbel, Phil Simms, and Armen Keteyian Mile High Stadium 13–0
74,962
15December 13at New York Giants L 16–20CBS 11:00amGreg Gumbel, Phil Simms, and Armen Keteyian Giants Stadium 13–1
72,336
16December 21at Miami Dolphins L 21–31ABC 6:20pmAl Michaels, Dan Dierdorf, Boomer Esiason, and Lesley Visser Pro Player Stadium 13–2
74,363
17December 27 Seattle Seahawks W 28–21CBS 2:15pmKevin Harlan & Sam Wyche Mile High Stadium 14–2
74,057

Standings

AFC West
WLTPCTPFPASTK
(1) Denver Broncos 1420.875501309W1
Oakland Raiders 880.500288356L1
Seattle Seahawks 880.500372310L1
Kansas City Chiefs 790.438327363W1
San Diego Chargers 5110.313241342L5

Playoffs

RoundDateTV TimeOpponentResultGame siteRecordAttendance
Divisional Playoffs January 9, 1999CBS 2:15 pm MT Miami Dolphins W 38–3 Mile High Stadium 15–2
75,729
AFC Championship January 17, 1999CBS 2:15 pm MT New York Jets W 23–10 Mile High Stadium 16–2
75,482
Super Bowl XXXIII January 31, 1999FOX 4:25 pm MT Atlanta Falcons W 34–19 Pro Player Stadium 17–2
74,803

AFC Divisional Game vs Miami Dolphins

AFC Divisional Playoff: Miami Dolphins vs Denver Broncos – Game summary
1234Total
Dolphins03003
Broncos14731438

at Mile High Stadium, Denver, Colorado

  • Date: January 9, 1999
  • Game time: 2:15 p.m. MDT
  • Game weather: 29°F, relative humidity 62°F, round (wind) 14 MPH
  • TV announcers (CBS): Greg Gumbel, Phil Simms, and Armen Keteyian
Game information

AFC Championship Game vs New York Jets

AFC Championship Game: New York Jets at Denver Broncos – Game summary
1234Total
Jets037010
Broncos0020323

at Mile High Stadium, Denver, Colorado

  • Date: January 17, 1999
  • Game time: 2:05 p.m. MDT
  • Game weather: 37°F, relative humidity 36°F, round (wind) 20 MPH
  • TV announcers (CBS): Greg Gumbel, Phil Simms, Armen Keteyian, and Bonnie Bernstein
Game information

Despite a subpar performance from Quarterback John Elway, the Broncos come from a ten-point deficit to score twenty three unanswered points, thanks in large part to the Jets turning the ball over an astonishing six times.

Super Bowl XXXIII: vs. Atlanta Falcons

Super Bowl XXXIII: Denver Broncos vs Atlanta Falcons – Game summary
1234Total
Broncos71001734
Falcons3301319

at Pro Player Stadium, Miami, Florida

  • Date: January 31, 1999
  • Game time: 6:30 p.m. EST
  • Game weather: 74°F, relative humidity 67%, round (wind) 11 MPH
  • TV announcers (Fox): Pat Summerall, John Madden, Ron Pitts, and Bill Maas

The Denver Broncos become the third team in the last 9 years to repeat as Super Bowl champions, along with the San Francisco 49ers and the Dallas Cowboys. John Elway was voted Super Bowl MVP.

Season summary

The Denver superfan Barrel Man seen at the regular season opener at Mile High Stadium against New England Barrelman with barrel.jpg
The Denver superfan Barrel Man seen at the regular season opener at Mile High Stadium against New England

The Broncos won their first 13 games of the season. There was much speculation that they might finish 19–0 [2] [3] and the Broncos were featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated . However, they were upset by the New York Giants (who would end another attempt at a 19–0 season nine seasons later) in week 15 by a score of 20–16. They finished the regular season 14–2 after losing to the Dolphins in their first encounter with that team since 1985. [4] [5]

They finished first in the AFC West and won their divisional playoff game against the Miami Dolphins 38–3 for their first win over the Dolphins since 1968. [4] They then won the AFC Championship over the Bill Parcells coached New York Jets 23–10 after coming back from a 10–0 deficit. Many had expected Denver to play the Minnesota Vikings in the Super Bowl, the team with the number one record that year at 15–1, but the Vikings lost the NFC Championship Game to the Atlanta Falcons in overtime.

The Broncos defeated the Falcons 34–19 in Super Bowl XXXIII. Elway was the Super Bowl MVP and Davis rushed for over 100 yards. It was Elway's last game, and Denver would not reach the Super Bowl again until the 2013 season.

Statistics

Team stats

The Broncos had 3,808 yards passing, sixth in the league. They had 2,468 yards rushing, second in the league and 26 rushing touchdowns, first in the league. They had 6,276 total yards, third best.

They gave up 3,983 passing yards, a low 28 out of 30 in the NFL, but were third in rushing yards given up with 1,287. They gave up 5,270 yards, 12th in the NFL. They scored 501 points, second in the league and gave up 309, eighth fewest in the league.

The team's 14–2 record is currently their best 16-game record in franchise history.

Player stats

Elway threw for 2,806 yards for the season, 22 touchdowns and ten interceptions. Davis rushed for 2,008 yards and 21 touchdowns. Rod Smith had 86 receptions for 1,222 yards and six touchdowns. Ed McCaffrey had 64 receptions for 1,053 yards. Shannon Sharpe had 64 receptions for 768 yards. Jason Elam kicked 23 out of 27 field goals and 58 out of 58 extra points including a 63-yard field goal to tie Tom Dempsey with the longest field goal in NFL history at that time. The record has since been eclipsed by another Denver Bronco (Matt Prater). Steve Atwater, Davis, Elway, Tony Jones, Mark Schlereth, McCaffrey, Tom Nalen, Bill Romanowski, and Sharpe made the Pro Bowl.

Awards and records

Milestones

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John Elway American football player and executive

John Albert Elway Jr. is an American professional football executive and former quarterback who is the president of football operations for the Denver Broncos of the National Football League (NFL).

Terrell Davis American football running back

Terrell Lamar Davis is an American former professional football player who was a running back for the Denver Broncos of the National Football League (NFL) from 1995 to 2001. He is the Denver Broncos all-time leading rusher and still holds the record for most postseason single-season touchdowns (8), arguably the greatest postseason for a running back in NFL history. He is also credited with starting the “Mile High Salute”; a celebratory tradition among Denver Broncos players after scoring a touchdown. Davis was elected into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2017.

Dan Reeves American football player and coach

Daniel Edward Reeves is a former American football running back and coach in the National Football League (NFL). During his 38 years in the NFL, Reeves participated in nine Super Bowls, the third-most individual appearances. He served as a head coach for 23 seasons from 1981 to 2003, primarily with the Denver Broncos and the Atlanta Falcons. As a player, he spent the entirety of his eight-season career with the Dallas Cowboys, who signed him as an undrafted free agent in 1965. He was inducted to the Broncos Ring of Fame in 2014.

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Gary Kubiak American football player and coach

Gary Wayne Kubiak is a former American football coach and quarterback. He served as head coach for the NFL's Houston Texans from 2006 to 2013 and the Denver Broncos from 2015 to 2016 before stepping down from the position on January 1, 2017, citing health reasons. Earlier in his coaching career, he served as an assistant coach for the Broncos, Texas A&M University and San Francisco 49ers. He was also the offensive coordinator for the Baltimore Ravens in 2014. He last served as the assistant head coach and offensive coordinator for the Minnesota Vikings in 2020.

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References

  1. "1998 Denver Broncos starters and roster". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved November 20, 2014.
  2. "Denver eyes 19–0, but there's no rush" in Minneapolis Star Tribune , November 16, 1998
  3. Freeman, Mike; "Chasing Perfection and Taking Questions; Voluble Broncos Are 13–0 and Ready to Talk" in The New York Times , December 9, 1998
  4. 1 2 Denver Broncos v Miami Dolphins
  5. See History of the NFL's Structure and Formats, Part Two for an explanation of why the Dolphins never played the Broncos between 1986 and 1997.
  6. 1 2 NFL 2001 Record and Fact Book, Workman Publishing Co, New York, ISBN   0-7611-2480-2, p. 44