Denver Broncos vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Denver Broncos vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers

(Nina B / Shutterstock.com)

The Denver Broncos are one of the most popular and most successful franchises in NFL history, appearing in eight Super Bowls and winning three. Formed in 1960 and one of the original American Football League teams, they now play in the National Football League’s American Football Conference’s West division.

The Denver Broncos have four players who appear in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, Shannon Sharpe, Gary Zimmerman, Floyd Little and John Elway. They also share the record for number of Super Bowl appearances (eight) with the Pittsburgh Steelers, the Dallas Cowboys, and the New England Patriots.

Fast Facts

  • Full Name: Denver Broncos
  • Conference: American Football Conference
  • Division: West
  • Location: Denver, Colorado
  • Stadium Name: Sports Authority Field
  • Year Established: 1960
  • Owner: Pat Bowlen Trust
  • Head Coach: Gary Kubiak
  • Manager: John Elway
  • Nickname: Orange Crush
  • Mascot: Billy Thunder II
  • Team Colours: Orange, navy, blue, white

History

Broncos’ Centre Back, Jack Williams

Broncos’ Centre Back, Jack Williams

(Nina B / Shutterstock.com)

The Denver Broncos were formed in 1960 when Minor League Baseball owner Bob Howsam was given a charter franchise for the American Football League. The early years were not kind for the Broncos and they did not post a winning record for the first ten years of their existence. Even after the merger of the American Football League and the National Football League in 1970 the Broncos form continued to suffer and it wasn’t until 1973 that they had their first winning season.

It took until 1977 until the Broncos first made the playoffs. With the best record in the conference and a team led by linebackers, Tom Jackson and Randy Gradishar, they won their first two playoff games leading them to their first ever Super Bowl, which they lost to the Dallas Cowboys. The Broncos would reach the playoffs for the next two seasons but would not advance any further than the first game. Now with heightened expectations thanks to their recent form, fans were let down in 1980 with a poor season, the Broncos posting a 8-8 record. Head coach, Red Miller, was fired and replaced by Dan Reeves whose first trade was to bring in John Elway who would eventually become the Broncos’ star quarterback.

The 1980s saw the Denver Broncos become one of the most successful teams in the NFL thanks to players, such as John Elway and the linebacker, Karl Mecklenburg. The Broncos made their way to three Super Bowls in the decade in 1986, 1987 and 1989, losing to the New York Giants, the Washington Redskins and the San Francisco 49ers in each respective year.

1995 saw Mike Shanahan become head coach and he led them to another Super Bowl in 1998. Playing as underdogs against the much fancied Green Bay Packers, the Broncos upset the odds and beat them to win their first ever Super Bowl. The following year saw them make the Super Bowl again, this time playing the Atlanta Falcons who they beat to win another Super Bowl title. The Broncos would not advance past the first round of the playoffs for the next few seasons and in 2008 Shanahan was fired and replaced by Gary Kubiak. The next few years saw the Broncos team being rebuilt including the signing of Peyton Manning and this led eventually to another Super Bowl appearance in 2013 at Super Bowl XLVIII. Here they were beaten by the Seattle Seahawks. The Broncos returned to the Super Bowl again at Super Bowl 50. With the Broncos excellent defence shutting down the Carolina Panthers, the Broncos won their third Super Bowl title.

Super Bowl Appearances

2015 Super Bowl 50 Carolina Panthers 10 - Denver Broncos 24

Played at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California, Super Bowl 50 was the Denver Broncos’ eighth appearance in a Super Bowl. Rated as underdogs against the much-fancied Carolina Panthers, the Broncos dominated the game eventually beating the Panthers by 24-10, outpointing them in all but one quarter.

2013 Super Bowl XLVIII Seattle Seahawks 43 - Denver Broncos 9

Played on February 2, 2014 at the MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey, the Broncos played the Seattle Seahawks in their seventh Super Bowl appearance. Despite being pre-game favourites, the Broncos were comprehensively outplayed by the Seahawks who ran out 43-8 winners.

1998 Super Bowl XXXIII Denver Broncos 34 - Atlanta Falcons 19

The sixth appearance in a Super Bowl for the Denver Broncos, Super Bowl XXXIII saw them play the Atlanta Falcons at the Pro Player Stadium in Miami. Out and out favourites before the game, led by John Elway, they profoundly beat the Falcons 34-19 with Elway being named the Most Valuable Player.

1997 Super Bowl XXXII Geen Bay Packers 24 - Denver Broncos 31

Huge underdogs before the start of Super Bowl XXXII played at the Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego, the Broncos defeated favourites the Green Bay Packers by 31-24 thanks to an excellent team performance. Terrell Davis was named the Most Valuable Player thanks to his Super Bowl record three rushing touchdowns.

1989 Super Bowl XXIV San Francisco 49ers 55 - Denver Broncos 10

Played at the Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans, the Broncos were up against the San Francisco 49ers who were big pre-game favourites. Outclassed by the 49ers, the game is the most lopsided game in Super Bowl history, the 45-point margin being the biggest ever.

1987 Super Bowl XXII Washington Redskins 42 - Denver Broncos 10

Played at the end of the season that was shortened by the players’ strike, Super Bowl XII was played at the Jack Murphy Stadium in San Diego. Despite going 10-0 up in the first quarter, the Broncos had a disastrous second quarter, letting the Redskins score 35 points without answer. They eventually were beaten by the Washington Redskins 42-10.

1986 Super Bowl XXI Denver Broncos 20 - New York Giants 39

The Broncos second ever Super Bowl appearance, they had got there largely through the outstanding performances of quarterback John Elway. The game was tight in the first half but the much-favoured Giants began to pull away in the third quarter scoring 17 points to zero. The Broncos were eventually defeated 39-10 by the New York Giants.

1977 Super Bowl XII Dallas Cowboys 27 - Denver Broncos 10

Played at the Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans, Super Bowl XII was the first ever appearance in the Super Bowl for the Broncos. The Broncos were dominated by the Dallas Cowboys defense for much of the game and they were eventually beaten 27-10.

Stadium

Sports Authority Field at Mile High

Sports Authority Field at Mile High

(Thelastcanadian / Wikipedia.org)

The Denver Broncos play their home games at Sports Authority Field at Mile High, which was previously known as Invesco Field at Mile High. Located at 1701 Mile High Stadium Circle in Denver, it has been the home of the Broncos since 2001, as well as Major League Lacrosse’s Denver Outlaws since 2006.

Opened in 2001 to replace the Mile High Stadium, it was paid for largely by taxpayers who along with many fans, were against a corporate name and wanted the stadium to retain the ‘Mile High Stadium’ name. However, the naming rights were sold originally to Invesco and then Colorado based Sports Authority.

As well as being home to both football and lacrosse, the stadium has hosted many other events. This includes concerts by artists, such as U2 and the Eagles, as well as the Drum Corps International Division I World Championships. It was at the stadium that in 1998 that Barack Obama accepted the Democratic Party’s nomination for the President of the United States.

Famous Players

Peyton Manning (2012-2015)

Like a hired gun, Peyton Manning was signed to help the Broncos win another Super Bowl as soon as possible. Helping take them to an unsuccessful Super Bowl XLVII, he led the Broncos to a win in Super Bowl 50 in the final season of his career. He may only have been at the Broncos for a short time but his impact was huge.

John Elway (1983-1998)

A real golden boy of the Denver Broncos, he is one of the most iconic players ever to play for them. One of the best quarterbacks ever to play in the NFL, at the time of his retirement he had the most victories as a starting quarterback and was statistically the second most prolific passer of the ball in NFL history.

Terrell Davis (1995-2001)

One of the most complete backs ever to play the game, Davis had both vision and balance and this stood him well in his time at the Broncos. Named as the Most Valuable Player at Super Bowl XXXI, his career was sadly cut short by a succession of leg and knee injuries.

Did You Know?

  • In the early days of the Denver Broncos, finances were so bad that they were forced to use hand-me-down uniforms from an All-Star college game.
  • The first ever African American professional football player, Gene Mingo, played for the Broncos from 1960-1964.
  • The Broncos’ stadium is one-mile above sea-level, which results in some interesting outcomes including kickoffs going on average 10% further due to the thinner air.
  • Robin Williams once appeared as a male cheerleader for the Denver Broncos. Dressed as Mork and sporting a glittering mini skirt, the footage was used in a 1979 series of the popular sitcom.