1997 Denver Broncos season

The 1997 Denver Broncos season was the franchise's 28th season in the National Football League, and the 38th overall. The Broncos finished the season with a record of 12–4, finishing second in the AFC West, and winning Super Bowl XXXII. The Broncos were the second team since the 1970 merger to win a Super Bowl (Oakland Raiders won in 1980) as a Wild Card team; the Kansas City Chiefs were an AFL wild card entrant who won the pre-merger Super Bowl IV in 1969.[1]

The 1997 season saw the new addition of the Denver Broncos' newest wordmark and logo. Their default colors were blue tops, blue pants and orange shoes. This would continue until 2012 when they assigned the all blue to the "Main Alternate" slot, replacing the primary uniforms with orange tops, white bottoms and orange/white shoes.

1997 Denver Broncos season
Denver Broncos wordmark
Head coachMike Shanahan
General managerJohn Beake
OwnerPat Bowlen
Home fieldMile High Stadium
Results
Record12–4
Division place2nd AFC West
Playoff finishWon AFC Wild Card Playoff (Jaguars) 42–17
Won AFC Divisional Playoff (at Chiefs) 14–10
Won AFC Championship (at Steelers) 24–21
Won Super Bowl XXXII (vs. Packers) 31–24

Offseason

NFL draft

1997 Denver Broncos draft
Round Pick Player Position College Notes
1 28 Trevor Pryce *  Defensive tackle Clemson
3 67 Dan Neil  Guard Texas
4 124 Cory Gilliard  Cornerback Ball State
      Made roster    *   Made at least one Pro Bowl during career

Season summary

Having lost a disappointing playoff game to Jacksonville the year before, many thought this might be John Elway's last chance to win a Super Bowl. They started off the season by winning their first six games, beating the Chiefs, Seahawks, Rams, Bengals, Falcons and Patriots in the first game between the last two unbeaten NFL teams since 1973.[2] They then lost to the Raiders, then defeated the Bills, Seahawks, and Panthers. They then lost to the Chiefs, beat the Raiders and the Chargers, lost to the Steelers and the 49ers, but finished the season with a win against the Chargers.

They made the playoffs as a wildcard and advanced against the Jaguars and Chiefs and defeated the Steelers in the 1997 AFC Championship Game. They then won Super Bowl XXXII against the Packers 31–24, only the second team since the NFL/AFL merger in 1970 to ever win a Super Bowl as a wildcard, and the first AFC team to win the title since the Los Angeles Raiders in Super Bowl XVIII following the 1983 season. The win was a big morale boost to Denver and the Broncos, who had suffered through four previous Super Bowl losses, and especially Elway, who had led three of those defeats.

The 1997 Broncos were tenth in the league in total passing yards with 3704 and fourth in the league in total rushing yards with 2378. They finished with 6082 total yards, first in the NFL. They were fourth in total yards given up with 4969. They were also first in total points scored with 472. They were seventh in total points allowed with 287.

The team's 12–4 record is currently their fifth-best 16-game season in franchise history.

During the season John Elway threw for 3635 yards and Terrell Davis rushed for 1750 yards. Rod Smith had 70 receptions for 1180 yards and Ed McCaffrey had 45 receptions for 590 yards. Tight end Shannon Sharpe has 72 receptions for 1107 yards. Kicker Jason Elam kicked 26 field goals out of 36 attempted. Davis, Elway, Tom Nalen, Sharpe, and Neil Smith made the Pro Bowl.

Personnel

Staff

1997 Denver Broncos staff
Front office

Head coaches

Offensive coaches

Defensive coaches

Special teams coaches

Strength and conditioning

  • Strength and Conditioning – Rich Tuten
  • Assistant Strength and Conditioning – Greg Saporta
  • Strength Assistant – Barney Chavous

Roster

1997 Denver Broncos roster
Quarterbacks

Running backs

Wide receivers

Tight ends

Offensive linemen

Defensive linemen

Linebackers

Defensive backs

Special teams

Reserve lists

{{{reserve_lists}}}


Rookies in italics

[3]

Schedule

Week Date Opponent Result Game site Record Attendance
1 August 31, 1997 Kansas City Chiefs W 19–3 Mile High Stadium 1–0
75,600
2 September 7, 1997 at Seattle Seahawks W 35–14 Kingdome 2–0
55,859
3 September 14, 1997 St. Louis Rams W 35–14 Mile High Stadium 3–0
74,338
4 September 21, 1997 Cincinnati Bengals W 38–20 Mile High Stadium 4–0
73,871
5 September 28, 1997 at Atlanta Falcons W 29–21 Georgia Dome 5–0
48,211
6 October 6, 1997 New England Patriots W 34–13 Mile High Stadium 6–0
75,821
7 Bye week
8 October 19, 1997 at Oakland Raiders L 25–28 Oakland–Alameda County Coliseum 6–1
57,006
9 October 26, 1997 at Buffalo Bills W 23–20 (OT) Rich Stadium 7–1
78,458
10 November 2, 1997 Seattle Seahawks W 30–27 Mile High Stadium 8–1
74,212
11 November 9, 1997 Carolina Panthers W 34–0 Mile High Stadium 9–1
71,408
12 November 16, 1997 at Kansas City Chiefs L 22–24 Arrowhead Stadium 9–2
77,963
13 November 24, 1997 Oakland Raiders W 31–3 Mile High Stadium 10–2
75,307
14 November 30, 1997 at San Diego Chargers W 38–28 Qualcomm Stadium 11–2
54,245
15 December 7, 1997 at Pittsburgh Steelers L 24–35 Three Rivers Stadium 11–3
59,739
16 December 15, 1997 at San Francisco 49ers L 17–34 3Com Park 11–4
68,461
17 December 21, 1997 San Diego Chargers W 38–3 Mile High Stadium 12–4
69,632

Game summaries

Week 1

1 234Total
Chiefs 0 030 3
• Broncos 3 6010 19

Week 2

1 234Total
• Broncos 10 3157 35
Seahawks 0 1400 14

Week 3

1 234Total
Rams 7 007 14
• Broncos 7 7714 35
  • Date: September 14
  • Location: Mile High Stadium

Week 4

1 234Total
Bengals 7 0103 20
• Broncos 0 14717 38
  • Date: September 21
  • Location: Mile High Stadium

Week 5

1 234Total
• Broncos 15 860 29
Falcons 0 777 21

Week 6

1 234Total
Patriots 0 1300 13
• Broncos 14 0173 34
  • Date: October 6
  • Location: Mile High Stadium
  • Television network: ABC

Week 8

1 234Total
Broncos 7 378 25
• Raiders 7 777 28

Week 9

1 234OTTotal
• Broncos 0 101003 23
Bills 0 02000 20

Week 10

1 234Total
Seahawks 3 7107 27
• Broncos 3 10143 30
  • Date: November 2
  • Location: Mile High Stadium

Week 11

1 234Total
Panthers 0 000 0
• Broncos 14 3107 34
  • Date: Mile High Stadium

Week 12

1 234Total
Broncos 3 1036 22
• Chiefs 0 1473 24

Week 13

1 234Total
Raiders 0 300 3
• Broncos 0 14170 31
  • Date: November 24
  • Location: Mile High Stadium
  • Television network: ABC

Week 14

1 234Total
• Broncos 7 2173 38
Chargers 0 7714 28

Week 15

1 234Total
Broncos 14 730 24
• Steelers 7 1477 35

Week 16

1 234Total
Broncos 10 070 17
• 49ers 0 141010 34

Week 17

1 234Total
Chargers 3 000 3
• Broncos 0 2477 38
  • Date: December 21
  • Location: Mile High Stadium

Standings

AFC West
W L T PCT PF PA STK
(1) Kansas City Chiefs 13 3 0 .813 375 232 W6
(4) Denver Broncos 12 4 0 .750 472 287 W1
Seattle Seahawks 8 8 0 .500 365 362 W2
Oakland Raiders 4 12 0 .250 324 419 L5
San Diego Chargers 4 12 0 .250 266 425 L8

Playoffs

Round Date Opponent Result Game site Attendance
Wild Card Playoffs December 27, 1997 Jacksonville Jaguars W 42–17 Mile High Stadium
74,481
Divisional Playoffs January 4, 1998 at Kansas City Chiefs W 14–10 Arrowhead Stadium
76,695
AFC Championship January 11, 1998 at Pittsburgh Steelers W 24–21 Three Rivers Stadium
61,382
Super Bowl XXXII January 25, 1998 N Green Bay Packers W 31–24 Qualcomm Stadium
68,912

Wild Card

1 234Total
Jaguars 0 7100 17
Broncos 14 7021 42

Divisional

1 234Total
Broncos 0 707 14
Chiefs 0 0100 10

AFC Championship Game

1 234Total
Broncos 7 1700 24
Steelers 7 707 21

Super Bowl

1 234Total
Packers 7 737 24
Broncos 7 1077 31
  • Date: January 25
  • Location: Qualcomm Stadium
  • TV announcers (NBC): Dick Enberg Phil Simms Paul Maguire

Awards and records

  • Terrell Davis, Super Bowl MVP
  • John Elway, Franchise Record, Most Touchdowns in One Season, 27 Touchdown Passes [4]

References

  1. ^ NFL 2001 Record and Fact Book, Workman Publishing Co, New York,NY, ISBN 0-7611-2480-2, p. 256
  2. ^ Last Undefeated NFL Teams in Each Season
  3. ^ "1997 Denver Broncos starters and roster". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved November 20, 2014.
  4. ^ NFL 2001 Record and Fact Book, Workman Publishing Co, New York,NY, ISBN 0-7611-2480-2, p. 44

External links

List of AFC champions

The American Football Conference (AFC) is one of two conferences within the National Football League, the National Football Conference (NFC) being the other. The AFC has its roots in the American Football League (AFL), which began to play in 1960. In 1970, the AFL merged with the NFL. As part of the merger, the former AFL teams, plus three former NFL teams (the Baltimore Colts, the Cleveland Browns and the Pittsburgh Steelers), were placed into the AFC. The remaining former NFL teams were placed in the NFC.

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