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.
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.
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.
|1998 Denver Broncos season|
|Head coach||Mike Shanahan|
|General manager||John Beake|
|Home field||Mile High Stadium|
|Division place||1st AFC West|
|Playoff finish||Won AFC Divisional Playoff (Dolphins) 38–3|
Won AFC Championship Game (Jets) 23–10
Won Super Bowl XXXIII (2) (Falcons) 34–19
|1998 Denver Broncos draft|
|1||30||Marcus Nash||Wide receiver||Tennessee|
|2||61||Eric Brown||Safety||Mississippi State|
|3||91||Brian Griese *||Quarterback||Michigan|
|4||122||Curtis Alexander||Running back||Alabama|
|5||153||Chris Howard||Running back||Michigan|
|7||219||Nate Wayne||Linebacker||Ole Miss|
|Pro Bowl during careerMade roster Made at least one|
|1998 Denver Broncos staff|
Special teams coaches
Strength and conditioning
|1998 Denver Broncos roster|
|Week||Date||TV Time||Opponent||Result||Game site||Record||Attendance|
|1||September 7||ABC 7:00 pm MT||New England Patriots||W 27–21||Mile High Stadium||1–0|
|2||September 13||FOX 2:00 pm MT||Dallas Cowboys||W 42–23||Mile High Stadium||2–0|
|3||September 20||CBS 2:00 pm MT||at Oakland Raiders||W 34–17||Oakland–Alameda County Coliseum||3–0|
|4||September 27||CBS 11:00 am MT||at Washington Redskins||W 38–16||FedExField||4–0|
|5||October 4||FOX 2:00 pm MT||Philadelphia Eagles||W 41–16||Mile High Stadium||5–0|
|6||October 11||CBS 2:00 pm MT||at Seattle Seahawks||W 21–16||Kingdome||6–0|
|8||October 25||CBS 2:00 pm MT||Jacksonville Jaguars||W 37–24||Mile High Stadium||7–0|
|9||November 1||CBS 11:00 am MT||at Cincinnati Bengals||W 33–26||Cinergy Field||8–0|
|10||November 8||CBS 2:00 pm MT||San Diego Chargers||W 27–10||Mile High Stadium||9–0|
|11||November 16||ABC 7:00 pm MT||at Kansas City Chiefs||W 30–7||Arrowhead Stadium||10–0|
|12||November 22||CBS 2:00 pm MT||Oakland Raiders||W 40–14||Mile High Stadium||11–0|
|13||November 29||ESPN 6:15 pm MT||at San Diego Chargers||W 31–16||Qualcomm Stadium||12–0|
|14||December 6||CBS 2:00 pm MT||Kansas City Chiefs||W 35–31||Mile High Stadium||13–0|
|15||December 13||CBS 11:00 am MT||at New York Giants||L 16–20||Giants Stadium||13–1|
|16||December 21||ABC 7:00 pm MT||at Miami Dolphins||L 21–31||Pro Player Stadium||13–2|
|17||December 27||CBS 2:15 pm MT||Seattle Seahawks||W 28–21||Mile High Stadium||14–2|
|(1) Denver Broncos||14||2||0||.875||501||309||W1|
|Kansas City Chiefs||7||9||0||.438||327||363||W1|
|San Diego Chargers||5||11||0||.313||241||342||L5|
|Round||Date||TV Time||Opponent||Result||Game site||Record||Attendance|
|Divisional Playoffs||January 9, 1999||CBS 2:15 pm MT||Miami Dolphins||W 38–3||Mile High Stadium||15–2|
|AFC Championship||January 17, 1999||CBS 2:15 pm MT||New York Jets||W 23–10||Mile High Stadium||16–2|
|Super Bowl XXXIII||January 31, 1999||FOX 4:25 pm MT||Atlanta Falcons||W 34–19||Pro Player Stadium||17–2|
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.
The Broncos won their first 13 games of the season. There was much speculation that they might finish 19–0 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.
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. 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.
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.
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.
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.
|Division championships (15)|
|Conference championships (8)|
|League championships (3)|
|Current league affiliations|
|Former league affiliation|
Championship seasons in bold