1998 Denver Broncos season

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.

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.

1998 Denver Broncos season
Denver Broncos wordmark
Head coachMike Shanahan
General managerJohn Beake
OwnerPat Bowlen
Home fieldMile High Stadium
Division place1st AFC West
Playoff finishWon AFC Divisional Playoff (Dolphins) 38–3
Won AFC Championship Game (Jets) 23–10
Won Super Bowl XXXIII (2) (Falcons) 34–19


NFL draft

1998 Denver Broncos draft
Round Pick Player Position College Notes
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
7 200 Trey Teague  Center Tennessee
7 219 Nate Wayne  Linebacker Ole Miss
      Made roster    *   Made at least one Pro Bowl during career



1998 Denver Broncos staff
Front office
  • President and Chief Executive Officer – Pat Bowlen
  • Vice President of Business Operations – Joe Ellis (hired Sep 1, 1998)
  • General Manager – John Beake
  • Director of Player Personnel – Neal Dahlen
  • Director of Pro Scouting – Jack Elway
  • Director of College Scouting – Ted Sundquist
  • College Scouting Consultant – Jerry Frei

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


1998 Denver Broncos roster

Running backs

Wide receivers

Tight ends

Offensive linemen

Defensive linemen


Defensive backs

Special teams

Reserve lists


Practice/Taxi squad {{{practice_squad}}}

Rookies in italics


Regular season


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
7 Bye
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


AFC West
(1) Denver Broncos 14 2 0 .875 501 309 W1
Oakland Raiders 8 8 0 .500 288 356 L1
Seattle Seahawks 8 8 0 .500 372 310 L1
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

AFC Championship Game vs New York Jets

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

The Denver Broncos become the third team in the last 10 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

Barrelman with barrel
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.


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

  • Terrell Davis, Franchise Record, Most Rushing Yards in One Season, 2,008 Yards [6]
  • Terrell Davis, Franchise Record, Most Touchdowns in One Season, 23 Touchdowns [6]
  • John Elway, Super Bowl MVP
  • Jason Elam, tied longest field goal (63 yards)


  • Terrell Davis, 1st 2,000-yard rushing season, 2,008 Yards


  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. ^ a b 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. ^ a b NFL 2001 Record and Fact Book, Workman Publishing Co, New York, 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.

Game information
Game information
Key personnel
Retired numbers
Division championships (15)
Conference championships (8)
League championships (3)
Current league affiliations
Former league affiliation
Seasons (58)

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