Super Bowl XXXII was an American football game played between the National Football Conference (NFC) champion and defending Super Bowl XXXI champion Green Bay Packers and the American Football Conference (AFC) champion Denver Broncos to decide the National Football League (NFL) champion for the 1997 season. The Broncos defeated the Packers by the score of 31–24. The game was played on January 25, 1998 at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego, California, the second time that the Super Bowl was held in that city. Super Bowl XXXII also made Qualcomm Stadium the only stadium in history to have the Super Bowl and the World Series in the same year.
This was Denver's first league championship after suffering four previous Super Bowl losses, and snapped a 13-game losing streak for AFC teams in the Super Bowl (the previous being the Los Angeles Raiders' win in Super Bowl XVIII after the 1983 season). The Broncos, who entered the game after posting a 12–4 regular season record in 1997, became just the second wild card team to win a Super Bowl and the first since the Raiders in Super Bowl XV. The Packers, who entered the game as the defending Super Bowl XXXI champions after posting a 13–3 regular season record, were the first team favored to win by double digits to lose a Super Bowl since Super Bowl IV.
The game was close throughout much of the contest. The Broncos converted two turnovers to take a 17–7 lead in the second quarter before the Packers cut the score to 17–14 at halftime. Green Bay kept pace with Denver in the second half, before tying the game with 13:32 remaining. Both defenses stiffened until Broncos running back Terrell Davis scored the go-ahead touchdown with 1:45 left. Despite suffering a migraine headache that caused him to miss most of the second quarter, Davis (a San Diego native) was named Super Bowl MVP. He ran for 157 yards, caught two passes for 8 yards, and scored a Super Bowl record three rushing touchdowns.
|Super Bowl XXXII|
|Date||January 25, 1998|
|Stadium||Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego, California|
|MVP||Terrell Davis, running back|
|Favorite||Packers by 11|
|Current/Future Hall of Famers|
|Packers: Ron Wolf (general manager), Brett Favre, Reggie White|
Broncos: Pat Bowlen (owner), Terrell Davis, John Elway, Shannon Sharpe, Gary Zimmerman
|National anthem||Jewel, with American Sign Language performance by Phyllis French|
|Coin toss||Joe Gibbs, Doug Williams, Eddie Robinson|
|Halftime show||Boyz II Men, Smokey Robinson, The Temptations, Martha Reeves, and Queen Latifah|
|TV in the United States|
|Announcers||Dick Enberg, Phil Simms, Paul Maguire, Jim Gray, John Dockery, Randy Cross (Studio), and Greg Gumbel (Trophy presentation)|
|Nielsen ratings||44.5 |
(est. 90 million viewers)
|Cost of 30-second commercial||$1.3 million|
NFL owners awarded Super Bowl XXXII to San Diego during their October 26, 1993 meeting in Chicago. This was the second time San Diego hosted the game; the city previously hosted Super Bowl XXII ten years earlier on January 31, 1988. The Broncos played in both San Diego Super Bowls and became the first franchise to play two different Super Bowls in two stadiums twice. They also played twice at the Louisiana Superdome.
Quarterback Brett Favre had another Pro Bowl season and became the first player ever to win the NFL MVP award three times, winning it for the third consecutive year (Favre was named co-MVP in 1997 with Detroit Lions running back Barry Sanders). Favre led the league with 35 passing touchdowns and completed 304 out of 513 attempts for 3,867 yards, with 16 interceptions, while ranking second on the team in rushing with 187 yards and a touchdown. Wide receiver Antonio Freeman led the team in receptions with 81 catches for 1,243 yards and 12 touchdowns. Wide receiver Robert Brooks was also a major deep threat, catching 60 passes for 1,010 yards and 7 touchdowns. Pro Bowl tight end Mark Chmura recorded 38 receptions for 417 yards and 6 touchdowns. Pro Bowl running back Dorsey Levens led the team in rushing with 1,435 yards and 7 touchdowns, while also catching 53 passes for 373 yards and 5 touchdowns. Fullback William Henderson rushed for 113 yards and caught 41 passes for 367 yards and a touchdown.
On the Packers' defense, the line was led by veteran Pro Bowl selection Reggie White, who led the team with 11 sacks. Behind him, Santana Dotson recorded 37 tackles and 5.5 sacks. In the secondary, Pro Bowl defensive back LeRoy Butler led the team with 5 interceptions, while also adding 70 tackles. Safety Eugene Robinson led the team with 74 tackles while also recording 2.5 sacks, 2 fumble recoveries, and 1 interception. Cornerback Mike Prior recorded 4 interceptions, while rookie Darren Sharper recorded 2 of them, both of which he returned for touchdowns.
The Broncos entered Super Bowl XXXII after suffering four Super Bowl losses: Super Bowls XII, XXI, XXII, and XXIV from 1978, 1987, 1988, and 1990, respectively. In all of those losses, the Broncos never had the ability to rush well enough or score enough points to be competitive. Denver had been defeated by a large margin in each one, losing all four by a combined scoring margin of 163–50.
The previous three Super Bowl losses were under starting quarterback John Elway, whose ad-libbing skills enabled the Broncos to advance to the league's championship game in a span of three out of four seasons. Elway also led his team to the 1991 AFC Championship Game, but they lost in a defensive struggle to the Buffalo Bills, 10–7.
The team's fortunes changed when Mike Shanahan became head coach of the Broncos in 1995. Shanahan was previously Denver's offensive coordinator during those Super Bowl losses, but was fired in 1991 after a power struggle between him and then-head coach Dan Reeves over the offensive personnel. Shanahan then served as the offensive coordinator for the San Francisco 49ers from 1992 to 1994, including the 49ers' Super Bowl XXIX win. Under Shanahan, the San Francisco offense ranked first in the league in total yards gained for all three of his seasons there.
When Shanahan returned to the Broncos in 1995, he selected running back Terrell Davis in the 6th round of the NFL draft. Davis became the cornerstone of Denver's rebuilt running game, leading the team with 1,117 rushing yards in just his rookie year. The Broncos finished the 1995 regular season with just an 8–8 record. By 1996, the Broncos had the league's best offense, gaining 5,791 total yards, and recorded the AFC's best regular season record at 13–3, but they were upset by the second-year Jacksonville Jaguars, 30–27 in the playoffs.
During the 1997 regular season, the Broncos once again had the league's best offense with 5,872 total yards and led the league in total points scored with 472. Although they recorded a 12–4 regular season record, they finished in second place behind the 13–3 Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC West.
Davis, a Pro Bowl selection, remained the team's leading rusher, recording 1,750 yards and 15 touchdowns, while also catching 42 passes for 287 yards. At 37 years old, Elway still posted a Pro Bowl season with 280 out of 502 completions for 3,635 yards, 27 touchdowns, and only 11 interceptions. He also rushed for 215 yards and another touchdown. Pro Bowl tight end Shannon Sharpe led the team with 72 receptions for 1,107 yards. Wide receiver Rod Smith, who was not drafted by any NFL team and recorded only 22 receptions for 389 yards and 3 touchdowns in his two previous seasons, had a breakout year with 70 receptions for 1,180 yards and 12 touchdowns. Wide receiver Ed McCaffrey, who played in Shanahan's 1994 49ers offense, recorded 45 receptions for 590 yards and 8 touchdowns. Denver's offensive line was led by seven-time Pro Bowl left tackle Gary Zimmerman and Pro Bowl center Tom Nalen.
On defense, the major acquisition to the team prior to the season was former Chiefs defensive lineman Neil Smith. Smith had a Pro Bowl season for the 6th time in his career with 28 tackles and 8.5 sacks. Defensive end Alfred Williams recorded 36 tackles, 8.5 sacks, and a fumble recovery. The linebacking corps was led by veteran Bill Romanowski, who had 55 tackles and 2 sacks, and John Mobley, who led the team with 97 tackles while also recording 4 sacks, a fumble recovery, and an interception.
The secondary was led by veteran defensive backs Tyrone Braxton, who led the team with 4 interceptions for 113 yards and 1 touchdown, and Steve Atwater, who had 53 tackles, 1 sack, 2 fumble recoveries, and 2 interceptions for 42 yards and 1 touchdown. Defensive back Darrien Gordon recorded 50 tackles, 2 sacks, 4 fumble recoveries, 4 interceptions, 64 return yards, and 1 touchdown. He also returned 40 punts for 543 yards and 3 touchdowns.
The Broncos entered the playoffs as a wild-card team but defeated the Jacksonville Jaguars, 42–17, the Kansas City Chiefs, 14–10, and the Pittsburgh Steelers, 24–21, making Denver the fifth wild-card team to make it to the Super Bowl. Meanwhile, the Packers were victorious against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 21–7, and the San Francisco 49ers, 23–10.
The Packers came into the game as 111⁄2-point favorites, having compiled a 13–3 record regular season record compared to the Broncos' 12–4 and coming in as defending Super Bowl champions after winning Super Bowl XXXI 35–21 over the New England Patriots.
Each player wore a Super Bowl logo patch on their jerseys, but it was not the first Super Bowl game that had them; the first game with it was seven years earlier in Super Bowl XXV. This would become a regular practice in each Super Bowl since.
The game was televised in the United States by NBC, with play-by-play announcer Dick Enberg (calling his eighth and final Super Bowl), color commentators Phil Simms and Paul Maguire, and sideline reporter Jim Gray. Greg Gumbel hosted all the events, and was joined by co-host Ahmad Rashad and commentators Cris Collinsworth, Sam Wyche, and Joe Gibbs. Following the game, NBC aired a special one-hour episode of 3rd Rock from the Sun, which opened live at the game site with Gumbel playing himself before he was "attacked" by show star John Lithgow. During the game, NBC (partnering with Silicon Graphics Inc.) would include real-time 3D computer graphics on SGI's Onyx2 computers to display a model of Qualcomm Stadium and simulating real-time animation of things such as receiver patterns and yards after the catch; along with a second model known as "Football Guy" which allowed viewers to see defensive players from the quarterback's vantage point, with those replays handled by Randy Cross.
This broadcast was the last for NBC as the AFC network after 33 years (CBS has held the AFC broadcast rights ever since), their last NFL broadcast overall until 2006, when they signed on to televise Sunday Night Football, and their last Super Bowl broadcast until 2009 (Super Bowl XLIII). This was also the last time Channel 4 in the UK would show the Super Bowl – and their last NFL coverage until 2010 – after they had been showing the event since 1983 (Super Bowl XVII). Only Sky Sports would show it live until Five joined them in 2003 (Super Bowl XXXVII). It also marked the last Super Bowl until 2007 for CTV in Canada after airing the NFL and the event since Super Bowl XVI; from 1999 to 2006 the Super Bowl aired on the Global Television Network. CTV had aired NFL football since 1970 and the Super Bowl since 1982 (Super Bowl XVI). It was also the final NFL game for GMA Network in the Philippines until the 2006 season; GMA had aired NFL football since 1986 and the Super Bowl since Super Bowl XXI in 1987. The Super Bowl would be broadcast on ABC 5, also from 1999 until 2006. It was also the final Super Bowl in which the Televisa family of networks aired on its own in Mexico, also until 2007, being broadcast on Canal 5; Televisa had aired NFL football since 1970 and the Super Bowl since 1988 (at the time, the only other Super Bowl in San Diego). Azteca 13 likewise would exclusively air the Super Bowl from 1999 until 2006, including Super Bowl XXXVII which would be the next Super Bowl to be played at Qualcomm Stadium.
This game was later featured on NFL's Greatest Games as This One's for John.
The pregame show, narrated by actor and comedian Phil Hartman, celebrated the music and history of California. It featured performances by The 5th Dimension, Lee Greenwood, and The Beach Boys. Singer Jewel later sang the U.S. national anthem.
To honor the 10th anniversary of the Washington Redskins' win in Super Bowl XXII, the only other previous Super Bowl played in San Diego, the game's MVP, Doug Williams, and former head coach Joe Gibbs participated during the coin toss ceremony. They were joined by the recently retired, longtime college football head coach Eddie Robinson, who ran the Grambling State University Tigers football team from 1942 until 1997.
Packers wide receiver Antonio Freeman returned the opening kickoff 19 yards to the Green Bay 24-yard line. On the third play of the drive, quarterback Brett Favre kept the offense on the field by completing a 13-yard pass to Freeman on 3rd down and 9. Then running back Dorsey Levens rushed the ball on three consecutive plays, gaining 27 yards to advance to the Denver 35-yard line. Favre finished the drive with two completions to Freeman: the first one for 13 yards, and the second one a 22-yard touchdown pass to give the Packers a 7–0 lead (the Packers were the third team to take the opening kickoff down the field and score a touchdown on that drive; the other two were the Miami Dolphins in Super Bowl VIII and the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl XXIX).
The Broncos responded with a touchdown of their own. Denver running back Vaughn Hebron returned the ensuing kickoff 32 yards to their own 42-yard line. Denver then drove to the Green Bay 46-yard line. On third down, a holding penalty on Packers defensive back Doug Evans nullified quarterback John Elway's incompletion and gave the Broncos a first down. On the next play, running back Terrell Davis ran the ball 27 yards to the 14-yard line. Then after a 2-yard run by Davis, Elway scrambled 10 yards to gain a first down at the 2-yard line. Two plays later, Davis capped off the 10-play, 58-yard drive with a 1-yard touchdown run to tie the game (this is to date the only Super Bowl in which both teams scored TDs on their opening drives).
On the second play of the Packers' next possession, Denver defensive back Tyrone Braxton intercepted a pass from Favre at Green Bay's 45-yard line. Aided by five runs by Davis for 29 yards, the Broncos marched 45 yards to score on Elway's 1-yard touchdown run on the first play of the 2nd quarter, taking a 14–7 lead.
Elway's touchdown play involved a fake handoff to Davis, who was previously taken out of the game during the drive because the onset of a migraine headache after being inadvertently tripped by LeRoy Butler had severely impaired his vision. But head coach Mike Shanahan decided to send him into the game for the 3rd-down play, believing that the Packers would not be fooled by a fake handoff without Davis on the field. Davis later said his vision was so impaired that he was afraid Elway would call an audible at the line and try to hand him the ball. Despite his blurred vision, Davis perfectly executed the play, drawing the Green Bay defense into the middle of the line as Elway rushed to the right and into the end zone completely untouched. By the second half, Davis had taken migraine medication, and his vision had returned to normal, allowing him to play the rest of the game.
On the Packers' ensuing possession, Broncos safety Steve Atwater forced a fumble while sacking Favre, and defensive end Neil Smith recovered the ball on the Packers 33-yard line. Although the Broncos were unable to get a first down, kicker Jason Elam made a 51-yard field goal, the second longest in Super Bowl history, to increase Denver's lead to 17–7. Both teams went three-and-out on their next possessions, and Denver punter Tom Rouen's 47-yard kick planted Green Bay at their own 5-yard line with 7:38 left in the quarter. But Green Bay stormed down the field on their ensuing drive, marching 95 yards in 17 plays and scoring with Favre's 6-yard touchdown pass to tight end Mark Chmura with just 12 seconds left in the half. Thus at halftime, the Broncos held onto a slim 17–14 lead.
Green Bay kicked to Denver to start the second half. On the first play after the kickoff, Packer defensive back Tyrone Williams forced and recovered a fumble from Davis. Green Bay took possession with good field position at the Broncos 26-yard line to begin the second half. But Denver's defense forced a three-and-out. However, on the ensuing field goal attempt, Denver's special teams was called for an offsides penalty, giving the Packers a second 1st and 10 at the Broncos 15-yard line, but the broncos defense forced a second three-and-out in back to back possessions to start the second half, the drive stalled at the 9-yard line, forcing the Packers to settle for a 27-yard Ryan Longwell field goal, tying the game at 17–17.
Green Bay kicked off once again and Denver's offense stalled, forcing a punt, giving the Packers good field position again near their 40-yard line. But once again, Denver's defense forced another three-and-out. Forcing Green Bay's offense to punt for a third straight three-and-out to begin the second half. However, on the ensuing punt, the Broncos special teams were again called for an offsides penalty, giving Green Bay a fresh set of downs near midfield. But Denver's defense again forced a punt with a three-and-out, marking four three-and-out possessions in a row for the Broncos Defense to start the second half.
Later in the quarter, Green Bay punter Craig Hentrich's 51-yard kick pinned the Broncos back at their own 8-yard line. But the Packers' defense could not stop Denver as they marched on a 13-play, 92-yard drive to regain the lead. Aided by a 36-yard reception by receiver Ed McCaffrey, the Broncos advanced to the Green Bay 12-yard line. On 3rd down and six from the 12-yard line, Elway scrambled for an 8-yard run and dove for the first down, a play in which he was hit so hard by Packers defenders Butler and Mike Prior that he spun sideways through the air. This run was later referred to as "The Helicopter," and what many consider as Elway's career-defining moment and the defining moment of Super Bowl XXXII. Two plays later, Davis scored on another 1-yard touchdown run, giving the Broncos the lead, 24–17.
On the ensuing kickoff, Denver's special teams player Detron Smith ran full speed into the wedge of the Green Bay blockers, forcing Freeman outside, to his left. Freeman was hit as he held the ball exposed running sideways and fumbled, then Denver defensive back Tim McKyer recovered the ball at the Packers 22-yard line. Immediately, the Broncos tried to capitalize on the turnover by trying to throw for a touchdown, a pass intended for Rod Smith as he ran a post pattern following a fake handoff and a roll out by Elway, but Packers safety Eugene Robinson intercepted Elway's pass in the end zone and returned it to the 15-yard line.
After the interception, the Packers marched 85 yards in just four plays, three of them receptions by Freeman, to tie it up once again 1:28 into the 4th quarter with Freeman's 13-yard touchdown catch. On the scoring play, Freeman and Robert Brooks ran a "criss-cross" pattern, with Freeman on the inside running towards the sidelines. Denver defensive back Darrien Gordon hesitated as to which receiver to cover, and Favre hit Freeman for the score. Tying the game at 24-24.
After the ensuing kick-off, the Packers forced Denver's offense to Punt and then drove to Denver's 39 yard line on offense. With the game tied at 24, and having the ball on the Broncos 39 yard line, on 3rd and 8 Favre dropped back to pass and Denver's defense blitzed, leaving Robert Brooks open deep. Farve attempted the pass deep to a seemingly wide open Brooks at Denver's 16-yard line but Broncos Safety Steve Atwater knocked the pass away at the last second, forcing another punt. The Packers' defense was able to stop Denver's offense on the ensuing possession again. Giving Green Bay a chance to win the game with 5:25 remaining in the game with First-and-10 starting at their own 10-yard line, needing a long drive but having 3 time MVP Brett Farve at the helm. The Broncos defense once again forced a three-and-out. Packers kicker Hentrich then punted the ball 39 yards to the Packers 49-yard line. Giving Denver the chance to end the game on a potentially game winning drive with only 3:27 left in the game. On the first play of the ensuing drive, Packers linebacker Darius Holland committed a 15-yard facemask penalty while tackling Davis on a 2-yard run, moving the ball to the 32-yard line. Two plays later, Elway completed a 23-yard pass to fullback Howard Griffith, aided by a powerful block by Ed McCaffrey. A holding penalty pushed the Broncos back to the 18-yard line, but then Davis rushed 17 yards to the 1-yard line, and the Broncos called a timeout. This left the Broncos facing 2nd and goal with 1:47 left on the clock. Green Bay had two timeouts remaining.
Packers coach Mike Holmgren told his team to let the Broncos score to maximize the time the Packers would have on the clock for a potential game-tying drive. He admitted later that he had thought that it was 1st and goal rather than 2nd and goal, crucial to clock management decision making on the play. Davis then scored his third rushing touchdown on 2nd and goal, leaving 1:45 on the clock. The Broncos now had a one-touchdown lead, at 31–24.
The Packers attempted one final drive to try to tie the game before the end of regulation and send the contest into overtime. Shanahan famously instructed his defensive coordinators to keep playing the same blitzing defense as Green Bay attempted to drive downfield in the final two minutes of the game, rather than playing prevent defense. Freeman returned the Broncos' kickoff 22 yards to the 30-yard line. On the very first play of the drive, the Packers advanced to the Broncos 48-yard line with a 22 yard screen pass, leaving 1:30 still remaining in the game amd having 2 time-outs remaining. Rather than use one of their timeouts, the Packers then hurried to the line of scrimmage and ran a second consecutive screen pass, which was stopped for no-gain but cost the packers 19 seconds, leaving 1:11 left in the game and forcing the packers to take one of their two time-outs.
On the next play Favre Completed another pass to Levens and he was able to run out of bounds after a 13 yard gain, stopping the clock with 1:04 left in the game with Packers having possession of the ball 1st-and-10 at the Broncos 35 yard line with one time-out remaining and the game in the balance. On the ensuing first down play, Favre completed a 4-yard pass to Levens, but he was stopped in bounds. The Packers hurried to the line but 20 second ran off before Favre could attempt a second pass. The pass hit the receiver in both hands and the chest at the Broncos 15 but Antonio Freeman could not handle the pass. Leaving the packers with 3rd-and-six and only :37 seconds remaining. On the 3rd down throw, Favre intended the pass for receiver Robert Brooks covered by Denver's Randy Hilliard, but both were blasted by Atwater's seismic hit. All three players were knocked out of the game with :32 remaining, forcing an incomplete pass. Due to the injuries suffered by both teams and because of NFL rules regarding to injuries to players in the final two minutes of the game, both teams were charged a timeout. Leaving the Packers in 4th down, with no timeouts remaining and the clock stopped at :32 seconds at the Broncos' 31-yard line. Then on 4th down, Denver linebacker John Mobley broke up a pass intended for Chmura, enabling the Broncos to take the ball back and run out the clock for the victory.
During the post-game victory celebration, Broncos owner Pat Bowlen held the Vince Lombardi Trophy in the air and said, "This one's for John," referring to the fact that Elway's long quest for a Super Bowl victory was finally complete. Eighteen years later, Elway, now general manager for the team, would salute an Alzheimer's-stricken Bowlen in the same fashion after the Broncos won Super Bowl 50.
A remarkable fact about Denver's offensive performance was that, except for two penalties and Elway's kneel-downs to end each half, the Broncos did not lose yardage on any play from scrimmage. Green Bay's Reggie White, Gilbert Brown, LeRoy Butler and others were unable to register a sack against the Broncos' front line. Elway finished the game with 12 out of 22 pass completions, for 123 yards and 1 interception. Elway became the sixth player to score touchdowns in three different Super Bowls, joining Lynn Swann, Franco Harris, Thurman Thomas, Jerry Rice, and Emmitt Smith. He was also the Broncos' second-leading rusher behind Davis with 17 yards and a touchdown on 5 carries. Terrell Davis became the only player to rush for three touchdowns in a Super Bowl, and the only non-San Francisco 49er to score three touchdowns in a Super Bowl; Roger Craig, Jerry Rice, and Ricky Watters were the only other players to do so. Rice had 3 touchdown catches in two different Super Bowls. Davis' three touchdowns in this Super Bowl gave him a total of 48 points (8 touchdowns) during the postseason, an NFL record.
Levens was Green Bay's leading rusher with 90 rushing yards, and was their second-leading receiver with 56 yards on 6 receptions. Both Freeman and Favre had outstanding performances for the second Super Bowl game in a row. Favre completed 25 out of 42 passes for 256 yards and 3 touchdowns, with 1 interception. Freeman caught 9 passes for 126 yards and 2 touchdowns, and also gained another 104 yards on 6 kickoff returns, giving him 230 total yards, the third highest total in Super Bowl history. Freeman also tied himself for second all-time in touchdown catches in Super Bowls with three, joining Lynn Swann, John Stallworth, and Cliff Branch, trailing only Rice's eight. He also became just the third player to have at least 100 yards receiving in back-to-back Super Bowls, joining Rice and Stallworth.
Denver was the first team with a previous 0–2 Super Bowl record to win (their record had been 0–4). The Broncos' victory snapped the NFC's 13-game winning streak in the Super Bowl, becoming the first AFC team to win the NFL championship since the Los Angeles Raiders defeated the Washington Redskins in Super Bowl XVIII. Denver also became the first team to score on four 1-yard touchdown runs in a Super Bowl. The Packers became the third defending Super Bowl champion to lose the Super Bowl, joining the Dallas Cowboys (won Super Bowl XII, lost Super Bowl XIII) and the Washington Redskins (won Super Bowl XVII, lost Super Bowl XVIII), and would be later joined by the Seattle Seahawks in 2015 (won Super Bowl XLVIII, lost Super Bowl XLIX) and the New England Patriots in 2018 (won Super Bowl LI, lost Super Bowl LII).
|Statistic||Green Bay Packers||Denver Broncos|
|First downs rushing||4||14|
|First downs passing||14||5|
|First downs penalty||3||2|
|Third down efficiency||5/14||5/10|
|Fourth down efficiency||0/1||0/0|
|Net yards rushing||95||179|
|Yards per rush||4.8||4.6|
|Passing – Completions/attempts||25/42||12/22|
|Times sacked-total yards||1–1||0–0|
|Net yards passing||255||123|
|Total net yards||350||302|
|Punt returns-total yards||0–0||0–0|
|Kickoff returns-total yards||6–104||5–95|
|Interceptions-total return yards||1–17||1–0|
|Time of possession||27:35||32:25|
1Completions/attempts 2Carries 3Long gain 4Receptions 5Times targeted
One new record was set and several were tied in Super Bowl XXXII, according to the official NFL.com boxscore, the 2016 NFL Record & Fact Book and the ProFootball reference.com game summary.
|Player Records Set |
|Most rushing touchdowns, game||3||Terrell Davis|
|Most points scored, game||18||Terrell Davis|
|Most touchdowns, game||3|
|Most interceptions thrown, career||7||John Elway|
|Team Records Tied |
|Most rushing touchdowns||4||Broncos|
|Fewest times sacked||0|
|Fewest passing touchdowns||0|
|Fewest punt returns, game||0||Broncos|
|Fewest rushing touchdowns||0||Packers|
|Records tied, both team totals |
|Most rushing touchdowns||4||4||0|
|Fewest times sacked||1||0||1|
|Fewest punt returns, game||0||0||0|
|Fewest punt return yards gained||0 yds||0||0|
|Antonio Freeman||WR||Rod Smith|
|Ross Verba||LT||Gary Zimmerman‡|
|Aaron Taylor||LG||Mark Schlereth|
|Frank Winters||C||Tom Nalen|
|Adam Timmerman||RG||Brian Habib|
|Earl Dotson||RT||Tony Jones|
|Mark Chmura||TE||Shannon Sharpe‡|
|Robert Brooks||WR||Ed McCaffrey|
|Brett Favre‡||QB||John Elway‡|
|Dorsey Levens||RB||Terrell Davis‡|
|William Henderson||FB||Howard Griffith|
|Reggie White‡||LE||Neil Smith|
|Santana Dotson||LDT||Keith Traylor|
|Gilbert Brown||RDT||Maa Tanuvasa|
|Gabe Wilkins||RE||Alfred Williams|
|Seth Joyner||LLB||WLB||John Mobley|
|Bernardo Harris||MLB||Allen Aldridge|
|Brian Williams||RLB||SLB||Bill Romanowski|
|Tyrone Williams||LCB||Ray Crockett|
|Doug Evans||RCB||Darrien Gordon|
|LeRoy Butler||SS||Tyrone Braxton|
|Eugene Robinson||FS||Steve Atwater|
|Ryan Longwell||K||Jason Elam|
|Craig Hentrich||P||Tom Rouen|
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.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 Green Bay Packers season
The 1997 Green Bay Packers season was their 79th season overall and their 77th in the National Football League. The season concluded with the team winning its second consecutive NFC championship, but losing in a 31–24 upset to John Elway's Denver Broncos in Super Bowl XXXII. The team narrowly missed its opportunity to post back-to-back Super Bowl wins.
After a dominating 1996 campaign which ended with a victory in Super Bowl XXXI, many expected the Packers to repeat as champions in 1997. During training camp, star safety LeRoy Butler, among others, said that the Packers had the chance to run the table and go 19–0. This opinion drew increased coverage from the media as the Packers notched impressive victories in all five preseason games. The undefeated hype ended quickly, however, when Green Bay lost week 2 in Philadelphia.
Following a relatively slow 3–2 start, the Packers caught fire in the second half of the season, finishing with a 13–3 regular season record and 8–0 home record for the second consecutive year. In the playoffs, Green Bay defeated the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Lambeau Field in the divisional round, and San Francisco 49ers at 3Com Park in the NFC Championship. Some in the media dubbed the NFC title game as "the real Super Bowl" because of the 49ers' and Packers' league dominance, and the relative inferiority of the AFC in recent Super Bowls. Green Bay's win marked the third consecutive year the team had defeated San Francisco in the playoffs.
The Packers entered Super Bowl XXXII as 11 1/2-point favorites. The point spread was likely determined by Green Bay's victory in the previous Super Bowl, the AFC's string of 13 consecutive Super Bowl losses, and Denver's losses in four previous Super Bowls. The game itself was a seesaw battle, and one of the most exciting Super Bowls in history. The Broncos won the thriller 31–24, earning John Elway his first Super Bowl victory at the age of 37, and the first championship in franchise history. Years later, Brett Favre said the Broncos were far underrated, and credited Denver's innovative blitz packages and strategies, foreign to the league at that time, for confusing the Packers.
Packers' quarterback Brett Favre was named the league's MVP for the third year in a row in 1997. Favre was the first player in the history of the award to win three MVPs, and remains the only player to have won three MVPs consecutively. The Packers became the first team to have six NFL MVP award winners.The 1997 Packers are one of only two teams in NFL history to win seven games against teams that would go on to make the playoffs.1997 San Diego Chargers season
The 1997 San Diego Chargers season was the franchise's 28th season in the National Football League (NFL), its 38th overall and was the first season under Kevin Gilbride. As the Chargers struggled with Stan Humphries missing half the season, failing to impove on their 8–8 record from 1996, finshed with a 4–12 record and missing the playoffs for the second consctive season.
Backup Quarterback Craig Whelihan went winless in seven starts, as the team lost their final eight games after a 4-4 start and scored only one offensive touchdown in their final three games. The team's stadium, Qualcomm Stadium hosted Super Bowl XXXII at the end of the season.Allen Aldridge
Allen Ray Aldridge Jr. (born May 30, 1972) is a former American football linebacker in the National Football League. He was drafted by the Denver Broncos in the second round of the 1994 NFL Draft and later won Super Bowl XXXII with the team over the world champion Green Bay Packers. He played college football at Houston.
Aldridge also played for the Detroit Lions and Houston Texans.Bernardo Harris
Bernardo Harris (born October 15, 1971) is a former American football linebacker in the National Football League. He attended Chapel Hill High School, graduating in 1990. He was recruited by Mack Brown to play at the University of North Carolina and graduated in 1994. After not being drafted, he was signed as a free agent by the Kansas City Chiefs in 1994. At Kansas City, Harris injured his knee in the first week of training camp and was out of football.Bernardo Harris became a free agent and was signed by the Green Bay Packers in 1995, playing in eleven games his rookie season. Harris played for the Green Bay Packers for seven seasons and played on the 1996 Super Bowl XXXI and 1997 Super Bowl XXXII teams.
In 2002, Harris was signed as a free agent by the Baltimore Ravens, after a shoulder injury to Ray Lewis. In 2003, Bernardo Harris was placed on the injured reserved and subsequently retired.Darrius Johnson
Darrius Dashone Johnson (born September 17, 1973) is a former American football cornerback for the Denver Broncos and Kansas City Chiefs of the National Football League.
The Broncos selected Johnson out of Oklahoma in the fourth round of the 1996 draft. Johnson played in 61 games for the Broncos from 1996 to 1999, during which he had two interceptions, both in 1998. One of his biggest games was a 1999 playoff game against the Miami Dolphins, where Johnson had a 44-yard interception return and caused a fumble which was returned for a touchdown. Johnson was a member of the Broncos Super Bowl XXXII and Super Bowl XXXIII championship squads. Johnson played briefly for the Kansas City Chiefs in 2003.David Gamble
David Gamble (born June 14, 1971) is a former wide receiver for the Denver Broncos. He was signed by the Broncos in 1997, and went on to win Super Bowl XXXII over the Green Bay Packers, however he was released in 1998 to clear roster space.David Richie
David James Richie (born September 26, 1973) is a former American football defensive tackle who played four seasons in the National Football League with the Denver Broncos, San Francisco 49ers, Jacksonville Jaguars and Green Bay Packers. He played college football at the University of Washington and attended Kelso High School in Kelso, Washington. He was a member of the Denver Broncos team that won Super Bowl XXXII over the Green Bay Packers. Richie also won the Million Dollar Game in the XFL as a member of the Los Angeles Xtreme.Dedrick Dodge
Dedrick Allen Dodge (born June 14, 1967), is a former American football safety. He played college football at Florida State University and then in eight seasons in the National Football League from 1991-1998. He played in Super Bowl XXIX for the San Francisco 49ers and in Super Bowl XXXII for the Denver Broncos. He also played for the London Monarchs in the inaugural season of the World League of American Football; London won the first World Bowl that year, meaning that Dodge has three pro football championship rings.
Dodge played high school football at East Brunswick High School in East Brunswick, New Jersey and Mulberry High School in Mulberry, Florida.Dodge spent two seasons as the head football coach at Mulberry Senior High School. According to The Ledger of Lakeland, Dodge previously coached a year at Evangel Christian in Lakeland, Fla., leading the team to an 11-3 record and a state title in 2005. He then coached a year at Victory Christian after Evangel folded and led the Storm to a 10-4 record with some of Evangel’s former players.
Victory finished state runner-up in 2005, losing to Tallahassee FAMU in the 1B state title game.Flipper Anderson
Willie Lee "Flipper" Anderson Jr. (born March 7, 1965) is a former American football wide receiver in the National Football League. He played professionally for the Los Angeles Rams (1988–1994), the Indianapolis Colts (1995), the Washington Redskins (1996), and the Denver Broncos (1997). As a Bronco, he was part of their Super Bowl XXXII championship team over the Green Bay Packers. As a Ram, he set the NFL record for most receiving yards in a game with 336 against the Saints on November 26, 1989. (Anderson accumulated 40 of those yards in overtime).Gary Zimmerman
Gary Wayne Zimmerman (born December 13, 1961) is a former American football offensive lineman in the National Football League. Zimmerman played for the Minnesota Vikings from 1986 to 1992 and for the Denver Broncos from 1993 to 1997. He won Super Bowl XXXII with the Broncos against the Green Bay Packers. He was selected to the Pro Bowl seven times and was an All-Pro selection eight times. He attended Walnut High School and the University of Oregon whereby he was inducted into the Oregon Sports Hall of Fame in 2002.Glenn Cadrez
Glenn E. Cadrez (born January 2, 1970) is a former American football linebacker who played 11 seasons in the National Football League, mainly for the Denver Broncos. He played for the Broncos from 1995 to 2000 and was a starter in Super Bowl XXXIII and also played in Super Bowl XXXII making him a two time Super Bowl Champion.
He was the #154 pick in the 1992 NFL draft out of the University of Houston. He played for the New York Jets (1992–1995), Denver Broncos (1995–2000) and Kansas City Chiefs (2001–2002). He was named the AFC Defensive Player of the Week 10/11/98-10/17/98.
Cadrez also hosted the [Brawley, California]] based sports talk show "The Saturday Morning Blitz". The focus was Major League Football with local High School Football Talk throughout the show. During the 3 hour broadcast, from 9am to 12noon, Cadrez and his co-host talked about current NFL games, highlighted the night before High School games of the Valley, as well as talked to past and present NFL coaches and team members. The show ran on Saturdays beginning August through January 2003 and again in the 2004 season, before Cadrez moved on to other activities. The show aired live on KROP-AM 1300 of Brawley, California.
After Cadrez's football career ended, he and fellow former University of Houston teammate Christopher Tuffin co-founded the horror film finance, production and sales outfit BloodWorks.He married a woman from his hometown El Centro, CA named Betsy Cadrez and had three children with her until he cheated on her with his future wife, former Baywatch star and Playboy Playmate of the Year, Brande Roderick. Whom he met while playing a role in his third film Hood of HorrorThey were engaged in August 2006 and married in 2007.Cadrez has three daughters and two sons: Tahnee, Caylee, Phoebee, Keaton, and Kannon.John Mobley
John Ulysses Mobley (born October 10, 1973 in Chester, Pennsylvania) is a former American Football linebacker who played eight seasons for the Denver Broncos from 1996 through 2003 in the National Football League.
Mobley was drafted in the first round of the 1996 NFL Draft by the Broncos after a college football career in Kutztown University. Mobley's best season was in 1997 when he had 132 tackles and four sacks and was an All-Pro that season. Mobley missed most of the 1999 season because of an injury.
Mobley suffered a bruised spinal column during the 2003 season after he collided with his teammate Kelly Herndon in a game against the Baltimore Ravens, and the injury was severe enough that the Broncos cut him before the 2004 season in order to allow him time for recovery. He later re-signed with the Broncos and retired because of the injury.
Mobley served seven days in prison for a DUI conviction in 2004 after being pulled over and arrested on December 28, 2002. He was found guilty by a jury in April 2004 and was sentenced to 365 days behind bars, but the judge in the case later reduced it to seven days.
In Super Bowl XXXII, Mobley deflected a Brett Favre pass on 4th and 6 from the 31-yard-line with just over 30 seconds left in the game. The deflection sealed a 31-24 victory for the Broncos.
During his career, Mobley played in 105 career games, starting 102 of them, including two Super Bowls, during which he made 608 career tackles, 10.5 quarterback sacks, and five interceptions for 45 yards and a touchdown.
He is the cousin of former NBA player Cuttino Mobley.Jon Hesse
Jonathan Andrew "Jon" Hesse (born June 6, 1973) is a former professional American football linebacker in the National Football League. He was the 7th round draft pick (#221 overall) of the Jacksonville Jaguars in the 1997 NFL Draft. He would play linebacker with the St. Louis Rams in 1998. He also was included on the Denver Broncos Super Bowl XXXII roster following the 1997 NFL season.Mike Prior
Michael Robert Prior (born November 14, 1963) to Donald and Mary Prior, is a former American professional football player who was selected by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the 7th round of the 1985 NFL Draft. A 6'0", 208 lb (94 kg) safety from Illinois State University, Prior played in 13 NFL seasons from 1985 and 1987 to 1998 for the Buccaneers, Indianapolis Colts, and Green Bay Packers, recording 35 interceptions and 17 fumble recoveries.Prior was one of the captains of Super Bowl XXXI and intercepted a pass for the Packers thrown by quarterback Drew Bledsoe of the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XXXI.
Prior is also a part of one of the most famous Super Bowl highlights. He was the player who clipped John Elway in Super Bowl XXXII sending him spinning himself into Super Bowl history.
Prior attended Marian Catholic High School in Chicago Heights, Illinois where he played football under Coach Dave Mattio. His football career started when he played in the Catholic elementary school leagues for St. Kieran Parish in Chicago Heights, Illinois. Prior also starred as the center fielder for the Illinois state championship winning Hale Swanson all-star baseball team. Prior, along with Joe Lira, Mark Finley, Brad Randle, and Mike Heldt eventually lost to national champion Detroit, Michigan.
Prior currently resides in Carmel, IN. He has three daughters (Nicole, Briana, and Paige) and a grandson (Camdyn) and granddaughter (Remy). He is in charge of the social outreach program (Youth Football Commissoner) for the Indianapolis Colts and is also an assistant football coach at Cathedral High School in Indianapolis.Patrick Jeffers
Patrick Christopher Jeffers (born February 2, 1973) is a former American football wide receiver in the National Football League for the Denver Broncos, Dallas Cowboys, and Carolina Panthers. With the Broncos, he won Super Bowl XXXII over Brett Favre and the world champion Green Bay Packers. He played college football at the University of Virginia.Tony Jones (offensive tackle)
Anthony Edward Jones (born May 24, 1966) is a former American football offensive tackle in the National Football League who played from 1988-2000. He started Super Bowl XXXII and Super Bowl XXXIII with the Denver Broncos. He was inducted into the Franklin County Sports Hall of Fame as a charter member on July 17, 1998.
His cousin DeMario Mayfield is a professional basketball player.Tony Veland
Tony Veland (born March 11, 1973) is a former American football Defensive Back for the Denver Broncos and the Carolina Panthers of the National Football League.
Veland was a member of the 1994 and 1995 Nebraska National championship teams. The Broncos selected Veland in the sixth round of the 1996 draft. Veland won a ring as a member of the Denver Broncos Super Bowl XXXII championship team in 1997 over the Green Bay Packers and ended his playing career in 1998 with the Carolina Panthers. Veland went on to become the Defensive Coordinator of the Omaha Beef of United Indoor Football. He spent six seasons coaching the Beef.
He was shot on the night of June 13, 2011 as he sat in his vehicle and was admitted to Creighton University Medical Center.Tyrone Braxton
Tyrone Scott Braxton (born December 17, 1964 in Madison, Wisconsin) is a former American football safety who played for the Denver Broncos for most of his career from 1987 to 1999. Braxton played in four Super Bowls with the Broncos, and won 2 NFL championship rings in Super Bowl XXXII and Super Bowl XXXIII. Braxton also played one season with the Miami Dolphins in 1994 and was a one time Pro Bowler in 1996, a season in which he led the National Football League in interceptions with nine.
Denver Broncos Super Bowl XXXII champions
|Division championships (15)|
|Conference championships (8)|
|League championships (3)|
|Current league affiliations|
|Former league affiliation|
Championship seasons in bold
|Division championships (18)|
|Conference championships (9)|
|League championships (13†)|
|Current league affiliations|
Championship seasons in bold
National Football League Championship Games (1933–present)
|NFL Championship Game|
|AFL Championship Game|
|AFL-NFL World Championship Games |
1 – From 1966 to 1969, the first four Super Bowls were "World Championship" games played between two independent professional football leagues, AFL and NFL, and when the league merged in 1970 the Super Bowl became the NFL Championship Game.
2 – Dates in the list denote the season, not the calendar year in which the championship game was played. For instance, Super Bowl XLI was played in 2007, but was the championship for the 2006 season.
Website: NBC Sports - NFL News