This will be my very first post on MHR. I have been reading posts from this site from the last couple years, and I am finally ready to make my contributions to the community.
Right now is a very exciting time to be a Denver Broncos fan. Lord knows we deserve it ha ha, I wanted to bring us down memory lane for just a moment to see where we have come from. I have been a Broncos fan for over 20 years and was there when John Elway & Terrell Davis & Shannon Sharpe won the back to back championships. But what really happened after that?
Broncos fans it has been a roller coaster ever since.
Follow me after the jump.
John Elway retired following the 1998 season, and Brian Griese started at quarterback for the next four seasons. After a 6–10 record in 1999, the Broncos recovered in 2000, earning a Wild Card playoff berth, but losing to the Baltimore Ravens.
After missing the playoffs the following two seasons, former Arizona Cardinals' quarterback Jake Plummer replaced Griese in 2003, and would lead the Broncos to two straight 10–6 seasons, earning Wild Card playoff berths both years. However, the Broncos went on the road to face the Indianapolis Colts in back-to-back seasons and were blown out by more than 20 points in each game, allowing a combined 90 points.
After losing the 2005 season opener, the Broncos won five straight games. Plummer and the Broncos clinched their first AFC West division title since 1998 on December 24, and finished with an 8–0 home record and a 13–3 overall record. The Broncos entered the playoffs for the third consecutive year with the momentum of a four-game winning streak. After a first round bye, the Broncos defeated the defending Super Bowl champion New England Patriots, 27–13, denying New England from becoming the first NFL team ever to win three consecutive Super Bowl championships. The Broncos' playoff run came to an end next week, after losing at home to the Pittsburgh Steelers in the AFC Championship Game, 34–17. Denver turned the ball over four times and were outscored in the first half, 24–3. The Steelers went on to win Super Bowl XL.
The Broncos' defense began the first five games of the 2006 season allowing only one touchdown, an NFL record, but struggled down the season stretch. Plummer led the team to a 7–2 record, only to lose two straight and be replaced by rookie quarterback Jay Cutler. Cutler went 2–3 as a starter, and the Broncos finished with a 9–7 record, losing the tiebreaker to the Kansas City Chiefs for the final playoff spot. Cutler's first full season as a starter in 2007 became the Broncos' first losing season since 1999, with a 7–9 record.
The 2008 season ended in a 52–21 loss at the San Diego Chargers, giving the Broncos an 8–8 record and their third straight season out of the playoffs. Mike Shanahan, the longest-tenured and most successful head coach in Broncos' franchise history, was fired on December 30, 2008, after 14 seasons.
Three months later, the team acquired quarterback Kyle Orton as part of a trade that sent Jay Cutler to theChicago Bears. Under McDaniels and Orton, the Broncos jumped out to a surprising 6–0 start in 2009. However, the team lost eight of their next ten games, finishing 8–8 for a second consecutive season and missing the playoffs.
On December 6, 2010, McDaniels was fired following a combination of the team's poor record and the fallout from a highly-publicized videotaping scandal.
Running backs coach Eric Studesville was named interim coach for the remaining four games of the 2010 season.
He chose to start rookie first-round draft choice Tim Tebow at quarterback for the final three games.
After the season, Joe Ellis was promoted from the Chief Operating Officer to team president, while John Elway was named the team's Executive Vice President of Football Operations on January 5, 2011. In this capacity, Elway will report to Ellis and will oversee the position held by the General Manager (Brian Xanders) and head coach positions.
After a 1–4 start to the 2011 season, it was announced on October 11, 2011, that Tebow would replace Kyle Orton as the Broncos' starting quarterback. In his first start, Tebow would lead the Broncos in a come-from-behind 18–15 overtime victory over the Dolphins, after being down 15–0 with under three minutes to go in the game.
On November 22, 2011, Kyle Orton was waived and since the quarterback change, the Broncos went 7–4, including four consecutive game-winning drives in the fourth quarter or overtime against the Jets in Week 11, the Chargers in Week 12, the Vikings in Week 13 and the Bears in Week 14. Despite losing their last three games of the 2011 season, the Broncos clinched their first playoff berth and division title since 2005 (the Broncos finished in a 3-way tie with the Raiders and Chargers, but won tiebreakers over both teams).
In the Wild Card round of the 2011–12 NFL Playoffs, the Broncos defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers in overtime 29–23. After Denver built an early lead, the Steelers managed to tie the game late in the fourth quarter. The Broncos set the NFL overtime record (regular season or playoffs) for the fastest overtime ever, winning in 11 seconds with only one 80-yard play, following a 20-yard touchback. This was also the first overtime win under the new rules that allow for sudden death only in touchdown or defensive point scenarios.
The following week, the Broncos were blown out 45–10 by the Patriots in the Divisional round.
On March 20, 2012, the Denver Broncos and quarterback Peyton Manning reached an agreement on a five-year contract reportedly worth $96 million.
The following day, the Broncos traded Tim Tebow and a seventh round draft pick to the New York Jets in exchange for fourth and sixth round draft picks.