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Broncos Super Bowl history: Super Bowl XLVIII vs Seahawks

The 2013 season didn’t end the way Broncos Country wanted, but it was still a fun and historic season.

Super Bowl XLVIII - Seattle Seahawks v Denver Broncos

The 2013 season didn’t end the way anyone wanted.

But that version of the Denver Broncos is one of the best teams to ever step foot on the field, in Denver or in the NFL.

Mainly because of a historic offense that broke record after record, led by Peyton Manning and a receiving corps that was so much fun to watch.

Denver just couldn’t get that final win in Super Bowl XLVIII. But don’t let that take away from that magical season.

Broncos 2013 season

The previous season ended in gut-punching, soul-crushing fashion. A loss that most in Broncos Country have yet to get over. A loss in the divisional round of the AFC Playoffs to the Baltimore Ravens.

The 2013 season opened in Denver, despite the fact the Ravens were the defending Super Bowl Champions.

The season opener was a hint as to what was to come from Manning and the offense. PFM threw for seven touchdowns and the Broncos flogged Baltimore 49-27.

As regular seasons go, 2013 matches 1998 in terms of fun. You knew every week that Manning and Denver’s offense were going to put on a show.

None better than Week 5 against the Dallas Cowboys. Manning and Tony Romo traded blows like a heavyweight title bout. Heck, we even saw a Manning rushing touchdown.

But this game was one of the best in Broncos’ and NFL history. It ended with the Broncos winning 51-48.

For the season, Denver went 13-3 to win the AFC West and the No. 1 seed in the AFC.

Manning threw for 5,477 yards and 55 touchdowns, both NFL records. Oh, and at least five different Broncos scored at least 10 touchdowns.

Denver scored 606 points in 16 games, breaking the scoring record held by the 2007 New England Patriots (589 points). No other NFL team had crossed the 600-point mark.

The Broncos scored 50 points three times, including in back-to-back games. Denver also topped 40 points six times.

While the Broncos still needed to get it done in the playoffs, they had this in the bag.

2013 playoff run

With the No. 1 seed, Denver had the bye in the wild-card round and home-field advantage through the AFC playoffs.

So in the divisional round, the Broncos hosted the San Diego Chargers and old friend Philip Rivers.

Despite a late rally attempt, Denver won 24-17. Thanks to a game-sealing drive by the Broncos with just under 4 minutes remaining in the game.

Now it was time for Tom Brady and the Patriots to come to Denver for the AFC Championship Game.

At no point was this game in doubt. Early in the second quarter, the Broncos built a 10-0 lead and the closest it would get after that is 10-3. At one point in the third quarter, Denver led 20-3. The Broncos ended up winning 26-16 to head back to the Super Bowl.

Denver was about to get third Lombardi Trophy

Super Bowl XLVIII recap

And then the first play from scrimmage happened. A snap that sailed over the head of Manning for a safety.

From that point, the route by the Seattle Seahawks was on.

Denver just had no shot in this Super Bowl.

Of course, it didn’t help to be without Von Miller and some other key players. But the way this game unfolded, it wouldn’t have matted.

The Broncos were blown out by Seattle 43-8.

What always stung about this game is Champ Bailey never getting a Super Bowl ring. And with how special the 2013 Denver offense was, this was his best chance.

But it just wasn’t to be.

That high-powered offense did nothing in the Super Bowl.

Despite that, let’s not lose sight of that season.

No, it didn’t end the way anyone wanted it to. And it was the most recent embarrassment in the Super Bowl.

But Manning and that Broncos offense was historic and so much fun to watch.

Yes, there’s pain with how it ended, but the memories to get there should help alleviate at least some of that.

What a season. What a team. What an offense.

As former Broncos assistant Eric Studesville said to ESPN:

We didn’t win it and maybe people don’t put that team where they should because we didn’t. I get that. ... For me, I will say, I lost my parents that summer (they were killed in a motorcycle accident) and my family is the most important thing, they’re everything in the world to me, my wife, my kids. But the people in that building that year, the coaches, the players, the staff, because of who was there, how unselfish they were, what they did, how they did it every day, are a big reason I made it through that. Every coach, every player in this game should be around a group like that, just once, to know what it’s like.