With three Super Bowl titles, the Denver Broncos are one of the most successful teams in NFL history. They have five other appearances as well, putting them near the top of the list in terms of Super Bowl appearances. That has led to some seriously iconic moments.
Which moments are the most memorable? What about the record book in the annals of Broncos history? In this guide, we will take you through some of the notable Broncos’ records (or records held by Broncos) as well as moments that will live on throughout the history of the franchise.
Denver Broncos Records
There are some cool records both in terms of franchise history and NFL history when talking about the Broncos. Let’s take a look at some of the most notable records held by some of the most notable names in franchise history.
Peyton Manning – Most Passing Yards (5,477) and Touchdowns (55)
To say that the 2013 season was unreal would be an understatement. The fifth MVP for quarterback Peyton Manning, which is also a record, was hands down the best in the history of the NFL. Manning is not only the only Broncos quarterback to throw for 5,000 yards in a season but also holds the single-season NFL record with 5,477.
If that weren’t impressive enough, Manning destroyed the record held by Tom Brady (50) from a few years earlier. His 55 touchdowns are the most ever. It is also just one of three seasons in which a quarterback has thrown for 50 or more touchdowns. Incredible year from start to finish for Manning.
Terrell Davis – Most Rushing and Total Touchdowns Over a Player’s First Four Years
Terrell Davis didn’t have the longest career – he played from 1996 until injuries ended his playing days in 2001 – but he did leave a lasting mark in the annals of Broncos franchise history. He is without a doubt the greatest running back in franchise history and a record-holder in his own right.
Davis, nicknamed TD, holds the NFL record for the most rushing and total touchdowns by any player over his first four seasons. In that span, Davis racked up 56 rushing touchdowns and 61 total touchdowns in that span. Davis may be one of the great “What if?” scenarios in the history of the NFL.
John Elway – All-Time Franchise Leader in Passing Attempts, Completions, Yards, and Touchdowns
While Manning had the single greatest season not just by a Bronco but anyone ever, you can’t talk about Denver Broncos quarterbacks without mentioning Elway. He is the face of the franchise even more than 25 years after he took his last NFL snap.
Part of that has to do with the fact that he leads the franchise in just about every relevant passing category. His 4,123 completions and 7,250 attempts are the most ever. Same for his 51,475 yards and 300 touchdowns. Those marks will stand for a long time unless the Broncos luck into a top quarterback with longevity.
Denver Broncos Iconic Moments
You can’t make eight Super Bowls and win three of them without having some memorable moments. It was tough narrowing it down, but these are some of the most famous moments in the history of the franchise.
When you think of the franchise, you think of Elway. And when you think of Elway, you think of that one moment near the end of Super Bowl XXXII. The Broncos were 0-4 entering the Big Game for the 5th time in franchise history.
In a tight game against the Green Bay Packers, the 37-year-old Elway tucked it and ran on 3rd and 6. He needed to dive to get the first down and took a hit as he did so, spinning like a helicopter before tumbling to the ground. It set up the go-ahead touchdown in the first-ever Broncos Super Bowl win.
Tebow to Thomas
The Tim Tebow era in Denver was a tumultuous one but it did lead to one of the most iconic moments in the history of the franchise. There were some unlikely victories that year, but the 2011 AFC Wild Card Game was without a doubt the craziest.
On the first play of overtime against the Steelers, Tebow hit Demaryius Thomas on a slant across the middle. What is normally a short gainer turned into 80-yard race past defenders to win the game in walk-off fashion. This is a play that still gives fans chills.
The Broncos were one of the best teams of the 1980s from start to finish. Without a doubt, the most iconic moment until the aforementioned moments was simply called “the fumble.” The Broncos held a 38-31 lead against the Cleveland Browns in the 1987 AFC Championship Game.
The Browns were driving and set in a goal-to-go situation, seemingly ready to score. Earnest Byner took the handoff and seemed confident until he was stripped by Jeremiah Castille at the one-yard line. Denver recovered the ball, and the rest was history.
Each of the above moments came in playoff games where everything was on the line. But one of the most memorable moments in Broncos history came in a relatively meaningless game on Monday Night Football in the 1990 season. It is a hit that still lives on in the minds of Broncos fans.
Christian Okoye, known as the Nigerian Nightmare, was a 250-pound battering ram of a human being for the Kansas City Chiefs. Running through the hole against Denver, that mystique disappeared. Safety Steve Atwater, a rookie at the time, hit Okoye so hard that the huge back was thrown onto his back. Atwater stood defiantly over him, cementing his place as one of the most vicious hitters in the league.
As one of the most successful franchises in NFL history, the Broncos have had their share of iconic moments. More importantly, there have been some pretty great players that have passed through the Mile High City, leading to some memorable records as well.