The first American Football League organizational meeting is held in Chicago. Denver, with Bob Howsam as its principal owner, is named as a charter member along with New York, Dallas, Los Angeles, Minneapolis and Houston.
The AFL holds its first draft
The AFL’s first player selection draft is held, lasting 32 rounds. Denver’s first pick is Roger LeClerc of Trinity College in Connecticut. He does not play for the Broncos until 1967, as he opts to join the NFL’s Chicago Bears, who made him a 15th-round selection in the 1959 draft.
The Broncos get their first coach
Frank Filchock is named the first head coach of the Broncos. A two-time Pro Bowler in eight NFL seasons as a player, he leads the Broncos to a 7-20-1 record before being dismissed after the 1961 season.
The hardest hitter: Hardy Brown
The Broncos had their share of memorable characters in the early days, including “probably the hardest-hitting back ever to come out of the Missouri Valley Conference,” which was the euphemistic description from the 1960 Broncos media guide of linebacker Hardy Brown.
Broncos win the first game in AFL history
After losing all five preseason games, the Broncos become the first AFL victor when they defeat the Patriots in the first-ever AFL game, a 13-10 win at Nickerson Field in Boston.
Lionel Taylor’s debut
Lionel Taylor plays his first game as a Bronco after being cut by the Chicago Bears. In seven seasons with the Broncos, he would set team receiving standards that would last into the 21st century.
Broncos win their home opener
In front of a crowd of 18,372 that filled barely half of the expanded Bears Stadium, Denver defeated the Oakland Raiders 31-14 to move to 3-1.
Broncos make a change at GM
Dean Griffing, the Broncos’ first general manager, is released from his duties. Head coach Jack Faulkner, who was hired on Feb. 1, is named to dual post as head coach and general manager.
|9/21||New York Jets||21-19|
|9/28||at Buffalo Bills||28-41|
|10/5||Kansas City Chiefs||13-26|
|10/19||at Cincinnati Bengals||30-23|
|10/26||at Houston Oilers||21-24|
|11/2||San Diego Chargers||13-0|
|11/9||at Oakland Raiders||10-41|
|11/23||at San Diego Chargers||24-45|
|11/27||at Kansas City Chiefs||17-31|
|12/7||at Miami Dolphins||24-27|
Broncos get their first shutout
The Broncos’ first-ever shutout win — a 13-0 blanking of the Chargers — saw a little fun on the Mile High Stadium scoreboard, with “Chargers” changed to read “Hot Dogs” at some point before the end of the game.
“They’re killing me, Whitey!”
“They’re killing me, Whitey; they’re killing me!” Lou Saban’s immortal quote came on this date, when he wore a wireless microphone from AFL Films during the Broncos’ game with Houston.
Red Miller takes over
Former Broncos assistant Robert “Red” Miller returns to the Broncos to become the club’s eighth head coach under circumstances never seen by a Broncos head coach.
Broncos trade for Craig Morton
Denver sends QB Steve Ramsey and future considerations to the Giants in exchange for Craig Morton, who ends up winning the starting job and guiding the Broncos to the 1977 AFC championship.
|9/18||St. Louis Cardinals||7-0|
|10/2||at Seattle Seahawks||24-13|
|10/9||Kansas City Chiefs||23-7|
|10/16||at Oakland Raiders||30-7|
|10/23||at Cincinnati Bengals||24-13|
|11/13||at San Diego Chargers||17-14|
|11/20||at Kansas City Chiefs||14-7|
|12/4||at Houston Oilers||24-14|
|12/11||San Diego Chargers||17-9|
|12/18||at Dallas Cowboys||6-14|
|12/24||Pittsburgh Steelers (Divisional Playoff)||34-21|
|1/1||Oakland Raiders (AFC Championship)||20-17|
|1/15||Dallas Cowboys (Super Bowl XII)||10-27|
A shutout launches the magical season
A then-Broncos record crowd of 75,002 at newly expanded Mile High Stadium saw the defense make a late stand deep in Broncos territory to seal a 7-0 win over the St. Louis Cardinals.
The Broncos’ greatest gadget play
Jim Turner’s touchdown reception on a fake field goal broke a close game wide open, and with seven interceptions, the Broncos crushed the defending world champion Raiders 30-7 to reach 5-0 for the first time in franchise history.
Finally … the playoffs!
With a 24-14 win at Houston, the Broncos clinch a playoff berth, the first in the club’s history. Later in the day, the Broncos clinch the AFC Western Division championship when the Raiders fall to the Los Angeles Rams.
Broncos win their first playoff game
Before the largest crowd ever to watch a sporting event in the state of Colorado, 75,011, the Broncos stop the Pittsburgh Steelers in the first round of playoff action, 34-21.
AFC champions for the first time
In a hard-fought game at Mile High Stadium, Haven Moses’ two touchdown receptions lead the Broncos to a 20-17 AFC Championship Game win over Oakland and a trip to Super Bowl XII.
|9/11||at Minnesota Vikings (OT)||9-12|
|9/17||San Diego Chargers||27-14|
|9/24||at Kansas City Chiefs (OT)||23-17|
|10/8||at San Diego Chargers||0-23|
|10/22||at Baltimore Colts||6-7|
|10/29||at Seattle Seahawks (OT)||20-17|
|11/5||New York Jets||28-31|
|11/12||at Cleveland Browns||19-7|
|11/19||Green Bay Packers||16-3|
|11/23||at Detroit Lions||14-17|
|12/3||at Oakland Raiders||21-6|
|12/10||Kansas City Chiefs||24-3|
|12/30||at Pittsburgh Steelers (Divisional Playoff)||10-33|
Beating the Raiders — again
The Broncos open their AFC title defense — and their first 16-game season — by defeating Oakland, 14-6, in a rematch of the 1977 AFC Championship Game.
Sudden Death — again and again
Denver defeats Seattle 20-17 in overtime, becoming the first team in NFL history to participate in three overtime games in a single season.
A sweep of the Raiders
The Broncos dismantle the Raiders 21-6, holding the Raiders without a touchdown for the second time in the season to move within one game of AFC West crown.
Back-to-back AFC West champions
Denver downs Kansas City, 24-3, winning its second consecutive division championship, as QB Craig Morton goes 19-for-22 with 16 consecutive completions, both second best all-time NFL marks at the time.
Broncos fall in postseason
Denver loses in the playoffs to the eventual Super Bowl-champion Pittsburgh Steelers, 33-10.
Broncos send seven to the Pro Bowl
One year after sending a then-team-record five players to the Pro Bowl, the Broncos have seven: Lyle Alzado, Randy Gradishar, Tom Jackson, Riley Odoms, Bill Thompson, Rick Upchurch and Louis Wright.
Upchurch sprints into history
Rick Upchurch becomes the all-time pro football record holder in career punt return yardage. He set the record vs. New England, surpassing the late Emlen Tunnell’s total of 2,209 yards.
|9/20||at Green Bay Packers (OT)||17-17|
|9/28||at Cleveland Browns (canceled -- strike)|
|10/12||Los Angeles Raiders||30-14|
|10/18||at Kansas City Chiefs||26-17|
|10/26||at Minnesota Vikings||27-34|
|11/8||at Buffalo Bills||14-21|
|11/22||at Los Angeles Raiders||23-17|
|11/29||at San Diego Chargers||31-17|
|12/6||New England Patriots||31-20|
|12/13||at Seattle Seahawks||21-28|
|12/20||at Kansas City Chiefs||20-17|
|12/27||San Diego Chargers||24-0|
|1/10||Houston Oilers (Divisional Playoff)||34-10|
|1/17||Cleveland Browns (AFC Championship)||38-33|
|1/31||Washington Redskins (Super Bowl XXII)||10-42|
Billy Thompson selected for the Ring of Fame
DB Billy Thompson is selected to join the Ring of Fame. He is the only member of the 1987 class.
Steve Foley retires
Safety Steve Foley announces his retirement. “I first thought about retirement after the Super Bowl,” Foley said. “I decided not to make any decisions hastily. I decided to let it go and see if the desire to come back was really there. It wasn’t.”
Broncos head to London for the first time
The Broncos lose 28-27 to the Los Angeles Rams in American Bowl ‘87, a preseason game played in storied Wembley Stadium in London, England.
A rare deadlock
Under rainy conditions on a muddy Milwaukee County Stadium field, Rich Karlis and Al Del Greco each miss overtime field-goal attempts, consigning the Broncos and Packers to a 17-17 tie. It remains the last deadlock in Broncos history.
NFL players strike for second time in five years
The NFL Players Association goes on strike, resulting in the cancellation of games for the weekend of Sept. 28, including a Broncos-Browns game on Monday Night Football. Replacement games begin a week later, with the Broncos losing 40-10 to the Oilers.
With “Great Support,” Replacement Broncos hammer Raiders
As the strike continues, a raucous Monday night Mile High Stadium crowd of 61,230 watches Joe Dudek run for 128 yards and two touchdowns as the Broncos throttle the Raiders, 30-14. A handful of regular Broncos, including Steve Watson, Dave Studdard, Billy Bryan and Keith Kartz, take part.
Broncos play 400th game
Denver grabs a 31-17 win over San Diego in the 400th game for both franchises. The contest also marks Dan Reeves’ 100th game as the Broncos’ head coach.
Elway earns MVP
The Broncos win their third AFC West title in four years after shutting out San Diego 24-0 in a blizzard. Denver finishes the season with a 10-4-1 record, becoming the only team in the NFL to post eight 10-win seasons since 1977. Quarterback John Elway is named NFL Most Valuable Player by the Associated Press.
Broncos throttle Oilers in playoffs
The Broncos advance to the AFC Championship Game with a 34-10 victory over Houston before 75,968 in Mile High Stadium.
The Fumble gives the Broncos the AFC title
Saved by Jeremiah Castille’s strip of Earnest Byner in the closing moments, Denver becomes the first AFC team to win consecutive conference championships since Pittsburgh of 1978-79 by defeating Cleveland 38-33.
Broncos fall in Super Bowl XXII
The Broncos lose to Washington 42-10 in Super Bowl XXII in San Diego at Jack Murphy Stadium.
Bill Romanowski joins Broncos
LB Bill Romanowski signs with the Broncos after spending his previous two seasons with the Eagles. “Romo” becomes one of the team’s most tenacious defenders over the next six seasons, which include two world titles.
|9/1||New York Jets||31-6|
|9/8||at Seattle Seahawks||30-20|
|9/15||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||27-23|
|9/22||at Kansas City Chiefs||14-17|
|9/29||at Cincinnati Bengals||14-10|
|10/6||San Diego Chargers||28-17|
|10/27||Kansas City Chiefs||34-7|
|11/4||at Oakland Raiders||22-21|
|11/17||at New England Patriots||34-8|
|11/24||at Minnesota Vikings||21-17|
|12/8||at Green Bay Packers||6-41|
|12/22||at San Diego Chargers||10-16|
|1/4||Jacksonville Jaguars (Divisional Playoff)||27-30|
John Elway signs his final contract as a player
John Elway signs a five-year, $29.5-million extension that assures the future Hall of Fame QB will finish his playing career with the Broncos.
Broncos return to the AFC West summit
The Broncos win the AFC West and clinch home-field advantage for the playoffs with a 34-7 win over Seattle.
Broncos wrap 13-3 season
As the Broncos concluded a season that saw them win a then-franchise-record 13 regular-season games, the honors piled up.
Terrell Davis honored
Terrell Davis is named NFL Offensive Player of the Year by the Associated Press and joins three other Broncos as first-team All-Pro performers — Shannon Sharpe, Alfred Williams and Gary Zimmerman.
Broncos’ season ends in crushing loss
Denver hosts its first playoff game since Jan. 4, 1992, as the Jacksonville Jaguars come to Mile High Stadium for an AFC Divisional Playoff contest. Jacksonville upset the Broncos, 30-27.
Alfred Williams joins Broncos
Former CU standout Alfred Williams returns to Colorado, signing with the Broncos. He spends four seasons with Denver, including a 1996 campaign in which he notches a career-high 13 sacks and earns Pro Bowl and All-Pro honors.
New uniforms for a new era
The Broncos unveil new uniforms featuring the traditional Broncos orange with a navy blue, and a new helmet logo that features a powerful, dynamic Bronco.
|8/31||Kansas City Chiefs||19-3|
|9/7||at Seattle Seahawks||35-14|
|9/14||St. Louis Rams||35-14|
|9/28||at Atlanta Falcons||29-21|
|10/6||New England Patriots||34-13|
|10/19||at Oakland Raiders||25-28|
|10/26||at Buffalo Bills (OT)||23-20|
|11/16||at Kansas City Chiefs||22-24|
|11/30||at San Diego Chargers||38-28|
|12/7||at Pittsburgh Steelers||24-35|
|12/15||at San Francisco 49ers||17-34|
|12/21||San Diego Chargers||38-3|
|12/27||Jacksonville Jaguars (Wild Card Playoff)||42-17|
|1/4||at Kansas City Chiefs (Divisional Playoff)||14-10|
|1/11||at Pittsburgh Steelers (AFC Championship)||24-21|
|1/25||Green Bay Packers (Super Bowl XXXII)||31-24|
Broncos go South of the Border
Denver and Miami meet in Mexico City, Mexico, in an American Bowl ‘97 contest won by the Dolphins, 38-19.
Dashing through the snow …
The Broncos defeat the Bills 23-20 in overtime at Buffalo’s Rich Stadium, a mere 15 hours after arriving in Buffalo due to a severe snowstorm that dumped more than a foot of snow on the Denver area with drifts piled several feet higher in some areas.
The Broncos win their fifth AFC Championship by topping the Steelers 24-21 at Pittsburgh’s Three Rivers Stadium.
“This one’s for John!”
The Broncos claim their first World Championship with a 31-24 victory over defending champion Green Bay in Super Bowl XXXII at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego.
Broncos trade for Gerard Warren
The Broncos acquire DT Gerard Warren from the Browns in exchange for a fourth-round pick. Warren spends two seasons anchoring the interior of the Broncos’ offensive line. Denver also re-signs guard Ben Hamilton, capping two weeks of negotiations.
Broncos add Stephen Alexander, re-sign Keith Burns
The Broncos sign free-agent TE Stephen Alexander and bring back LB Keith Burns, who spent the 2004 season with the Buccaneers.
The “Brown-cos” fall into place
The Broncos sign former No. 1 overall pick Courtney Brown and trade for DE Ebenezer Ekuban and DT Mike Myers. The Broncos send 1,000-yard RB Reuben Droughns to Cleveland for Ekuban and Myers.
|9/11||at Miami Dolphins||10-34|
|9/18||San Diego Chargers||20-17|
|9/26||Kansas City Chiefs||30-10|
|10/2||at Jacksonville Jaguars||20-7|
|10/16||New England Patriots||28-20|
|10/23||at New York Giants||23-24|
|11/13||at Oakland Raiders||31-17|
|11/20||New York Jets||27-0|
|11/24||at Dallas Cowboys (OT)||24-21|
|12/4||at Kansas City Chiefs||27-31|
|12/17||at Buffalo Bills||28-17|
|12/31||at San Diego Chargers||23-7|
|1/14||New England Patriots (Divisional Playoff)||27-13|
|1/22||Pittsburgh Steelers (AFC Championship)||17-34|
Taking a flyer on Jerry Rice
A week after agreeing to terms with future Hall of Fame WR Jerry Rice, the 20-season veteran makes his Broncos practice-field debut.
10,000 for Rod Smith
Wide receiver Rod Smith becomes the first undrafted player in NFL history to reach 10,000 career receiving yards with a 19-yard catch from Jake Plummer in the third quarter of a home Monday Night Football game against the Chiefs.
Steve Atwater joins the Ring of Fame
Steve Atwater joins the Ring of Fame in a rain-soaked ceremony at halftime of the Broncos’ Week 5 win over Washington. The announcement of his induction was made Aug. 1.
The Broncos tie an NFL record by not committing a turnover for the fourth consecutive game during their victory against New England.
“No Mistake” Jake
Jake Plummer’s streak of consecutive passes without an interception ends at 229 attempts with a second-quarter interception at Dallas in the Broncos’ 24-21 overtime win against the Cowboys on Thanksgiving Day.
Shanahan becomes winningest Broncos coach
Mike Shanahan becomes the Broncos’ all-time leader in career victories, collecting his 118th career win with Denver’s 12-10 win against Baltimore at INVESCO Field at Mile High. Champ Bailey records an interception for the fifth consecutive game, setting a franchise record.
Broncos get first playoff win in seven years
The Broncos defeat the Patriots 27-13 in an AFC Divisional Playoff Game to mark the club’s first postseason victory at INVESCO Field at Mile High and propel the team to the AFC Championship Game.
Broncos fall to Steelers in AFC Championship
The No. 6-seeded Steelers came to Denver and ambushed the No. 2-seeded Broncos, dealing a 34-17 defeat that would mark the closest the Broncos came to a Super Bowl in the first decade of the 21st century.
13 wins the Broncos’ most in seven years
Denver concludes the regular season with a 23-7 win at San Diego, putting the team’s record at 13-3 to tie for the second-most wins in a season in franchise history.
Broncos add Ware, Ward and Talib
The Broncos make another splash in free agency, signing Aqib Talib, T.J. Ward and DeMarcus Ware.
Emmanuel Sanders signs three-year deal
The Broncos sign WR Emmanuel Sanders from the Steelers. A No. 3 receiver in Pittsburgh, Sanders makes a successful transition to an every-down role and in 2014 smashes every previous career standard he had set while making his first Pro Bowl.
|9/14||Kansas City Chiefs||24-17|
|9/21||at Seattle Seahawks (OT)||20-26|
|10/12||at New York Jets||31-17|
|10/19||San Francisco 49ers||42-17|
|10/23||San Diego Chargers||35-21|
|11/2||at New England Patriots||21-43|
|11/9||at Oakland Raiders||41-17|
|11/16||at St. Louis Rams||7-22|
|11/30||at Kansas City Chiefs||29-16|
|12/14||at San Diego Chargers||22-10|
|12/22||at Cincinnati Bengals||28-37|
|1/11||Indianapolis Colts (Divisional Playoff)||13-24|
Three more for the Ring of Fame
Halfback/kicker Gene Mingo, wide receiver/returner Rick Upchurch and head coach Dan Reeves are elected as the newest members of the Broncos Ring of Fame.
Pat Bowlen steps away to focus on Alzheimer’s battle
The Broncos announce that Owner Pat Bowlen has been privately battling Alzheimer’s disease and is no longer able to be part of the team’s daily operations.
Manning sets TD record
Peyton Manning throws three touchdowns against San Francisco to give him 509 for his career, passing Favre (508) for the most in NFL history.
Champ Bailey announces his retirement
With a host of Broncos from his years with the team joining him, Champ Bailey announces his retirement after 15 NFL seasons.
Chris Harris Jr. signs five-year deal
Chris Harris Jr. agrees to terms on a five-year contract extension. Harris had overcome being undrafted and tearing an ACL in the 2013 postseason to become one of the game’s best cornerbacks. He goes to his first Pro Bowl one month later.
Broncos wrap up another AFC West title
Denver earns a 22-10 victory against San Diego to earn its fourth consecutive AFC West Division title. The game marks the Broncos’ 12th straight divisional road win to tie for the longest such streak in league history.
Broncos wrap up 12-4 season
Denver closes out its regular season with a 47-14 win against Oakland to earn the AFC’s No. 2 playoff seed.
Broncos, John Fox part ways
The Broncos and Head Coach John Fox mutually part ways one day after Denver’s 24-13 loss to Indianapolis in the AFC Divisional Playoff.
Broncos name Gary Kubiak head coach
Former Broncos quarterback and offensive coordinator Gary Kubiak is named the 15th head coach in franchise history.
C.J. Anderson: From third team to the Pro Bowl
Running back C.J. Anderson becomes the 11th Bronco to be named to the 2015 Pro Bowl, representing the most selections in a single year in team history.
Fourth place, AFL West
First place, AFC West
First place, AFC West
First place, AFC West
Second place, AFC West
Super Bowl XXXII Champions
First Place, AFC West
First Place, AFC West
|RDT||Michael Dean Perry||15|
|CB||Chris Harris Jr.||16|
|S||David Bruton Jr.||1|
Biography: Red Miller, Head Coach
Red Miller was elected to the Broncos Ring of Fame in 2017, joining Dan Reeves as the only two coaches in team history to receive the prestigious honor.