Sept. 15, 1962: Frank Tripucka hits Al Frazier for a 96-yard touchdown pass at Buffalo. At the time, the reception marked the longest play from scrimmage in Broncos history.
Mingo’s 82-yard TD run
Gene Mingo rushes 82 yards for a touchdown against the Raiders.
First All-Rookie Game
Broncos rookies defeat the rookies from the Houston Oilers, 17-14, in an exhibition in front of 6,500 in Colorado Springs.
AFL postpones all games
AFL postpones all games two days after the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.
The AFL and NBC announce a new TV contract that pays the AFL $36 million over five seasons.
Aug. 14, 1964: Broncos obtained QB Jacky Lee form Houston in “lend-lease” trade for Bud McFadin.
Dec. 12, 1965: Broncos conclude home season with total attendance of 219,786, an average of 34,398 per game. Both the total and average attendance were AFL Western Division records.
Taylor leads AFL in receiving again
With five catches for 54 yards and a touchdown at Kansas City, Lionel Taylor finishes the 1965 season with 85 receptions for 1,131 yards.
The leagues will play a championship game the following season, hold the first common draft in 1967 and merge in 1970.
|9/15||at Cincinnati Bengals||10-24|
|9/22||at Kansas City Chiefs||2-34|
|10/13||at New York Jets||21-13|
|10/20||at San Diego Chargers||24-55|
|11/3||at Boston Patriots||35-14|
|11/17||at Houston Oilers||17-38|
|12/1||San Diego Chargers||23-47|
|12/8||at Oakland Raiders||27-33|
|12/14||Kansas City Chiefs||7-30|
Marlin “The Magician”
Marlin Briscoe becomes the first African-American to start at quarterback in modern pro footbal history, guiding Denver to a 10-7 win over the Bengals.
Jan. 19, 1969: Dave Costa, Rich Jackson and Floyd Little participate in AFL All-Star Game in Jacksonville, Fla.
Saying goodbye to the AFL
The Broncos play their final AFL game, defeating Cincinnati 27-16 at Mile High Stadium.
Top pick Anderson signs
Bobby Anderson is the first Broncos first-round pick since Floyd Little in 1967, and just the second to sign with the team in its 10-year history.
In their first regular-season game against a team that was a part of the NFL before the merger, the Broncos defeat Pittsburgh 16-13 in front of 50,705 at Mile High Stadium.
Little takes rushing title
Floyd Little gains 44 yards to win AFC rushing title with 901 yards.
Pro Bowlers Jackson and Little
First-team All-Pro Rich Jackson and Floyd Little become the Broncos’ first two Pro Bowlers.
Top pick Montgomery signs
First-round pick Marv Montgomery signs his contract.
“Half a loaf”
Broncos open season with 10-10 tie against Miami in the “half a loaf” game.
Little wins rushing crown
Floyd Little compiles 79 yards against Raiders in Oakland to finish as pro football’s top runner with 1,133 yards.
Ralston named Head Coach
John Ralston, successful head coach at Stanford, is announced as Denver’s new head coach.
Top pick Odom signs
First-round pick Riley Odoms signs his multi-year contract.
Tickets sold out
For the first time in the history of Denver professional football, there will be no public sale of season tickets, it is reported.
Floyd Little Day
In ceremonies before a loss to Cleveland, Little receives gifts, including a boat, to commemorate his 1971 NFL rushing title.
Broncos wallop San Diego 38-13 in a game played in 9-degree conditions, the coldest regular-season home game in Broncos history.
Johnson passes 20k yards
Charley Johnson becomes the 18th quarterback in pro football history to go over 20,000 yards lifetime as he throws for 214 yards and three TDs to Haven Moses in a 48-20 win at Houston.
Broncos draft Armstrong
Otis Armstrong would become the second league-rushing champion in Broncos history, rushing for 1,407 yards in 1974.
With “Orange Monday” banners waving, the Broncos play perhaps the most important game to date in the club’s history against Oakland on national television.
Dec. 9, 1973: Broncos defeat San Diego 42-28 and assures the club of a winning record for the first time.
Gradishar selected by Denver
The Broncos select Ohio State LB Randy Gradishar with their first-round pick in the 1974 NFL Draft.
Mile High expansion
Denver voters pass a $25 million bond issue to expand and improve Mile High Stadium to over 75,000 seats.
Turkey day win
Before a television audience estimated at 35 million, the Broncos riddle the Detroit Lions 31-27 on Denver’s first Thanksgiving Day game in Detroit.
“The Franchise” retires
Floyd Little is carried off the field after his as he concludes his career as the seventh-leading all-time rusher in the NFL with 6,323 career rushing yards.
Jan. 26, 1976: TE Riley Odoms makes his third consecutive Pro Bowl appearance, and ILB Randy Gradishar makes his Pro Bowl debut.
QB Charley Johnson announces his retirement after 15 seasons, the last four of which were spent in Denver.
Alzado and Upchurch honored
Lyle Alzado is one of three finalists for the Man of the Year Award and Rick Upchurch is honored as the AFC Offensive Rookie of the Year by the NFL Players Association.
Upchurch takes it to the house (twice)
Rick Upchurch ties an NFL record by returning two punts for touchdowns in a 44-13 win over the visiting Cleveland Browns.
Oct. 24, 1976: Rick Upchurch ties an NFL record with his fourth punt return touchdown of the season in a 35-26 win over Kansas City.
Rick Upchurch and Otis Armstrong are the Broncos’ participants in the annual AFC-NFC Pro Bowl in Seattle.
Jan. 31, 1977: John Ralston resigns as head coach of the Broncos after five seasons that included the club’s first three winning records.
Dec. 17, 1979: Denver clinches a playoff berth for the third consecutive year, but fails to win its third consecutive division title, falling 17-7 at San Diego.
First Pro Bowl in Honolulu
The Broncos are represented in the Pro Bowl by Randy Gradishar, Tom Jackson, Rick Upchurch and Louis Wright.
Oct. 5, 1980: Randy Gradishar returns an interception 93 yards for a TD vs. Cleveland, the longest such return in team history and the NFL’s longest in 1980.
Jan. 17, 1981: Red Miller and the Broncos’ coaching staff coach the South team in the 1981 Senior Bowl. It will turn out to be Miller’s last game as a Broncos head coach.
March 9, 1981: Less than two weeks after Kaiser assumed control of the Broncos, head coach Red Miller and GM Fred Gehrke are fired.
Reeves takes over as Head Coach
Grady Alderman is named new General Manager and Dan Reeves is named as the new head coach.
1981 Pro Bowlers
The Broncos are represented in the Pro Bowl by Randy Gradishar, Bob Swenson, Bill Thompson and Steve Watson.
Upchurch sets another record
Rick Upchurch returns a punt 78 yards for a touchdown against Kansas City.
Feb. 6, 1983: The Broncos are represented in the Pro Bowl game by Randy Gradishar, Luke Prestridge and Rick Upchurch.
Trading for Elway
In the biggest trade in franchise history, Denver acquires quarterback John Elway, the first player taken in the NFL draft, and signs him to a five-year contract.
Gradishar hangs up his cleats
Randy Gradishar announced that he would retire after the 1983 season, his 10th in the league.
Broncos headed back to the Playoffs
Elway throws three fourth-quarter touchdown passes to erase a 19-0 deficit and lead the Broncos to a 21-19 playoff-clinching win over Baltimore.
Jan. 29, 1984: Randy Gradishar makes his seventh Pro Bowl appearance. Louis Wright also is named to the AFC Pro Bowl team but is unable to play because of a fractured finger.
March 23, 1984: Pat Bowlen is introduced as the new owner of the Denver Broncos, assuming the title of President and Chief Executive Officer.
Bowlen creates the Ring of Fame
On the eve of veteran reporting day to training camp, Broncos President/CEO Pat Bowlen announces the creation of the Ring of Fame to honor Broncos greats who “had a significant impact” on team history.
The First Ring of Fame Class
DE Rich Jackson, RB Floyd Little, S Austin “Goose” Gonsoulin and WR Lionel Taylor — are officially inducted in a halftime ceremony at the preseason opener against Washington.
Elway throws 5 TDs
The Broncos beat Minnesota 42-21 for the club’s 10th consecutive victory, a team record.
Broncos win AFC West
In a winner-take-all showdown at the Kingdome for the AFC West crown, Denver wins its 13th game of the season, the most in Broncos history, and captures the AFC West crown with a 31-14 win over Seattle.
Jan. 27, 1985: Sammy Winder represents the Broncos in the Pro Bowl.
Beake named General Manager
Owner Pat Bowlen names John Beake as General Manager and Dan Reeves as Vice President of the club.
Pat Bowlen announces that former owner Gerald Phipps will become the fifth member of the Ring of Fame. “I can’t overstate the gratitude that I feel for this honor,” Phipps said.
11-win season and records broken
Denver beats Seattle 27-24 to close out the season at 11-5. The Broncos set season records with total yards (5,496) and total points (380).
|9/7||Los Angeles Raiders||38-36|
|9/15||at Pittsburgh Steelers||21-10|
|9/21||at Philadelphia Eagles||33-7|
|9/28||New England Patriots||27-20|
|10/12||at San Diego Chargers||31-14|
|10/20||at New York Jets||10-22|
|11/2||at Los Angeles Raiders||21-10|
|11/9||San Diego Chargers||3-9|
|11/16||Kansas City Chiefs||38-17|
|11/23||at New York Giants||16-19|
|12/7||at Kansas City Chiefs||10-37|
|12/20||at Seattle Seahawks||16-41|
|1/4||New England Patriots (AFC DIVISIONAL PLAYOFF)||22-17|
|1/11||at Cleveland Browns (AFC CHAMPIONSHIP)||23-20|
|1/25||New York Giants (SUPER BOWL XXI)||20-39|
1986 Ring of Fame Class
QBs Charley Johnson and Frank Tripucka and DE Paul Smith become the fifth, sixth and seventh Broncos selected for the Ring of Fame, comprising the 1986 class.
Oct. 12, 1986: The Broncos post a 31-14 win over San Diego to equal the best start in team history with 6-0 record.
A record-breaking season
The Broncos conclude regular-season play with their second consecutive 11-5 record.
The Broncos post a thrilling, 23-20 overtime win over the Cleveland Browns. It began auspiciously, with a poorly fielded squib kickoff knocking the Broncos back to their 2-yard line. In the Broncos’ huddle, tension grew along with the noise from 79,915 fans yelling, barking and brandishing Milk-Bones in honor of their beloved “Dawg Pound” defense. […]
Super Bowl XXI
The Broncos fall to the New York Giants 39-20 in Super Bowl XXI.
Broncos acquire Tony Dorsett
The Broncos acquire future Hall of Fame RB Tony Dorsett from the Dallas Cowboys in exchange for a future draft choice.
Oct. 16, 1988: QB Craig Morton, WR Haven Moses and K Jim Turner are inducted into the Ring of Fame at halftime of a 30-14 win over Atlanta.
1988 Ring of Fame
QB Craig Morton, WR Haven Moses and K Jim Turner are inducted into the Ring of Fame at halftime of a 30-14 win over Atlanta.
Humphrey taken in Supplemental Draft
In the busiest NFL Supplemental Draft to date, the Broncos use their 1990 first-round pick to take Alabama RB Bobby Humphrey.
Oct. 15, 1989: LB Randy Gradishar is officially inducted into the Ring of Fame at halftime of a game against the Indianapolis Colts.
Nov. 26, 1989: The Broncos clinch their third AFC West title in four seasons after a 41-14 victory at home against Seattle.
Another AFC Championship
The Broncos become the only AFC team to win three conference titles in the 1980s with a 37-21 victory over Cleveland in the AFC Championship Game.
Jan. 28, 1990: Denver loses 55-10 to San Francisco in Super Bowl XXIV in the Louisiana Superdome.
Broncos draft Sharpe
“You won’t regret picking me,” Shannon Sharpe says after the Broncos take him with the No. 192 overall pick late in the seventh round of the 1990 NFL Draft.
American Bowl in Tokyo
The Broncos defeat the Seattle Seahawks by a score of 10-7 in American Bowl ‘90 played before a sellout audience in the Tokyo Dome in Tokyo, Japan.
Broncos represented at Pro Bowl
Safeties Steve Atwater and Dennis Smith, along with running back Bobby Humphrey, appear in the AFC- NFC Pro Bowl game in Honolulu, Hawaii.
Sept. 1, 1991: Denver records its biggest opening day win ever with a 45-14 pounding of Cincinnati.
Dec. 1, 1991: A 17-7 win at Cleveland clinches a playoff berth for the Broncos.
Dec. 22, 1991: Denver closes out the regular season at 12-4 and wins the AFC West title for the fifth time in eight years.
Feb. 2, 1992: Gaston Green, Karl Mecklenburg, Steve Atwater and Dennis Smith represent the Broncos in the Pro Bowl. S
Tom Jackson enters the Ring of Fame
Tom Jackson is announced as the first Ring of Fame inductee since 1989.
Dec. 28, 1992: Pat Bowlen announces that the franchise will not renew the contract of Dan Reeves, thus creating a coaching vacancy in Denver for the first time since 1981.
Phillips named Head Coach
Wade Phillips is hired as the 10th head coach in Broncos history, signing a three-year contract as head coach after four seasons as the Broncos’ defensive coordinator.
Oct. 3, 1993: CB Louis Wright is inducted into the Ring of Fame at halftime of a game against Indianapolis.
Representing in Hawaii
The Broncos are represented in the annual AFC-NFC Pro Bowl by safety Steve Atwater, quarterback John Elway and offensive tackle Gary Zimmerman.
Feb. 6, 1994: The Broncos are represented in Pro Bowl game by John Elway, Shannon Sharpe, Karl Mecklenburg, Steve Atwater and Dennis Smith.
Undrafted Rod Smith sticks with Broncos
Among the undrafted rookies signed by the Broncos is Missouri Southern WR Rod Smith.
Dec. 29, 1994: Wade Phillips and his staff are dismissed after two seasons.
Shanahan takes over as Head Coach
Mike Shanahan is hired as the 11th head coach in Broncos history.
|9/10||at Dallas Cowboys||21-31|
|9/24||at San Diego Chargers||6-17|
|10/1||at Seattle Seahawks||10-27|
|10/8||at New England Patriots||37-3|
|10/22||Kansas City Chiefs||7-21|
|11/12||at Philadelphia Eagles||13-31|
|11/19||San Diego Chargers||30-27|
|11/26||at Houston Oilers||33-42|
|12/17||at Kansas City Chiefs||17-20|
|12/24||at Oakland Raiders||31-28|
Aug. 5, 1995: The Broncos defeat the 49ers 24-10 in the American Bowl in Tokyo, Japan. At this point, the Broncos are one of just three teams to play in five American Bowl games.
Nov. 5, 1995: John Elway surpasses the 40,000-yard passing plateau, becoming the seventh player in pro football history to accomplish that feat.
Dec. 10, 1995: Simon Fletcher plays his last home game as a Bronco, having announced his intention to retire before the season.
1995 Record Breakers
The Broncos close the season with a 31-28 win at Oakland and post franchise single-season records in seven different offensive categories.
Feb. 4, 1996: Denver is represented in the annual AFC-NFC Pro Bowl by Steve Atwater, Jason Elam, Glyn Milburn, Anthony Miller and Shannon Sharpe. Gary Zimmerman was selected but did not play because of injury.
|9/12||Kansas City Chiefs||34-24|
|9/19||at Jacksonville Jaguars||6-7|
|9/26||San Diego Chargers||23-13|
|10/3||at Tampa Bay Buccaneers||16-13|
|10/17||at Oakland Raiders||31-3|
|10/25||at Cincinnati Bengals||10-23|
|11/21||at New Orleans Saints||34-13|
|12/5||at San Diego Chargers||17-20|
|12/19||at Kansas City Chiefs||17-45|
|12/25||at Tennessee Titans||37-16|
|1/9||at Indianapolis Colts (AFC WILD CARD)||24-49|
|9/15||at N.Y. Giants||41-23|
|10/6||at Dallas Cowboys||51-48|
|10/20||at Indianapolis Colts||33-39|
|11/10||at San Diego Chargers||28-20|
|11/17||Kansas City Chiefs||27-17|
|11/24||at New England Patriots||31-34|
|12/1||at Kansas City Chiefs||35-28|
|12/12||San Diego Chargers||20-27|
|12/22||at Houston Texans||37-13|
|12/29||at Oakland Raiders34-14||w|
|1/12||San Diego Chargers (AFC DIVISIONAL PLAYOFF)||24-17|
|1/19||New England Patriots (AFC CHAMPIONSHIP)||26-16|
|2/2||Seattle Seahawks (SUPER BOWL XLVIII)||8-43|
Broncos trade for Johnson
Charley Johnson will become a Ring of Famer and the first QB to leave Denver with a winning record as the starter.
Fourth Place, AFL West
First Place, AFC West
Fourth Place, AFC West
Second Place, AFC West
First Place, AFC West
Sept. 22, 1974: The Broncos and Steelers play in the first regular-season overtime game, neither team scored in the sudden death period ending in a 35-35 tie.
Armstrong sets single-game rushing mark
Denver assures itself of its second consecutive winning season, and Otis Armstrong sets a then-single-game rushing mark of 183 yards in a Broncos win, 37-14 over Houston.
Sept. 29, 1975: The Broncos defeat Green Bay, 23-13, for their first-ever win on Monday Night Football.
Second place, AFC West
Nov. 7, 1976: With two field goals and six extra points, Jim Turner becomes the fifth player in pro football history to surpass 1,200 points.
Denver sets franchise record for wins
The Broncos stop Chicago, 28-14, for their ninth win of the season, marking the highest total in Denver history.
Sept. 14, 1980: Denver defeats Dallas, 41-20 for the Broncos’ first-ever win over the Cowboys in regular-season or postseason play.
Feb. 1, 1987: Six Broncos play in the Pro Bowl—Keith Bishop, John Elway, Rulon Jones, Karl Mecklenburg, Dennis Smith and Sammy Winder.
Feb. 2, 1986: The Broncos are represented by four players in the Pro Bowl — Rulon Jones, Karl Mecklenburg, Dennis Smith and Louis Wright.