|9/8||at Oakland Raiders||41-14|
|9/14||san diego chargers||39-38|
|9/21||new orleans saints||34-22|
|9/28||at kansas city chiefs||19-33|
|10/5||tampa bay buccaneers||16-13|
|10/20||at new england patriots||7-41|
|11/6||at cleveland browns||34-30|
|11/16||at atlanta falcons||24-20|
|11/30||at new york jets||34-17|
|12/7||kansas city chiefs||24-17|
|12/14||at carolina panthers||10-30|
|12/28||at san diego chargers||21-52|
THE END OF THE SHANAHAN ERA
Few coaches — even successful ones — last as long as Mike Shanahan did in Denver.
But after a three-game losing streak to knock the Broncos out of the playoffs for a third consecutive year, the sand in Shanahan’s hourglass finally ran out.
The dismissal followed an 8-8 season that saw an elite offense negated by a defense that was 29th in yardage allowed per game, 31st in yardage allowed per play and surrendered more points than any Broncos team since 1963.
But the defense gave up 30 or more points nine times, including three in a row to close the season when the Broncos needed to win just one game to claim the AFC West crown. Instead, they fell 30-10 at Carolina, 30-23 to a Buffalo team that had lost seven of its last eight games, and finally 52-21 at San Diego to send the Chargers to the playoffs and the Broncos home for the winter.
Two days later, Owner Pat Bowlen called Shanahan into his office and dismissed the Broncos’ winningest head coach.
“I just felt that it was time for change,” Bowlen explained a day after the decision. “Twenty-one years of being at one organization and fourteen years as head coach is about long enough.”
Weeks later, Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels was introduced as the Broncos’ next head coach.