Pro Football Teams


Denver Broncos:

Broncos add two champs with Lynch and Bailey

The Denver Broncos are a franchise that can be epitomized in two words - John Elway. The NFL Hall of Fame quarterback was one of the guys that was in the same class as Dan Marino and Charles Barkley where they were incredible players but never got the ring that would’ve made their careers complete. Elway was stuck in that crowd until the 1997 season. In 1997 the team finished the regular season with a 12-4 record that got them second in the division and a playoff berth, their 12 th in franchise history. In the first round of the playoffs the Broncos matched up with the Jacksonville Jaguars who had beaten the Broncos in the playoff a year earlier. The Broncos blasted the Jags out of the playoffs with a score of 42-17. In the second round the Kansas City Chiefs who had split the two games with the Broncos during the regular season but still won the AFC West. The Broncos barely got by the Chiefs in front of the hostile Kansas City crowd by a score of 14-10. The only thing that was standing between a Super Bowl appearance and the Denver Broncos were the Pittsburgh Steelers who were the other Wild Card team to make it into the playoffs from the AFC that year. The Broncos pulled off another barnburner where they just slipped past the Steelers by a score of 24-21. In the Super Bowl the Broncos had to face the defending Super Bowl champion Green Bay Packers who were led by a Hall of Fame quarterback of their own, Brett Favre. The game was back and fourth all night and then the quarterback that could, John Elway sparked his team to victory. In the third quarter, with the score tied at 17-17, on a 3 rd and six play Elway couldn’t find a receiver so he scrambled to his right and saw some running room. Elway then flung his body in the air and is hit by LeRoy Butler and then hit from the other side by Mark Prior and helicopters his way past the first down marker. Elway then got up and started pumping his fist where a lesser man would’ve taken a play or two off. After that play the Broncos scored and never looked back winning the game 31-24. The Broncos won their first Super Bowl ever and would win the next years Super Bowl where Elway would be named the MVP and retire on top the way every great athlete should retire.

Last season the Broncos reached the playoffs for only the second time since Elway had retired. They did that by accumulating 10 wins and only six losses. In the first round of the playoffs the Broncos faced off against the Indianapolis Colts who were led by NFL co-MVP Peyton Manning. Manning proceeded to carve the Broncos defense apart like a Thanksgiving turkey passing for 377 yards and 5 touchdowns to seal the Broncos fate for the 2003 season.

In the off-season the Broncos knew that they needed to make changes to avoid being assualted through the air, so they changed the face of their team through just one trade. The Broncos traded away All-Pro running back Clinton Portis for Redskins cornerback Champ Bailey. The 2004 Broncos will have exciting upgrades at several key positions, helping to increase Broncos ticket sales and to keep fans happy and into the games. The Broncos let go of key players like linebacker Ian Gold, The team also lost wide receiver Ed McCaffrey and tight end Shannon Sharpe who both decided to retire. Sharpe is regarded as one of, if not the, greatest tight end of all time. The team did make some big moves in what seems an all or bust year for the Broncos. They picked up strong safety John Lynch, who had won a Super Bowl with Tampa Bay, and defensive tackle Luther Elliss.

In the draft the Broncos filled some holes that needed to be filled due to off-season moves are retirements. With their first round pick the Broncos drafted Miami linebacker D.J. Williams and with their second round pick that they got from Washington the Broncos picked up Oklahoma State tailback Tatum Bell.

On the offensive side of the ball the Broncos are going to need a running back, quarterback Jake Plummer and wide receiver Ashley Lelie to step up and have a big year. The Broncos will also need Plummer and number one receiver Rod Smith to stay healthy all year to keep their playoff hopes afloat.

On the defensive side of the ball the Broncos made a number of upgrades. Champ Bailey gives them a shut down cornerback that every Super Bowl winning team has had in the past decade and John Lynch is a future Hall of Famer that will bring some veteran leadership to the defense and will play with everything he has left night in and night out.


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