The Denver Broncos are based in Denver, Colorado. They play in the West Division of the American Football Conference (AFC) and were established in 1960 as part of the Western Division of the American Football League (AFL). In 1970, they joined the NFL when the NFL and AFL merged. They have been in the AFC West since they entered the NFL.
In 1960, the Broncos beat the Boston Patriots 13-10 in the first AFL Championship game. Denver won another AFL Championship and the Super Bowl twice. They won 10 AFC West Championships (1977, 1978, 1984, 1986, 1987, 1989, 1991, 1996, 1998 and 2005) and six AFC Championships (1977, 1986, 1987, 1989, 1997 and 1998).
The Denver Bronco defense was know as the “Orange Crush” from 1977-1979 and their offense was called the “Elway Attack” when future Hall of Fame quarterback John Elway led the team. The team played at Mile High Stadium from 1960 to 2000. In 2001, they began calling INVESCO Field at Mile High home. The Broncos have two mascots—Thunder II (a real horse) and Miles (a person in a costume).
In two successive seasons, the Broncos, led by John Elway won the Super Bowl. In 1997, after getting into the post-season as a Wild Card team, they beat the Green Bay Packers 31-24 in Super Bowl XXXII and in 1998 they dominated the Atlanta Falcons 34-19, winning Super Bowl XXXIII. The club has not made the playoffs in the past two seasons.
The Denver Broncos have had two players inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame under the franchise name. Quarterback John Elway (1983-1998) entered in 2004 and offensive tackle Gary Zimmerman (1984-1985 Los Angeles Express; 1986-1992 Minnesota Vikings and 1993-1997 Broncos) was elected in 2008.
Elway, who was the first pick in the 1983 NFL Draft, was a master leader on the field and in the locker room. He passed for 51,475-yards and earned a rating of 79.9. He tossed the ball into the end zone 300 times while throwing 226 interceptions. He was the 1987 NFL MVP, the Super Bowl XXXIII MVP and a member of the NFL 1990s All-Decade team. An All-Pro five times and Pro Bowl selection nine, Elway was one of the most respected quarterbacks of his generation.
Zimmerman, who played in and started 184 games, was selected to both the NFL 1980s and 1990s All-Decade Teams. He was a nine-time All-Pro and seven-time Pro Bowler. At offensive tackle, he made four fumble recoveries.
The team has been coached by Mike Shanahan since 1995. Prior to becoming the head coach of Denver, Shanahan was with the team two prior times, from 1984 to 1987 as offensive coordinator and then as quarterback coach and from 1989 to 1991 again as quarterback coach. Pat Bowlen owns the team and serves as President and Chief Executive Officer. He purchased the franchise from Edgar F. Kaiser in 1984, saving it from potential bankruptcy.