Throwback Thursday: The Denver Broncos Go Back-To-Back at Super Bowl XXXIII
Football is known as a game filled with parity. Teams rise and fall at the drop of a hat. Which makes the Denver Broncos repeating as Super Bowl champions that much more impressive.
At the conclusion of the 1998 NFL season, the Denver Broncos sported a 14-2 regular season record, as did their Super Bowl counterpart, the Atlanta Falcons. The Broncos steamrolled much of the competition during the regular season, going 13-0 before finally losing a game. 15-year veteran John Elway and stud running back Terrell Davis helped lead the Broncos offense which ranked second in points and third in total offense. Davis had one of the best seasons for a running back in NFL history, rushing for over 2,000 yards and scoring 23 touchdowns to earn the Most Valuable Player and NFL Offensive Player of the Year award. The team also boasted potent pass catchers with both Ed McCaffery and Rod Smith going for over 1,000 yards receiving along with tight end Shannon Sharpe amassing nearly 800 receiving yards to go with 10 touchdowns.
The Atlanta Falcons also featured a prolific offensive attack led by Chris Chandler at quarterback, Tony Martin and Terrance Mathis at WR and feature back Jamal Anderson. The team seemingly came out of nowhere as the Falcons had finished at 7-9 the previous season and 3-13 the season before that. Super Bowl XXXIII would be the Falcons first Super Bowl appearance in franchise history.
The Broncos would jump out to a 17-3 lead which would eventually become a 31-6 lead in the fourth quarter. The Broncos proved to be too much for the Falcons to overcome. Elway would be the oldest player to win the Super Bowl MVP award (eventually surpassed by the ageless wonder Tom Brady), including one of the more memorable images in Super Bowl history. As Elway scored on a rushing touchdown, offensive lineman Mark Schlereth was on the ground next to Elway in the end zone. The Broncos quarterback could be seen visibly smiling with his teammate, knowing that the Broncos were on the verge of completing back-to-back Super Bowl winning seasons.