The Broncos began play in 1960 as a charter member of the American Football League (AFL), later joining the NFL as part of the 1970 AFL–NFL merger. The franchise has won three Super Bowls, first beating the Green Bay Packers at Super Bowl XXXII during the 1997 season, beating the Atlanta Falcons the next year at Super Bowl XXXIII, and beating the Carolina Panthers in Super Bowl 50. They have also won eight AFC Championships.
Out of five Super Bowl games, the Broncos are the only team to defeat the Packers in the big game. Since they first played each other in 1971, the teams have played each other on 15 occasions, with the all-time series tied, 7–7–1.
The Denver Broncos were founded on August 14, 1959, when minor league baseball owner Bob Howsam was awarded an American Football League (AFL) charter franchise. The Broncos received their nickname through a fan contest held in 1960.
The Denver Broncos celebrated their first Super Bowl championship during the 1997 season at the expense of the Green Bay Packers repeating as champions from the previous season. Behind quarterback John Elway and running back Terrell Davis, the Broncos made the playoffs as a 13–3 wildcard team. In the playoffs, Denver crushed the Jacksonville Jaguars at home (avenging their upset loss in the divisional round from the year before), then went on the road to defeat the Kansas City Chiefs and Pittsburgh Steelers.
At Super Bowl XXXII against the Packers, Terrell Davis' three rushing touchdowns set a Super Bowl record, with the final score proving to be Green Bay's only Super Bowl defeat to date. Packers quarterback Brett Favre had tied the game at 24-24 after throwing a 13-yard touchdown pass to Antonio Freeman early in the fourth quarter, but the Broncos would take the lead with 1:45 remaining, and would not relinquish it. Denver became the first AFC team to win the Super Bowl in 14 years. Davis was named Super Bowl MVP, carrying the ball 30 times for 157 yards and three touchdowns while catching 2 passes for 8 yards. His performance was also memorable due to the fact that he suffered from a migraine and sat out the second quarter.
Behind the NFL MVP season of running back Terrell Davis, the Broncos won their first 13 games of the season, finishing the regular season with an AFC-best 14–2 record and clinching the AFC West title. They won their divisional playoff game against the Miami Dolphins 38-3, then won the AFC Championship Game over the New York Jets, 23-10.
The Broncos defeated the Atlanta Falcons in Super Bowl XXXIII, 34–19. Playing in what would be his final game, John Elway came up big, throwing for 18 of 29 passing for 336 yards plus two touchdowns (one passing and one rushing). Elway was named the Super Bowl MVP. Terrell Davis rushed for 102 yards, fullback Howard Griffith had two short touchdown runs, and cornerback Darien Gordon ended back-to-back Falcons drives with a pair of interceptions.
Behind their defense, the Broncos went 12-4 clinching the AFC West title. They won their divisional playoff game against the Pittsburgh Steelers 23–16, then won the AFC Championship Game over the defending champion New England Patriots, 20-18.
The Broncos defeated the Carolina Panthers in Super Bowl 50, 24-10. The defense sacked Cam Newton seven times, 2.5 coming from Super Bowl MVP Von Miller, who forced 2 fumbles which led to both of the Broncos touchdowns. It was also the final game of Peyton Manning's career.