What are the best moments for each NFL franchise? Yahoo Sports provides our opinion, which you are free to disagree with (and we’re sure you will).
5. Broncos land John Elway
It was hard to leave the surprise 1977 AFC championship team or Terrell Davis going over 2,000 yards off the list, but the Broncos’ story revolves around John Elway. And thanks to some persistence by the team with the Baltimore Colts – and more specifically, Broncos owner Edgar Kaiser dealing with Colts owner Robert Irsay – the Broncos landed Elway in a post-draft trade that would change the franchise forever. Elway, picked No. 1 overall by the Colts in the ‘83 draft, didn’t want to play for Baltimore, so Denver sent them guard Chris Hinton, quarterback Mark Herrmann and a 1984 first-round pick for Elway, the uber-prospect from Stanford. Denver will never make a better trade.
4. John Elway goes out a winner
Much like Peyton Manning in Super Bowl 50, Elway finished a legendary career with a Super Bowl win. A dominant Super Bowl XXXIII performance by the Broncos ended with Elway getting Super Bowl MVP. He retired a few months later. You couldn’t write a better script.
3. Von Miller takes over
The worst of Peyton Manning’s four Broncos teams was the last one, in 2015. That’s the team that won a Super Bowl. Von Miller had perhaps the best day a defensive player has ever had in a Super Bowl to lead the way. The Carolina Panthers trailed by just six points with a little more than four minutes left when Miller stripped Cam Newton on a sack and Denver recovered. The Broncos scored the game-clinching touchdown after Miller’s big play and Super Bowl 50 was theirs.
2. The Drive
It might seem weird on the surface that a 98-yard drive in an AFC championship game – before the Broncos lost in the Super Bowl – would be ahead of two Super Bowl wins. But, aside from the helicopter run, nothing secured John Elway’s legend more than “The Drive” – and no player is more synonymous with a franchise than Elway is with the Broncos. Backed up at their 2-yard line, Elway led a fourth-quarter drive to tie the Browns in the AFC title game at the end of the 1986 season. Denver then won in overtime for the Broncos’ second Super Bowl berth.
1. The Helicopter Run
You could make a top-five list from just Super Bowl XXXII moments. Actually, it could probably be a top-25 list from that game. That upset win over the Green Bay Packers will be impossible for Denver to ever top. But the most indelible moment from that game, however, is John Elway’s “helicopter run.” On third-and-6 at Green Bay’s 12-yard line in the third quarter, Elway had to improvise. He took off, dove for the first down, was hit on the side and spun around. And when he landed, he had the first down. If you bring up the Broncos’ first Super Bowl win to a Denver fan, this will be the play they mention first.