Jan 25, 1998; San Diego, CA, USA; FILE PHOTO; Denver Broncos running back Terrell Davis (30) on the field as quarterback John Elway (7) rolls out of the pocket under pressure from Green Bay Packers defensive players Reggie White (92) and Brian Williams (51) during Super Bowl XXXII at Qualcomm Stadium. The Broncos defeated the Packers 31-24. Mandatory Credit: Peter Brouillet-USA TODAY Sports
The Denver Broncos and Green Bay Packers square off under the Sunday Night lights this weekend. It will be a matchup against two undefeated teams. There is no denying that Broncos fans have been waiting for quite some time for Sunday Night.
Normally, I do a segment that covers the five best wins against the team the Broncos will be squaring off against. And while the Broncos and Packers are tied in the series all time 6-6-1, there is only one moment that is worthy of this segment. And I am pretty sure you all know which one it is.
On January 25th, 1998, the Broncos and Packers squared off at Qualcomm Stadium for Super Bowl 32. It marked the return to the Super Bowl for the Packers, who beat New England one year earlier in Super Bowl 31. For the Broncos, they were hoping to win the franchise’s first Super Bowl after missing out on the opportunity in their first four chances.
John Elway was 37 years old and nearing the end of his career. He was looking for the one thing that had alluded him in his entire career. That was hoisting the Lombardi Trophy as a world champion. His team entered the Super Bowl as 11 point underdogs. How would this game play out? Let us dive right into it.
The Packers got on the board first with Brett Farve connecting with Antonio Freeman on a 22 yard strike to make it 7-0 Packers. However, the Broncos would gain the upper hand as they scored 17 unanswered points to make the score 17-7 in the second quarter.
Terrell Davis suffered from a migraine during the second quarter and could not see all that well. However, he was a huge part in giving the Broncos the lead in the game when he played part in a play action that led to a Elway bootleg touchdown.
The Packers would bring the game close towards the end of the first half when Brett Farve threw his second touchdown of the game, this time to Mark Chmura. The score was 17-14 Broncos at the half. The Broncos were only 30 minutes away from a championship. But the Packers were the defending Super Bowl champs for a reason.
In the third, Ryan Longwell connected on his only attempt of the game with a 27 yard field goal that tied the game at 17 each. Davis returned from his migraine spells and helped the Broncos in a second half rushing attack.
Perhaps the most iconic moment in Broncos history happened during the 17-17 tie. Facing a third and six from the Green Bay 12 yard line, Elway would scramble and launch himself towards the first down marker. As he did so, the Packers defense hit him in mid air and he spun like a helicopter blade, giving him a few more yards. The play set up the Broncos at the four yard line.
Jan 25, 1998; San Diego, CA, USA; FILE PHOTO; Denver Broncos running back Terrell Davis (30) carries the ball past Green Bay Packers linebacker Bernardo Harris (55) and defensive tackle Santana Dotson (71) during Super Bowl XXXII at Qualcomm Stadium. The Broncos defeated the Packers 31-24. Mandatory Credit: Peter Brouillet-USA TODAY Sports
Davis would punch it in from one yard out to give the Broncos a 24-17 lead going into the fourth quarter. The Packers would tie the game with Farve’s third touchdown pass of the game and his second connection with Freeman in the game.
But Elway was not to be denied as he orchestrated a drive that led with Davis’ third rushing touchdown of the game, which stands as a Super Bowl record. The touchdown gave the Broncos a 31-24 lead with 1:45 left in the game. In order for Elway to win his first ring, the defense would have to stand tall for one more drive.
On a fourth down at the Denver 31 yard line, Farve attempted to connect with Chmura for the first down, but it was broken up by linebacker John Mobley. The entire Broncos sideline went crazy as the Packers turned the ball over on downs. Elway would take one final knee to secure the Super Bowl 32 victory.
This game means a lot to me because it was the first football game that I ever saw. It turned an eight year old into a Broncos fan for life. I will never forget this game. As I state in my bio here at Predominantly Orange, the rest is history.
I will also never forget the famous words that Pat Bowlen said at the trophy presentation.
“This One’s For John!”