The 20 biggest what-ifs in Denver Broncos history

  • Blockbuster trade for Calvin Johnson?
  • Missing out on Kyle Shanahan
  • Steve Young the Denver Broncos QB?

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2. What if Terrell Davis never got hurt?

The age-old question. What if Terrell Davis never got hurt?

This isn't just one of the biggest what-if questions in Denver Broncos history, but NFL history in general. Terrell Davis suffering a knee injury in the 1999 season is one of the worst things to happen to the game in an era where Davis' game was tailor-made for dominance.

In 1998, Terrell Davis ran for a whopping 2,008 yards in the regular season, somehow averaging 5.1 yards per carry on an astounding 392 rushing attempts. He added 468 rushing yards in the team's three playoff games last year, totaling 2,476 rushing yards in 19 games with 24 rushing touchdowns and two receiving touchdowns. He racked up 2,762 yards from scrimmage in those 19 games, winning NFL MVP, offensive player of the year, and being named to the Pro Bowl and first-team All-Pro.

His string of dominance from 1995-98 was so impressive that, despite playing in just 78 career regular season games, Davis is in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

He accomplished more than most NFL players will ever dream of, winning multiple Super Bowls, being named league MVP and Super Bowl MVP, making it to the Pro Bowl multiple times, and being named All-Pro three times.

But that knee injury.

Although Davis did play again after that knee injury, he wasn't able to return to being the same guy we'd seen in 1998. He did average a solid 87.6 yards per game in 2001, his final season in the NFL, but he retired after that season for good.

Thinking about what could have been had Davis not suffered that knee injury is painful for everyone in Broncos Country. This was an era of NFL football completely dominated by running backs. As the game evolved, so would Davis's game. His injury paved the way for a wide variety of Broncos backs to etch their place in history, but I think everyone would have been just fine with more Mile High salutes from no. 30 in the years that followed 1998.