With three Super Bowl championships, as well as an additional five Super Bowl appearances, the Denver Broncos rank as one of the most successful franchises in the history of the National Football League (NFL). The Broncos joined the American Football League (AFL) in 1960, shortly before the start of the Super Bowl era. In 1977 the team made its first Super Bowl run, which concluded with a 27-10 defeat to the Dallas Cowboys.
Denver, in fact, struggled in several early Super Bowl appearances, losing in 1986, 1987, and 1989 for an 0-4 record in championship games. The franchise began to reverse its fortunes seven years later, winning 13 regular season games in 1996 under the leadership of quarterback John Elway. Elway continued to elevate the Broncos, leading the team to a 31-24 victory over the Green Bay Packers in Super Bowl XXXII and a convincing 34-19 win against the Atlanta Falcons the following season, making the Broncos one of the few teams to successfully defend an NFL championship.
The Broncos have enjoyed additional Super Bowl success in recent seasons. The team contested its seventh Super Bowl following the 2013 season, falling to the Seattle Seahawks in an ugly 43-8 loss. The defeat did not linger long, however, with Denver returning to the Super Bowl two seasons later, this time clipping the Carolina Panthers, 24-10, for the franchise’s third championship trophy.