The Broncos will return to Empower Field at Mile High on Sunday for their matchup with the Washington Commanders. They'll have some company, too, in some of the best players in franchise history.
During the Week 2 game, Denver will commemorate the 25th anniversary of its Super Bowl XXXIII team and celebrate the career of recently inducted Pro Football Hall of Famer DeMarcus Ware, who played a crucial role in the Broncos' Super Bowl 50 win to cap off the 2015 season. The festivities will be a part of Denver’s annual Alumni Weekend.
"One of our key priorities is to deepen relationships with alumni and better connect with not only Ring of Famers but all former players, coaches and administrators," Broncos Owner & CEO Greg Penner said during the offseason. "This year, we're thrilled to celebrate the 25th anniversary of our Super Bowl XXXIII team as well as newest Pro Football Hall of Famer DeMarcus Ware to highlight Alumni Weekend."
One year after celebrating the 25th anniversary of the Super Bowl XXXII champions, the Broncos will turn their attention to the team that ran it back and earned the franchise's second Super Bowl title, the 1998 Broncos. In the 25 years since, only one other team, the New England Patriots, has replicated the feat of back-to-back Super Bowls.
Running back Terrell Davis and quarterback John Elway powered the NFL's best offense, while the defense maintained its reputation as a top-notch unit. Davis rushed for more than 2,000 yards and won MVP honors, and the Denver offense scored more than 500 points, the highest total in the AFC.
After dominating the regular season with a 14-2 record, the Broncos rolled through a challenging playoff field. Denver punched its ticket to the Super Bowl with a 38-3 rout of the Dolphins and a 23-10 win over the Jets, then outclassed the Atlanta Falcons in a 34-19 victory in Super Bowl XXXIII. Elway was named Super Bowl MVP in the final game of his prolific 16-year career.
Ware, a key member of the Super Bowl 50 team, will also be part of the celebration for Alumni Weekend. The Troy product spent the final three seasons of his 12-year career with the Broncos and recorded two sacks in Super Bowl 50. With 138.5 career sacks, Ware was one of his generation's top pass rushers, and he became an impactful veteran presence on Denver's third Super Bowl team.
"I always think about the motto that we had: Iron sharpens iron, and another man sharpens another," Ware told NBC’s Melissa Stark during this year's Hall of Fame Game. "Playing with Peyton [Manning], playing with Demaryius [Thomas], playing with Von Miller and having a total team atmosphere that whole time that I played up there in Broncos Country, because it changed my life."