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Mile High Morning: Revisiting the 1998 Broncos' win over Washington ahead of 25th anniversary celebration


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This weekend, the Broncos are celebrating the 25th anniversary of their Super Bowl XXXIII team, which put Denver in rarified air as the sixth franchise to win back-to-back Super Bowls. While the Broncos' dominant performance against the Falcons in San Diego clinched the title, Denver put the league on notice all season long. The Broncos surpassed 500 points scored, featured the league's MVP in running back Terrell Davis and earned the first 13-0 start in franchise history — still the best start by an astounding six-game margin.

One of those 13 wins came in Week 4 against this week's opponent, the Washington Commanders. Denver's resounding 38-16 win exemplified key aspects of what made that 1998 team special.

The Broncos entered their away game at Jack Kent Cooke Stadium in Washington, D.C., shorthanded after quarterback and eventual Super Bowl XXXIII MVP John Elway exited the previous week's game against the Raiders with a right hamstring injury. Backup quarterback Bubby Brister took Elway's place under center and helped the offense race out to scoring drives in the Broncos' first two possessions, including Brister's 19-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Ed McCaffrey on Denver's opening drive.

Along with the offense's resilience, the defense's playmaking ability was on display.

After the Broncos took a 10-0 lead, defensive back Darrien Gordon intercepted Washington quarterback Trent Green and returned the pick 55 yards for a touchdown. The pick-six was one of Gordon's team-high four interceptions during the season and one of 19 interceptions by Denver's opportunistic defense, tied for 10th in the league.

In the second half, Davis took control and added to his already impressive campaign with a third-consecutive 100-yard rushing game. Davis broke the game open with a 42-yard touchdown rumble on the Broncos' fourth play from scrimmage in the second half, and the Broncos never looked back. The eventual regular-season MVP finished the game with 119 rushing yards and a score on 21 carries, igniting the Denver offense and setting the stage for his historic year.

The Broncos extended their lead to four touchdowns by the fourth quarter and eventually sealed a 38-16 victory, improving to 4-0 for the fourth time in franchise history.

Click here to learn more about the Super Bowl XXXIII team and its upcoming celebration.

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