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NFLCareer


1983-84:

Elway's rookie season.  He was the first player chosen in the 1983 draft and joined the Broncos by trade with Baltimore on May 2.  Elway started just 10 games and finished 17th among AFC passers.

 

1984-85:

Elway led the Broncos to a 12-2 record in his 14 regular-season starts. He completed 214 of 380 passes for 2,598 yards, with 18 TDs and 15 interceptions.  He also finished third on the team in rushing with 237 yards.

 

1985-86: 

Elway set Broncos single-season records for attempts (605, which led the NFL and fell just four passes short of the NFL record of 609 held by Dan Fouts), completions (327, second in the NFL), passing yards (3,891, second in the NFL), total rushing and passing plays (656, first in the NFL), and total offense (4,414, also first in the league).

 

1986-87: 

Elway led the Broncos to their first AFC Championship in nine seasons while earning his first Pro Bowl appearance.   He was honored with the Seattle Gold Helmet Award (Professional Football Player of the Year) and received the King of the Hill award from the Colorado Sports Hall of Fame. He was also named honorable mention All-NFL (AP) and All-AFC (UPl-second team).   During the champion ship game, Elway directed the greatest drive in NFL postseason history.  He completed 22 of 38 passes for 244 yards and a TD, that coming on a five-yard strike to Mark Jackson that capped a 15-play, 98-yard drive that tied the game at the end of regulation.  In overtime, Elway drove the team 60 yards in nine plays to the winning field goal.  In Super Bowl XXI, Elway completed 22 of 37 passes for 304 yards and a TD, also scoring on a four-yard run.

 

1987-88: 

Elway was named the NFL's MVP (AP) and the AFC's starting quarterback in the Pro Bowl after turning in a tremendous season, one in which he became the first AFC quarterback since Terry Bradshaw to lead his team to consecutive conference crowns.  Elway was named All-NFL (The Sporting News, NEA, AP-second team) and All-AFC (UPI, Pro Football Weekly, The Football News), in addition to being tabbed as the AFC MVP (NFLPA), AFC Player of the Year (The Football News), and Colorado Pro Athlete of the Year (Colorado Sports Hall of Fame).  In the AFC Championship Game against the Browns, Elway completed 14 of the 26 passes for 281 yards and three TDs, while also rushing 11 times for 36 yards. In Super Bowl XXII, he completed 14 of 38 passes for 257 yards, ran for 32 yards on three carries, and became the first quarterback in Super Bowl history to catch a pass, a 23-yarder from Steve Sewell.   Elway's 56-yard scoring strike to Ricky Nattiel on Denver's first play from scrimmage provided the earliest TD in Super Bowl history (elapsed time of 1:57). He was voted the Broncos' offensive MVP for a regular-season performance in which he completed 224 of 410 passes for 3,198 yards and 19 TDs.

 

1988-89: 

Elway threw for 3,309 yards and rushed for 234 yards despite being bothered for most of the season by several nagging injuries.  He was voted by teammates as Denver's most valuable offensive player for the fourth straight year (sharing the award with running back Sammy Winder) following a campaign in which he completed 274 of 496 passes, with 17 touchdowns and 19 interceptions.

 

1989-90: 

Elway led Denver to its third AFC Championship in four years.  He completed 223 of 416 passes for 3,051 yards, with 18 touchdowns and 18 interceptions, and he rushed for 244 yards on 48 carries, scoring three times. He had one of the best performances of his career in the AFC Championship Game against Cleveland, totaling over 300 yards total offense for the third time in a conference title game. He completed 20 of 36 passes for 385 yards and three TDs. In Super Bowl XXIV, he completed 10 of 26 passes for 108 yards and scored Denver's only TD of the game on a three-yard run.

 

1990-91: 

Elway completed 294 of 502 passes for 3,526 yards, 15 touchdowns, and 14 interceptions.  He gained 258 yards on 50 rushing attempts and scored three touchdowns on the ground.  Elway and Vance Johnson combined on Denver's most memorable play of the season when on fourth-and-10 against Kansas City they connected on a 49-yard pass that set up a last-second, game-winning field goal.

 

1991-92: 

Elway completed 242 of 351 passes for 3,253 yards.  He threw 12 touchdown passes and tied a career low with just 12 interceptions.  Elway was third on the team with 258 yards rushing, and his six TDs led the team and set a new career single-season high.  He was bothered throughout the second half of the season by a shoulder problem that was corrected by arthroscopic surgery in the 1992 offseason.

 

1992-93: 

Elway completed 174 of 316 passes for 2,242 yards, with 10 touchdowns and 17 interceptions.  He gained 94 yards and scored twice on 34 rushing attempts.  He missed games 11 through 14 because of a bruised tendon in his right shoulder, suffered while running for a first down against the Giants in November.  Elway earned two AFC Offensive Player of the Week honors.   Against the Jets in November, he threw an 80-yard touchdown pass to Arthur Marshall, his longest regular-season TD pass yet.

 

1993-94: 

Elway was named AFC Most Valuable Player (NFL Players Association), AFC Offensive Player of the Year (UPI, and the Kansas City 101 Club), and AFC Player of the Year (Football News). He was the starting quarterback in the Pro Bowl after a regular season that saw him lead the AFC in all six major quarterback stats categories.  Elway's 1993 stats and rankings included a 92.8 rating (first in the AFC, third in the NFL), 551 attempts (first in the NFL), 348 completions (first in the NFL), a 63.2 completion percentage (first in the AFC), 25 TD passes (first in the AFC), and 4,030 yards (first in the AFC).  Elway's 1.8 interception avoidance percentage stands as the best in Denver history for any quarterback with more than 75 single-season attempts. He set new personal and Denver records for total yards offensively, completions, passing yards, TD passes and completion percentage.   The season was also Elway's first 4,000-yarder and his eighth 3,000-yarder.   Elway was named the AFC Offensive Player of the Week twice and was named by his teammates as Denver's offensive MVP.

 

1994-95: 

Elway earned his fourth AFC Pro Bowl appearance, showing all the skills that mark him as an all-time great despite a very disappointing season for the Broncos.  He missed two of the last three games of the season due to a strained left knee.  He finished the season second in the AFC and fourth in the NFL in passer rating ( 85.7), and his other season stats and rankings show 3,490 yards on 494 attempts and 307 completions, with a 2.0 interception percentage, all figures ranking third in the AFC.  His 62.1 completion percentage was second in the AFC and sixth overall.

 

1995-96: 

Elway completed 316 of 542 passes for 3,970 yards and a career-best 26 touchdowns and 14 interceptions.  He threw for more than 300 yards on five occasions, also a career best.  He also rushed 40 times for 179 yards and one touchdown, with a long of 15.  He led the AFC in passing yards, and finished third in both completions and pass attempts.  Also, his fourth-quarter passer rating of 95.2 ranked third in the AFC and fifth in the NFL.  Elway moved into third on the NFL's all-time total offense list, surpassing Dan Fouts (43,516) when when his 309 total yards against Jacksonville raised his career total to 43,800.

 

1996-97: 

Elway earned his fifth Pro Bowl selection as he started 15 regular-season games and passed for 3,328 yards and 26 touchdowns, which tied a career high and franchise record set the year before.  Elway led the AFC in quarterback rating, was second in completion percentage, third in touchdown passes and fifth in passing yardage, completions, and attempts.  His start at Seattle in September marked the 192nd game he has played in his career -- the most by any player in Broncos franchise history, surpassing Tom Jackson who played in 191 games from 1973-86. Elway was named AFC Offensive Player of the Month for October, a period in which he surpassed the 3,000-yard career rushing mark with a then-career-high 62 yards against Kansas City, joining Fran Tarkenton as the only quarterbacks in NFL history to throw for more than 40,000 yards and rush for more than 3,000 in a career.  He also went over the 3,000-yard passing mark against the Seahawks, marking the 11th time in his career that he has accomplished this feat.  With Denver's 24-19 win over the Raiders, Elway also surpassed Tarkenton as the winningest starting quarterback in NFL history. During the 1997 offseason, Elway had surgery on his right shoulder.  The Broncos were favored to go to the Super Bowl, but lost in a dissapointing playoff game against Jacksonville.

 

1997-98:  

Elway enjoyed yet another spectacular season. He was the recipient of the NFL Players Association Mackey Award as the top quarterback in the AFC. He helped Denver lead the NFL in total offense for the second straight season and in scoring offense for the 1997-98 postseason.  Elway's postseason performance elevated him to the upper echelon of the all-time NFL playoff passing charts, leaving him second behind Joe Montana in passing yards (4,273) and attempts (565), third behind Montana and Jim Kelly in completions (310) and tied for fourth with Roger Staubach in touchdown passes (24).  In the playoffs, he also increased his NFL-record number of career fourth-quarter game-winning or game-tying drives to 45, with fourth-quarter wins at Kansas City in the AFC divisional playoffs and in Super Bowl XXXII where Denver's 31-24 victory over Green Bay gave Elway his first championship.

 

1998-99:  

Elway led Denver to 13-0 start, tying for second-best in league history.  During week 12, he joined Dan Marino as the only passers to throw for more than 50,000 yards in a career.  He then threw four touchdowns passes the following week to move into third place on the all-time TD pass list.  A sellout Mile High crowd saluted Elway after Denver's 23-10 AFC Championship win over the New York Jets.  Elway became the first quarterback to start in five Super Bowls. The future Hall of Famer put on a Super Bowl MVP performance in a 34-19 victory over the Atlanta Falcons, completing 18 of 29 passes for 336 yards and a touchdown.  It was his 36th career 300-yard passing day.  He also scored on a three-yard run to put the game out of reach in the third quarter.  Elway made his final game one of his best as he went out on top, MVP of the Super Bowl. Elway threw a touchdown pass in the Pro Bowl on the last play of his career.