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1983 Denver Broncos season
Head coach Dan Reeves
General manager Hein Poulus
Owner Edgar Kaiser
Home field Mile High Stadium
Results
Record 9–7
Division place 3rd AFC West
Playoff finish Lost AFC Wild Card Playoff (at Seahawks) 7-31
Uniform
Broncos 1968-96 uniforms.png

The 1983 Denver Broncos season was its 24th in professional football and 14th in the National Football League (NFL). The team finished the year with nine wins and seven losses, giving them 3rd place in the AFC West and their first playoff berth in four seasons. It was the third season under head coach Dan Reeves.

Before the season, the Broncos traded with the Baltimore Colts for the rights to first overall pick in the 1983 draft, quarterback John Elway. He started ten games for the Broncos as a rookie, and the team won four of them.[1] In his first two starts, both road wins, Elway left the game trailing, relieved by veteran Steve DeBerg.[2][3]

After three straight losses, Elway was benched by Reeves in early October;[4] and DeBerg led the team to four consecutive victories and a 6–3 record. A shoulder injury in a loss in Seattle sidelined him and Elway again became the starter.[5][6] In the rematch with Seattle two weeks later in Denver, Elway was out with the flu and third-string rookie Gary Kubiak led the Broncos to a win.[7][8]

Elway's finest game as a rookie came in Week 15, the Broncos' second game against Baltimore, the team that drafted him. Denver trailed 19–0 at the start of the fourth quarter, until Elway threw for three touchdowns in the final period to win 21–19 and kept their playoff hopes alive.[9][10] The following week was a lopsided road loss at Kansas City in −30 °F (−34 °C) wind chill, but the Broncos made the playoffs, gaining the final AFC berth over Cleveland, also at 9–7, whom they defeated in Week 14.[11]

DeBerg started the wild card playoff loss in Seattle,[8][12] and was relieved by Elway in the fourth quarter.[13]

The Broncos' wild-card playoff loss to the Seahawks marked the team's only playoff appearance during the tenure of the team's then-owner Edgar Kaiser Jr.. Pat Bowlen bought the team from Kaiser in the offseason.

NFL Draft[edit]

1983 Denver Broncos draft
Round Pick Player Position College Notes
1 4 Chris Hinton  Guard Northwestern traded to the Baltimore Colts along with Quarterback Mark Herrmann and the Bronco's first round pick in the 1984 NFL Draft for John Elway
2 31 Mark Cooper  Tackle Miami (FL) 1983-1987 (5 seasons) then Tampa Bay from 1987-1989
3 60 Clint Sampson  Wide Receiver San Diego State 1983-1986 (4 seasons)
5 116 George "Weedy" Harris  Linebacker Houston
5 125 Bruce Baldwin  Defensive Back Harding
6 143 Victor Heflin  Defensive Back Delaware State not signed by the Broncos, but went on to play for the St. Louis Rams from 1983-1984
7 172 Myron Dupree  Defensive Back North Carolina Central 1983
8 197 Gary Kubiak  Quarterback Texas A&M 1983-1991 (9 seasons)
9 228 Brian Hawkins  Defensive Back San Jose State
10 254 Walt Bowyer  Defensive End Arizona State 1983-1984, 1987-1988 (4 seasons)
11 283 Don Bailey  Center Miami (FL) not signed by the Broncos, but went on to play for the Indianapolis Colts from 1984-1985
12 310 Karl Mecklenburg *  Linebacker Minnesota 1983-1994 (12 seasons), 6x Pro Bowl, 4x First Team All-Pro, Denver Broncos Ring of Fame
1983 Baltimore Colts draft
Round Pick Player Position College Notes
1 1 John Elway *   Quarterback Stanford traded to the Broncos by the Colts, 1983-1998 (16 seasons), HoF, 2x Super Bowl Champion, Super Bowl MVP, NFL MVP, 9x Pro Bowl, 3x All-Pro
      Made roster    †   Pro Football Hall of Fame    *   Made at least one Pro Bowl during career

[14]

Personnel[edit]

Staff[edit]

1983 Denver Broncos staff
Front office

Head coaches

Offensive coaches

Defensive coaches

Special teams coaches

Strength and conditioning

Source:[15]

Roster[edit]

1983 Denver Broncos roster
Quarterbacks

Running backs

Wide receivers

Tight ends

Offensive linemen

Defensive linemen

Linebackers

Defensive backs

Special teams


Rookies in italics

Regular season[edit]

Schedule[edit]

Week Date Opponent Result Game site Record Attendance
1 September 4 at Pittsburgh Steelers W 14–10 Three Rivers Stadium 1–0
58,233
2 September 11 at Baltimore Colts W 17–10 Memorial Stadium 2–0
52,613
3 September 18 Philadelphia Eagles L 10–13 Mile High Stadium 2–1
74,202
4 September 25 Los Angeles Raiders L 7–22 Mile High Stadium 2–2
74,289
5 October 2 at Chicago Bears L 14–31 Soldier Field 2–3
58,210
6 October 9 at Houston Oilers W 26–14 Astrodome 3–3
44,209
7 October 16 Cincinnati Bengals W 24–17 Mile High Stadium 4–3
74,305
8 October 23 San Diego Chargers W 14–6 Mile High Stadium 5–3
74,581
9 October 30 Kansas City Chiefs W 27–24 Mile High Stadium 6–3
74,640
10 November 6 at Seattle Seahawks L 19–27 Kingdome 6–4
61,189
11 November 13 at Los Angeles Raiders L 20–22 Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum 6–5
51,945
12 November 20 Seattle Seahawks W 38–27 Mile High Stadium 7–5
74,710
13 November 27 at San Diego Chargers L 7–31 San Diego/Jack Murphy Stadium 7–6
43,650
14 December 4 Cleveland Browns W 27–6 Mile High Stadium 8–6
70,912
15 December 11 Baltimore Colts W 21–19 Mile High Stadium 9–6
74,864
16 December 18 at Kansas City Chiefs L 17–48 Arrowhead Stadium 9–7
11,377

Game summaries[edit]

Week 1[edit]

1 2 3 4 Total
• Broncos 0 7 0 7 14
Steelers 0 7 3 0 10

Source:[2][16]

Week 2[edit]

Denver Broncos (1–0) at Baltimore Colts (0–1)
1 2 3 4 Total
Broncos 0 3 0 14 17
Colts 3 0 0 7 10

Source:[3]

Standings[edit]

AFC West
W L T PCT DIV CONF PF PA STK
Los Angeles Raiders(1) 12 4 0 .750 6–2 10–2 442 338 W1
Seattle Seahawks(4) 9 7 0 .563 5–3 8–4 403 397 W2
Denver Broncos(5) 9 7 0 .563 3–5 9–5 302 327 L1
San Diego Chargers 6 10 0 .375 4–4 4–8 358 462 L1
Kansas City Chiefs 6 10 0 .375 2–6 4–8 386 367 W1

Playoffs[edit]

Round Date Opponent Result Game site Attendance
Wild Card Playoffs December 24 at Seattle Seahawks L 7–31 Kingdome
60,752

References[edit]

  1. ^ Pro-Football-Reference.com: 1983 Denver Broncos
  2. ^ a b "Elway hurt; DeBerg directs Broncos win". Gadsden Times. Alabama. Associated Press. September 5, 1983. p. B4. 
  3. ^ a b "Denver's DeBerg keeps rescuing $5 million man". Palm Beach Post. wire services. September 13, 1983. p. D6. 
  4. ^ "Struggling Broncos bench Elway, DeBerg starter for rest of season". Montreal Gazette. UPI. October 6, 1983. p. D-14. 
  5. ^ Harris, John (November 7, 1983). "Warner shows off for grandfather". Spokane Chronicle. p. 21. 
  6. ^ "Elway back as starter after Broncos lose DeBerg". Montreal Gazette. news services. November 8, 1983. p. D10. 
  7. ^ Mossman, John (November 21, 1983). "Broncos romp behind reserve QB". Spokane Chronicle. Associated Press. p. C1. 
  8. ^ a b "Broncos center ball to DeBerg for playoff against Seahawks". Pittsburgh Press. Associated Press. December 23, 1983. p. C2. 
  9. ^ Pro-Football-Reference.com: Baltimore Colts 19 at Denver Broncos 21; Sunday, December 11, 1983
  10. ^ "NFL roundup". Spokane Chronicle. Associated Press. December 12, 1983. p. 15. 
  11. ^ "NFL roundup". Spokane Chronicle. Associated Press. December 19, 1983. p. 28. 
  12. ^ Cour, Jim (December 23, 1983). "Broncos to bench Elway, start DeBerg". Evening News. Newburgh-Beacon, New York. Associated Press. p. 2B. 
  13. ^ Hewitt, Brian (December 26, 1983). "The laughing stops". Spokane Chronicle. (Chicago Sun-Times). p. 21. 
  14. ^ https://www.pro-football-reference.com/teams/den/1983_draft.htm
  15. ^ 2010 Denver Broncos Media Guide. p. 361. Retrieved March 6, 2011. 
  16. ^ Pro-Football-Reference.com

External links[edit]

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