|2007 Denver Broncos season|
|Head coach||Mike Shanahan|
|Home field||Invesco Field at Mile High|
|Division place||2nd AFC West|
|Playoff finish||did not qualify|
The 2007 Denver Broncos season was the 48th season for the team in the National Football League. A loss to the Houston Texans in Week 15 and a win by the San Diego Chargers the following Sunday knocked them out of playoff contention, marking the second year in a row they failed to make the playoffs. The Broncos' 7–9 record was the worst since 1999, their last losing season (when they went 6–10).
This was head coach Mike Shanahan's 13th year (1995 to present) with the Broncos. Joining him was Mike Heimerdinger & Jeremy Bates as assistant head coaches, Rick Dennison as offensive coordinator, Bob Slowik as defensive coordinator and Scott O'Brien as special teams coordinator.
The 2006–2007 off-season began as two members of the team died in less than two months after the season ended. Cornerback Darrent Williams was shot and killed in his H2 limousine on New Years Day, just a few hours after the Broncos last game of the 2006 season. Soon after, Broncos 3rd string running back Damien Nash collapsed and died in a pick-up basketball game.
The Broncos traded running back Tatum Bell and offensive tackle George Foster to the Detroit Lions for former Pro Bowl cornerback Dre' Bly to compensate for the unfortunate loss of Williams. In addition to the trade for Bly, the Broncos had made a trade to the Miami Dolphins for Dan Wilkinson, only to have that trade voided because Wilkinson did not show up to Denver for his scheduled physical.
Denver added running back Travis Henry, fullback Thump Belton, and tight end Daniel Graham through free agency. The team released linebacker Al Wilson during the month of April for health and salary cap reasons.
Denver also signed backup WR Brandon Stokley from the Indianapolis Colts and P/Kickoff Specialist Todd Sauerbrun.
The Broncos started strong in the preseason, beating San Francisco 17–13. Jay Cutler led a 67-yard scoring drive on one of his only series for the Broncos, and new Running Back Travis Henry punched in another touchdown. Back-up Quarterback Patrick Ramsey played most of the game. The previous match-up between Denver and the San Francisco 49ers was the last game of the 2006–2007 season, when the 49ers beat Denver in overtime, 26–23, and kept them from entering the play-offs.
In game two, The Broncos were in Texas to play the Dallas Cowboys. The game had a lot of buzz, due to the pairing of Dallas wide-receiver Terrell Owens and Denver cornerback Champ Bailey. Also, the mother of Darrent Williams attended the game.
|1||Sep 13||San Francisco 49ers||W 17–13||Monster Park||1–0|
|2||Aug 18||Dallas Cowboys||L 20–31||Texas Stadium||1–1|
|3||Aug 25||Cleveland Browns||L 16–17||INVESCO Field at Mile High||1–2|
|4||Aug 30||Arizona Cardinals||W 21–3||INVESCO Field at Mile High||2–2|
|1||Sep 9||Buffalo Bills||Ralph Wilson Stadium||W 15–14||1–0||71,132||Recap|
|2||Sep 16||Oakland Raiders||INVESCO Field at Mile High||W 23–20 (OT)||2–0||76,784||Recap|
|3||Sep 23||Jacksonville Jaguars||INVESCO Field at Mile High||L 23–14||2–1||76,463||Recap|
|4||Sep 30||Indianapolis Colts||RCA Dome||L 38–20||2–2||57,274||Recap|
|5||Oct 7||San Diego Chargers||INVESCO Field at Mile High||L 41–3||2–3||76,879||Recap|
|7||Oct 21||Pittsburgh Steelers||INVESCO Field at Mile High||W 31–28||3–3||77,038||Recap|
|8||Oct 29||Green Bay Packers||INVESCO Field at Mile High||L 19–13 (OT)||3–4||77,160||Recap|
|9||Nov 4||Detroit Lions||Ford Field||L 44–7||3–5||60,783||Recap|
|10||Nov 11||Kansas City Chiefs||Arrowhead Stadium||W 27–11||4–5||77,368||Recap|
|11||Nov 19||Tennessee Titans||INVESCO Field at Mile High||W 34–20||5–5||76,590||Recap|
|12||Nov 25||Chicago Bears||Soldier Field||L 37–34 (OT)||5–6||62,148||Recap|
|13||Dec 2||Oakland Raiders||McAfee Coliseum||L 34–20||5–7||61,990||Recap|
|14||Dec 9||Kansas City Chiefs||INVESCO Field at Mile High||W 41–7||6–7||75,895||Recap|
|15||Dec 13||Houston Texans||Reliant Stadium||L 31–13||6–8||70,747||Recap|
|16||Dec 24||San Diego Chargers||Qualcomm Stadium||L 23–3||6–9||65,477||Recap|
|17||Dec 30||Minnesota Vikings||INVESCO Field at Mile High||W 22–19 (OT)||7–9||76,084||Recap|
|(3) San Diego Chargers||11||5||0||.688||5–1||9–3||412||284||W6|
|Kansas City Chiefs||4||12||0||.250||2–4||3–9||226||335||L9|
In the second quarter Denver scored first with a 48-yard field goal. Bills kicker Rian Lindell then missed a 45-yard field goal. The Broncos drove deep into Bills territory at the close of the half but Cutler threw an interception to end the drive. The Bills then drove into Denver territory and tried a long field goal but failed due to a false start, then ended the half with an interception thrown to Elvis Dumervil.
On the opening kickoff for the second half, a scary injury occurred to Bills TE Kevin Everett, as he suffered a cervical spine injury while making a tackle on Domenik Hixon. Everett later underwent surgery that day and is currently in intensive care. He does have feeling and partial movement in his extremities and it is believed he will walk again.
The Broncos began the second half with a drive that ended with a missed 50-yard field goal. The Bills then made a nine play drive that ended with a 23-yard touchdown run by Marshawn Lynch. The Broncos responded with a drive ending with a touchdown pass to Brandon Marshall. They then attempted to tie the game with a two-point conversion but failed with an incomplete pass to Javon Walker.
The fourth quarter had little scoring. Elam missed a field goal, but the Bills failed to score or run out the clock, giving Denver the ball with a little over two minutes to play. After an ill-advised lateral bounced free, (saved by rookie back Selvin Young smartly batting the loose ball out of bounds) the Bronco's faced a seemingly insurmountable 3rd and 23 to go. Cutler immediately turned in the best clutch performance of his NFL career to date, one that drew comparisons to John Elway by both sportswriters and teammates.
Cutler's drive included two fourth down conversions to drive deep into Bills' territory, where, with no time outs, they rushed the field goal unit onto the field with ten seconds left and the clock ticking down. Execution by the field goal unit allowed Jason Elam to kick the game winning 42-yard field goal just as the clock ticked to 0:00. Buffalo ended up leading the game for over 51 minutes of the contest. Denver lead for one second.
In the first quarter, the Broncos were the first to score with a nine-yard touchdown pass from Cutler to WR Brandon Stokley after taking the ball from the Raiders with an interception by Alex Ludwig. The second quarter began with another interception by Marcus Thomas after a deflection by John Lynch. The game was then halted due to lightning, but resumed after several minutes. Denver failed to capitalize however, with Cutler throwing an interception that led to a Raider field goal by Sebastian Janikowski. Later however the Broncos capitalized on a 40-yard run by Selvin Young, finishing the drive with a 4-yard touchdown by Cecil Sapp. The Broncos then forced a punt by Oakland and drove for a 23-yard field goal by Elam, putting them up 17–3 at the half.
Denver began the second half with a drive that ended with a missed field goal by Elam. The Raiders responded with a 46-yard touchdown pass from Josh McCown to Jerry Porter. They then kicked an onside kick which they recovered but failed to drive due to penalties. However Gerard Warren then sacked Cutler in the end zone for a safety to begin the fourth quarter.
Oaklend punted on their next possession, but Cutler threw an interception to Thomas Howard who returned it 44 yards for a score. Oakland made a two-point conversion, making it 20–17 Oakland. Later in the quarter Elam kicked a 20-yard field goal with 2:12 in time remaining to tie to score at 20–20. The Raiders failed to score, throwing an interception to Dre Bly to send the game into overtime.
The Broncos won the coin toss to get the ball first in overtime, but failed to score, punting it to Oakland. Raider Lamont Jordan then broke a 33-yard run to set up a 52-yard field goal attempt by Janikowski. Denver called time out just before the Raiders got the snap off and so Janikowski's successful kick did not count. On his next attempt he hooked it left, giving Denver the ball. The Broncos then drove to the Oakland 4-yard line, then kicked a game winning field goal by Elam.
Following their OT win over the Raiders, the Broncos stayed at home for an intraconference duel with the Jacksonville Jaguars. After a scoreless first quarter, Denver trailed early as Jaguars QB David Garrard completed a 3-yard TD pass to WR Reggie Williams. The Broncos would tie the game with QB Jay Cutler completing a 1-yard TD pass to TE Nate Jackson. However, Jacksonville would take the lead with FB Greg Jones getting a 4-yard TD run, while kicker John Carney nailed a 19-yard field goal.
In the third quarter, Denver continued to trail as the Jaguars increased its lead with Carney's 27-yard field goal, which was the only score of the period. In the fourth quarter, the Broncos attempted a comeback with RB Travis Henry getting a 6-yard TD run. However, Jacksonville sealed their win with Carney kicking an 18-yard field goal.
With the loss, Denver fell to 2–1.
Hoping to rebound from their home loss to the Jaguars, the Broncos flew to the RCA Dome for an intraconference fight with the defending-Super Bowl champions, the Indianapolis Colts. In the first quarter, Denver galloped to an early lead with kicker Jason Elam getting a 35-yard field goal, along with QB Jay Cutler (Indiana native) complete a 7-yard TD pass to WR Brandon Marshall. In the second quarter, the Colts responded with RB Joseph Addai got a 14-yard TD run. The Broncos replied with Elam kicking a 22-yard field goal, yet Indianapolis took the lead with QB Peyton Manning completing a 9-yard TD pass to TE Dallas Clark.
In the third quarter, Denver began to struggle as Manning got a 1-yard TD run, along with completing a 3-yard TD pass to Clark. The Broncos got close with Cutler getting a 2-yard TD run. However, in the fourth quarter, the Colts sealed their win with Manning completing a 5-yard TD pass to WR Reggie Wayne, along with kicker Adam Vinatieri nailing a 22-yard field goal.
With their second-straight loss, Denver fell to 2–2.
Hoping to rebound from their road loss to the Colts, the Broncos went home for a Week 5 divisional duel with the San Diego Chargers. In the first quarter, Denver trailed early as Chargers QB Philip Rivers got a 2-yard TD run, while LB Brandon Siler returned a fumble 23 yards for a touchdown. In the second quarter, the Chargers continued its offensive revival with kicker Nate Kaeding getting a 26-yard field goal. Afterwards, the Broncos would get their only score of the game, as kicker Jason Elam got a 30-yard field goal. San Diego would end the half with Kaeding nailing a 45-yard field goal.
In the third quarter, Denver continued to get pounded with Rivers completing a 9-yard TD pass to TE Antonio Gates and a 15-yard TD pass to WR Vincent Jackson. In the fourth quarter, San Diego sealed their victory with RB Michael Turner getting a 74-yard TD run for the only score of the period.
With their third-straight loss, not only did the Broncos fall to 2–3 entering their bye week, but the loss marked their worse home loss since losing to the Kansas City Chiefs 56–10 on Oct 23, 1966. The 38-point deficit also marked Denver's worst home loss since the AFL-NFL merger.
Coming off their bye week, the Broncos stayed at home for a Sunday night intraconference duel with the Pittsburgh Steelers. In the first quarter, Denver trailed early with Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger completing a 1-yard TD pass to TE Heath Miller. Denver would respond with QB Jay Cutler completing a 15-yard TD pass to WR Brandon Stokley. In the second quarter, the Broncos took the lead with Cutler's 1-yard TD pass to FB Cecil Sapp, along with rookie DE Tim Crowder returning a fumble 50 yards for a touchdown.
In the third quarter, the Steelers tried to come back with Roethlisberger completing a 13-yard TD pass to WR Santonio Holmes. Fortunately, Denver answered with Cutler completing a 1-yard TD pass to TE Tony Scheffler. In the fourth quarter, Pittsburgh managed to tie the game with Roethlisberger completing a 13-yard TD pass to TE Matt Spaeth and a 12-yard TD pass to Miller. Fortunately, kicker Jason Elam came through for the third time this year as he nailed the game-winning 49-yard field goal.
With their three-game skid snapped, the Broncos improved to 3–3.
Coming off their Sunday night home win over the Steelers, the Broncos stayed at home for a Monday Night interconference fight with the Green Bay Packers. In the first quarter, Denver took the early lead with QB Jay Cutler completing a 5-yard TD pass to TE Tony Scheffler. The Packers would respond with QB Brett Favre completing a 79-yard TD pass to WR James Jones. In the second quarter, Green Bay took the lead with kicker Mason Crosby getting a 19-yard and a 26-yard field goal.
In the third quarter, the Broncos began to rally as kicker Jason Elam got a 45-yard field goal for the only score of the period. In the fourth quarter, Denver managed to get a last-second 21-yard field goal from Elam to send the game into overtime. Unfortunately, on the Packers' first play of the period, Favre sealed the win with an 82-yard TD pass to WR Greg Jennings.
With the loss, not only did the Broncos fall to 3–4, but it also marked the first time in franchise history that they lost to Green Bay at home.
Hoping to rebound from their Monday Night loss to the Packers, the Broncos flew to Ford Field for a Week 9 interconference duel with the Detroit Lions. In the first quarter, Denver trailed early as Lions kicker Jason Hanson managed to get a 43-yard field goal for the only score of the period. In the second quarter, the Broncos continued to struggle as Hanson gave Detroit a 53-yard field goal, while QB Jon Kitna completed a 15-yard TD pass to WR Mike Furrey. The Lions would end the half with Hanson kicking a 38-yard field goal. Even worse, starting QB Jay Cutler (3/4 for 20 yards) would leave the game with a lower left leg injury.
In the third quarter, Detroit continued to destroy Denver as DE Dewayne White returned a fumble 3 yards for a touchdown, while Kitna completed a 49-yard TD pass to WR Shaun McDonald. In the fourth quarter, the Lions finished their job as NT Shaun Rogers returned an interception 66 yards for a touchdown, while RB T. J. Duckett got a 3-yard TD run. The Broncos prevented a shutout when QB Patrick Ramsey completed a 2-yard TD pass to WR Brandon Stokley.
With the loss, Denver fell to 3–5.
This would be the second time this year that the Broncos lost by at least 37 points.
Trying to snap a two-game losing skid, the Broncos flew to Arrowhead Stadium for an AFC West duel with the Kansas City Chiefs. In the first quarter, Denver drew first blood with kicker Jason Elam getting a 44-yard field goal. The Chiefs would respond with kicker Dave Rayner getting a 38-yard field goal. In the second quarter, the Broncos trailed as K.C. Safety Bernard Pollard blocked a punt that was deep in Denver territory. The ball would roll out the back of the endzone for a safety. The Broncos would respond with Elam kicking a 50-yard field goal. However, the Chiefs would regain the lead prior to halftime as Rayner kicked a 36-yard field goal.
In the third quarter, Denver retook the lead as rookie RB Selvin Young got a 20-yard TD run, along with LB Nate Webster returning a fumble 58 yards for a touchdown. Kansas City would answer with Rayner nailing a 39-yard field goal. Fortunately, in the fourth quarter, the Broncos closed out the game with QB Jay Cutler completing an 18-yard TD pass to TE Daniel Graham.
With the win, not only did Denver improve to 4–5, but it also marked their first win at Arrowhead Stadium since 2002.
Coming off an impressive divisional road win over the Chiefs, the Broncos went home for a Week 11 Monday Night intraconference duel with the Tennessee Titans. In the first quarter, Denver drew first blood with QB Jay Cutler completing a 48-yard TD pass to WR Brandon Stokley, along with WR/PR Glenn Martinez returning a punt 80 yards for a touchdown. In the second quarter, the Titans got on the board with QB Vince Young completing a 21-yard TD pass to WR Brandon Jones. Afterwards, the Broncos regained some of their lead with kicker Jason Elam getting a 21-yard and a 39-yard field goal. Tennessee would end the half with kicker Rob Bironas getting a 56-yard field goal.
In the third quarter, Denver responded with Cutler completing a 41-yard TD pass to WR Brandon Marshall. The Titans would reply with Young getting a 4-yard TD run. In the fourth quarter, Tennessee drew closer as Bironas nailed a 37-yard field goal. Fortunately, the Broncos got the victory with rookie RB Andre Hall getting a 62-yard TD run.
With the win, Denver improved to 5–5.
Coming off their home win over the Titans, the Broncos flew to Soldier Field for a Week 12 interconference duel with the Chicago Bears. In the first quarter, Denver trailed early as Bears kicker Robbie Gould managed to get a 24-yard field goal. The Broncos would reply with kicker Jason Elam getting a 23-yard field goal. In the second quarter, Denver took the lead with rookie RB Andre Hall getting a 16-yard TD run, while Chicago replied with Gould kicking a 44-yard field goal. The Broncos would end the half with Elam kicking a 22-yard field goal.
In the third quarter, Denver lost its lead as WR/KR/PR Devin Hester returned a punt 75 yards for a touchdown. The Broncos would answer with FB Cecil Sapp getting a 5-yard TD run, but the Bears immediately struck back as Hester returned a kickoff 88 yards for a touchdown. Denver would regain the lead as Cutler completed a 68-yard TD pass to WR Brandon Marshall. In the fourth quarter, the Broncos increased their lead with Cutler completing a 14-yard TD pass to TE Tony Scheffler. However, Chicago tied the game with RB Adrian Peterson getting a 4-yard TD run, while QB Rex Grossman completed a 3-yard TD pass to WR Bernard Berrian. In overtime, the Bears sealed Denver's fate as Gould nailed the game-winning 39-yard field goal.
With the loss, the Broncos fell to 5–6.
Coming off their embarrassing road loss to the Bears, the Broncos went to home McAfee Coliseum for an AFC West rematch with the Oakland Raiders. In the first quarter, Denver trailed early as QB Josh McCown completed a 15-yard TD pass to WR Tim Dwight. The Broncos replied with RB Travis Henry getting a 4-yard TD run. In the second quarter, Oakland regained the lead with TE Zach Miller for the only score of the period.
In the third quarter, the Raiders continued their domination with kicker Sebastian Janikowski getting a 38-yard field goal, while McCown completed a 13-yard TD pass to WR Jerry Porter. The Broncos continued to try to keep up with kicker Jason Elam getting a 29-yard and a 44-yard field goal. In the fourth quarter, Denver tried to come back as Henry got a 3-yard TD run. However, Oakland sealed the win with Janikowski nailing a 44-yard field goal and RB Justin Fargas getting a 5-yard TD run.
With the loss, the Broncos fell to 5–7.
In the game, Denver committed 4 turnovers (2 interceptions and 2 lost fumbles), which is tied as a season-worst for the Broncos.
Trying to snap a two-game skid, the Broncos went home for a Week 14 AFC West rematch with the Kansas City Chiefs. In the first quarter, Denver drew first blood as QB Jay Cutler completed a 21-yard TD pass to WR Brandon Stokley, while RB Travis Henry got a 1-yard TD run. In the second quarter, the Chiefs would get their only score of the game with QB Brodie Croyle completing a 15-yard TD pass to TE Tony Gonzalez. Afterwards, the Broncos took over as Cutler completed an 8-yard TD pass to WR Brandon Marshall, while kicker Jason Elam managed to get a 37-yard field goal. In the third quarter, Denver pulled away as Elam nailed another 37-yard field goal, while Cutler completed a 2-yard TD pass to TE Daniel Graham, along with a 13-yard TD pass to Marshall.
With the season-sweeping win, the Broncos improved to 6–7.
Also with this win, it improved Denver's divisional home record since 2001 to 18–4.
Coming off their dominating home win over the Chiefs, the Broncos flew to Reliant Stadium for a Thursday night intraconference duel with the Houston Texans. In the first quarter, Denver trailed early as QB Sage Rosenfels got a 5-yard TD run for the only score of the period. In the second quarter, the Broncos would get on the board as kicker Jason Elam managed to get a 41-yard field goal. Houston would respond with kicker Kris Brown getting a 41-yard field goal. Denver would end the half with Elam nailing a 47-yard field goal.
In the third quarter, the Texans would increase their lead as RB Ron Dayne managed to get a 6-yard TD run. The Broncos would respond with QB Jay Cutler completing a 12-yard TD pass to TE Tony Scheffler. However, in the fourth quarter, Houston sealed the win as Rosenfels completed a 4-yard TD pass to WR Andre Johnson, while FB Vonta Leach got a 1-yard TD run.
With the loss, Denver fell to 6–8.
at Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego, California
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