|1999 Denver Broncos season|
|Head coach||Mike Shanahan|
|General manager||Neal Dahlen|
|Home field||Mile High Stadium|
|Division place||5th AFC West|
|Playoff finish||Did not qualify|
|Pro Bowlers||C Tom Nalen|
FB Detron Smith
DT Trevor Pryce
The 1999 season was the Denver Broncos' 30th in the National Football League (NFL) and their 40th overall. The 1999 Broncos were heavily favored to win a third consecutive Super Bowl, but after winning a second against the Atlanta Falcons in Super Bowl XXXIII in Miami, the team suffered the retirement of Super Bowl XXXIII MVP quarterback John Elway during the off-season. Elway had spent his entire career with the Broncos, and much of the focus in the weeks leading up to the season centered on the void left by Elway's departure. Head coach Mike Shanahan announced that third-round 1998 draft pick Brian Griese, son of Miami Dolphins Quarterback Bob Griese, would take the reins of the offense, passing over veteran and credible back-up quarterback Bubby Brister.
In the preseason, the Broncos played in the first and so far only NFL game held in Australia. On August 7, before a crowd of 73,811 spectators at Stadium Australia in Sydney, the Broncos defeated the San Diego Chargers 20-17.
Although no one expected a serious defense of their title, the Broncos would stumble out of the gate this season, losing the first four regular season games. Many of the games would be decided in the final two minutes of play, but the Broncos found themselves on the losing end at 6-10. It was their first losing season since 1994, their worst season since 1990 and the worst record of the five-team AFC West. This was the worst-ever season for a team defending their Super Bowl title in a non-strike season. Only the 1982 49ers had a lower winning percentage as they failed to defend their first Super Bowl championship.
The Broncos and the Falcons combined for an 11-21 record in 1999. This is, as of 2019, the worst combined record for both defending conference and/or Super Bowl champions in the season following a Super Bowl appearance. The 11-21 mark was matched by the Buccaneers and Raiders four years later, one season removed from Super Bowl XXXVII.
Before 2011, the worst one-year increase in strength of schedule belonged to the 1999 Broncos. Denver had ridden the third-easiest schedule (in a 30-team league) to a Lombardi Trophy in 1998, only to fall apart the next season under the weight of John Elway's retirement, Terrell Davis'[s] Week 4 injury, and - oh, by the way - the toughest schedule in the league.
This was the largest single-season change in Football Outsiders' rankings until the 2011 St. Louis Rams.
Week 4 saw star running back Terrell Davis, who was last year's league MVP, hurt his knee and was placed on injured reserve for the remainder of the season.
|1999 Denver Broncos draft|
|1||31||Al Wilson *||Linebacker||Tennessee|
|2||58||Montae Reagor||Defensive tackle||Texas Tech||from San Francisco [R2 1]|
|2||61||Lennie Friedman *||Guard||Duke|
|3||67||Chris Watson||Cornerback||Eastern Illinois||from Carolina [R3 1]|
|3||93||Travis McGriff||Wide receiver||Florida|
|4||127||Olandis Gary||Running back||Georgia|
|5||158||David Bowens||Defensive end||Western Illinois||from Dallas [R5 1]|
|5||167||Darwin Brown||Defensive back||Texas Tech|
|6||179||Desmond Clark *||Tight end||Wake Forest||from New Orleans via Washington [R6 1]|
|6||204||Chad Plummer||Wide receiver||Cincinnati|
|7||218||Billy Miller||Tight end||USC||from New Orleans via Washington [R7 1]|
|7||238||Justin Swift||Tight end||Kansas State|
|Made roster * Made at least one Pro Bowl during career|
|1||September 13||Miami Dolphins||L 21-38||0-1||75,623|
|2||September 19||at Kansas City Chiefs||L 10-26||0-2||78,683|
|3||September 26||at Tampa Bay Buccaneers||L 10-13||0-3||65,297|
|4||October 3||New York Jets||L 13-21||0-4||74,181|
|5||October 10||at Oakland Raiders||W 16-13||1-4||55,704|
|6||October 17||Green Bay Packers||W 31-10||2-4||73,352|
|7||October 24||at New England Patriots||L 23-24||2-5||60,011|
|8||October 31||Minnesota Vikings||L 20-23||2-6||75,021|
|9||November 7||at San Diego Chargers||W 33-17||3-6||61,204|
|10||November 14||at Seattle Seahawks||L 17-20||3-7||66,314|
|11||November 22||Oakland Raiders||W 27-21||4-7||70,012|
|13||December 5||Kansas City Chiefs||L 10-16||4-8||73,855|
|14||December 13||at Jacksonville Jaguars||L 24-27||4-9||71,357|
|15||December 19||Seattle Seahawks||W 36-30 (OT)||5-9||65,987|
|16||December 25||at Detroit Lions||W 17-7||6-9||73,158|
|17||January 2||San Diego Chargers||L 6-12||6-10||69,278|
|(3) Seattle Seahawks||9||7||0||.563||338||298||L1|
|Kansas City Chiefs||9||7||0||.563||390||322||L2|
|San Diego Chargers||8||8||0||.500||269||316||W2|