John Elway capped his brilliant career in 1998 by winning Most Valuable Player honors in Super Bowl XXXIII, leading the Denver Broncos to their second straight World Championship.
He also posted the highest quarterback rating of his career in his final campaign, with a rating of 93.0. At the close of the 1998 season, Elway ranked second among active NFL players for number of appearances with one team (234), trailing only the Oilers’ Bruce Matthews (248), and retired having played in and started (231) more games in more seasons (16) than any player in Denver Broncos history.
Elway, the NFL’s all-time winningest starting quarterback (148-82-1; .643), was voted to a franchise-record nine Pro Bowl appearances (1986 season, ’87, ’89, ’91, ’93, ’94, ’96, ’97 and ’98), tied for the most ever by a quarterback (Marino, Moon), and as a starter six times (’87, ’89, ’93, ’96, ’97 and ’98). He was the NFL’s Most Valuable Player in 1987, AFC Player of the Year in 1993, was named AFC Offensive Player of the Week 15 times and AFC Offensive Player of the Month twice.
Elway was named the Edge NFL Man of the Year for 1992, and was inducted in to the Colorado Sports Hall of Fame in 1999. He ranks second behind Miami’s Dan Marino in most major NFL career passing categories, including passing yards (51,475), attempts (7,250), completions (4,123) and total offense (54,882). He also figures third in passing touchdowns with 300 (behind Marino and Fran Tarkenton) and leads all NFL quarterbacks in career rushing attempts (774), while figuring fourth in rushing yards (3,407).
Elway is the only player in NFL history to pass for over 3,000 yards and rush for over 200 yards in the same season for seven straight years (1985-91). He was responsible for 334 touchdowns (300 passing, 33 rushing and 1 receiving), third all-time, and generated 4,771 of the 5,806 points (82.2%) scored by the Broncos during his 16-year tenure with the club.
Elway ranks No. 1 in NFL history in fourth-quarter, game-winning or game-saving drives with 47 (46-0-1 record), and had 36 career 300-yard passing games in the regular season, third among active quarterbacks at the time of his retirement (Marino, Warren Moon). He also caught three passes in regular season play for 61 yards, including a touchdown of 23 yards from Steve Sewell in 1986.
In 1997 Elway broke his franchise record for consecutive passes without an interception, with the streak reaching 189. For his career, Elway had 19 games in which he completed 70% or more of his passes (min. 20 att.) and fashioned a 17-2 record in those games. He started 2,595 drives as a pro and was replaced just 10 times due to injury (.039%).
On September 13, 1999, John Elway joined fellow Ring of Famers Floyd Little and Frank Tripucka as the third player in the teams’ history to have his jersey (number 7) retired.
John resides in the Denver area and remains active in the community as well as with several business ventures in which he is involved.
I’ve experienced the highest of highs and lowest of lows. I think to really appreciate anything you have to be at both ends of the spectrum.