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John Elway. Photo credit: John Leyba/Getty Images

John Elway: Reviewing His Time as the Broncos Chief Executive

Before the team kicks off its ninth season under Elway’s rule—with a new quarterback and coach—we take a look at the highs, lows, and headlines we’ve seen during his tenure.

John Elway’s first two chapters at the helm of the Denver Broncos have been, um, different. We examine just how stark the contrast has been.

High Point

2011–2015: Winning Super Bowl 50
2016–2018: Starting the 2016 season 4-0 (the team finished the campaign on a 5-7 run)

Low Point

2011–2015: 43-8 – The score of the Broncos’ loss to the Seattle Seahawks in Super Bowl XLVII
2016–2018: 8 – Consecutive games the Broncos lost in 2017

Win Percentage

2011–2015: .725
2016–2018: .416

Political Ads Elway Appeared In

2011–2015: 0
2016–2018: 4 (at least) – In 2016, the Republican publicly backed the GOP’s position on three local initiatives.

Era-Defining Headlines

2011–2015: “John Elway: The Man With The Golden Gut” –Fortune, January 2015 (a reference to his preternatural football intuition)
2016–2018: “Broncos Need A Reality Check Because John Elway Is The Problem, Not The Solution” –Bleacher Report, December 2018

Average Number of Pro Bowlers Per Season

2011–2015: 6.2
2016–2018: 3

Average Quarterback Rating For Starters

2011–2015: 89.3 – Peyton Manning threw 140 touchdowns and 53 interceptions from 2012 to 2015.
2016–2018: 77.1 – Collectively, Manning’s heirs have tossed 73 touchdowns and 58 interceptions.

Defensive Line’s Average Pass-Protection Ranking

2011–2015: 9th – In 2013 and 2014, the Broncos boasted the best line in the league on pass plays.
2016–2018: 22nd – That’s despite Elway investing a combined $123 million in free agent offensive linemen.

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