2005 Denver Broncos season

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2005 Denver Broncos season
Denver Broncos wordmark.svg
OwnerPat Bowlen
Head coachMike Shanahan
Home fieldInvesco Field at Mile High
Division place1st AFC West
Playoff finishWon Divisional Playoffs (vs. Patriots) 27–13
Lost AFC Championship (vs. Steelers) 17–34

The 2005 Denver Broncos season was the franchise's 36th season in the National Football League and the 46th overall.

The Denver Broncos closed out the 2005 regular season with a 13–3 record, the franchise's second-best number of wins of all time and their third best win percentage ever. They won their first playoff game since their 1998 Super Bowl-winning season. Although they eliminated the defending back-to-back Super Bowl champion New England Patriots to end their hopes of becoming the first NFL team to three-peat, they failed to get to the Super Bowl, losing to the Pittsburgh Steelers, the eventual champions, in the AFC Championship game. The Broncos were expected by many to make the Super Bowl for the first time in the post-John Elway era. Denver would not make the postseason again until 2011 under Tim Tebow's leadership or another Conference championship until 2013, under the leadership of Peyton Manning whom the Broncos acquired in 2012.

2005 season[edit]

After losing their first game 34–10 to the Miami Dolphins on September 11, the Broncos won 5 straight games, defeating the San Diego Chargers 20–17, the Kansas City Chiefs 30–10, the Jacksonville Jaguars 20–7, the Washington Redskins 21–19, and the two-time defending champion New England Patriots 28–20 on October 16 before losing to the New York Giants on October 23 by a final score of 24–23. They then beat the defending NFC champion Philadelphia Eagles 49–21 on October 30. In that game, the Broncos became the first team in NFL history to have two players, Mike Anderson and Tatum Bell, rush for over 100 yards and another player, Jake Plummer, pass for over 300 yards in a single game. They then beat the Oakland Raiders on November 13, 31–17. They beat the New York Jets on November 20, 27–0. It was the first time the Broncos had shut out a team at home since the Carolina Panthers on November 9, 1997. They played the Dallas Cowboys on Thanksgiving day, November 24, winning a very hard fought game in overtime 24–21. The key play that led to Jason Elam's 24-yard game-winning field goal was a 55-yard run by Ron Dayne who filled in for the injured Tatum Bell. They lost to the Chiefs 31–27 on December 4, but defeated the Baltimore Ravens the following week 12–10. On December 17, the Broncos defeated the Buffalo Bills 28–17. On Christmas Eve 2005, the Denver Broncos clinched the AFC West division title as they finished 8–0 at Invesco Field beating the Oakland Raiders 22–3. On December 31, 2005, the Broncos got win number 13 by going on the road and sweeping their division rivals, the Chargers, with a final score of 23–7.

The Broncos entered their third consecutive year in the playoffs with the momentum of a four-game winning streak. With a record of 13–3, they were tied with the Seattle Seahawks for second overall in the league, behind the 14–2 Indianapolis Colts. They were seeded number two in the AFC behind the Colts. On January 14, 2006, the Broncos defeated the two-time defending champions, the New England Patriots, 27–13, ending the Patriots chance of becoming the first NFL team ever to win three consecutive Super Bowl championships. The last team with a chance of winning three consecutive Super Bowls before the Patriots were the Broncos themselves. The Broncos' run came to an end by losing to the Pittsburgh Steelers in the AFC Championship 34–17 on January 22, 2006. Their strength of controlling the ball collapsed with 4 turnovers. They were outscored in the first half 24–3 and were not able to come from behind to win in the second half. The Steelers went on to win Super Bowl XL.

Off Season[edit]

The Broncos failed to retain safety Kenoy Kennedy, who signed with the Detroit Lions, defensive end Reggie Hayward, who signed with the Jacksonville Jaguars and cornerback Kelly Herndon, who signed with the Seattle Seahawks.

During the offseason, the Broncos brought back Keith Burns and Ian Gold after one season with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

NFL Draft[edit]

2005 Denver Broncos draft
Round Pick Player Position College Notes
2 56 Darrent Williams  Cornerback Oklahoma State (deceased)
3 76 Karl Paymah  Cornerback Washington State from Washington[1]
3 97 Domonique Foxworth  Cornerback Maryland
3 101 Maurice Clarett  Running Back Ohio State
6 200 Chris Myers *  Guard Miami (FL)
7 239 Paul Ernster  Kicker Northern Arizona
      Made roster    *   Made at least one Pro Bowl during career

Coaching staff[edit]

2005 Denver Broncos staff
Front office
  • President and Chief Executive Officer – Pat Bowlen
  • Executive Vice President of Football Operations – Mike Shanahan

Head coaches

Offensive coaches

Defensive coaches

Special teams coaches

Strength and conditioning

  • Strength and conditioning – Rich Tuten
  • Assistant strength and conditioning – Greg Saporta
  • Assistant strength and conditioning – Crdric Smith


2005 Denver Broncos final roster

Running backs

Wide receivers

Tight ends

Offensive linemen

Defensive linemen


Defensive backs

Special teams

Reserve lists

Practice squad

Rookies in italics


Week Date Opponent Result Record TV Attendance
1 September 11, 2005 at Miami Dolphins L 10–34 0-1 CBS 72,324
2 September 18, 2005 San Diego Chargers W 20–17 1-1 CBS 75,310
3 September 26, 2005 Kansas City Chiefs W 30–10 2-1 ABC 76,381
4 October 2, 2005 at Jacksonville Jaguars W 20–7 3-1 CBS 66,045
5 October 9, 2005 Washington Redskins W 21–19 4-1 FOX 75,880
6 October 16, 2005 New England Patriots W 28–20 5-1 CBS 76,571
7 October 23, 2005 at New York Giants L 23–24 5-2 CBS 78,516
8 October 30, 2005 Philadelphia Eagles W 49–21 6-2 FOX 76,530
9 Bye
10 November 13, 2005 at Oakland Raiders W 31–17 7-2 CBS 62,779
11 November 20, 2005 New York Jets W 27–0 8-2 CBS 76,255
12 November 24, 2005 at Dallas Cowboys W 24–21 9-2 CBS 63,273
13 December 4, 2005 at Kansas City Chiefs L 27–31 9-3 CBS 78,261
14 December 11, 2005 Baltimore Ravens W 12–10 10-3 CBS 75,651
15 December 17, 2005 at Buffalo Bills W 28–17 11-3 ESPN 71,887
16 December 24, 2005 Oakland Raiders W 22–3 12-3 CBS 76,212
17 December 31, 2005 at San Diego Chargers W 23–7 13-3 CBS 65,513

Game summaries[edit]

Week 1[edit]

Week 2[edit]

1 234Total
Chargers 0 1403 17
• Broncos 3 0710 20



AFC West
(2) Denver Broncos 13 3 0 .813 5–1 10–2 395 258 W4
Kansas City Chiefs 10 6 0 .625 4–2 9–3 403 325 W2
San Diego Chargers 9 7 0 .563 3–3 7–5 418 312 L2
Oakland Raiders 4 12 0 .250 0–6 2–10 290 383 L6



Week Date Opponent Result Record TV Attendance
AFC Divisional Game January 14, 2006 vs New England Patriots W 27–13 1-0 CBS 76,238
AFC Championship Game January 22, 2006 vs Pittsburgh Steelers L 34–17 1-1 CBS 76,775

AFC Divisional Game vs New England Patriots[edit]

AFC Divisional Playoff: New England Patriots vs Denver Broncos – Game summary
1 2 34Total
Patriots 0 3 3713
Broncos 0 10 71027

at Invesco Field at Mile High, Denver, CO

  • Date: January 14, 2006
  • Game time: 6:00 p.m. MT
  • Game weather: 54°F, relative humidity 22°F, round (wind) 3 MPH
  • TV: CBS
Game information

Despite scoring 27 points on offense, the Broncos defense was the story of the day. They forced five Patriots turnovers, including intercepting Tom Brady twice, while recovering three fumbles. A Mike Anderson one yard touchdown run in the third quarter was set up by a 100-yard interception return by Champ Bailey. It was the second longest interception return in NFL playoff history. The Patriots outgained the Broncos 420 to 286 in yardage, but the turnovers were too much for New England to overcome.

AFC Championship Game vs Pittsburgh Steelers[edit]

AFC Championship Game: Pittsburgh Steelers vs Denver Broncos – Game summary
1 2 34Total
Steelers 3 21 01034
Broncos 0 3 7717

at Invesco Field at Mile High, Denver, CO

  • Date: January 22, 2006
  • Game time: 1:00 p.m. MT
  • Game weather: 34°F
  • TV: CBS

The Broncos season ended with getting blown out by the eventual Super Bowl XL Champions. This is the last time the Broncos made the playoffs until 2011.

Team stats[edit]

The Broncos relied on a more consistent Jake Plummer, their running game behind Tatum Bell, Ron Dayne, and Mike Anderson, and their defense to stop opposing running backs. The Broncos placed second in the league in rushing yards per game, fourth in total offense and allowed the second fewest rushing yards in the league.

The key to Denver's success that year was their ability to keep control of the ball. In the regular season they committed just 16 turnovers, tied for the second-least in the league, and took it away from their opponents 36 times, fifth-best in the league. This resulted in a turnover differential of +20, second-best in the NFL. Jake Plummer, after throwing an NFL-high-tying 20 interceptions in the 2004 season, threw only 7 interceptions on the year, and had the second-lowest interception percentage rate of any quarterback in the league (behind Brad Johnson). His only omission of a serious number of turnovers occurred, unfortunately, in the AFC Championship, with two interceptions.

In 2005 the Broncos had 5,766 total offensive yards and gave up 5,006 yards. They outrushed their opponents 2,539 to 1,363. They were, however, outpassed 3,643 to 3,227. They had 28 sacks and gave up 23. They had 46 touchdowns to their opponents' 31. They were tied for fifth in total touchdowns and were seventh in the league in points per game.

The Broncos had 753 tackles to their opponents' 837, made 20 interceptions for the year and gave up only seven.

Player stats[edit]

Jake Plummer threw 277 completions out of 456 attempts for 3366 yards and 18 touchdowns. He had 7 interceptions and a quarterback rating of 90.2. He also ran 46 times for 151 yards and 2 touchdowns.

Mike Anderson had 239 rushes for 1014 yards and 12 touchdowns. Tatum Bell ran 173 times for 921 yards and 8 touchdowns. He also had 18 catches and 104 receiving yards. Ron Dayne had 53 carries for 270 yards. He also had 18 receptions for 212 yards.

Rod Smith led in receiving with 85 receptions for 1105 yards and 6 touchdowns. Ashley Lelie had 42 receptions, 770 yards, and 1 touchdown. Jeb Putzier made 37 catches for 481 yards. Charlie Adams had 21 receptions and 203 yards.

Ian Gold had 72 tackles, 16 assists, 3 sacks and 2 fumble recoveries. Nick Ferguson made 61 tackles and had 18 assists and 1 fumble recovery. Al Wilson had 61 tackles, 11 assists, 3 sacks and 1 fumble recovery. Domonique Foxworth made 64 tackles, had 6 assists and 2 fumble recoveries. Champ Bailey had 8 interceptions and 2 touchdowns, 59 tackles and 5 assists. John Lynch had 44 tackles, 17 assists, and 4 sacks.

Jason Elam kicked 24 field goals out of 32 attempted and 43 out of 44 extra points.


  1. ^ No. 76: Washington → Denver see No. 25: Denver → Washington
  2. ^ ESPN. Retrieved 2014-Aug-14.

External links[edit]