Super Bowl XXXIII
The AFC champion Denver Broncos were looking for their second consecutive Lombardi Trophy as they entered Super Bowl XXXIII to face the NFC champion Atlanta Falcons. With a 14-2 record during the regular season, including a 13-0 start, Denver (with head coach Mike Shanahan) was not only on the hunt for another Super Bowl ring, but also hoped to best former Denver head coach Dan Reeves, who was now on the sidelines as Atlanta's leader. Atlanta, making their first Super Bowl appearance, also sported a 14-2 regular season record … having rebounded from a 3-13 and a 7-9 record the previous two seasons. The game also proved to be the last hurrah for future Hall of Fame quarterback (and 15-year veteran) John Elway, who announced his retirement prior to the start of the 1999 NFL season.
Super Bowl XXXIII was played on January 31, 1999, at Pro Player Stadium in Miami, Florida. Although Atlanta got on the board first via Morten Andersen's 32-yard field goal in the 1st quarter, Denver added seven of their own, and thanks in part to an 80-yard touchdown pass from to receiver Rod Smith, scored 17 unanswered points to take a 17-6 lead at halftime. That, essentially, was the game. A scoreless 3rd quarter would follow, and although Atlanta tried to recover with 13 more points in the 4th quarter, Denver countered with 17 points of their own, making the final a lopsided 34-19 victory for the Broncos and back-to-back Super Bowl wins. Elway, at the age of 38, was named Super Bowl MVP … the oldest player to be honored. He completed 18 of 29 passes for 336 yards, with one touchdown and one interception, while also scored a three-yard rushing touchdown.