Super Bowl XXXII was held at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego, California on January 25, 1998. In front of a sell-out crowd of 68,912 people, the Denver Broncos beat the Green Bay Packers by a score of 31-24 with Terrell Davis (the Broncos running back) earning MVP honors.
To begin the game, the Packers, who had won the previous Super Bowl, took the opening kickoff and went 76 yards in an impressive four minutes and some seconds. Brett Favre (the Packers quarterback) threw a 22-yard touchdown pass to star receiver Anonio Freemen. The Packers were up 7-0 at that point.
The Broncos then took their kickoff, and in 10 plays, marched 58 yards with Terrell Davis got a one-yard touchdown run to tie the game. Two plays later, Tyrone Braxton (a defensive back for the Broncos) intercepted Favre's pass. John Elway and the Broncos capitalized on this mistake and scored on a third-and-goal play.
Three plays later, Favre messed up again. This time, it was Steve Atwater (a defensive back for the Broncos) who forced Favre to fumble the ball, which was recovered by Neil Smith (a Bronco defensive lineman). This time the Broncos weren't able to advance the ball much and had to settle for a 51-yard field goal by Jason Elam. This became the second longest field goal kick in Super Bowl history. At this point, the Broncos were up 17-7 with sufficient time left in the half.
Both teams then punted the ball once after unsuccessful drives. Then, finally, it was the Packers turn to answer back. The Packers drive went 95-yards in 17-plays consuming over seven minutes and capped off with a 6-yard touchdown pass from Favre to tight end Marck Chmura. The first half was now over, with the score 17-14.
The halftime show payed tribute to Motown's 40th anniversary with Boyz II Men, Smokey Robinson, The Temptations and The Tops performing.
To begin the second half, Tyrone Williams of the Packers, forced and recovered Terrell Davis' fumble on the Bronco's 26 yeard line. The Broncos played excellent defense keeping the Packers out of the end zone, and having them settle for a field goal. Ryan Longwell's 27 yarder tied the game up at 17 with about 12 minutes to play in the third quarter.
The Broncos next possession was a punt, and the Packer's next possession provided the same result. The next drive, a 13 play, 92 yarder, had in it a 36 yard pass from Elway to receiver Ed McCaffrey. The scoring play was another one-yard Terrell Davis run as time was running out in the third quarter. On the ensuing kickoff, the Packer's Antonio Freemen fumbled the ball into the hands of the Bronco's Tim McKeyer. The Broncos had the chance to score now, and put the Packers against the ropes. But luckily for the Packers, their defensive back, Eugene Robinson, intercepted Elway's pass in the end zone on the next play. The Broncos were still up 24-17 as we enter the fourth quarter.
Now the Packers were looking to tie the score. It took just four plays (three of them passes to Freemen) to score the tying touchdown with 13:32 remaining. Each defense hardened, forcing a couple of more punts, but then the Broncos, on an amazing 39-yard punt return by Craig Hentrich, were left with great field position (at about mid-field) and only 3:27 left in the game.
Terrell Davis could only produce two yards on the first play of this drive, but the Packer's Darrius Holland was called for a 15-yard facemark penalty. Elway completed a pass to Howard Griffith, a holding penalty was called, and Davis produced a 17-yard run all the way to the Packers' one yard line with 1:47 left. At this point, a timeout was called. After the timeout, Davis scored his third touchdown of the game on a one yard run, leaving the score 31-24.
Now, I've heard a theory on this score. I've heard that the Packer's coach thought that no matter what happened, Davis would score on this touchdown. So instead of trying to stop him and being left with less time on the clock, he decided to let Davis through, so they could have enough time to run their two-minute offense. Again, this is just a theory.
Well, there was 1:45 left on the clock. Freemen returned the kickoff 22 yards to Broncos' 30 yard line. Favre completed two screen passes to running back Dorsey Levens (one a 22 yarder, and the other a 13 yarder). The Packers were now at the Broncos' 35 with 1:04 left. After a short completion, and two incomplete passes, Favre and the Packers were facing a dreaded 4th and 6. The Broncos linebacker, John Mobley, knocked away Favre's pass with 32 seconds left to give possession to the Broncos. Now all Elway had to do was run out the clock, which is exactly what they did. The Vince Lombardi Trophy was the Broncos' for the first time in their history.
Terrell Davis rushed for 157 yards and a Super Bowl record of three touchdowns to earn MVP honors. The Broncos won their first NFL championship and ended the NFC's dominance of 13 straight Super Bowl victory. Some more statistics: John Elway was passed 12/22 for 123 yards and one interception. The opposing quarterback, Brett Favre, threw 25/42 for 256 yards, with a touchdown and one interception.
Information from www.superbowl.com.