Super Bowl XXXIII was played in Pro Player Stadium in Miami, Florida, on January 31, 1999 in front of a crowd of 74, 803. The Denver Broncos defeated the Atlanta Falcons, 34-19, to win their second straight Super Bowl, thus ending the NFC's dominance for good, and ushering in a new era for the AFC.
On the Falcons' opening drive, a 25-yard pass interference penalty by the Broncos' defensive back Ray Crockett helped the Falcons' score a 32-yard Morten Andersen (the Falcons' kicker) field goal. The next drive belonged to the Denver Broncos' which included a 41-yard pass from Broncos quarterback John Elway to receiver Rod Smith keeping the drive alive. Running back Howard Griffith ran the ball in from a yard away for the games first touchdown. The Broncos were now up 7-3.
A while later, while the Broncos' were driving the ball, the Falcons' Ronnie Bradford intercepted a pass by Elway, and returned the ball to the Broncos' 35-yard line late in the first quarter. The Falcons' had great field position enabling them to maybe take the lead with a touchdown. But on third down and one yard to go, the Falcons' running back Jamal Anderson was stopped for no gain. Then on fourth down, he was thrown for a 2-yard loss, turning the ball over on downs. Denver capitalized on this costly turnover by kicking a 26-yard field goal with their kicker Jason Elam.
The Falcons then drove all the way to the Broncos' 8-yard line, but their kicker, Morten Andersen, missed a 26-yard field goal. On the next play, Broncos' quarterback, John Elway, threw an 80-yard touchdown pass to Rod Smith. The game, which could've been 10-6 (had the Falcons converted the field goal) was now a 17-3 Broncos lead. It was now the end of the first half.
To begin the second half, the Falcons converted a 28-yard field goal. On the other end of the field, the Broncos' had missed two field goals on their first two possessions. Atlanta now had a golden opportunity to come back into the game. However, the Broncos' defensive back, Darrien Gordon, crushed the Falcons' hopes with back-to-back interceptions inside the Broncos' 20-yard line. The first interception came on a tipped pass, and Gordon proceeded to return it 58 yards all the way to the Falcons' 24-yard line. Five plays later, Griffith scored his second touchdown of the game. Gordons' second interception came 2 yards away from the Broncos' own end zone (the Falcons' were two yards away from scoring) and returned it 50 yards.
Broncos' running back, Terrell Davis, took a short pass from quarterback John Elway, and turned it into a 39-yard gain. Two plays later, Elway, himself, scored, giving the Broncos a 31-6 lead. On the ensuing kickoff, Tim Dwight returned a kickoff for a touchdown. The Broncos' answered back with a field goal by Elam. Then the Falcons' scored again on a 3-yard pass from quarterback Chris Chandler to receiver Tony Martin. There was now 2:04 left and the score was 34-19.
The Falcons' went for an onside kick, which was recovered by their own Byron Chamberlain. But, on their own 33-yard line, Jamal Anderson fumbled the ball, which was recovered by the Broncos' Tyrone Braxton. Now with 1:30 left, it was obvious the game was over.
One of the biggest news of this game was that the Falcons' had gotten into the Broncos' 30-yard line seven times, but managed to come away with only one touchdown and two field goals. They threw two interceptions here, missed a field goal, and turned the ball over on downs the other time. Some may consider this as mistakes by the Falcons, but most people attribute this to the Broncos' defense.
The Broncos' running back, Terrell Davis, had 25 carries for 102 yards, and their receiver Rod Smith had five receptions for 152 yards. The Falcons' quarterback Chris Chandler completed 19 out of 35 passes for 219 yards, one touchdown, and three interceptions. On the other side, John Elway went 18 for 29 for 336 yards, one touchdown, and one interception. With this performance, John Elway, earned MVP Honors. With this win, the Broncos became the first AFC team to win consecutive Super Bowls, since the Pittsburgh Steelers won Super Bowl XIII and Super Bowl XIV. But the biggest news of this game was that it was Elway's last. John Elway had decided to retire after this game, and he did.