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1997 Broncos vs. 2015 Broncos. Who wins?

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  • 1997 Broncos vs. 2015 Broncos. Who wins?

    I picked the 97 team over the 98 team mainly because of Gary Zimmerman, but the two teams basically had the same roster. Anyway, on to the game!

    First, some stats. The 97 Broncos were the #1 offense and #5 defense that year. The 15 Broncos were #1 on defense but only #16 on offense.

    Now, the matchups. I don't think there's any doubt the 97 offense was much more balanced than any of the playoff teams the 15 Broncos played. The Steelers were missing both Leveon Bell and Antonio Brown. The Pats had zero running game. The Panthers had mediocre WRs. Now, the 15 defense was great against the run, but could they have shut down TD and his dominant O-line? Even if they did, what about a still very good John Elway throwing to a HOF tight end in Sharpe and two elite WRs in Smith and McCaffrey? The Steelers only had Wheaton and Bryant as WRs. The Pats, of course, had elite players in Gronk and Edelman. Carolina only had Olsen. Of course, all three of the 2015 playoff opponents had elite QBs as well. I give an edge, although not a huge one, to the 97 offense.

    Now, the 15 offense vs the 97 defense. Frankly, this matchup isn't as close as the former. The 15 offense was mediocre at best. The O-line was sub-par. Anderson is a good back, but certainly no TD. Daniels is a good TE, but certainly no Sharpe. DT and Sanders are elite, but DT totally disappeared during the playoffs. They there's Manning. I don't think there's any question that Elway was a much better QB in 97 than Manning was in 15. That 97 D had some pretty good pass rushers in Neil Smith and Alfred Williams, although combined they aren't as good as Miller and Ware. Also some good corners in Darrien Gordon and Ray Crockett, although not as good as Harris and Talib. They also had an elite safety in Atwater and a pretty good safety in Braxton. Romo and Mobley were both very good LBs. Clear edge to the 97 defense.

    So, who would win? I say the 97 Broncos win 23-14. With their balanced, powerful offense and overall solid defense, the 97 squad is just too much for the 15 team. What say you?

  • #2
    Originally posted by gerontion View Post
    I picked the 97 team over the 98 team mainly because of Gary Zimmerman, but the two teams basically had the same roster. Anyway, on to the game!

    First, some stats. The 97 Broncos were the #1 offense and #5 defense that year. The 15 Broncos were #1 on defense but only #16 on offense.

    Now, the matchups. I don't think there's any doubt the 97 offense was much more balanced than any of the playoff teams the 15 Broncos played. The Steelers were missing both Leveon Bell and Antonio Brown. The Pats had zero running game. The Panthers had mediocre WRs. Now, the 15 defense was great against the run, but could they have shut down TD and his dominant O-line? Even if they did, what about a still very good John Elway throwing to a HOF tight end in Sharpe and two elite WRs in Smith and McCaffrey? The Steelers only had Wheaton and Bryant as WRs. The Pats, of course, had elite players in Gronk and Edelman. Carolina only had Olsen. Of course, all three of the 2015 playoff opponents had elite QBs as well. I give an edge, although not a huge one, to the 97 offense.

    Now, the 15 offense vs the 97 defense. Frankly, this matchup isn't as close as the former. The 15 offense was mediocre at best. The O-line was sub-par. Anderson is a good back, but certainly no TD. Daniels is a good TE, but certainly no Sharpe. DT and Sanders are elite, but DT totally disappeared during the playoffs. They there's Manning. I don't think there's any question that Elway was a much better QB in 97 than Manning was in 15. That 97 D had some pretty good pass rushers in Neil Smith and Alfred Williams, although combined they aren't as good as Miller and Ware. Also some good corners in Darrien Gordon and Ray Crockett, although not as good as Harris and Talib. They also had an elite safety in Atwater and a pretty good safety in Braxton. Romo and Mobley were both very good LBs. Clear edge to the 97 defense.

    So, who would win? I say the 97 Broncos win 23-14. With their balanced, powerful offense and overall solid defense, the 97 squad is just too much for the 15 team. What say you?

    The 98 running game was better than the 97 running game imo. TD could've very easily had 2,400 yards in 98. They would be up so much in some of those games TD wouldn't play in the 3rd or 4th quarters. This current team has no problem stopping the run, but I think the 98 or 97 could beat this team based on this current teams offense.

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    • #3
      Alex Gibbs zone blocking schemes grew more controversial and reffed more strictly (cut blocking in particular) after those wins.

      Their run game would not be as dominant in this day and age. Guys like Atwater, Smith. would have to be weary of the new defensive rules. Due to the defense, I think this Broncos team wins if they played today. 97-98 Broncos win if they played in that era.


      Also gotta consider things like stricter salary cap restrictions and new rules to protect the quarterback. What Elway has done in an era engineered to promote parity is nothing short of brilliant.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by noflyzone23 View Post
        Alex Gibbs zone blocking schemes grew more controversial and reffed more strictly (cut blocking in particular) after those wins.

        Their run game would not be as dominant in this day and age. Guys like Atwater, Smith. would have to be weary of the new defensive rules. Due to the defense, I think this Broncos team wins if they played today. 97-98 Broncos win if they played in that era.


        Also gotta consider things like stricter salary cap restrictions and new rules to protect the quarterback. What Elway has done in an era engineered to promote parity is nothing short of brilliant.
        Some good points. But, that 97 offense also had some elite receivers. I don't think the 15 defense could shut down Sharpe, Smith, and McCaffrey.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by gerontion View Post
          Some good points. But, that 97 offense also had some elite receivers. I don't think the 15 defense could shut down Sharpe, Smith, and McCaffrey.
          The 15 defense would absolutely shut down those receivers. Sharpe would be the tough matchup, but not a massive one.

          Here's my question: are they playing by 1997 rules or 2015 rules?

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Butler By'Note View Post
            The 15 defense would absolutely shut down those receivers. Sharpe would be the tough matchup, but not a massive one.

            Here's my question: are they playing by 1997 rules or 2015 rules?
            l would take the 2015 team with either era's rules because of the defense. We shut down Gronk most of the season. We shut down run games most of the season. Our secondary wouldn't struggle too badly with Rod and McCaffrey imo, and our pass rushers would still find a way to Elway.
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            • #7
              Originally posted by Houshmazode View Post
              l would take the 2015 team with either era's rules because of the defense. We shut down Gronk most of the season. We shut down run games most of the season. Our secondary wouldn't struggle too badly with Rod and McCaffrey imo, and our pass rushers would still find a way to Elway.
              The biggest struggle for the 2015 team would be against play action, but I'm not sure the 97 team holds up in pass protection against the 2015 team. The 2015 team wouldn't have issues with Smith and McCaffrey. People need to remember Smith wasn't a star nor great player in 97, he was still learning and dropped a lot of footballs. Talib would be a favourable matchup against McCaffrey.

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              • #8
                I'm honestly surprised by some of these opinions. Our 97 offense was one of the most complete, balanced offenses ever.

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                • #9
                  Atwater would kill the whole 15 wr core and as good as the 15 D is I just don't think they would have an answer for the 97 run game. Our running game of the late 90's was unstoppable!!!
                  Last edited by Assassin27; 02-09-2016, 07:35 PM.
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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Assassin27 View Post
                    Atwater would kill the whole 15 wr core and as good as the 15 D is I just don't think they would have an answer for the 97 run game. Our running game of the late 90's was unstoppable!!!

                    The 97-98 running O was pretty awesome, but one of the advantages they had was that they were the only team using zone blocking at the time (Alex Gibbs and Shanahan brought it back to the NFL) so defenses had to prepare to face something they didn't get to see. Now almost every team uses zone blocking in their schemes so defenses aren't facing anything new.

                    Not saying they wouldn't still have some success, but that is a huge advantage that Denver had during that time period.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Butler By'Note View Post
                      The 97-98 running O was pretty awesome, but one of the advantages they had was that they were the only team using zone blocking at the time (Alex Gibbs and Shanahan brought it back to the NFL) so defenses had to prepare to face something they didn't get to see. Now almost every team uses zone blocking in their schemes so defenses aren't facing anything new.

                      Not saying they wouldn't still have some success, but that is a huge advantage that Denver had during that time period.
                      Yes most teams do run the zone blocking schemes today but most teams do not have a RB like TD either.
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                      • #12
                        The 98 offense had some legends and had a very balanced attack, but our 15 defense is legendary. Our 2013 offense was much better than the late 90s, and the defensive model was proven to work.

                        I'm going with the defense on this one.

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                        • #13
                          I think it would have been an evenly matched game, but I think the 15 team takes the win.
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                          • #14
                            I think von Miller would of needed acl/mcl surgery after playing against that line

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                            • #15
                              97 team had hall of famers and all pros at just about every position on offense. To me, that gives them the edge. The 15 offense would be extremely limited by the 97 defense. While I think the 97 offense would be able to put up enough points to get it done. But as my brother in law played on the 97 squad, I admit I am biased.

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