After losing in the Divisional round of the playoffs during three of the previous four seasons, the Broncos underwent numerous coaching changes, including a mutual parting with head coach John Fox, and the hiring of Gary Kubiak as the new head coach. Under Kubiak and offensive coordinator Rick Dennison, the Broncos planned to install a run-oriented West coast offense with zone blocking to blend in with Manning's shotgun passing style, but struggled with numerous changes and injuries to the offensive line.
Manning missed six games due to a partial tear of the plantar fascia in his left foot and had his worst statistical season since his rookie year with the Indianapolis Colts in 1998. Backup quarterback Brock Osweiler filled in for Manning during the second half of the regular season, before Manning re-claimed the starting quarterback position prior to the team's postseason run. Under defensive coordinator Wade Phillips, the Broncos' defense ranked No. 1 in total yards, passing yards, average yards per rush and sacks (see Statistics section), and like the previous three seasons, the team continued to set numerous individual, league and franchise records.
The Broncos clinched their fifth-consecutive AFC West division title, fourth consecutive first-round bye and the American Football Conference (AFC)'s No. 1 playoff seed for the third time in four seasons. The Broncos' defense dominated their playoff opponents, recording 14 sacks as well as surrendering only one touchdown pass and a combined 44 points. The Broncos defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers 23–16 in the Divisional round and the New England Patriots 20–18 in the AFC Championship Game. The Broncos then defeated the Carolina Panthers 24–10 in Super Bowl 50 — the franchise's third Super Bowl championship, and the first since winning back-to-back Super Bowls in 1997 and 1998.