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Nathaniel Hackett may have a path to saving his job

It’s a narrow path, but I can see it exists. The only question now is whether or not he can guide the Denver Broncos towards saving his job in 2023.

Denver Broncos v Baltimore Ravens Photo by G Fiume/Getty Images

The Denver Broncos offense finally showed up in 2022. It’s December, so the season is already over, but for Nathaniel Hackett it might end up being better late than never when it comes to his job after the season.

Before anyone grabs their pitchforks, I still think Hackett is fired regardless of how the team finishes. However, there could be a glimmer of light at the end of this tunnel for Hackett if this team plays a very specific way in their final four games. To get to that glimmer of light, the finish to the season must include all of the following:

  1. Strong offensive production and scoring in all four remaining games.
  2. No more embarrassing and boneheaded coaching miscues.
  3. Win three of the final four (@KC is going to be a tough one, so 3 out of 4 seems reasonable).

That’s it. Denver actually achieved both 1 and 3 on Sunday against the Kansas City Chiefs, but it was the first time all season. If they do it in each of the next four weeks, then I think there would be an argument to be made that perhaps Hackett should be given another year.

The fact that players are still fighting for Hackett is not a bad thing. It shows that our perception of him as a terrible head coach may not align with reality inside the building. Still, with just four games to go, Hackett may have already run out of time. But he sounded hopeful after the loss on Sunday.

“The goal is to win,” Hackett said after the Chiefs game. “We all know that. But to watch these guys when you’re down 27-0—everybody had a choice on how they wanted to continue that game. I’m so impressed with all those guys—defense, offense, special teams. They didn’t blink, they stayed together. Defense came through with a big play for an interception and offense was able to play complementary football and score and continually score after they got another interception and then another one. That’s all, it’s great. It was awesome. We have to finish. We had opportunities to continually win that game. I appreciate that, and that is kind of that moral victory, but we want to win the game. We had a chance to. But the fight that these guys have is awesome.”

This loss proved the team does have the potential to beat anyone. Down 27-0 to one of the best teams in the league? Tell me how many of you thought it was game over when it was 13-0?

Exactly.

Up until Russell Wilson was knocked out of the game with a concussion, the Broncos looked like the team we had all expected to see before Week 1. Now if they can follow this up with a continued flipping of the script in the final four games, then Hackett will have a stronger argument that he should be given another chance in 2023.

I’m not saying I agree that he should be given a second year, but he would at least have a reasonable argument for it. I think this might be our Broncos Reacts Survey question this week. We’ll get it together and post it on Tuesday for everyone to vote on!