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4 winners, 5 losers, 1 both in Broncos ugly 17-16 loss to Seahawks

Costly penalties. Horrible turnovers. Atrocious clock and game management define the Broncos season-opening loss.

Denver Broncos v Seattle Seahawks Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images

New quarterback, same crap.

Maybe Nathaniel (can’t) Hackett.

Yes, it’s one game for the Denver Broncos (0-1), but the same clock and game management issues this team has had since Gary Kubiak retired are still present and accounted for. This time in a brutal 17-16 loss to the Seattle Seahawks (1-0).

Per the usual, I’m bound to forget someone, leave them off or put them in the wrong category, so please mention them in the comments.


Russell Wilson

The good news from this game is the offense can move the ball. And when Wilson throws for 340 yards, the team will win in most situations. But the inability to score touchdowns, especially inside the 5-yard line is why the Broncos lost. Part of that is on Wilson. Most of it is on Hackett and the offensive coaches. More on that later.

Jerry Jeudy

We saw a glimpse of what Jeudy is capable of in this game and he did get Denver’s lone touchdown. Jeudy led the game with 102 yards on only four catches. However, he had a massive drop that put the offense in third-and-five late in the game.

Courtland Sutton

Would have been nice to target the Denver receivers a little sooner, but Sutton also had a great game. The Denver receiver finished with 72 yards on just four catches.

Bradley Chubb

After a brutal first half, the Broncos defense showed up in the second half. The unit was led by Chubb, who had both of Denver’s sacks. Chubb also finished with six tackles (four solo), two tackles for loss and two QB hits.


Javonte Williams

The second-year Broncos running back had seven rushes for 43 yards and 11 catches for 65. Pretty good. The reason he’s a both is the huge fumble on the second-straight trip inside the 10-yard line. I don’t like the playcall at all, but he has to protect the football. Speaking of which ...


Melvin Gordon

This is now a trend for the Denver running back. And he’s done it in two straight games going back to the end of the 2021 regular season against the Kansas City Chiefs.

Nathaniel (can’t?) Hackett

At least not in this game. We thought Vic Fangio was bad at in-game and clock management. Hackett said “hold my beer.” Holy smokes. The play calls took forever to get into the huddle causing the delay of games. Horrible play calling inside in the 10-yard line on two consecutive trips. And then whatever the hell we saw at the end of the game. What’s the point of trading for Wilson and extending him and then not giving him the ball on fourth-and-5 with 20 seconds remaining? Instead, you attempt a 64-yard field goal? Really? Not to mention the costly penalties on both sides of the ball.

The Broncos looked like a team that hadn’t played and wasn’t prepared.

Ronald Darby

At least he got a little better over the course of the game? To be fair, Darby couldn’t get much worse.

The decision to kick a 64-field goal

I’m sorry, I can’t let this go. You have Wilson as your QB and you willingly decide to kick a 64-yard field goal? As Aaron Schatz pointed out, the win probability for a pass is 36.1%. The win probably kicking a 64-field goal was 7.9%. Take win probability out of it, and it’s still a dumbass decision. As Warren Sharp pointed out, on Brandon McManus’s last six attempts of 62 yards or longer, he’s missed all of them. The miss isn’t on McManus; why the eff is he kicking it?

The Broncos lost a game they should have won, and the head coach looked completely out of his element.


Holy cow did I get this game wrong? I had nothing to do with the outcome, but yikes. I pulled a Hackett.