What just happened?
The Denver Broncos brought in Russell Wilson this offseason for his elite play and for the 4th quarter heroics he made famous while playing for the Seattle Seahawks. Now, he appeared to be on the cusp of yet another one, this time in his first game with the Broncos and playing against his former team. It was a manageable 4th down and 6 under two minutes. These are the type of moments Wilson excels in but instead of getting a chance to make a play, he was on the sideline.
The time was running down and the Broncos offense was off the field and Brandon McManus was on his way out to attempt a 64-yard field goal.
Even Broncos legend and Hall Of Famer Peyton Manning was left miffed by Hackett’s decision-making here.
Peyton was all of us pic.twitter.com/X99gjHN00B— Trevor Sikkema (@TampaBayTre) September 13, 2022
So instead of trusting Wilson to pick up 5-6 yards and get a first down, Nathaniel Hackett decided to run down the clock and have McManus attempt a kick that only a select few kickers have made throughout the history of the NFL.
Now, don’t get me wrong. McManus is a damn good kicker and he did almost make it, but what the f*ck are you doing here? You traded multiple 1st and 2nd round picks and three players to acquire Wilson, you made him one of the highest-paid quarterbacks in the NFL, but you don’t trust him to pick up 5-6 yards??
Also, you have Courtland Sutton, Jerry Jeudy who was over 100 yards already, a big tight end who just got done making a play for you, running backs who picked that yardage up all night and a quarterback who can run can extend plays. Why are you not running your best play and letting the playmakers we hyped up all offseason go out and make a play in a key moment?
Would have anyone questioned why Hackett went for it there and did not convert? Nobody would say “well, you should have had McManus attempt that 64-yarder instead”.
It was a head-scratching and inexcusable decision by Hackett. What made it even more upsetting for me was Hackett defending it and McManus taking the blame for not making the kick.
Full quote from Hackett when asked about this: "Yeah, fourth and six for me at that time, we weren't moving it in big chunks. I think we had just given up a sack right before that, so I wanted to be sure we took a chance when we had a chance. And we were confident in (McManus)." https://t.co/Sx2unSSO6A— George Stoia III (@GeorgeStoia) September 13, 2022
I am not upset at McManus but really pissed off at Hackett for justifying his stupid decision after the game. McManus was 0 for 6 or something from 60+ while you had an offense that was picking up chunk gains all night, and you felt like you had a better chance of making that kick instead of getting the first down?
You gave up a lot of valuable assets for Wilson, gave him a top-of-the-line contract, and don’t trust in him enough to get 5 or 6 yards??
I will never understand the reasoning here.
It was a rough debut for Hackett. I thought he called a solid game overall and had the offense moving almost effortlessly but penalties and the turnovers in the red zone cost the team. You can argue that the Broncos shouldn’t have even been in this position, to begin with, but unfortunately, they were.
If they can clean up these blunders, they have the makings of a very good football team. The Broncos' passing game looked good, Andrew freaking Beck, the run game was solid and the defense really stepped up in the second half. There are building blocks here and growing pains from such an inexperienced coaching staff should have been expected, but it still stings.
I’m sick that Russell Wilson didn’t get his chance at THAT moment.— RK (@RyanKoenigsberg) September 13, 2022
That was his moment. That’s why you go get Russell Wilson.
Losing a game like that stings, 0-1 stings, but hopefully, the Broncos have a bright future ahead of them and this game will be viewed as a minor road bump along the way to a successful season.
It is time to put this game behind us. Seattle likely viewed this game as their Super Bowl and the Broncos lost a close one in a hostile environment with a team still figuring out their way. Start the season fresh next week and kick the Texans' ass next week at home in front of the hometown crowd.
This sucks, I am still pissed, but you know what? Things could be worse.
We could be Cowboys fans.