The one-point lost to Seattle in a sloppy game still stings, but the coach has insisted all week that the team has moved past it (even if fans like me are still reeling).
“Great. We’re moving on,” head coach Nathaniel Hackett said Tuesday. “I think we got all the corrections done. Let’s rock and roll.”
Four days later, the coach was still answering questions about how the team’s mindset was after the Seattle loss.
“They have been great. It has been all football. I think they’re excited to get back out on the field and be able to compete again. That’s all you can ask for you—everybody look to correct themselves and then move forward.”
Looking ahead to the Texans, it’s clear that the main thing the Broncos need to do is not beat themselves - as I highlight in this week’s lates “Round Up” show on YouTube.
“Going back and looking at it, the opportunities were there. We had people that were open. We had opportunities, and I think it’s about being able to execute at even higher efficiency,” Hackett acknowledged. “For us, we’re just going to keep on executing, keep on getting better at every single thing that we want to do, make sure we have the right plays and the right people in the right spots, and just keep on dialing it up.”
Russell Wilson clearly felt the same - and even hinted (slightly) that he definitely would have preferred going for the first down at the end of the game instead of kicking a 64-yard field goal.
“Yeah, anytime you get the chance to win the game and solidify it and make a play, I always believe in having the ball and everything else,” he said.
But really it’s about taking advantage of what’s in front of you at the moment.
“I think just capitalizing on opportunities. We had some great opportunities. I thought our defense got the ball a couple of times for us and did some special things. I thought we moved the ball extremely well and we were extremely confident moving up and down the field,” he said. “that’s the name of the game. I always call them, ‘Game Altering Plays,’ or ‘GAP’ plays. Those game altering plays—we have to make them and that’s the difference in that game. That would have been really exciting.”
While the Broncos are coming off a game they really should have won, the Texans are coming to town after playing a game they definitely shouldn’t have tied.
“Every game we’re urgent. In the end, we’re out there to compete every day and win every single game,” the coach said. “That’s our focus. That’s our mindset. But it’s one game at a time. One game at a time. Anything can happen in this league.”
Although the Broncos have a formidable offense to deal with in Brandin Cooks and OJ Howard, Patrick Surtain II showed last week he’s up to the task of handling the best of the best when he neutralized D.K. Metcalf.
But getting after the QB will also be on the docket. Although Davis Mills is no Russ Wilson, he is a Geno Smith, and we saw how that worked out for the Broncos last week.
“Good quarterback, he’s got good mobility that has the ability to throw accurately and he’s good player,” Hackett said. “Obviously, he’s not the most experienced, he’s still growing in the game, but he’s a good football player and we have to definitely account for him.”
The defense also needs to be disruptive. With Caden Sterns starting in place of an injured Justin Simmons, it will be uber-important that the pass rush rattles the QB early and takes some pressure off Sterns in coverage.
Hackett noted the threat Brandin Cooks poses to the Broncos.
“He’s got a lot of juice. We all know what he’s done in his past at all the teams that he’s been with,” he said. “He’s an unbelievable vertical threat. We’re going to have to know where he is at all times because we know they’re going to try to throw the ball down the field.”
The Broncos need to not beat themselves with stupid penalties, poor discipline and dumb decisions (looking at you, Coach!)
And if Russell Wilson picks up where he left off last week - and reminds his coach that 4th and 5 is in his wheelhouse, the Broncos should leave Mile High with a much-needed victory on Sunday.