After the Denver Broncos loss to the Indianapolis Colts on Thursday Night Football, I had to step away for a day. The loss was baffling, infuriating, and just plain ugly.
All the jokes about Denver being featured in prime time games are valid after one of the worst offensive games I have ever witnessed. And this isn’t an anomaly. The Broncos have been offensively inept all season.
In an offseason filled with hype videos, and excitement over the potential of this new direction for the franchise, we failed to truly comprehend how it could all go so horribly wrong.
And no, this isn’t a “sky is falling” moment. I believe there is plenty of time to get things right. There is far too much talent on the roster to count this team out. Still, there have been some harrowing decisions made that keep pointing to one major problem.
The football IQ of the leader of this team seems to be lower than a snake’s belly in the Grand Canyon.
Nathaniel Hackett, as a first year head coach, has yet to display the understanding of the game of football that is required to be the head coach of an NFL franchise. One could argue that he is the reason Aaron Rodgers stayed in Green Bay, but I won’t do that here.
Instead, let’s just look at some of the head scratching decisions from the Colts game. The end of the first half saw one of the strangest decisions. After making a field goal to cut the Broncos lead to 3, the Colts committed an offsides penalty on the ensuing kickoff. Rather than take the ball at the 30 yard line and push the field from their for a potential field goal with just 12 seconds left, Hackett elects to have them re-kick.
Kickers routinely kick the ball out of the back of the end zone in Denver, so this seems like a pointless move. Turns out it was worse than that. The kickoff goes deep in the end zone, but Montrell Washington fields it this time and takes it out. That’s a mistake, but a decision he never should have had to make.
He fumbles, and luckily Denver recovers. What could have been a quick 3 for Denver turned into almost a quick 3 for Indy. This is football stupidity.
At the end of regulation, while driving to take the lead, Hackett is faced with what should be a simple decision. Just north of the 2 minute warning, with the ball already deep in Colts territory another head scratcher.
The Colts were out of timeouts. All the Broncos needed to do was run some plays, let the clock wind down, kick a field goal, and allow the defense to do what it had done most of the game. Instead, Hackett calls for a pass play on 3rd down. Russell Wilson promptly throws an interception in the end zone.
All you need is a field goal, and you put the ball in the air and risk that? With your opponent sitting there without a timeout? With a QB who has been off all night on his throws? Stupidity.
Overtime. Driving. 4th and one from the Indy 5 yard line. The Colts kicked a field goal, but going for the win here is the right play. Then Hackett or Wilson, depending on which quote you want to believe decides to throw it. What happens? Another bad throw. A missed wide open KJ Hamler. A play that gave the offense only one opportunity to score.
Stupidity. And that is just the loss to the Colts.
I can forgive physical mistakes. I can let it go when the other team just beats you. But to look stupid on the football field? Nope. Unforgivable. Unacceptable.
Now, injuries are starting to ravage this team. Overcoming those physical issues will be nearly impossible if the football IQ of this team’s leaders doesn’t dramatically increase, and we will be mired in another lost season in Broncos Country.