BRONCOS

Wilson says the right things on Hackett taking the football out of his hands

Sep 12, 2022, 10:42 PM
Russell Wilson Nathaniel Hackett...
(Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)
(Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

That was a huge bummer.

As the Broncos Week 1 loss to the Seahawks sinks in, how it happened becomes more and more painful.

Denver blew a stunning amount of opportunities in the second half, and fell 17-16 in a horribly disappointing defeat. Broncos head coach Nathaniel Hackett attempted to explain everything that went wrong, including two fumbles at the one-yard line.

But the story of the night is Hackett letting the clock drain nearly 40 seconds, taking it all the way down to just 20 ticks remaining, then trying a 64-yard field goal with Brandon McManus for the win. Rather than let new QB Russell Wilson have a shot at a manageable fourth-and-five, Hackett took the football out of his best player’s hands. Mistake. McManus missed wide left and the Broncos are now 0-1.

In his postgame press conference, Wilson gave a lengthy answer about the decision and said all the right things. Hyping up McManus and having his head coach’s back.

“Well, we’ve got the best field goal kicker maybe in the game. We said ‘where can you make it from tonight?’ And he said 46 (yard-line), left hash. I think we were on the 46, left hash. That was before the drive. And we got it there. Unfortunately, it didn’t go in. I think he has the leg for it, for sure, it just went a little left. I believe in coach Hackett and I believe in what we’re doing. Any time you can try to make a play on fourth-and-five, that’s great too, but also I don’t think it was the wrong decision. I think he can make it. If we were in that position again, I wouldn’t doubt whatever (Hackett) decided,” Wilson said.

That’s the classy answer, but you have to wonder if Wilson is seething internally. He came to Denver because he wanted more chances. Hackett denied him one tonight.

The other thing that didn’t help were the fumbles. One by Melvin Gordon and one by Javonte Williams at the absolute worst possible times. Wilson didn’t throw them under the bus, either, but acknowledged the Broncos have to be better.

“The reality was we didn’t get the ball in the end zone a couple times on those RedZone plays. Turned it over a couple times down there. But the thing was, how we kept answering. I thought we were really good on third down. Any time you play, it’s about the turnover battle. You’ve got to win that. The great thing I told these guys is we’ve got to be unwavering. It didn’t go our way, but guess what? There’s 16 more games to go,” Wilson said.

That’s the right attitude, but man, this one has to sting. Wilson desperately wanted to beat the Seahawks in his return to Seattle. That didn’t happen, and his head coach and running backs are a big reason why.

***

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Wilson says the right things on Hackett taking the football out of his hands