Hackett laments “self-inflicted wounds” as reason for offensive struggles
The Broncos offense is averaging just over 14 points per game so far in the 2022 season.
In three contests against the Seahawks, Texans and 49ers the unit has yet to click. It reached a new low on Sunday night against San Francisco, when Denver had to punt the football 10 times. Luckily, the Broncos were able to escape with an 11-10 victory thanks to a fantastic defensive effort.
At his press conference on Wednesday, head coach Nathaniel Hackett was asked about what it will take for the offense to finally get going and what that will look like. Hackett initially chuckled at the question, before actually giving a revealing answer.
“You know, scoring a lot of points and scoring in the red zone. And converting on third down and getting a good running game, good pass game, good balance between the two of those. I think that’s what we’re aiming for. We have yet to really turn it on and right now it’s a lot of self-inflicted wounds. I think that’s the positive thing,” Hackett said.
Those “self-inflicted” wounds generally include penalties and turnovers. They were a problem against Seattle and Houston, but actually cleaned up against the Niners. The Broncos committed just five penalties for 30 yards and didn’t have a turnover. Although running back Melvin Gordon put the ball on the ground twice. Luckily, both were recovered by Denver.
Still, Hackett knows 11 points in an NFL game is nowhere near good enough, and the improvements start with him.
“I think it’s about us as a group, it’s about me as a play-caller first and foremost. And then getting Russell (Wilson) in a rhythm, getting the running backs in a rhythm, getting everybody in a rhythm to be efficient and also be able to get explosive plays,” Hackett said.
In terms of how long it will take to finally see the offense click, Hackett said he’s been asked that question a lot. And for now, he can’t put a timeframe on it.
“I wish I had an exact number or an exact time. I think any time you bring a group of 22 guys that suit up on game day together, everybody’s working with everyone. And everybody’s trying to get a feel for everyone, from cadence to play-call, to rhythm, to routes, to how we’re attacking everyone and understanding the system. There’s so many things that go into this game. Sometimes it happens quicker, sometimes it takes a little longer,” Hackett said.
That’s a good way of telling fans that a good offense needs time to gel. There’s a lot that goes into it.
At 2-1, folks still have some patience, but it needs to get better soon. That starts on Sunday with a trip to Vegas against the hated Raiders.