BRONCOS

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly: KJ Hamler’s meltdown says it all

Oct 7, 2022, 9:53 AM
KJ Hamler...
(Photo by RJ Sangosti/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images)
(Photo by RJ Sangosti/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images)

There’s no way to sugarcoat that one.

It absolutely stunk.

The Denver Broncos lost to the Indianapolis Colts 12-9 on Thursday night in overtime in one of the most pathetic displays of football you will ever see. The Broncos made mistake after mistake to somehow give the Colts a chance, with their $245 million QB playing an atrocious game. The fanbase is steaming mad, and rightfully so.

How did it happen and what were the biggest takeaways? Let’s dive into it with our fifth edition of the Good, the Bad and the Ugly.

The Good

For the fourth time in five contests, the Denver defense was outstanding.

Caden Sterns had two interceptions of veteran Indy QB Matt Ryan. Bradley Chubb had 2.5 sacks and Baron Browning, filling in for Randy Gregory, added 1.5 sacks. The pressure on Ryan was relentless all night, and Denver finished with six sacks, seven tackles for loss and 12 quarterback hits. They also forced four fumbles, but weren’t able to recover any of them.

The stat sheet is loaded with guys who had unbelievable games. Every player on the unit looked fierce and intimidating. They were flying around the field and embarrassed the Colts. This should have been a laugher, with the Broncos winning going away. Unfortunately, the only thing more embarrassing than the Indianapolis offense was Denver’s, specifically their quarterback…

The Bad

It’s a joke that’s been made before, but Russell Wilson looks cooked.

He went just 21-39 in passing attempts, threw two horrible interceptions and finished with a QB rating of 54.9. After the game, Wilson admitted the loss was on him, and yes, it was. The first INT was a hope and a prayer with no chance of being caught, costing the Broncos a field goal.

The second one, somehow, was even worse. Facing third-and-four, just outside of the two-minute warning, he tried to hit little used WR Tyrie Cleveland in the end zone. The pass was picked off and Ryan led the Colts down the field for a game-tying field goal to force OT.

Then, on the final play of the game, Wilson locked in on Courtland Sutton even though KJ Hamler was wide open for a touchdown. Wide open. Hamler had a visible meltdown, and for good reason. How can anyone trust Wilson to lead this team if he can’t make a simple read with the game on the line?

The Ugly

The entire organization is in an ugly spot right now.

From GM George Paton, to head coach Nathaniel Hackett, to Wilson, all three of them have to be feeling sick this morning. And the Walton-Penner Family Ownership Group (WPFOG) must be wanting a return on their $4.65 billion investment. For the third time in less than a month, the Broncos were the laughingstock of the NFL on every national sports show.

This attention, the absolute wrong kind, is getting old in a hurry. What kind of CEO is Greg Penner? He better be one ready to make some major changes. This fanbase has been tortured since Super Bowl 50, and things are somehow getting worse. That wasn’t supposed to happen with Wilson in the fold.

Paton tied his legacy to Wilson, and the trade is trending toward being one of the worst in NFL history. Hackett looks like he’s in way over his head. The Broncos have hit rock bottom, and everyone involved in getting them here should be held accountable.

What we witnessed on Thursday night was an embarrassment. And the only ones with any power to fix it are the WPFOG. They have serious problems to address — ones they must figure out quickly.

***

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The Good, the Bad and the Ugly: KJ Hamler’s meltdown says it all