Nathaniel Hackett dodges question on saving his job, but thrilled to get win
Broncos head coach Nathaniel Hackett may have very well saved his job on Sunday in London against the Jaguars.
With a 21-17 Denver win over Jacksonville, fueled by a late Russell Wilson touchdown drive, Hackett will be safe for now. The Broncos have a bye week and then return to action on November 13 in Nashville against the Titans. Hackett will be on the sidelines for Denver that day.
With very real speculation that a loss could’ve meant the end of Hackett’s time as the head coach of the Broncos, he spoke about it during his postgame press conference. A reporter asked Hackett what the win means to him personally, with so much chatter about his future.
“I mean, all that stuff I can’t control. For me, it’s about controlling what I can control. All the coaches, all the players. We always want to focus in on what we can do so we can continually get better. We’ve had opportunities to win a lot of football games. That’s facts. We’ve hurt ourselves. So, it’s about us continually learning to not hurt ourselves to give us a chance to win the game,” Hackett said.
While Hackett isn’t wrong — the Broncos have suffered a ton of brutal losses — that’s definitely dodging the question a bit. But this game for Denver was different.
They rallied in the fourth quarter rather than stumbling. Wilson bombed a ball to KJ Hamler to set up a near red zone opportunity. Runs by Wilson and Hamler ultimately set the scene for Latavius Murray to plunge the ball into the end zone. An interception from K’Waun Williams sealed the victory.
“I think this game’s more important for us because of how we won it. Being up, and then down, and then up and being able to kind of weather that storm. That’s what I love so much about this game and about this team in here. Sticking together, no matter what anybody says. Staying together, through it all. And that’s what I appreciate and that gives you a sign that it’s a chance to be a good team,” Hackett said.
There’s no doubt the weight of the world is off Hackett’s shoulders right now and he can take a deep breath. The Broncos are going to have to keep winning for him to get a second year, but for now, that’s a different story for a different day.
Denver will enjoy this one, with the nine-hour flight home much more pleasant after a big win.