BRONCOS

Russ-O-Meter: Improvements for Wilson but still stuck on 16 points

Nov 22, 2022, 3:10 AM
Russell Wilson...
Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images

The whacky NFL overtime rules mean the Raiders winning the toss and getting a touchdown was a walk off and Russell Wilson didn’t get a chance to respond.

It was the rare Denver Broncos game this season that didn’t end with the ball in Russell Wilson’s hands for better or worst. He’s led comeback wins in each of Denver’s wins this season and he’s had countless chances in the Broncos’ other seven games—given they’ve only lost one game by more than one score.

In the weekly “Russ-O-Meter,” we’ll grade and cover what’s gone on in the wide world of Wilson this week. The meter represents how psyched Broncos Country is with Russell.

Meter: 4 (1)

Stat line: 24-for-31 passing, 247 passing yards, 0 TD, 0 INT, 1 carry, 8 rushing yards, 0 TD, 3 sacks for 21 yards, 29.7 QBR, 99.8 Passer Rating

Russell Wilson’s stat line wasn’t much better than last week’s against the Titans, but his play was really good for large chunks of the game. It seemed the change from Nathaniel Hackett to Klint Kubiak in play-calling led to a better-flowing and more organized offense.

But Wilson still didn’t find the end zone himself and has only scored three touchdowns since and including Week 5. Plus, Wilson’s inability to lead the Broncos to a score on either side of the halftime break was a killer. Denver would be 9-1 if they scored 18 points per game in regulation instead of the NFL’s worst 14 points per contest. Instead, they’ve lost thirce in overtime and blown three 10-point leads, including two in a row.

One of the mistakes that factored into Denver losing a game they never trailed in was a late-game incompletion on third-and-long instead of keeping the clock moving. The mistake obviously ended in Vegas tying the game up on the ensuing last-ditch drive.

Denver ended the game with their lucky number of 16 points for the fourth time this season and their high-scoring mark for a home game.

Wilson was without Jerry Jeudy in the game, and Courtland Sutton had a drop for a fifth-straight game. With Melvin Gordon cut, Javonte Williams and Tim Patrick injured for the year, where are Wilson’s weapons? Maybe the offensive line can get healthier and protect the quarterback a bit better, but there’s still a big lack of playmakers in orange and blue.

It’s still not definitive that Russ is cooked, but there are some signs of life. And who knows, maybe one change like to Kubiak can create a domino of positivity.

Denver is back on the road in Carolina next Sunday, one of the few teams in the NFL worse than Wilson’s Broncos. The Panthers are incentivized to lose and better their draft position, which is currently No. 2, while Denver does not have their own pick, which would-be No. 5 if the season ended today—sent to Seattle in the trade for Wilson.

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Russ-O-Meter: Improvements for Wilson but still stuck on 16 points