Russell Wilson, Nathaniel Hackett losing Broncos Country quickly
Things have very quickly gone from Broncos Country, let’s ride to Broncos Country…let’s leave. Right or wrong, hordes of Denver Broncos fans made their way to the exits at Empower Field at Mile High as the Thursday night matchup against the Indianapolis Colts went to overtime. The allure of acquiring Russell Wilson as the team’s franchise quarterback is no longer powerful enough to keep fans in their seats as the team tries to get a win in overtime.
Which they didn’t. The Indianapolis Colts marched down the field and scored a field goal on a battered and beaten Denver Broncos defense, and the Broncos offense couldn’t match or exceed it. Despite getting the ball down into the red zone, it was unironically a failure inside the 10-yard line that pushed the Denver Broncos to 2-3, causing Broncos fans to go absolutely ballistic on Twitter.
Russell Wilson and Nathaniel Hackett are losing supporters in Broncos Country
For five straight games, Denver Broncos fans have seen the same exact thing. The offense has been inept. Perhaps it’s unfair to expect Russell Wilson to be some magic ingredient propelling this previously dismal outfit into the upper echelon of the league, but that had been the expectation. With five games to evaluate in the orange and blue, we now have the clear worst performance yet from Russell Wilson after perhaps being able to justify blaming everyone else the first four weeks.
Wilson was not atrocious in this game, but he made some atrocious decisions at key times. With the Broncos leading by three points late in the game, the running game started to absolutely dominate the Indianapolis Colts. The Broncos marched down into the red zone where Russell Wilson started throwing the ball, inexplicably. And then it bit the Broncos as Stephon Gilmore stepped in front of a Wilson pass to (checks notes) Tyrie Cleveland, a late progression, and a bad ball by Wilson that was behind Cleveland.
This is not what every fan in Broncos Country signed up for. After six years of dismal quarterback play and anemic offense, Russell Wilson and Nathaniel Hackett are combining to bring more of the same? That simply cannot be. Hackett was supposed to bring his “innovative” approach to the Mile High City with Russell Wilson being the straw to stir the whole drink. A list of playmakers at every skill position and seemingly only the need for the right guys to be out there calling plays and pulling the trigger.
So why is this not working? Why are fans leaving before the overtime period starts? Why are fans having to count down the play clock or hold their breath whenever a big play happens in anticipation of a flag? Why are so many drives being stalled by penalties? Why does it feel like every yard gained is so strenuous?
Why not run the ball on 4th-and-1 there at the end of the overtime period? Why not work to get yourself a fresh set of downs? What is going on with the missed or blocked field goals? Why is there no rhythm to the offense? How do you lose at home to the worst scoring offense in the entire NFL with six sacks and two interceptions from your defense?
The Broncos are putting on a clinic when it comes to lack of execution. They are proving themselves — not the Colts or the Bears — to be the worst offense in the NFL because they have way fewer excuses.
Leaving a game before it’s over is perhaps a bit over the top, but you can’t blame the Broncos fan base for being absolutely beside themselves at this point. What we are seeing from this team offensively is unacceptable in every possible way. Needless to say, someone’s going to be held accountable for it. The new ownership group is not going to be happy — in the slightest — about being the butt of every joke on national sports and NFL talk shows.
The Broncos are financially married to Russell Wilson for the next four years, at the very least. He’s not going anywhere and it’s premature to even want that. Be frustrated with Wilson all you want, but there’s no point in wishing the Broncos could take that one back now. The biggest question right now, with a lot of time to stew before the team’s next game — once again in the national spotlight — on October 17, is how much longer does Nathaniel Hackett have in the head coach’s seat?
The excuses of this being so early in the season and chemistry and this that and the other are just white noise at this point. At some point, you have to make a decision and stick to it, of course, but the fact of the matter is that Broncos Country simply does not tolerate this kind of ineptitude on offense. How much longer will George Paton tolerate it? What even is the solution? How do you stay patient and stay the course like this when you’re just plain bad on offense and nothing seems to work?
Frustration has reached its peak. Fans are going to start tuning out, and are probably eager to have this break from the Broncos. Unfortunately, before the Broncos play another game, the Chiefs could have five wins. The hole is, effectively, dug.
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