The Denver Broncos have fallen to 3-7 following an overtime loss to the Las Vegas Raiders. Even if the team has not yet hit rock bottom this season, (how much worse can it get?) these two changes are immediately necessary.
You already know what one of those changes is, so I will get to that momentarily. Let’s begin with running back Melvin Gordon.
There is absolutely no reason for Gordon to be on the team at this point. He will be a free agent following this season and it would be shocking to see the team have any interest in bringing him back, so why not just let him go now?
Gordon has been replaced as the team’s main back by Latavius Murray, who had more than double the number of carries Gordon did against the Raiders. Murray wasn’t even on the team until a little over a month ago but he is clearly the more effective runner.
What has kept Gordon around has been injuries. Javonte Williams is out for the season and though he’s been with the team only a short time since coming over in the Bradley Chubb trade, Chase Edmonds left Sunday’s game with an ankle injury.
But the Broncos would be fine without Gordon, even if they had to rely on the likes of Marlon Mack or Devine Ozigbo should Edmonds miss time.
Gordon brings next to nothing to this team and he is a turnover waiting to happen. Though he didn’t turn the ball over in Sunday’s game, he still negatively impacted a drive.
Just before halftime, the Broncos went on a long drive that started on their own 14-yard line. They were able to drive all the way to the Raiders’ 3-yard line. But facing a 3rd-and-1, Gordon took a handoff and had the ball knocked out. It bounced back and the Broncos were able to recover.
On the next play, Brandon McManus had his 25-yard field goal attempt blocked. The Broncos should have had seven points and at worst, three points, but wound up with zero. Had they gotten those points, overtime would have never been necessary.
Send Gordon packing.
Broncos need to move on from Nathaniel Hackett, Melvin Gordon
Then you have Nathaniel Hackett. It’s not even a question of whether or not he should be relieved of his head coaching duties at this point. It’s completely necessary.
There will be the argument that it will do no good to replace him during the season, but it certainly can’t do any more harm.
It was definitely good to see him give up play-calling duties to Klint Kubiak, but it’s not enough. Hackett is not a good fit for this team with Russell Wilson and when you consider that nearly every game has looked identical, where the team loses with a great defensive performance and scores 14 points or less every week, things are not going to suddenly get better.
Then you have the fact that the Raiders have just three wins this season and two of those have come against the Broncos. Josh McDaniels has been every bit as bad as Hackett, yet he’s 2-0 against him in head-to-head matchups.
It’s time for Hackett to go and there really is no better time, during this season, than right now. He’s almost certainly not going to be back next year, so the team needs to cut ties to him and start preparing a search for who the best possible replacement would be.
In the meantime, Dom Capers can get the team through the remainder of the year.