The Denver Broncos fired Nathaniel Hackett two weeks ago, the day after Christmas Day, following a 4-11 record for the offensive mastermind. Well, sadly the mastermind for the Packers and not the Broncos. The Broncos finished the 2022 season with a -72 point differential, which was the sixth-worst in the league.
Denver lost to two of the teams who had worse point differentials this season—the Indianapolis Colts (led by Matt Ryan) and the Los Angeles Rams (led by Baker Mayfield).
Gross. Why would a head coach want to come in and try to fix that mess? The Denver Broncos must be beyond repair!
Wrong. As was pointed out following the team’s first game without Hackett, Hackett for some reason was the main issue on offense. The Broncos have scored 55 points over the final two weeks of the season. I wish I was a fly on the wall during Hackett’s tenure and try to see exactly what was going on. Why was the offense so inept? I mean, Hackett was successful with Aaron Rodgers. Russell Wilson is not a bad quarterback.
It felt at times that Wilson had been cooked this season but under Jerry Rosburg and Justin Outten’s guidance, he seemed back to his old self. Is it possible that Hackett felt it was necessary to try and use his own magic with Wilson rather than Outten’s? That really must have been it because once Outten was given play-calling duties, things took a turn for the better.
After Hackett was fired, we finally got to see tight end Albert Okwuegbunam have a decent game. Okwuegbunam appeared to be in Hackett’s doghouse for whatever reason but when Rosburg became the interim head coach, the tight end had a solid performance and proved that he has a spot on the team in 2023.
We could see former Denver Broncos head coach Vic Fangio return to Denver as the team’s defensive coordinator if Sean Payton ends up as the team’s coach.
Some people were worried that the Broncos’ head coaching vacancy was unappealing because of the horrible offensive output this season. At the end of the day, the offense ended the season on a high note and their success should be encouraging to any head coaching candidate. Jim Harbaugh, Sean Payton, come on down.