Nathaniel Hackett’s regular season debut as the new head coach of the Broncos ended in shock.
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And not well.
Late back during the team’s “Monday Night Football” game against the Seahawksâwhich also included Russell Wilson’s return to Seattleâthe Broncos were trailing 17-16.
In third and 14th, Wilson completed a short pass to Jevont Williams for nine yards, bringing Denver to the Seahawks’ 46-yard line with 1:11, facing fourth and -5, While still owns two timeouts.
Hackett decides not to allow his guilt, and rewards his off-season blockbuster business in Wilson, to go for First Down. Instead, he opted to run the clock to 20 seconds, call a timeout and attempt a 64-yard field goal with Brandon McManus.
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,[Wilson] We knew where we had to go,” Hackett told reporters after the game. “I thought Javonte made an amazing … us in the field goal range, the mark we were looking for.”
McManus’ kick missed wide left and sealed the Seahawks’ 17-16 victory, and Seattle also gave Hackett a second chance to reconsider his decision. Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll called a timeout to ice McManus before he missed a kick, but that apparently wasn’t enough to dissuade Hackett.
“I was glad he got that [kick that didnât count] Out of the way,â Hackett said. “I thought there was a lot of distance on him, I thought we were able to make it. I trust him, and if we have to put him in that position again, I think he’s going to be able to make it.” Will happen. “
Hackett’s decision was investigated – and questioned extensively – after the game.
“I was surprised by it,” color analyst Troy Ekman said on ESPN after the game. “We [Joe Buck and I] Was surprised by this. We were caught off guard out of time. Like everyone else, we couldn’t understand why they were taking so much time off the clock. They went with McManus and that’s what Hackett made. He relied on McManus’ footing as much as he trusted Russell Wilson to be able to convert there in fourth. This will get too dissected as we go on in the week and it won’t sit well with Russell Wilson. ,
Aikman’s broadcast partner Joe Buck still believes Hackett and the Broncos would be a good marriage, but the call leaves him in disbelief.
âIt was shocking, once we came on camera to look out of that little moment and have McManus,â Buck said. “He didn’t have to try this desperate field goal. And that’s why you make a deal to get Russell Wilson in my estimation. …. It’s a strange ending to this game, to say the least. “
Here are some other reactions to Hackett’s controversial decision:
Hackett and the Broncos will return home to face the Texans next Sunday.