Wednesday, September 21, 2022

With another loss, changes could come for the Broncos

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After two games, the Denver Broncos could see changes coming quicker than we might have thought.

Head coach Nathaniel Hackett has struggled in situational conditions this season, and that’s inexcusable. Everyone remembers his questionable decision during Denver’s first game of the season, where he clocked kicker Brandon McManus down the clock to attempt a 64-yard field goal to win the game.

In Denver’s second game, you couldn’t believe it could get any worse, but it did. Several times during the game against the Houston Texans, Denver was called out for multiple game penalty delays due to the play call being late.

“Too sloppy off offense, there were too many things we just made it difficult for ourselves,” Hackett said after the game.

There were many times when players on the field didn’t know what to do in certain situations. Denver, for example, lined up for a field goal from 54 yards, but the kicking unit got on the field so late because Hackett couldn’t make a quick decision. That turned into a game penalty delay to return the ball five more yards. After the penalty was blown, Brandon McManus took another practice kick and nailed it right down the middle.

Because it was going to be a 59-yard field goal, Hackett decided to pot the ball at home in great weather and with the advantage of height, despite attempting to kick a 64-yard field goal at sea level in Seattle .

“We need to make sure the communication is clear and concise. I have to get better at making decisions faster and faster and getting that information back to the quarterback and being on the same page with him,” Hackett said Monday.

Denver had to burn all three timeouts in the fourth quarter because of poor communication between Hackett and the coaching staff. Eventually it was fourth and the Broncos didn’t have a punt returner on the field willing to return the punt. There, Hackett had to take a break.

The 76,000 Broncos fans who attended the game booed not the players but the coaching staff in their second game of the season.

“I don’t blame them, I booed myself,” Hackett admitted after the game.

It even got to the point where fans were counting down the game clock for Hackett on offense because of game penalties being delayed or the snap barely getting out.

When asked if he was considering taking things like game management or play calling off his plate, Hackett replied, “I’m going to continue with play calling, I think that’s been pretty efficient up to this point, we’ve done a good job move the ball. I think from the game management side we just need to streamline the whole thing. Hackett continued, “We’re all working together for the first time and we just want to be sure that we’re more efficient and that we can make better, faster decisions.”

Hackett was also asked if he’d thought about adding an experienced offensive spirit to help with communications in the dressing room: “I think it’s always open-ended but for us all are good, we just have to do things together work out.” Hackett added, “We need to communicate better, and that starts with me and getting the right information that I need. I get excited, I’m a bit aggressive sometimes and sometimes it might not be the right decision. I just need to be sure I get all the right information at the right time so we can make the right decision.”

Though the win wasn’t pretty for Hackett and the Broncos, the rookie head coach received a post-game tie from Russell Wilson and Courtland Sutton for the win in his first game as head coach.

Denver’s new owners even received cue balls for their first wins as first-time owners.

Denver’s attack is designed to run the ball, take the deep ball out of play, and score points. The Broncos could run and throw the ball but didn’t score and mostly in the red zone.

The Broncos are yet to score a touchdown in the red zone in their first two games, they are 0-6.

On Sunday, Denver fielded a strong formation with only Sutton as the only wide receiver lined up on the outside. Wilson got the snap and lofted it to Sutton, who made the catch but landed inches out of bounds.

The Broncos then went out and on the next track they played the exact same track and it still didn’t work.

Hackett’s play calling didn’t help either because he didn’t run the ball properly inside the five-yard line.

In the first game, both Javonte Williams and Melvin Gordon fumbled within the one-yard line restored by Seattle. Both games saw Wilson lined up in shotgun formation and one game had right guard Graham Glasgow thinking he was going to block the pass on a run play.

The Broncos have run 11 plays from within their opponent’s five-yard line and they are yet to score a touchdown. So far in those 11 games, Hackett’s offense has thrown the ball seven times and run the ball just four times. In situations like this, Denver needs to line up under center and just play smash mouth football and hit it down the middle.

The Broncos are averaging just 16 points per game and are underdogs this week as they host the San Francisco 49ers.

Denver’s attack is designed to run the ball, take the deep ball out of play, and score points. The Broncos could run and throw the ball but didn’t score and mostly in the red zone.

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