It’s been a tough go at it for first-year Denver Broncos head coach Nathaniel Hackett. In his debut as the Broncos’ head man, Hackett’s late-game decision-making came into question big time.
Denver found itself down 17-16 late in the fourth quarter against Russell Wilson‘s former Seattle Seahawks team. Rather than go for it on fourth-and-five in plus territory, Hackett opted to send Brandon McManus out there for a 64-yard field goal attempt. The kick missed, sending Denver to an upset loss to open the Nathaniel Hackett era.
At least initially, it wasn’t going any better at home against the Houston Texans on Sunday. With Wilson struggling big time, Denver found itself down 9-6 late in the third quarter. The team was facing fourth-and-two from Houston’s 36-yard-line. That’s when indecision on Hackett’s part cost the Broncos three points.
Hackett initially kept the offense out there to go for it before sending the field goal unit on to the field at the last moment. The end result was a five-yard delay of game penalty, forcing the Broncos into a punting situation.
We honestly have no idea what’s even going on here. Denver had two timeouts remaining. It could have easily called a timeout for a chance to regroup. Rather, Hackett and Co. took points off the board with some absurd in-game coaching.
Nathaniel Hackett under a microscope again
Following last week’s loss, Hackett admitted that he should have let his $243 million quarterback attempt to win the game rather than going for a desperation field goal. While the first-year head coach has been attempting to turn the page, it is something that has dogged him since the days since. Primarily, making a questionable decision like that on national television to open his NFL head coaching career.
Unfortunately, Hackett’s in-game coaching decisions have played a major role on Sunday. The same thing can be said about Wilson’s struggles. The future Hall of Fame quarterback opened Sunday’s game by completing 7-of-21 passes for 99 yards and an interception before throwing a go-ahead touchdown in the fourth quarter.