Broncos confound everyone with decision to try 64-yard field goal

Denver Broncos v Seattle Seahawks
Getty Images

Rarely in this day and age is there anything on which the vast majority of people agree. Tonight, we found something around which we could all rally.

In his first game as a head coach, Nathaniel Hackett made a bizarre decision to take the football out of Bronco quarterback Russell Wilson‘s hands with the game on the line, opting for a field goal.

Not a 34-yard field goal. Or a 44-yard field goal. Or a 54-yard field goal. Hackett opted to dial up a 64-yard field goal attempt — which would have been the second-longest in league history — in lieu of giving Wilson a chance to convert on fourth and five.

Making the situation even more bizarre was that the Broncos allowed nearly all of the play clock to expire before calling their first time out of the second half, with 20 seconds to play.

After the game, Hackett said they were “right on the line” of the distance from which kicker Brandon McManus can convert. But it was still a 64-yard field goal.

And they have Wilson. That’s why they gave up all those picks. That’s why they gave him all that money. To deliver in moments like that. Especially when he’s back in Seattle, for perhaps the only time in the balance of his career.

It’s indefensible. It’s incomprehensible. It’s inexcusable.

Fortunately for Hackett, he doesn’t have to answer directly to the many fans and media who think it was idiotic to not try to convert on fourth and five. But he will have to answer to owners who didn’t hire him to be the head coach. And Greg Penner, Rob Walton, and company will surely have some tough questions to ask Hackett.

He’ll have answers for them. Football coaches always do. And he has the security of a freshly-minted contract to protect him against the ultimate accountability for an ultimately bone-headed decision.

But he’d better redeem himself quickly. Even if he’ll never admit it to anyone but himself, he has to know that, in a moment of truth, he made the wrong call. And he would hardly be the first coach to make it only one year on the job. (It’s not as if the new owners can’t afford the buyout.)

Think of it this way. If he’d gone for it with Wilson and failed, would anyone by saying, “Man, you should have tried a 64-yard field goal instead of trusting your franchise quarterback?”

Maybe someone, somewhere would have made that argument. Maybe someone who thought they were playing the game in, you know, Denver. Maybe someone who would apply hindsight no matter the outcome.

McManus is a great kicker. There’s no way that he’s good enough that you opt for a kick that long at sea level when you’ve just made a massive investment in a quarterback in whom you supposedly have sufficient faith to gain five yards in a gotta-have-it situation.

If you don’t believe in Russell Wilson in that moment, why did you go all-in for him? That was the moment to lay the cards in the table and see what they had in Wilson.

Let Russ cook? It was let Russ watch. And Wilson may have some thoughts about the decision. Thoughts that he surely won’t be sharing publicly.

86 responses to “Broncos confound everyone with decision to try 64-yard field goal

  1. Russ is seething.

    He and his entourage seethe a lot.

    Meanwhile the coach doesn’t trust him.

    30 seconds left, three time outs, 4th and 5 and he tries a 64 yard FG after letting the clock run down.

    Now THAT’S funny.

  2. Prepare for the third installment of the great Breakin’ movies to begin production. Breakin’ 3, Denver Boogaloo. (Let’s hope Turbo is still around)

  3. Lovie Smith just texted coach Hackett, and told him he should have punted because his offense was “gassed”.

  4. They weren’t willing to go against the vaunted 12’s for even one more down. Headline should read: Geno and 12’s Lead Hawks to Dominant Win

  5. Inexplicable that Gordon has more rushing attempts that Williams. This is partly why Fangio isn’t the coach anymore

  6. & the media is making a mountain out of Bill not hiring or naming an offensive Coordinator…… after watching a bunch of supposed teams with so called geniuses as head coaches & brilliant offensive coordinators fail miserably, I’d say Bill is probably laughing his butt off…
    Go Pats!!

  7. The Broncos had 4 minutes and 3 timeouts. They only managed to go 33 yards. Pathetic drive and horrible coaching. And then Hackett used the last 2 timeouts when it didn’t matter anymore, like, “Oh, hey, was I supposed to use these?”

  8. Hackett, Taylor, and Kingsbury must have been hanging out too much lol. It’s one thing to make a decision and the outcome just doesn’t go into your favor. It’s another thing to just give games away with decisions that have no basis in logic and no one even understands.

  9. If you watched his post game press conference, Hackett doubled down and defended his ridiculous decision.
    He wasn’t going to be the first coach to ever admit he messed up.

  10. New coaches sometimes want to show everyone how tough they are. Gotta get physical down there. Yeah, right! Lucky for the Broncos, there are a lot of young head coaches in the league.

  11. Man that was one of the worst called games I can remember. Stupid decision also at the end of game! Time management comes into play. If the coach does this again anytime soon he better think about this job. Wow.

  12. So uuuuh, it looks like the Broncos should’ve kept Fangio if Hackett is going to coach like this. That was an awful, awful, awful first game for a HC.

  13. It was as if Fangio was still in charge. Outdoors in Seattle. 58 seconds left. “Let’s wind it down for our best chance here. A 64-yard boot. Accomplished twice in league history.” You’re right. No one questions the “go for it on 4th and 5” decision. And the dude missed the first attempt at the timeout. A chance to reconsider.

  14. Since when are your chances to make a 64 yard FG better than making a mere 5 yards? Move over Staley, Hackett is now the smartest guy in the room.

  15. Letting Russ cook isn’t always a good idea. Sure the guy can serve up a filet mignon every now and again but sometimes he can burn a hot pocket in short order. Seattle wins with a decent run game and good defense. Same when Russ was there. If he was the franchise QB he thinks he is then it shouldn’t have come down to a 4th & 5 or 64 yard FG attempt. If he’s as good as advertised then he should’ve been up 28-0 vs Geno Smith. Problem is the games actually have to be played regardless of fans and media say.

  16. Hackett looked like he was going to have a heart attack at the press conference. And what the hack was with all those time outs at the end? Did he forget how time works?

  17. Well looking at it logically every scenario was about 50/50 anyways n wonder if the new coach didn’t want the former QB fans going all nutso and he failed to convert n rubbing it in … and had he converted with a short out of bounds pass or a tad further is was still a fairly long kick so he still could have missed but I suppose I would have given Wilson the shot unless the best playmakers for converting that fourth down were hurt or something ??.

  18. Had this game been in Denver I would say attempt the kick, but not anywhere else. I’m not a Pete Carroll fan, but, being a Chiefs fan I’m happy with the dumb decision.

  19. I agree it’s not the decision I would have made, but “indefensible, incomprehensible, and inexcusable”? I wouldn’t go that far. You can defend the decision and Hackett did. None of his options were high percentage. They get the 4th and 5 and still have to make the kick that would probably be a 50 plus yard at least. Trying to rationalize the decision, I guess one long shot play versus two coin flip percentage back to back plays? Sounds more reasonable when you put it that way, but still……. Give Wilson the shot.

  20. Huge blunder, for sure. Troy and Joe weren’t paying attention, also.
    This isn’t even close to the blunder made by Staley last year in overtime with the clock ticking and his playoff ticket punched, to call a timeout against the Raiders. Staley should have been fired before he got off the sideline.

  21. A number of puzzling decisions by Nathanial Hackett tonight: Javonte Williams not getting more touches, run play from the shotgun in the red zone, not pounding the rock on the ground more in the red zone, not accounting for Melvin Gordorn’s high fumble rate in the red zone, etc. Also, so many penalities that reflected a lack of attention to detail. I’m in the minority but I could understand the decision to kick the 64 yard field goal after having blown it on second and third downs. Pete Carrol out-coached his first time head coaching opponent.

  22. If he made that decision in Seattle based on how well McManus kicks in Denver… what do you even say.

  23. It was long enough, just missed. What would you all say if it went through?
    BTW, I don’t think BB is in any mood to laugh right now.

  24. Not one person on that sideline or up in the box said something like “Coach we are averaging 6.9 yards a play tonight….what are you thinking?

    There is no excuse for that at all. If a coach can’t get his thoughts together and use common sense in a situation like this then maybe he isn’t cutout to be a coach.

    As tough as the AFC is this year a loss like this will be huge come January

  25. kissbillsrings says:
    September 12, 2022 at 11:58 pm
    & the media is making a mountain out of Bill not hiring or naming an offensive Coordinator…… after watching a bunch of supposed teams with so called geniuses as head coaches & brilliant offensive coordinators fail miserably, I’d say Bill is probably laughing his butt off…
    Go Pats!!
    As a fellow Pats’ fan —of 50+ years— I disagree with everything you said except, “Go Pats!”
    Bill is not laughing his butt off, he has a mess on his hands right now.
    Mac is in his second year and he isn’t getting the guidance he needs. The kid is tough, smart, and talented. . . don’t ruin him! Get him some help.
    Patricia may know defense. Judge is a blathering idiot. Neither should be allowed anywhere near Jones.

    If anyone can straighten this out, it’s Belichick. But he’s got to get his head out of his butt and hire an OC.
    Also, pay Scarneccia $20,000,000 to come back for the year— perhaps fire creepy mullet freeloader Steve Belichick to free up some cash.

    The defense will develop into a solid unit in the next few weeks. Judon is a stud, plus some great, young talent.
    The offense needs professional guidance, not stubbornness.

  26. To be fair the FG seemed to have the distance and just barely hook wide from what I could see on TV. And it made perfect sense to run the clock down to leave Seattle as little time as possible in that scenario if the kick were made. It would have been foolish to not run the clock down once they decided to kick it there.
    This is a classic case of “if it works out you’re a genius and if it doesn’t you’re awful.”

  27. The bigger mistake was not kicking the field goal earlier, when Gordon fumbled on 4th and goal. Aikman deferred to the analytics, as it being the right call, but it wasn’t. Situational football is way may important than an analytics. You take the points in the 3rd quarter on the road. You win the game.

  28. That was a fireable offense when i saw it in real time I was yelling “What is he doing?” I’m sure a lot of fans were also. Russ wasn’t cooking last night. Maybe he can call McCarthy for advise on time management?

  29. Those timeouts when the game was over and Seattle taking a knee ? Especially after the botched handling of the clock and the drive before that led to the too long FG ? Talk about discombobulated. But its only week 1, lets see if this is an aberration or an outlier before kicking dirt on the Broncos…..

  30. I had no problem with the decision, and McManus missed the kick left by about 1 yard. Clearly he had the distance.

    Those criticizing Nathaniel seems to think it’s 1985 where a 45 yard kick was considered long. These days even rookies like Cade York can blast a 58 yarder that would have been good from 70.

  31. Hackett confounded a lot of people when he was the Bills OC. Doesn’t appear that he has “grown” out of it.
    That was an abysmal finish and quite confounding.

  32. I didn’t watch the game. I assumed this was a last second field goal attempt in lieu of a hail mary.

  33. kissbillsrings says:
    September 12, 2022 at 11:58 pm
    & the media is making a mountain out of Bill not hiring or naming an offensive Coordinator…… after watching a bunch of supposed teams with so called geniuses as head coaches & brilliant offensive coordinators fail miserably, I’d say Bill is probably laughing his butt off…
    Go Pats!!


    Out of 32 teams, the Pats are 31st in scoring and the Pats are 17-17 since Brady left. I don’t think he should be laughing at anyone. It’s becoming clear that without Brady, BB is not very good.

  34. 4th and 5 is no gimme. 64 yarder with a good kicker was worth the gamble. The real issue is Wilson could only get the offense 3 points in the second half.

  35. In the moment it sure looked as if Russel Wilson looked OK with that call. He looked rattled the entire game from the moment he walked on to the field to boos. I suspect he may not have wanted the ball in that situation. That one pass in the Superbowl is still in his head.

  36. Inarguably, one of the most boneheaded calls of all time. In that situation, the coach has to give Russell Wilson a chance to move the chains.

  37. The redzone offense for the Broncos was turrible. Multiple turnovers near the goal line, nothing seemed to work. If they would have kicked a field goal vs going for it they would have won the game. It’s hard to blame one play when there were so many bad plays. The defense also had a ton of stupid penalties.

  38. But he used his two remaining timeouts when they had no chance of getting the ball back. Brilliant. Just think, the media picked him as the best first-time coach to succeed. Funny. That was a bad decision kicking the field goal.

  39. “It’s indefensible. It’s incomprehensible. It’s inexcusable.”

    It’s not often I say this but you nailed it PFT.

  40. And Greg Penner, Rob Walton, and company will surely have some tough questions to ask Hackett.

    Penner and Walton would not know what to ask. Pretty sure that whether the team wins or loses is the last thing they care about.

  41. The real mistake was the lack of urgency; they had times-out in their pocket. They weren’t ready with a plan. Dumb.

  42. Hindsight is always 20/20. Had he made the kick, it would not be a point of debate this morning. Or if they had decided to go for it with a throw and didn’t get the yardage, the question would have been, why didn’t they try to run the ball in or opt to kick it instead. Remember the goal line play in the Super Bowl that was intercepted, and which the ‘Hawks lost to the Patriots? Bet the next day sports pundits were saying the ‘Hawks should have tried running the ball in, instead of throwing it.

  43. catquick says:
    September 13, 2022 at 2:37 am
    It was long enough, just missed. What would you all say if it went through?

    We would say that it was still a poor decision. People need to understand that the decision process can be correct even if the result is not what was expected.

  44. Russell Diva takes his cues from Brady Diva and Rodgers Diva.

    Good luck to all 3 teams in the future. bawaahahahaha


  45. It’s a fact says:
    September 13, 2022 at 9:40 am
    Hindsight is always 20/20. Had he made the kick, it would not be a point of debate this morning.

    Yes, it would be. A good result does not justify a bad decision making process.

  46. I was shocked that this clown got a head coaching job to begin with. So far Hackett has not disappointed. He’ll be a one-and-done coach, if he even makes it through year one.

  47. Is it really that surprising?

    He took ques from a guy that kicked a FG down 8 in a Title game… against Tom F. Brady.

  48. Look at all the time they wasted to make that decision. You have a better than average mobile QB and you didn’t have him try to get the first down? 10 yards would have been a difference maker. I’m not surprised as the team didn’t seem all that well prepared and certainly was undisciplined. I think you to dismiss Denver and Oakland from any consideration for the playoffs.

  49. That wasn’t the only confounding move by Hackett. One day, these teams will learn to stop hiring people who clearly aren’t HC material. Hackett was universally hated by two fan bases before he coached a HOF QB in Green Bay. I know Buffalo and Jacksonville fans were laughing. Matt Rhule has company in the Bad Coach’s Club.

  50. I was worried as a hawk fan , that Russ was going to get them down to the 30 yard line and they’d thank you Denver coach…lol 😂😂😂

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.