Nathaniel Hackett: “Looking back at it, we definitely should have gone for it”

DENVER BRONCOS VS SEATTLE SEAHAWKS, NFL
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After sleeping on it, Broncos head coach Nathaniel Hackett realizes he screwed up at the end of Monday night’s loss to the Seahawks.

Hackett acknowledged today that his decision to attempt a 64-yard field goal instead of going for it on fourth-and-5 was wrong, but he said at the time he was thinking that if the Broncos’ offense got to the 46-yard line they would be in field goal range, and that is where the Broncos’ offense ended up.

“Looking back at it, we definitely should have gone for it. Just one of those things, you look back at it and you say, ‘Of course we should go for it. We missed the field goal.’ But in that situation we had a plan. We knew the 46 was the mark,” Hackett said.

But even that admission seems to miss the mark, as Hackett seems to be suggesting that it was the wrong decision only in hindsight. The reality is that virtually everyone watching the game and commenting in real time on social media was saying that Hackett was wrong to send kicker Brandon McManus on the field — even before McManus missed.

Hackett is working for new owners who didn’t hire him, and he may not have as long a leash as new coaches typically do. The Broncos entered this season with lofty expectations, and Hackett can’t afford to keep making the kinds of decisions that he has to second-guess the next day.

66 responses to “Nathaniel Hackett: “Looking back at it, we definitely should have gone for it”

  1. And for anyone saying he didn’t have enough time, is forgetting that they had like a minute left but purposely let the clock run down so the final play would be the FG. they had time to get the 1st (from 4th and 5) and still run at least 2 more plays.

  2. Why isn’t Russ questioned about this?

    Coming in he was all about “a partnership” on offense and how much of a say he had?

    Where was he letting 12 seconds tick off before calling time out? Where was he when the coach and/or kicker thought it a good idea to try a 64 yard FG?

    Was Russ worried more about winning or about how he’d look if he didn’t get it done?

    And if it was winning, what’s that say about his confidence?

  3. Lay off the guy. As if you are a coach. Move on with your life it gets so shady on this site sometimes

  4. Coach Nate……never admit that you goofed up on a call. Stick by your guns and stay positive and confident otherwise your players will never look up to you.

  5. FG was the right call. Denvers offense was getting stuffed on short 4th downs all night. The kick was true. Had plenty of length. Pulled left last minute.

  6. Hackett was mentored by Doug Marrone.
    I don’t understand how anyone who knows that would expect him to be an improvement over that.

  7. This is why HC’s wind up getting fired. There is no way that the Broncos should have lost that game. Kudos to Carroll. Hackett’s seat is already hot and its technically not even the middle of September yet.

  8. The bad news is that it was a bad first impression. The good news is that first impressions, more often than not, don’t mean bleep. It’s a long season, let’s see what this guy can do.

  9. I don’t even care about the last play. If he would have made the kick, we’d be calling Hackett a genius. From what I saw, Hackett is trying to be a tough guy. That’s fine when you win. But when you have a first ballot HOF QB, who’s also very mobile and an accurate passer rolling out, to try to run one man with the football through eleven is just insanity. Then, he did the same thing again. Tough combined with smart is a good thing. So I don’t mind a tough guy. In defense of Hackett, he was probably in shock from those two goal line fumbles. The Broncos dominated the game. They just kept handing Seattle points, and still almost won. I’d feel pretty good going forward, but realize you have a HOF QB, and it’s a QB league. Tom Brady didn’t win all those super bowls because his teams were physical. They threw the ball.

  10. Seahawks are probably a 6-11 team. Broncos safe bringing up the rear in the AFC West and they have a short, over the hill Qb, that they paid a fortune in draft picks for. The team they just played got better by getting rid of him. Hackett should keep that offensive coordinator resume shined up.

  11. I guess he didn’t trust Russ’ cooking…

    It took guts on his part….I wouldn’t attempt a 54 yarder in Seattle, let alone a 64 yarder.

  12. Clueless doesn’t cover the guy strongly enough. He just said 64 was the number he was going for its just one game lets all hope he figures it out or he will be the first to go this year.

  13. The stage was set for a spectacular finish in front of the one of the most raucous crowds ever. Then Hackett pulled the curtain and the actors all went home.

  14. As a Cowboys fan, I’m not going to pass judgement on this. MY coach decided going with a QB sneak at the 50 with now time outs was infuriating.

    At least Hackett has an excuse as it was his first NFL head coaching game. McCarthy had been to the rodeo many times before his bonehead call.

  15. I can understand having a plan and all, but did he not notice that practice kick? It was awful. That should have made it hella easy to put the ball back in Wilson’s hands. And what’s up with Russell Wilson being associated with the two most horrendous play calls in NFL history?? Dude, stop being such a company man.

  16. All 350 million US citizens knew you should have gone for it Nate!
    ——————————–

    Know you are just making a point, but pretty sure ~330 million Americans were working, busy, uninterested, asleep or have other worries, etc.

  17. Why did they aquire the very skilled and very expensive Russell Wilson? He probably would have made the 4th and 5. A 64 yard field goal? Major brain cramp cost Denver the game.

  18. More perplexing were the two fumbles inside the one. You need 6” so have Wilson in the shotgun?

  19. What kind of game plan is that where the 46 yard is considered field goal range? How many 64 yard field goals have been converted in NFL history??

  20. mandelzev says:
    September 13, 2022 at 5:40 pm
    Lay off the guy. As if you are a coach. Move on with your life it gets so shady on this site sometimes
    ————————————
    I guess I need to be a coach to know a 14% chance of McManus making it we’re not good. I guess I need to be a coach to know McManus attempted a 64 yard FG in 2019 against the Raiders and came up short.

  21. Kicking the ball was a very, very dumb move.

    It was 4th down and Denver needed about 4 yards to get a 1st down. They paid all that money and draft picks to get Wilson, and on the most important play of the game, they sat him.

    The Denver kicker had NEVER made a kick that long….even in the thin air at Denver. Every statistic said that the only play was to go for the 1st down.

  22. “How many 64 yard field goals have been converted in NFL history??”

    TWO. Out of 29 tries, only two kicks of 64yars or more have EVEN been made. The odds of Wilson running or throwing for the first down were much, much better.

  23. ghjjf says:

    September 13, 2022 at 6:42 pm

    What kind of game plan is that where the 46 yard is considered field goal range? How many 64 yard field goals have been converted in NFL history??
    ———-
    The game plan isnt faulty by saying the 46 yard line, the game plan is faulty if you say the 46 yard line without considering qualifiers of down and distance. Instead of 4th and 5 if it were say 4th and 9 the opinion on whether to go for it or kick it likely changes for some, 4th and 11 even more etc.

  24. Just another unqualified coach who rode the coattails of Aaron Rodgers into landing a HC job

    he’s a bald-headed Mike McCarthy who weighs 100 pounds less when he steps on the scale

  25. It wasn’t just the FG decision. They got the ball with 4:02 and 3 timeouts. And they futzed around without any urgency. McManus was 1/7 from 60+ (now 1/8). If the 46 yard line was really the goal, then that was plain foolish. And you made your supposed star QB look untrustworthy in front of a national audience. I could accept the stupidity more if it weren’t for the two timeouts during the victory formation. That came off as adolescent, poor-loser spitefulness. A lack of brains with a lack of integrity. And I like the Broncos. I feel for the fans who got rid of Fangio for this.

  26. The Broncos were rattled the entire game… Russ, Hackett, everyone.
    I’d bet next year, Russ plays in pre-season games.

  27. “As if you are a coach.” …You do not need to be a coach to know that a 64 yard field goal is not likely to go through the uprights. AND, Hackett himself is stating it was the wrong choice. So, sports writers ARE going to cover that.

  28. He was Buffalo’s offensive coordinator under Marrone and they were terrible in the red zone something like 11%. Glad to see some people never change.

  29. riggedkangaroocourt says:
    September 13, 2022 at 5:39 pm
    All 350 million US citizens knew you should have gone for it Nate!
    ————————————————————-
    I disagree. The stupidest 35% of our citizens think that it was a conspiracy, and that Denver won.

  30. A Denver fan who doesn’t think the sky is falling after 1 game. I’ve only been a fan of the NFL since 1955. And living in Denver as a Bronco fan for the last 25 yrs we will be fine. mandelzev said it well. In this day & age we pick apart every single play – every single call. I get it & it’s fine. Just like the cops, it’s a lot harder being in the heat of the moment in front a wild crowd in the last minute of your 1st NFL game as a HC. I’m gonna guess that not only Hackett & Wilson & Paton (GM) will discuss this in great detail as a recap of the game. Denver gave up almost no points, nothing in the 2nd half to Seahawks. Seattle know they were lucky to get this game at home.

  31. Wow, even as a Seattle fan I have to say the media coverage of this is brutal for Hackett. I do have to say that it seems like if Wilson would have said “i got this” then they would have gone for it. I guess there is no partnership when it all hits the fan.

  32. Journalists are NOT noting the poor clock management by Mr. Hackett: He enjoyed three timeouts.

    Thus, he SHOULD have used one at ~1 minute to go and, in so doing, aimed to get FAR closer for an easier FG attempt.

    Allowing the clock to run without using timeouts was, obviously, an error.

  33. What everyone seems to forget, the game is played for a reason. IF the Broncs had not fumbled at the goal line, if Penny’s great run hadn’t been called back….if, if, if, . The reality is, that’s why the games is played. Variables…..

  34. The schedule makers tried to help the broncos with two easy games to start the season but they lost the first one LOL

  35. Looking back Lovie Smith doesn’t think they should have gone for it or kicked a field goal. Looking back, Lovie would have punted.

  36. I agree with everyone here, going for it on 4th down and 5 would have been the correct call. I heard Luke Wilson analyze the play last night. His argument was, the QB was Russel Wilson, if anyone in the league is prepared for 4th and 5 it’s RW. To paraphrase, Luke basically said RW lives for those moments. And he has made those critical plays often.
    -Hypothetical question for you:
    let’s say the QB was someone else, (but not a star), say, a Goff, a Hoyer, a Daniel Jones, Cooper Rush. And like last night, same situation, 4th and 5, to win the game. Do you still go for it without even considering a 64 yard FG?

  37. Just because a 64-yd. field goal is possible, doesn’t make the decision to attempt it wise.
    Same principle as not always attempting a Hail Mary pass from the midfield stripe–The QB can throw it to the end zone and the play has worked before, but it’s a low-percentage play to be used as time expires. Even after wasting forty seconds by not calling a time out, you’ve a good chance to convert a 4th-and-five. With timeouts, the Broncos had at least three, maybe four snaps to win the game.

  38. charliecharger says:
    September 13, 2022 at 6:01 pm
    …..Tom Brady didn’t win all those super bowls because his teams were physical. They threw the ball.

    ***************************

    This is incorrect. The Patriots have always been a physical football team with Belichick. They always had one of the best o-lines, and they ran an inside power gap scheme. If you weren’t beefy up front they would blow you off the line. Their tight ends are generally physical unless they are more H-back types, but generally they are big physical guys. They have run with power backs and a dominant fullback. The defenses were generally 3-4 defenses withhuge inside linebackers coming down hill at you, and even larger but athletic outside backers like Mike Vrabel (6-4 270), Willie McGinest (6-5, 270). They’ve had guys like Jerod Mayo, Donta Hightower, and now Ja’wan Bently and even Jr Seau there as well. All Thumpers. Rodney Harrison would lay the wood on your Grandmother. Lawyer Malloy too. Ty Law was no wallflower. The front line had guys like Richard Seymour, Vince Wilfork, Ty Warren, etc. Brady developed into the games Master Tactician, but while that was happening, and after it happened, the physicality of the team always played a role in winning. They pulled out sooo many close games simply because after 3.5 quarters the other team was gassed. They just never did it flagrantly. They were disciplined.

    It will be interesting to see where they go now though as they change some of their schemes. But Brady didn’t win all those Super Bowls by himself. He had a big, strong, fast, tough, smart, disciplined football team standing behind him. Just ask any team they played when they were sitting in the locker room wondering how they got beat. Everyone knew that besides dealing with Brady, you had to strap it on when you played those Patriot teams.

  39. I think Hackett thought he was in Denver. It might have worked there. However, he should have realized he was at sea level, and the moist heavy air was going to be a problem. A man has to know his whereabouts….

    He also had to know that nobody was going to question giving the ball to your new mega million dollar man versus your kicker standing 64 yards from the end line. He will know better next time….

  40. 1dayatatime says:
    September 13, 2022 at 8:51 pm

    -Hypothetical question for you:
    let’s say the QB was someone else, (but not a star), say, a Goff, a Hoyer, a Daniel Jones, Cooper Rush. And like last night, same situation, 4th and 5, to win the game. Do you still go for it without even considering a 64 yard FG?
    —————————————————
    Yes. Here’s why; McManus has never made a FG over 60 yards. In 2019, he was short on a 64 yard FG attempt against the Raiders.

  41. I just want to know what type of analytics equation agrees with taking a 64 yard FG over a 4th and 5. Is there even enough data to show that was the right call!! I hate analytics in football but I would think even those nerds would’ve said to go for it with Russ

  42. I don’t think coach is gonna Hack ett in the NFL with the big boys. Lol Should have let Geno cook. 🍳😂

  43. 50Stars says:
    September 13, 2022 at 5:42 pm
    FG was the right call. Denvers offense was getting stuffed on short 4th downs all night.
    ====================
    That’s an interesting claim. I needed to go back and study the play-by-play from the game last night. The Broncos only faced a 4th and short yardage where they ran a play one time. That was a 4th and goal at the 1, with a defense that needed only 11 yards to defend. And the result was a fumble. So I thought that maybe you were talking about 3rd downs. Nope. Denver was highly successful on 3rd downs too.

    You shoulda tuned in. You missed a great game!

  44. sure the 46 can be the mark for when your out of time and other options. but they wernt. They had 4th and 5 with a minute and 3 time outs. Surely youd like better odds than a 64 yard FG attempt. Hackett of course is to blame but where was the offense team captain in all of this, wasting 30 seconds before calling TO and fully content with attempting a 64 yard FG. Wants to have input on the play calling, except in that moment he didnt.

  45. realitycheckbaby says:
    September 13, 2022 at 5:39 pm
    Why isn’t Russ questioned about this?

    Coming in he was all about “a partnership” on offense and how much of a say he had?

    Where was he letting 12 seconds tick off before calling time out? Where was he when the coach and/or kicker thought it a good idea to try a 64 yard FG?

    Was Russ worried more about winning or about how he’d look if he didn’t get it done?

    And if it was winning, what’s that say about his confidence?
    ———-
    Exactly! Russ didn’t seem to have a problem with the decision to take the ball out of his hands.

  46. What we have heard from Russ & Hackett is their trying to blame the Kicker not only for missing the kick, but also for their “Plan” of getting to that point, then trying the kick.

    Just because the Kicker says he can kick that far, does not mean the Head Coach has to believe him. The final decision was up to the Head Coach, and was a Bad Decision.

    Also, was anyone else surprised at how Casual and acceptive Russel was of the decision to take the ball out of his hands in favor of a 64 yard field goal attempt?…hmmm

  47. Hackett did the Deshaun Watson two step on his apology: sorry, not sorry. He really, seriously believes that a 64 yard FG was the best decision. And you could see today that he just thinks all of the reporters asking questions and the fans are just fools for criticizing. Condescension: yet another thing he learned from Aaron Rodgers

  48. Yeah, he’s not really admitting anything. McManus has been kicking at MILE HIGH STADIUM FOR HIS ENTIRE NFL CAREER and his career long is 61 yards. He’s BARELY over 50% from 50+ yards. And the PLAN was for a 63/64 yarder? Sounds like a pretty bad plan.

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