Russell Wilson: I don’t think it was the wrong decision

Denver Broncos v Seattle Seahawks
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Publicly, Broncos quarterback Russell Wilson supports the decision of coach Nathaniel Hackett to attempt a 64-yard field goal in lieu of giving Wilson a chance to convert fourth and five, in order to make the kick a little (or a lot) easier to make. Privately, Wilson may feel differently.

But Wilson’s private thoughts are never going to emerge in a situation like this. That’s true for most quarterbacks, especially whether they are in the first game of their first year with a hand-picked new team.

So realizing that he may actually feel very differently internally, here are the relevant things he communicated externally after the 17-16 loss to the Seahawks.

“Well, we got the best field goal kicker maybe in the game,” Wilson told reporters regarding the decision to take the ball out of his hands and place it on the foot of kicker Brandon McManus.

“We said, ‘Where can you make it from tonight?’ and he said 46, left hash. I think we were on the 46. That was before the drive. We got it there; unfortunately didnn’t go in. I think he has the leg for it for sure. Just went a little left I believe and just — I believe in Coach Hackett. I believe in what we’re doing. Believe in everything, and any time you can try to find a way to make a play on fourth and five, that’s great too. Also, I don’t think it was the wrong decision. I think he can make it. Obviously hindsight he didn’t make it, but we were in that situation again I wouldn’t doubt whatever he decided.”

But how confident was McManus that he could make it? McManus confirmed to reporters that he told the team he could make a field goal from the “46, left hash, and they got me exactly there.”

McManus also told reporters he pegged his chances of a kick from the “46, left hash” at 65 or 70 percent. Per Stathead.com, however, he had a 12.5-percent career success rate at field-goal tries of 60 yards or longer, going one of eight before last night.

Plenty of stock is placed in a kicker’s distance and accuracy during warmups. Obviously, however, that’s a different situation. During the game, there’s a snap, a hold, a rush. The kicker has limited time to adjust to the exact placement of the ball. And regardless of whatever McManus did in warmups last night, he previously was 12.5 percent at 60 yards or longer.

Which is impressive. But why would he think he had a 65-70 percent chance of making a kick that would have been the second longest kick in league history? And if Hackett had regarded the chances of making that kick at 12.5 percent, would he (or whoever whispers the sweet nothings of analytics in his ear) have decided to, you know, let Russ cook?

53 responses to “Russell Wilson: I don’t think it was the wrong decision

  1. $250 million QB and you attempt what would have been the second longest FG in NFL history. Glad analytics hasn’t made it to the NFL yet. #sarcasm #NotBrianDaboll #NoDaBalls #GoNYGiants

  2. Trust your new 200 million dollar man or a kicker that is 1/8 on kicks over sixty? I’m betting the new head coach didn’t know his kicker was 1/8 from that distance.

  3. Brandon McManus salary: $4.2 million.

    Russell Wilson salary now: $25 million After Extension kicks in $49 million.

    No-brainer!

  4. Don’t think McManus ever has been on a list of top 10 kickers in the league. Hackett shouldn’t blindly listen to him either – of course hes going to over-state what he can do, its the job of the special teams coach to say what the range is. Anyway Hackett was in Green Bay two years ago when the coaches decieded to kick a field goal down 8 with 2 minutes left in the playoff game and take the balllout of the hands of Aaron Rodgers on 4th and goal – so I guess he trusts kickers more than start QBs.

  5. I haven’t seen a coach make that dumb of a decision since Jason Garrett… Did The Clapper have something to do with this?

  6. it was the wrong decision. not saying Wilson would have gotten a first but they had been pushing that defense around quite a bit.
    .
    accept it, learn from it, and move on… its just week 1.

  7. I don’t really care about Wilson’s take on it, but if McManus says he can do it, go with the kicker’s assessment. It just didn’t work this time.

  8. The kick was inches from winning the game. 4th and 5 from the opponent side of the field with under a minute is a big gamble. FG was the right call.

  9. Denver will find out Russ is very passive aggressive. He and his “entourage” are “seething” based on how he acted in Seattle.

    Missing 64 yard FGs won’t win MVPs and Russ is all about winning himself a MVP.

  10. Analytics is huge in todays NFL, so the coach gambled on an 87 percent chance of failure. He better change his thinking soon or it’s going to be a long season and a short coaching career.

  11. I don’t think it’s normal to lose two fumbles inside the one yard line. Denver kicked Seattle’s butt. Sometimes there are flukes. Geno Smith is no fluke. He’s a decent QB. Guys that hang around long enough eventually learn the position. Both teams looked alright. Denver’s coach needs to evolve. Trying to be a tough guy and trying to be physical are fine, but win the darn game first.

  12. Well, what’s he going to say? We all know he’s fuming, but he can’t exactly blast his first year head coach after his first game. It was a terrible decision by Hackett, but Wilson isn’t going to call him out in the media.

  13. Sorry Russ, but the best kicker in the game made a 66 yard field goal with time expiring last year in Detroit. Justin Tucker is the GOAT at that position

  14. Hackett made multiple bad decisions in his HC debut. No amount of pig lipstick can make that pretty. He choked.

  15. Hackett and Wilson need to clean up their 2-minute drill. They wasted an eternity with a couple of times-out left. They had no real option than to try a FG.

  16. There is a HUGE underlying difference between saying:

    a) “I don’t think it was the wrong decision.” vs.
    b) “It was the right decision.”

    Wilson threw his coach under the bus by saying a) and using passive-aggressive language.

  17. Every QB wants the ball in his hand when the game is on the line. Wilson is trying to not rock the boat, but behind closed doors, I am pretty sure he voiced his displeasure with the decision.

  18. It says that after his red zone trips with no touchdowns, and fourth quarter freelancing, he’d seen enough and sent the kicker out.

    Enjoy Russ. You’ll be lucky to ever get to a wildcard with him.

  19. And what “do the analytics say” about converting a 4n5 AND hitting a likely long FG, of what, 55?

  20. Was it the right decision to pay an aging Wilson? If you don’t trust him to get the first down but trust the FG kicker from 64 yards Denver you might have a problem.

  21. I wonder what he said to Ciara last night in bed. McManus has never been an elite kicker. He only got the job initially because Matt Prater got suspended, and the Broncos once cut McManus mid-season. Yes, he improved and can make it often from 55 yards, but he has the Denver advantage, and he doesn’t have a lot of signature moments in high pressure situations.

    Again, it comes down to who you want to make a play in that situation. A middle tier kicker, or your new franchise QB.

  22. charliecharger says:
    September 13, 2022 at 8:17 am
    I don’t think it’s normal to lose two fumbles inside the one yard line. Denver kicked Seattle’s butt. Sometimes there are flukes. Geno Smith is no fluke. He’s a decent QB. Guys that hang around long enough eventually learn the position. Both teams looked alright. Denver’s coach needs to evolve. Trying to be a tough guy and trying to be physical are fine, but win the darn game first.
    =====================

    No, nor is it normal for Hawks to drop two INTs thrown right to them in the red zone in the first half or for the QB to slip on a 4th and inches sneak at the 10 yard line. I hear that sometimes there are flukes.

  23. 50Stars says:
    September 13, 2022 at 8:06 am
    The kick was inches from winning the game. 4th and 5 from the opponent side of the field with under a minute is a big gamble. FG was the right call.
    ————————————-
    Trust your 9x Pro Bowl QB to pick up 5 yards, or your kicker to make a 64 yard FG… Inches… ask the Bears about the double doink. Inches cost the game.

  24. Herm Edwards “You play to win the game!” Hello I still say this is a fireable offense the guy is in way over his head. The timeouts AFTER when Seattle was taking a knee made it even worse.

  25. Maybe the wrong decision in hindsight, but every HC is going with his players in that situation. NO ONE is consulting whatever stathead is when making that in-game decision.

  26. That was the dumbest minute of football time management since McDermott blew the playoff game to the Chiefs last year

  27. Hackett had an important decision to make there. Did he want to reporters hounding him about trying 64 Yard field goal, or did he want them hounding him over the fact that the offense struggled to get the snap off before getting a delay of game penalty on almost every play. He chose the former.

  28. I think it is great that Seattle won. They were given no chance by pretty much everyone before the game. Obviously, it is fluky with 2 2nd half fumbles at the one yard line. But for me it was cool for me to see. Russel Wilson gave the Seahawks an ultimatum to make him the NFL’s highest played player or else he wouldn’t sign back with the team when his contract expired. This was with 2 years remaining on his contract at the time. I’m not a Seahawks fan in general, but definitely was last night.

  29. I was sooo nervous when the Seahawks called time out to “ice” the kicker, that denver would come to their senses and go for it. But nope, denver made that bad decision not once, but TWICE!!!

  30. Russ threw for 350 yds, true. But he also has 2 INT’s dropped and Geno completed as many passes to DK Metcalf, who was covered by the “all-world, phenom” as Russ completed ALL his WR’s (being covered by ROOKIES). The stats cover up these facts.

  31. akira0724 says:
    September 13, 2022 at 8:48 am
    There is a HUGE underlying difference between saying:

    a) “I don’t think it was the wrong decision.” vs.
    b) “It was the right decision.”

    Wilson threw his coach under the bus by saying a) and using passive-aggressive language.
    =====================================

    This!

    You’ll find over time that Wilson is very passive aggressive.

    He sounds like he’s saying the right things but he just doesn’t quite say them the right way.

  32. Seems like the same issue as in Seattle, when it matters the coaches don’t let Russ even have a chance to shine, and most importantly this will affect Russ’s MVP campaign which is the only thing that matters to Russ, not the team.

    Russ’s passive aggressiveness through his people and social media will now start to work on getting Hackett canned.

  33. To be fair, when Manning went to Denver he lost two of his first three and three of his first five before running the table to the playoff loss.

    It’s not going to happen immediately, especially if you don’t play any preseason and you don’t practice in pads.

  34. It comes down to this. What was the point of paying Russ all that money if in the end he’s not trusted when the game is on the line. Hackett was hired before this new owner came in. It’s not like they are required to keep him around if they don’t like him or don’t trust his decision making.

    The field goal attempt was just another demonstration of how much better prepared Seattle was for this game and that directly is on the coach.

  35. Russ’s passive aggressiveness through his people and social media will now start to work on getting Hackett canned.
    ==========

    This won’t happen. He finally has a guy that will let him ‘cook’.

    Ownership may fire him if he has a bad season. Especially considering they didn’t hire him. But Russ is not going to poison the well in year 1.

  36. When I saw the headline that they lost on a late 64-yard FG attempt, I assumed it was a desperation move with only a few seconds left on the clock. When I learned they had 30 seconds and 3 timeouts and a very makeable 4th down distance, I was amazed.

    Just can’t fathom the thinking. You have Russell Wilson right there, who’s either going to win the game for you or, if he doesn’t, you’ll get no pushback whatsoever for letting him try. Seattle would have had to defend against everything from a short out to a long TD shot, raising the odds of a successful play considerably. Just baffling.

  37. This was a sloppy game by the Broncos, poor execution, the defense tried but offensive side was non existant. Cant believe Wilson was outplayed by Geno Smith. This is all on the coaches for not preparing well. Not playing starters in preseason.

  38. Broncos fan here. Disappointed with the game but somewhat expected. Not sure why they gave Russ a new contract before playing a down, but it seems like Seattle’s OLine has had a major upgrade or perhaps the claim Russ held onto the ball too long are true.

  39. ok so now while Russ isn’t *asking* to be traded, and he hopes he stays a Bronco for a very long time, if he were to be traded, he’d like to go to the Bears, Saints, Cowboys or Raiders. 😉

  40. JaminJake says:
    September 13, 2022 at 12:00 pm
    Broncos fan here. Disappointed with the game but somewhat expected. Not sure why they gave Russ a new contract before playing a down, but it seems like Seattle’s OLine has had a major upgrade or perhaps the claim Russ held onto the ball too long are true.
    ————————
    Seahawks fan here. The Broncos should have insisted on a contract extension when they traded for Russ, when they had at least a little leverage.

    The offensive line played well, partly because they knew where Geno was going to be, in the pocket. You will find that Russ scrambles way too often which puts the offensive line in an almost impossible situation having no idea where to protect….

    Wilson is still a Good QB, but not any better than he thinks he is…

    Go Hawks!

  41. lollygagger8 says:
    September 13, 2022 at 8:05 am

    I don’t really care about Wilson’s take on it, but if McManus says he can do it, go with the kicker’s assessment. It just didn’t work this time.
    ___________

    You may as well make the kicker the head coach then. It’s the coach’s job to take all relevant information into account when making a decision, not blindly take the biased advice of one of the least important players on the team.

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