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The Denver Broncos opted to waste clock and go for a last-minute 64-yard field goal instead of a 4th-and-5 conversion on Monday night. The kick went wide and the Broncos were upset by the Seattle Seahawks, 17-16.
The Broncos trusted Brandon McManus over Russell Wilson, and the public backlash got to Nathaniel Hackett.
Head coach Nathaniel Hackett of the Denver Broncos looks on against the Seattle Seahawks at Lumen Field in Seattle on Sept. 12, 2022. (Steph Chambers/Getty Images)
Meeting with the media on Tuesday afternoon, the first-year head coach admitted he made a mistake.
“Looking back at it, we definitely should have gone for it,” he said.
Immediately after the game, though, Hackett made it known he had all the faith in McManus.
“We were right on the line, and he had plenty of distance,” Hackett said after the loss. “He just missed it. Brandon gave it his best shot. That’s a long field goal to hit.”
Quarterback Russell Wilson also wasn’t (publicly) bothered by the decision, saying that the Broncos have “the best field goal kicker maybe in the game.”
Brandon McManus (8) of the Denver Broncos reacts to missing a 64-yard game-winning field goal attempt against the Seattle Seahawks at Lumen Field in Seattle on Sept. 12, 2022. (Aaron Ontiveroz/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images)
“I believe in coach Hackett, I believe in what we’re doing, I believe in everything,” Wilson said. “Anytime you can try to find a play on 4th-and-5, that’s great, too. But I don’t think it was the wrong decision. … If we’re in the situation again, I wouldn’t doubt whatever he decided.”
Despite backpedaling on his decision earlier Tuesday, though, Hackett maintained that he was simply following the script of the drive.
“One of those things you look back at it and say, ‘Of course you should go for it, we missed the field goal.’ But in that situation, we had a plan. We knew that (the) 46 (yard line) was the mark.
“Javonte (Williams) makes a move (on 3rd and 14), goes a lot farther than I think we had anticipated, we were expecting to go for it on fourth down, and then he hit the mark.”
Denver Broncos quarterback Russell Wilson warms up against the Dallas Cowboys in Denver on Aug. 13, 2022. (AP Photo/Jack Dempsey)
The Broncos were 6.5-point favorites and spoiled Wilson’s homecoming to Seattle. They face the Houston Texans back in Denver in Week 2 at 4:25 p.m. ET.