Sports

"Holy F*CKBALLS:" Broncos Fans on Twitter Rip Nathaniel Hackett Despite Win

Denver Broncos head coach Nathaniel Hackett consulting notes while delivering his victory speech after his team's September 18 victory over the Houston Texans.
Denver Broncos via YouTube
Denver Broncos head coach Nathaniel Hackett consulting notes while delivering his victory speech after his team's September 18 victory over the Houston Texans.
With last week's searing loss to the Seattle Seahawks on Monday Night Football, the honeymoon ended early for new Denver Broncos head coach Nathaniel Hackett, just a single game into his tenure. And while the Broncos actually notched a 16-9 win over the Houston Texans on September 18, plenty of Denver backers on Twitter are ready to move straight from disappointment to divorce.

An indication of how quickly the situation has soured: Some tweeters actually argued for the return of Hackett's predecessor, the dyspeptic and much-despised Vic Fangio. To quote one frustrated fan: "Holy FUCKBALLS."

The reasons Hackett has tumbled from favor so quickly are many. The former Green Bay Packers offensive coordinator was supposed to transform the Broncos into a scoring juggernaut with the help of expensive new quarterback Russell Wilson, but somehow the squad has only managed to register sixteen points in each of its two games to date, despite subpar competition; the Texans are widely regarded as one of the worst outfits in the NFL. Moreover, Wilson and company have repeatedly squandered opportunities to put up touchdowns, settling for two field goals in six visits to the red zone so far this year.

The team certainly looks undisciplined. The thirteen penalties recorded on Sunday (twelve of them were accepted) followed a dozen against the ’Hawks, and one of them was a delay of game directly attributable to Hackett's indecision about whether he should bring in kicker Brandon McManus or try to convert a fourth down. The five-yard reversal wound up forcing a punt — the most tangible example of how Hackett's clock management skills are at Fangio-like levels of ineptitude.

To make matters worse, Wilson looked uncomfortable for much of the tilt, and even after his accuracy improved during the second half, he still managed to complete just fourteen of 31 tosses for an anemic 211 yards. That's Drew Lock territory — and given the injury woes on the offensive line (Billy Turner still hasn't played, and Quinn Minerz was shelved on Sunday, too) and among the receiving corps (Jerry Jeudy suffered a rib injury, and KJ Hamler hasn't healed as hoped), the situation could get worse before it improves. Oh, yeah: The Broncos' two best defensive players, safety Justin Simmons and cornerback Pat Surtain II, are hurt, too.

All of these factors put incredible pressure on Hackett to right the ship next weekend, when the Broncos face their best opponent to date: the San Francisco 49ers, with Jimmy Garoppolo back under center because QB-of-the-future Trey Lance fractured his ankle. If he does, this marriage could still be saved. And if not, couples counseling will definitely be in order.

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