Sports

Angriest Broncos Tweets About Crushing Loss to Seahawks in Russell Wilson's Debut

Denver Broncos head coach Nathaniel Hackett during an interview following his squad's loss to the Seattle Seahawks.
Denver Broncos head coach Nathaniel Hackett during an interview following his squad's loss to the Seattle Seahawks. Denver Broncos via YouTube
The honeymoon is over for new Denver Broncos head coach Nathaniel Hackett, and it only took one loss — a soul-searing 17-16 road defeat to the Seattle Seahawks on September 12 — for the romance to end.

The match-up between Denver and the Hawks was heavily hyped, since it featured quarterback Russell Wilson facing off for the first time against his former squad at Lumen Field, the stadium where he cemented his legend. The contest was also the inaugural Monday Night Football broadcast of the season, with the high-priced tandem of Joe Buck and Troy Aikman making their bow on ESPN's main channel and ex-Bronco Peyton Manning (joined by little brother Eli Manning) looking increasingly exasperated on ESPN2.

Given that Seattle is arguably the toughest place for a visiting team to play in the country, thanks to the volume generated by a fan base affectionately dubbed "the 12s," longtime Broncos followers were wary of the match-up despite an obvious talent disparity: The new Seahawks' quarterback, Geno Smith, is the epitome of an NFL journeyman, while Wilson is a future Hall of Famer. But Wilson didn't play during the pre-season, raising concerns among the faithful that growing pains would be on display in prime time — and they sure as hell were.

Not that Wilson deserves all or even most of the blame. His stat line — 29 of 42 for 340 yards and a touchdown, with no interceptions — was more than good enough to have earned a victory. But the defense looked iffy, especially on Seattle's first possession, a six-play, seventy-yard touchdown drive that gave Denver loyalists the first sinking feeling of many. And even after the D righted itself, the Broncos returned to an old theme — getting the ball into the red zone but often falling short of the end zone. This time around, though, the failures were even more exasperating than usual, with fumbles by turnover machine Melvin Gordon and normally reliable Javonte Williams within arm's reach of the goal line and a third visit inside the ten that ended in a field goal — a sequence of events that should have generated 21 points but only resulted in three.

The capper, though, was the Broncos' final push for victory as time wound down. Denver had a first down at its own 49 with 1:24 left — but three plays later, Wilson and company faced a fourth and five from the Seattle 46. At that point, instead of trusting Wilson to make a conversion, Hackett burned the team's remaining timeouts and called in kicker Brandon McManus to attempt a 64-yard boot that would have been the second-longest in league history.

When McManus (predictably) missed, all of Broncos Country saw red — and those with Twitter accounts shared their ire far and wide, with much of their vitriol aimed at Hackett. Welcome to Denver, coach.

Here are the twenty most memorable angry tweets about the game's outcome:

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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts

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