Denver Broncos ‘definitely should have done it’ on critical fourth down, says Nathaniel Hackett

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — Second thought, Denver Broncos coach Nathaniel Hackett said Tuesday that he “definitely” should have let the quarterback Russell Wilson run a fourth-and-5 play in the final seconds of Monday night’s loss at Seattle instead of sending out a kicker Brandon McManus out on a 64-yard field goal attempt.

“Looking back, I definitely should have,” Hackett said. “One of those things, you look back and say ‘of course we should try, we missed the field goal.’ But in that situation we had a plan, we knew 46 was the mark.”

McManus’ field goal attempt went wide to the left, and Hackett’s decision trumped almost everything else about his regular-season debut as head coach.

Only two kickers in the NFL since 1960 have made field goal attempts of at least 64 yards, and the longest field goal in Lumen Field history is 56 yards.

McManus, who has one of the strongest legs of any kicker in the league, is still 1-for-5, including Monday night’s miss, in career attempts of at least 60 yards. Also, last season, according to ESPN Stats & Information research, teams converted 48 percent of their fourth and fifth snaps.

Hackett said he understood that few kickers have attempted at least 64 yards, only Matt Prater at 64 yards in 2013 and justin tucker with the 66-yard record in 2021, but that after speaking with special teams coaches and McManus before the game, they had decided whether the team would get to the Seahawks’ 46-yard line late in the half or late. out of the game situation, McManus would attempt the kick.

Wilson had been informed of the decision that a fourth-down field goal attempt would occur if the Broncos got to the Seahawks 46 on third down before the Broncos faced the decision in their final series. On third and 14, Wilson completed a 9-yard pass to running back Javonte Williams who moved the ball to the Seattle 46.

Hackett said Tuesday that if Williams had gained even 1 less yard, “we would have gone for it.”

“We said 46 yards, the 46 yard line was where we wanted to be,” Hackett said. “…It didn’t work, it sucks, but hey, that’s part of it.

“That’s part of being in this seat, being in this profession. These things are going to happen at all times, they’ve been happening my entire career, even when my father was training, you’re prepared for that, you understand that. I have to keep going. grinding”.

Hackett also said “we shouldn’t have been in that situation,” given the Broncos lost two fumbles in the game on plays starting from the Seahawks 1 on consecutive possessions in the third quarter and had another derailed drive with a penalty kick out. false on the Seahawks 3. Wilson finished the game with 340 passing yards as the Broncos outscored the Seahawks overall 433-253.

The Broncos defense also held the Seahawks offense scoreless to just 34 total yards in the second half.

“In the end, that’s up to me, that was our plan, that was the yard line that we had to get to, we all knew that, that’s what we said in the meeting before we did it,” Hackett said. “It never should have come to that… Obviously the last decision is the one where you’re going to say I should have done this, I should have done that, but I think the thing that frustrates me the most is the red zone. We had a few a lot of chances, We were inches apart.”

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