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Nathaniel Hackett Explains Controversial Decision to Kick 64-Yard FG in Broncos' Loss

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured Columnist IVSeptember 13, 2022

Dustin Bradford/Getty Images

Well, Nathaniel Hackett is surely going to want to forget his first game as a head coach.

Hackett somehow managed to steal the spotlight from Russell Wilson in the quarterback's return to Seattle, and not in the way he would have hoped. Just when it seemed as if Wilson was going to lead a game-winning drive, the Denver Broncos coach turned in an abysmal display of clock management, and his team lost a 17-16 stunner to the Seattle Seahawks.

There was approximately one minute remaining when the Broncos—with all three timeouts—faced a 4th-and-5 from the Seattle 46-yard line. Rather than go for it with the future Hall of Fame quarterback, Hackett let the play clock and game clock tick nearly all the way down before calling a timeout and sending Brandon McManus out for a 64-yard field goal.

McManus missed it, and Hackett became the story of what was already an unbelievable game with plenty of twists and turns.

The head coach explained his decision-making process to reporters after the game:

9NEWS Sports Denver @9NEWSSports

WATCH: Broncos head coach Nathaniel Hackett explains his decision to try the 64-yard field goal instead of going for it on 4th down to <a href="https://twitter.com/Rod9sports?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@Rod9sports</a> ⬇️<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/9sports?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#9sports</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/BroncosCountry?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#BroncosCountry</a><br><br>GAME STORY: <a href="https://t.co/79x61iYgii">https://t.co/79x61iYgii</a> <a href="https://t.co/P7FvxxXoEr">pic.twitter.com/P7FvxxXoEr</a>

Nick Kosmider @NickKosmider

Hackett on decision to kick the field goal. Said Williams got to the spot on the third-down play they were looking for to be in range.<br><br>Said he didn’t reconsider the call after McManus missed the first one (Seattle TO).

Even Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll, who is as familiar with what Wilson can do as anyone in the league, told reporters, "I was surprised they took Russ out there at the end."

It was just another missed scoring opportunity for the Broncos, who were the better team for much of Monday's game but came up short because they were unable to capitalize.

Melvin Gordon III fumbled on 4th-and-goal from the 1-yard line on the first possession of the second half. And then it was Javonte Williams' turn, as he fumbled on 3rd-and-goal from the 1-yard line on Denver's next possession.

The Broncos also settled for a field goal on another goal-to-go situation with 6:13 left in the fourth quarter. They couldn't get over the hump despite 340 passing yards from Wilson.

Yet the clock management at the end of the game stood out most and could haunt the Broncos as they compete in the loaded AFC West against Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs, Justin Herbert and the Los Angeles Chargers and Derek Carr and the Las Vegas Raiders.

Next up is a home game against the Houston Texans as Hackett and Co. look to put this start to the season behind them.

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