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Report: Broncos Encouraged After Seahawks Loss Due to Nathaniel Hackett's Strong Bond

Tyler Conway@@jtylerconwayFeatured Columnist IVSeptember 18, 2022

Steph Chambers/Getty Images

Nathaniel Hackett may have lost a ton of faith among Denver Broncos fans for his late-game gaffe in last week's loss to the Seattle Seahawks, but the team is still firmly behind the first-year coach.

Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reported Hackett has built a "strong bond" with players behind the scenes already, and the vibe in Denver's locker room has been "encouraging and optimistic rather than down" heading into Week 2's matchup with the Houston Texans.

Much to the chagrin of the entire football community, Hackett chose to play for a 64-yard Brandon McManus field goal rather than attempt a conversion on 4th-and-5 with less than a minute to go in the fourth quarter in Monday's game against the Seattle Seahawks. McManus missed the kick, which would have tied for the second-longest kick in NFL history, and the Seahawks escaped with a 17-16 victory.

Hackett later admitted the decision was a mistake, but his players publicly backed their coach.

"I always believe in having the ball and everything else, but also we've got a great kicker, and we're going to believe in our kicker again," Russell Wilson said. "I also trust (Hackett's) decisions and everything else, but I'm also always ready to go try to do it if we need to."

Social media and pundits were much less forgiving, pointing out (correctly) that the Broncos spent nine figures and three future first-round draft picks to acquire Wilson for these exact types of moments. The lack of faith in offense, particularly for an offensive coach like Hackett, was jarring.

"Everyone learned so much this past week, especially me," Hackett texted Rapoport. "And we are going to be better for it. Now we get to move forward, grow as a team and get ready for Houston!"

It remains to be seen what type of reception Hackett will be given by the Broncos faithful Sunday.

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