Denver Broncos ‘undoubtedly should have gone for it’ on critical fourth down, Nathaniel Hackett says

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — On second thought, Denver Broncos coach Nathaniel Hackett mentioned Tuesday he “undoubtedly” should have let quarterback Russell Wilson run a fourth-and-5 play within the closing seconds of Monday night time’s loss in Seattle as a substitute of sending kicker Brandon McManus out for a 64-yard discipline purpose try.

“Looking again at it, undoubtedly should have gone for it,” Hackett mentioned. “One of these issues, you look again at it and say ‘in fact we should go for it, we missed the sector purpose.’ But in that state of affairs we had a plan, we knew 46 was the mark.”

McManus’ discipline purpose try sailed large left, and Hackett’s resolution overwhelmed virtually all the pieces else about his regular-season debut as a head coach.

Just two kickers within the NFL, since 1960, have even made discipline purpose makes an attempt of at the least 64 yards, and the longest discipline purpose within the historical past of Lumen Field is 56 yards.

McManus, who has one of many strongest legs of any kicker within the league, remains to be 1-of-5, together with Monday night time’s miss, on makes an attempt of at the least 60 yards in his profession. Also, final season, in line with ESPN Stats & Information analysis, groups transformed 48 p.c of their fourth-and-5 performs.

Hackett mentioned he understood how few kickers have made an try of at the least 64 yards — solely Matt Prater at 64 yards in 2013 and Justin Tucker with the document 66-yarder in 2021 — however that after speaking to the particular groups coaches in addition to McManus in pregame, that they had determined if the staff acquired to the Seahawks 46-yard line within the end-of-half or end-of-game state of affairs, McManus would try the kick.

Wilson had been apprised of the choice {that a} discipline purpose try would occur on fourth down if the Broncos acquired to the Seahawks 46 on third down earlier than the Broncos made the choice on their last drive. On a third-and-14, Wilson accomplished a 9-yard go to operating again Javonte Williams that moved the ball to the Seattle 46.

Hackett mentioned Tuesday if Williams had gained even 1 fewer yard “we’d have gone for it.”

“We mentioned 46 yards, the 46-yard line was the place we wished to be,” Hackett mentioned. ” … Didn’t work, it sucks, however hey, that is a part of it.

“That’s a part of being on this seat, being on this occupation. This stuff goes to occur always, it’s been occurring my complete profession, even when my dad was teaching, you are ready for that, you perceive that. You ‘ve acquired to maintain grinding.”

Hackett additionally mentioned “we should not have been in that state of affairs,” given the Broncos misplaced two fumbles within the recreation on performs that began from the Seahawks 1 on back-to-back possessions within the third quarter and had one other drive derailed with a false begin penalty on the Seahawks 3. Wilson completed the sport with 340 yards passing because the Broncos outgained the Seahawks general 433-253.

The Broncos protection held the Seahawks offense scoreless on simply 34 whole yards within the second half as nicely.

“In the top, that lies on me, that was our plan, that was the yard line we needed to get to, all of us knew it, that is what we mentioned within the huddle earlier than we did it,” Hackett mentioned. “Should have by no means gotten to that. … Obviously the final resolution is the one the place you are going to say should have achieved this, should have achieved that, however I feel what frustrates me extra is the pink zone. We had some many alternatives, we had been inches away.”

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