Denver Broncos ‘should have gone for it’ in critical fourth place, says Nathaniel Hackett

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

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

McManus’ field goal shot wide to the left and Hackett’s decision overpowered almost everything else about his regular season debut as head coach.

In fact, only two kickers in the NFL, since 1960, have made field goals from at least 64 yards, and the longest field goal in Lumen Field’s 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, on attempts at least 60 yards in his career.

According to research by ESPN Stats & Information, teams turned 48 percent of their fourth-and-five games last season. Hackett said he understood how few kickers have attempted at least 64 yards — only Matt Prater at 64 yards in 2013 and Justin Tucker with the record 66 yards in 2021 — but that after he also worked with special team coaches. had spoken as McManus in pre-game, they had decided that if the team reached the Seahawks 46-yard line in the end-of-half or end-of-game situation, McManus would attempt the kick.

Wilson had been made aware of the decision that a field goal would take place in fourth if the Broncos came in third on the Seahawks’ 46-yard line before the Broncos had to decide their final drive. On a third and 14, Wilson completed a 9-yard pass to run back Javonte Williams who moved the ball to the Seattle 46.

Hackett said Tuesday that if Williams had won another meter less, “we would have gone for it.”

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

Hackett added: “That’s part of sitting in this chair, in this profession. These kinds of things will always happen, it’s been going on all my career, even when my dad was coaching, you’re prepared for that, do you understand that. You have to keep grinding.”

Hackett also said “we shouldn’t have been in that situation” as the Broncos lost two in-game fumbles on games that started in the third quarter from the Seahawks’ 1-yard line on back-to-back possessions and another drive derailed with a false start penalty at the Seahawks’ 3-yard line. Wilson finished the game with 340 yards of passing, while the Broncos defeated the Seahawks 433-253 overall.

The Broncos defense also held the Seahawks offense scoreless in the second half at just 34 in all.

“Ultimately it’s up to me. That was our plan, that was the yard line we had to get to. We all knew it. That’s what we said in the huddle before we did it,” Hackett said. “It should never have come to this. … Obviously the last decision is the one you’re going to say I should have done this, should have done that, but I think what frustrates me more is the red zone. We We had a few chances, we were centimeters away.”

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