Nathaniel Hackett Inexplicably Blames Star Player for Monday Night Football Loss
Following an embarrassing loss to the Seattle Seahawks on Monday Night Football, head coach Nathaniel Hackett is officially 0-1 in his Denver Broncos tenure. The game was ugly, evidenced by a number of botched red zone attempts to some very questionable decisions in the final two minutes of action, and there's plenty of blame to go around the Broncos locker room.
Hackett didn't do himself any favors after the final whistle. He easily could have taken some of the blame on himself. Instead, he put this blame on the players and inexplicably called out one star player for the entire loss.
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It was wide receiver Courtland Sutton who took on this scapegoat role. Hackett was not pleased with Sutton's false start, on the goal line, late in the fourth quarter.
"We had a false start. We had a walk-in touchdown and ended up having a false start, which is unacceptable. You can't have penalties there," said the head coach in reference to Sutton's penalty on the Seahawks' three yard-line with six minutes left to play. This forced Denver into a field goal try and brought the game to 16-17, instead of a go-ahead TD.
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There's so much to unpack with this strange quote, but it comes down to one thing: Hackett needs to improve his leadership skills.
Sutton's false start was a mistake, but it's questionable to assume the Broncos can just walk the ball into the end zone. The team was 0-for-4 on the night and racked up 12 total turnovers. There were mistakes all over the field and not just on Sutton.
Game management could be seen as the biggest issue in this Broncos loss. Driving down the field in the final two minutes, Hackett and his staff inexplicably let 30+ seconds run off the clock before calling one of his three timeouts. Then, instead of putting the ball in the hands of your best player (quarterback Russell Wilson), they attempted one of the longest field goals in NFL history (64 yards).
That final drive was unacceptable. Going for the 64-yard field goal is unacceptable. Taking the ball out of Wilson's hands is unacceptable. And, blaming a single player after a total team failure is unacceptable. Hackett has to do better at the start of his Broncos tenure.
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