DROP THE MIKE

The issues for the Broncos offense aren’t totally a Russell Wilson problem

Oct 25, 2022, 10:00 PM

Russell Wilson...

(Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

(Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

While the Broncos may have lost to the Jets last Sunday, Russell Wilson won.

With Brett Rypien starting the Denver offense actually looked worse, as if that was even possible.

Rypien wasn’t the magic elixir and Nathaniel Hackett didn’t suddenly unleash a golden game plan that had us all asking: Where has that been?

So, this isn’t a Russell Wilson problem. Not totally.

I was doing some research into why scoring is down around the NFL. Combined points per game are down to their lowest levels since 2010. Quarterbacks with QB ratings over 100 was another interesting stat. Through six weeks in 2020, there were 11 QBs with a rating over 100. Last season there were 12. This season through six weeks, there were only four.

But check this out. In 2020 and 2021 guess which quarterback had the highest QB rating through six weeks? Yep, none other than Russell “Here Comes the Airplane” Wilson.

I get that quarterbacks experience a decline. But they don’t totally fall off the cliff. Not when they’re still in their early 30s. It defies logic that Wilson could perform at the level he did the last two years and suddenly forget how to play.

So until further notice, this is squarely on the shoulders of Nathaniel Hackett. He’s the supposed creative, younger, hot shot offensive guru that dazzles with his game-plans. If he’s going to insult our intelligence by coming out this week and saying the offense is going to maintain the “status quo,” then he better well know this offense is about to pop.

I said earlier this isn’t a Russell Wilson problem… yet. At some point, he’ll bear the responsibility of understanding that trying to play like an in-the-pocket Drew Brees isn’t the best course of action right now.

That moment of truth hasn’t arrived. For now, it’s on Hackett to convince Wilson that going back to the Seahawks’ model is the right, and only, thing to do.

Hackett is supposed to be a master communicator, schooled in the fine art of coach speak to today’s athlete. So work your charm. Or, show that you can be a hard ass when necessary. Matt Lafleur didn’t mind going head-to-head with a stubborn Aaron Rodgers. Gary Kubiak had no problem laying down the law to “The Sheriff,” Peyton Manning.

Russell Wilson isn’t the problem. Nathaniel Hackett is.

Your move, coach.

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