The difference between the 2022 and 2023 seasons has been day and night for Denver Broncos quarterback Russell Wilson. Last season, he was seen as the missing piece to get the franchise over the hump and back to contending in the AFC. Instead, he had arguably the worst season of his career.
People were beginning to question if Wilson had tarnished his legacy enough that he was playing himself out of a spot in the Hall of Fame. He and head coach Nathaniel Hackett never got on the same page and Hackett was fired after Week 16 with a 4-11 record.
Wilson’s production fell off a cliff as he set career lows in numerous categories. Never looking comfortable on the field, he contributed to the Broncos wasting an incredible season from their defense, which did everything to put the team in position to win games.
Looking to help get Wilson back on track, the Broncos traded draft compensation to the New Orleans Saints to acquire Sean Payton to be their head coach. Through 10 games, Wilson and the Broncos offense has already accomplished more than they did in the entire 2022 season.
Wilson has surpassed his touchdown total, throwing 19 in 10 games compared to only 16 in 15 games last season. His yardage per game is at a career low, but he is taking to the changes well. His completion percentage of 69 is the highest of his career and he has cut down drastically on the turnovers.
On a recent segment of his show, Colin Cowherd recently spoke about the drastic difference in production we are seeing from Wilson. We are seeing what happens when you go from a bad head coach to a great one, as the people saying Wilson was washed are being proven wrong on a weekly basis.
“Last year, he was Desmond Ridder. This year, he’s Joe Burrow,” Cowherd said about Wilson’s level of play in 2022 compared to 2023.
Not only is Wilson playing better, it is resulting in wins for the team. Their victory over the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday Night Football was their fourth in a row, evening their record up at 5-5.
The job that Payton and Wilson have done to get things back on track after a disastrous start is very impressive. The defense has found its footing after an abysmal start as well, resulting in some hard-fought victories.
If Wilson can keep up this level of production and Payton can keep the defense playing at this level, the Broncos can make a run the rest of the season, Crashing the postseason picture is not something many people would have expected a month ago.