The 2022 season has been a disastrous one for the Denver Broncos. They made a huge splash in the offseason by acquiring Russell Wilson from the Seattle Seahawks but that trade hasn’t had the positive impact that the franchise was hoping it would.
There was optimism that Wilson would help elevate the Broncos’ offense to another level as they have been on the search for a quarterback since Peyton Manning retired. After being one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL for 10 seasons with the Seahawks, he hasn’t come close to replicating that success in the Mile High City.
Part of the reason has been Wilson meshing poorly with new head coach Nathaniel Hackett. Hackett was hired this offseason after being the offensive coordinator for the Green Bay Packers and the two have been unable to get on the same page as Hackett has looked to be in well over his head.
There is a lot that can be pointed at as to why the team is struggling and Wilson offered up an opinion of what he believes the issue is. In his opinion, the third quarter is what has been tripping up the Broncos.
“Our third quarters have been part of why we are where we are,” Russell Wilson told reporters on Wednesday, via Mike Klis of 9News.com. “It’s not even a part of it — it’s a big part of it. I think we’ve had pretty good first halves for the most part, decent. Some better than others, but the third quarters have slowed us down tremendously.”
That could be a veiled shot at Hackett for not performing his duties as head coach. The beginning of the games is usually scripted by the coaching staff, which is why some teams come out of the gate so hot. But, once adjustments are needed to be made in the second half coming out of halftime, the Broncos are failing in that regard.
Not throwing anyone under the bus, Wilson is taking responsibility for the struggles and said that he is going to do everything he can to help turn things around in the third quarter.
“So that’s something I’m focused on over the next few days and going into this game [at Carolina] and the rest of the games we have this year,” Wilson said. “And hopefully we can turn it around.”
How much can Wilson truly do to help the team turn things around in the third quarter? He hasn’t seemed to have as much freedom at the line of scrimmage this season to make adjustments in the flow of play. Russell Wilson also isn’t making the entire team’s game plan; that falls on the coaching staff.
What Denver needs to figure out is what is causing this unit to stall consistently. They aren’t struggling only in the third quarter as this is one of the least intimidating offenses in the NFL. Had they been able to score just 18 points per game, the Broncos would be sitting pretty atop the AFC with a 9-1 record.