With 55 seconds left in the game, the Broncos were faced with fourth-and-5 at the Seattle 46-yard line.
The Broncos had three timeouts left at that point. But instead of taking a timeout, the clock ticked down to 20 seconds. At that point, coach Nathaniel Hackett called a timeout.
Instead of trying to gain the 5 yards needed for the first down, Brandon McManus came onto the field to attempt a 64-yard field goal with 20 seconds left.
McManus missed the field goal and the Broncos lost 17-16.
“Forty-six-yard line left hash was my line to get to. They got it there. Need to make the kick,” Brandon McManus said.
The decision to kick the field goal instead of trying to gain the 5 yards needed for a first down was widely criticized on social media.
Social media reaction
“Russell Wilson once demanded a trade because his old head coach didn’t trust him enough… The Broncos just gave him 161M guaranteed and didn’t trust him to pick up 5 yards…. Just saying….” Denver radio host Tyler Polumbus tweeted.
“Broncos Def got Geno looking like Mahomes,” former Broncos tight end Shannon Sharpe shared. “IF* I’m paying 200 plus million for a qb. I’m not trotting my fg kicker out on 4th and 5 to kick a 64yd fg. You pay that type of many money for a qb for these situations 4th and 5 on the road in a hostile environment.”
“Positive: Russell Wilson is the first Denver Broncos QB to throw for 340+ yards since 10/07/2018 Negative: Means absolutely nothing when you don’t give him an opportunity to get you 5 yards, and instead opt for a 64 yard FG attempt,” Twitter user Connor shared.
FOX31’s Alex Rose posted a poll on Twitter asking if Hackett made the right call. Out of 423 votes, 87.9% of respondents said “Let Russ cook.”
“I think Russ and the Broncos are gonna be fine long-term but that’s a horrible first impression from Nathaniel Hackett. Especially on a stage as huge as Monday Night Football,” Twitter user Brando said.
“The time management is awful here. You have all three timeouts and Russell Wilson as your QB. It’s inexcusable that you settle for a 64-yd FG attempt than rather go for it. Broncos deserved to lose this game,” LaDarius said.
“SMH at the Broncos head coach for really putting the game on their kicker and a 64-yard field…when you got Russell Wilson as your QB,” Twitter user Keith shared.
“I still can’t believe the broncos decided to gamble on a 64 yard field go then let their 256m investment take a shot,” Twitter user Zach said.
The Broncos look to bounce back on Sunday against the Houston Texans at 2:25 p.m.
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