Optimism and positivity carry weight in the NFL world. Teams go through all kinds of adversity throughout the season, so it’s crucial players have the mentality that they can work through the turmoil that’s bound to arise as the season progresses.
But having a realistic point of view also carries weight in the NFL. And the Broncos were served a big dose of reality during last night’s 17-16 loss to the Seattle Seahawks.
There weren’t many outside the 12s that predicted the Seahawks to win. They pulled it off, however, thanks in large part to Broncos turnovers, penalties, and a 0% touchdown rate in the red zone.
Mismanagement was involved throughout the game, but the Hackett and co. saved their worst moment for the most critical juncture: The 4th and 5 with a minute to go that would decide the game.
In case you missed it, the Broncos had three timeouts and faced a 4th and 5 from the Seahawks 46. The Broncos ran the clock down to :20 and called timeout. Instead of putting the ball in Russell Wilson’s hands, Hackett opted for the long-distance field goal.
It was an obvious mistake as Brandon McManus’ 64-yard attempt sailed barely left of the goal posts. The Seahawks reclaimed possession of the ball and subsequently ended the game via the victory formation.
Hackett’s decision was a bad one, plain and simple. But, based off what he said after the game, it sounds like he’d make the same decision again.
“I thought we had plenty of distance on that one and thought we were going to be able to make that,” Hackett told reporters. “I have confidence in him and if we have to put him in that situation again, I think he will be able to make it.”
And he couldn’t his optimism from shining through when talking about the game-losing miss, either.
“I was happy he [McManus] got that one out of the way.”
Sure, Hackett is backing his guys at the end of the day. But there is zero reason for any kind of optimistic spin on the loss. Hackett needs to address it as a blown opportunity -something he screwed up himself- and nothing more.
McManus himself even refused to blow smoke.
46 yard line left hash was my line to get to. They got it there. Need to make the kick— Brandon McManus (@thekidmcmanus) September 13, 2022
Hackett has to be real in this situation. There is something to benefit from a positive outlook, but in a sport like football, being real is often the better route to take. If McManus weren’t a trusted veteran and the Broncos were to cut him today, what would that say about Hackett’s response?
Now, this isn’t an indictment, by any means. And no one is saying Hackett can’t -or won’t- change his ways.
But this is worrisome for the Broncos.
Hackett needs to learn when to shed his optimistic nature and look at things in an objective light. Being too optimistic can affect the most crucial of situation, which will undoubtedly lead to more losses.
Especially bad losses, like Monday night.
Featured image via Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports