LONDON — Following the last week in London full of questions regarding Denver Broncos coach Nathaniel Hackett’s future and the problems regarding Russell Wilson, Hackett felt it was the right time to take a look at the eyes of his quarterback.
After the Broncos offense, which was last in the league for scoring, started play with disappointing three-and-out. Wilson finished the Broncos’ second drive by throwing an interception only his second attempt to pass during the game.
“First quarter, it was a roaring start,” Hackett declared, his tongue set in a joke, following the Broncos won 21-17 over The Jacksonville Jaguars at Wembley Stadium. “We go out and then go three-and-out and throw an option on the next [pass] play. It comes down to that pressure for people to see things happen instead of trying to accomplish more than they can handle.
“I spoke to Russell and advised him to take a deep breath and breathe and do what he normally does. As we sort started to play … it was the first time we were able to make some effective moves for him and that’s when the player began getting into the groove.”
The Broncos (3-5) and Wilson did bounce back, rushing 80 yards to score the winning touchdown with just two minutes to overcome a 10-0 2nd-quarter deficit, end their losing streak of four games and reduce the criticism level — at the very least through next week’s bye.
Wilson was 18-of-30 for 252 yards, including an interception as the Broncos had more points than the 16 they scored only the second time this season. It was also the first time they’ve surpassed 16 points in the course of a win. The offensive unit also produced an 98-yard, nine-play drive to score its first touchdown in the third quarter of the season. Wilson was the driving force behind the game-winning run which was completed by Latavius Murray’s touchdown run of 2 yards.
Hackett has stated throughout the offensive’s rocky start to this season that he felt players were pushing when the pressure grew. In the aftermath of Sunday’s game, it wasn’t the first instance he had done it, because Wilson’s interception occurred at a crucial point in the game that he believed he had to check the quarterback’s temperature after making an error.
“We never had something like this occur to us so quickly and early … Just approached him and tried to explainto him “Take what they offer you, don’t try to force it ,”’ Hackett stated. “And He looked and he had a huge happy smile. There is a lot you can learn about a quarterback whenever they throw a pick especially in the early stages. There have been quarterbacks who drop into the tank and I’ve also heard quarterbacks tell me, ‘I have gotten this off the field.’ He was capable of rebounding and then return and play some games.”
“You know, sometimes , guys make a mistake and then they make a mistake,”” Wilson stated. “Trust your defense. just keep rolling and then come up with a method to play some moves. If something happens that is negative the way you react.”
The Broncos ended up with 12 penalties. The Jaguars were able to rack up 191 rushing yards , the second-highest number the Broncos have allowed this season, trailing only the Raiders who had 212 yards in Week 4. Travis Etienne Jr. finished with 156 yards, which included an impressive 49-yard run in the third quarter. However, the Broncos kept Trevor Lawrence to 133 passing yards, and he was intercepted twice one in the end zone, by Justin Simmons and one by K’Waun Williams in the final minute of time to win the game.
“With the streak of losing it was nice to see the offensive keep it in check”, said Broncos defensive back Dre’Mont Jones said. “They have helped us out more in this time than we did.”