NFL Fans Were In Shock That The Broncos Played For A Game-Winning 64-Yard Field Goal (Which Missed)

Week 1 of the 2022 NFL season concluded on Monday evening with a tightly contested matchup between the Denver Broncos and the Seattle Seahawks. The contest featured a pair of crucial fumbles at the goal line by the Broncos on the road, leaving Russell Wilson trailing in the final minutes in his return to Seattle. Denver dominated the box score throughout the evening and, down the stretch, it seemed as if the Broncos were in a favorable position to complete a comeback and secure a season-opening win. However, new Broncos head coach Nathaniel Hackett deployed a rather interesting clock management strategy in the closing moments, effectively playing for a 64-yard field goal that eventually missed the mark to ensure a 17-16 defeat.

Denver took over with a one-point deficit and more than four minutes remaining. With the help of a somewhat controversial spot and measurement, the Broncos picked up an initial first down and moved relatively quickly to striking distance. Denver also had all three of its timeouts, but the Broncos were seemingly content to bleed clock the entire way, reaching the two-minute warning at their own 40-yard line and letting the entire play clock elapse before a 4th-and-5 scenario at Seattle’s 46-yard line.

Observers were utterly baffled by the clock management in real time, with few even considering the possibility that the Broncos could be purposefully setting up a 64-yard field goal attempt. When Wilson called a timeout at the play clock buzzer, Hackett turned to Brandon McManus, who had enough leg but not enough accuracy on his kick.

While it was 4th-and-5 and the Broncos would have needed to convert to move the chains and give McManus a better chance, the odds of even a high-end kicker (which McManus is) burying a 64-yard kick on the road are rather slim. Beyond that, the entire sequence of clock management was truly befuddling, especially when remembering that the Broncos acquired Wilson and paid him a handsome sum in a contract extension to convert in moments such as this.

This wasn’t a case in which the “analytics people” were on one side alone, either, as the masses just could not understand the thinking from Hackett and roasted him for an all-time bizarre decision.