After an incomplete throw clinched the Denver Broncos’ 12-9 overtime defeat to the Indianapolis Colts, receiver KJ Hamler crushed his helmet in fury.
With a fourth down and one on the 5-yard line in overtime, Denver decided to go for it instead of kicking a field goal. KJ Hamler was wide open on a slant route to Russell Wilson’s right, but Wilson never glanced his way, instead opting to throw into double coverage to Courtland Sutton, who was defended by Stephon Gilmore.
KJ Hamler told James Palmer of NFL Network after the game, “I could have strolled in.”
The play was emblematic of a Broncos offense that can’t seem to get out of its own way, and which has been especially bad in the red zone through five games (they went 0-for-4 on Thursday night).
Russell Wilson missed wide-open KJ Hamler on the final play
According to KJ Hamler, quoted by the Denver Post: “We moved down the field swiftly (in overtime).” “If we want to learn how to finish strong, we need to learn how to push through the discomfort of the “gold zone” and into the red. We can’t keep digging in that hole and finding nothing… Given our quarterback, we can easily put up 40 points in a game.”
The Broncos have failed to even come close to scoring 40 points in any game. In five games, they have scored 64 points overall, with four games falling below the 20-point threshold.
KJ Hamler: They were able to do it twice on Thursday night when the Broncos had opportunities to run the ball in crucial situations. This was entrusted to Wilson’s care on two separate occasions. Two separate times he fell short.
The Broncos, who had been running effectively on the drive, had a third-and-4 with two minutes left in the fourth quarter and a lead of three points; they could have pounded the rock and made a field goal to make it six. The defense’s performance, which included a complete shutout of Matt Ryan and the Colts, was impressive. Wilson attempted to pass to Tyrie Cleveland, but the pass was picked off.
The Broncos also didn’t call a rollout for Wilson to have the option of a quick first-down rush on the last play when they needed just a yard to keep driving toward the goal line.
Richard Sherman, a former teammate of Wilson’s on the Seahawks and now a Prime Video pundit, was mystified by the chain of events.
Sherman said, “You’ve got to run the ball on the last play.” “Again. I really need Marshawn Lynch here. There is just one yard. A yard is required. Carry the ball up the middle. Play ball! He only needs to run the ball. This is the kind of constructive criticism that is required. He’s heard all the criticism I have to offer. But for the love of God, move the ball!”
The Bronco’s offense has been a source of frustration for everyone engaged and watching.