Russell Wilson and the Broncos offense continued their struggles as Denver reached a new low Sunday.
The Carolina Panthers pulled off a 23-10 win over the Broncos in Week 12. Sam Darnold got his first start of the 2022-23 NFL season and slightly outplayed Wilson. The fifth-year quarterback threw for 11-of-19 for 164 yards and a touchdown compared to his counterpart’s 19-of-35 day for 142 yards and one touchdown pass.
Denver has only scored 20 or more points in two games this season, and the blame on Wilson continued to mount. It reached a boiling point when defensive lineman Mike Purcell got into his quarterback’s face during the game, but the 11th-year signal caller downplayed the interaction.
“Mike and I are on the same page,” Wilson told reporters, per team-provided video. “He came off after they kicked a field goal. He was pissed off. He said, ‘We got to f-ing go.’ I agreed. Me and him are on the same page. There is no animosity there at all. We’re on the same page. We got to win.”
It’s an understandable reaction from Purcell. The Broncos defense ranks second in expected points added per play, behind the New England Patriots, but their offense is 27th in EPA per play.
What’s worse for Denver is it doesn’t own its 2023 first-round pick due to trading it away to the Seattle Seahawks for Wilson. That pick sits at No. 3 overall after the Broncos’ loss, but things aren’t all bad because they received a first-round pick from the Miami Dolphins for Bradley Chubb — the pick originally belonged to the San Francisco 49ers and sits at No. 20 prior to their game against the New Orleans Saints.
Nothing is guaranteed for the Broncos in the last six weeks of the season, but it’s likely Nathaniel Hackett’s days as head coach are numbered.