The Denver Broncos fell to 3-8 for the season after a bad loss to the Carolina Panthers on Sunday. This move places head coach Nathaniel Hackett firmly back on a hot seat that he has been in and out of quite a few times this year. The first-year coach had never held a head coaching position before getting hired by the Broncos.
He received an experienced quarterback in Russell Wilson for his inaugural season, but the Broncos offense sits at the very bottom of the NFL in points scored. How much of the blame for that lack of production rests on Hackett’s coaching?
The Broncos switched ownership after Hackett was hired, so the new management may find him to be an easy scapegoat. Hackett also brought in a consultant whose job is essentially coaching him on how to be a coach, which raised some questions about his qualifications for the position. With the amount that the Broncos spent to get Wilson, they want to see results right away, and may not be patient enough to wait for a slower build under Hackett’s leadership.
The offense’s abysmal performance against a middle-of-the-road Panthers defense that has allowed the Bengals to put up 42 points earlier this month may be the final straw for ownership when it comes to Hackett. Josh McDaniels is on the hot seat in Vegas, and yet Denver makes up two of the Raiders’ three wins this year. Facing down two more likely losses in the Ravens and the Chiefs over the next two weeks, Hackett had better get comfortable on the hot seat in December.