The Seattle Seahawks beat the Denver Broncos 17-16 on Monday Night Football in Week 1. To say it was a crazy game might be an understatement, as the Broncos lost two fumbles at the goal line. But in the end, the decision by first-year head coach Nathaniel Hackett to not go for it and use his timeouts at midfield with under a minute left to play, down by one, is going to haunt him and Broncos fans.
Instead of letting Russell Wilson do what he does best on 4th and 5, Hackett ran the clock down 40 seconds so Brandon McManus could attempt a 64-yard field goal for the win. It frankly makes no sense for them not to give their franchise QB the ball there. Hackett then used his timeouts with just seconds remaining in hopes that Geno Smith would fumble on the kneel downs. Truly bizarre.
The odds of hitting a 64 yard field goal versus converting a 4th and five just aren’t the same, as Greg Auman points out here:
Looking at all fourth-and-5 non-kicking plays in 2021, NFL offenses went 23-for-47 converting -- just under 50 percent. You really should trust those odds with three time outs over anything as historically rare as a 64-yard field goal, no matter who your kicker is.— Greg Auman (@gregauman) September 13, 2022
In the end, you give the ball to the guy you’re paying $245 million to play football and let the chips fall where they may.