The Broncos have fired HC Nathaniel Hackett, NFL Network's Tom Pelissero reports. So Hackett doesn't even make it a full season in Denver. His tenure was a disaster from the start and ends with an embarrassing 51-14 loss to the Rams on Christmas. We'll see who the Broncos tab as their interim HC, but we doubt the move has much of a fantasy impact over the final 2 weeks of the season.
Update: Senior assistant coach Jerry Rosburg has been named Denver's interim HC, ESPN's Adam Schefter reports. The 67-year-old has spent much of the last 2 decades as a special teams coordinator and has no head-coaching experience at any level.
It took a while for QB Russell Wilson and the Broncos offense to get rolling in Chicago. He hit halftime with just 88 passing yards and one TD. But, down 21 to 7, Denver went pass-heavy in the second half. Wilson delivered another 135 yards and two scores, leading the Broncos to a 31 to 28 comeback win. It hasn't always been pretty, but Wilson has averaged 254 yards and 2.3 TDs per game through the first four weeks. He's playing reasonably well -- and Denver's awful defense is creating shootout environments. Wilson won't be a recommended QB1 vs. the Jets in Week 5. But the next three weeks bring doable matchup vs. the Chiefs, Packers, and Chiefs again.
Broncos QB Russell Wilson played OK in his first game under new HC Sean Payton. He was efficient but conservative, completing 79.4% of his passes at only 5.2 yards per attempt. He didn't turn it over and tossed TDs to WRs Courtland Sutton and Lil'Jordan Humphrey. Wilson spread the ball around to 10 different pass-catchers, with none of them catching more than five balls. He was playing without WR Jerry Jeudy and lost TE Greg Dulcich in-game to a leg injury. We'll see when those guys return, but don't expect to see Wilson close to the top 12 in our Week 2 Rankings in a matchup vs. the Commanders.
Broncos QB Russell Wilson is off to a “slow start” in training camp, per team insider Troy Renck. He’s committed multiple turnovers in practice, but HC Sean Payton isn’t deterred. "He’s doing fine," Payton said. “We are in an installation pattern. As we install, sometimes we put a play in, and it doesn’t really match, and we wouldn’t run it if we were playing Denver’s defense. Throughout this training camp and preseason, you will see things we do well and some things we don’t feel as comfortable about. So, you are constantly building that memory bank of what we are seeing and how we are executing it.” Wilson and the Broncos open the season vs. Las Vegas on September 10.
"A trimmed down Russell Wilson hinted that we are going to see him move around more this season and use his legs more frequently," NFL Network's James Palmer says. He adds that HC Sean Payton is encouraging it and believes "it's still a strength" for the 34-year-old QB. Wilson posted his fewest (13.1) and third-fewest (18.5) rushing yards per game the past two seasons. Although Palmer's report doesn't specifically speak to Wilson rushing for yardage, pursuing mobility more often should help that area. And any rushing boost would help Wilson's fantasy floor and ceiling. He's going at a low-risk, all-reward level in fantasy football drafts so far. See where Wilson sits in our 2023 QB rankings.
Broncos HC Sean Payton fully believes that QB Russell Wilson will bounce back this year. “He’s still got gas in the tank," Payton said, blaming Denver's ugly 2022 season on the previous regime. “There’s so much dirt around that. There’s 20 dirty hands, for what was allowed, tolerated in the fricking training rooms, the meeting rooms. The offense. I don’t know [former HC Nathaniel] Hackett. A lot of people had dirt on their hands. It wasn’t just Russell. He didn’t just flip. He still has it. This B.S. that he hit a wall? Shoot, they couldn’t get a play in. They were 29th in the league in pre-snap penalties on both sides of the ball.” On top of what should be a much-improved coaching staff, the Broncos also bolstered their offensive line with the additions of Mike McGlinchey and Ben Powers. And the pass-catching corps remains strong. In short, all the pieces are in place for a Wilson bounce back.
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