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#pounditSaturday, March 25, 2023

Russell Wilson contributes to Broncos loss with horrible decision

Russell Wilson with headphones on

Aug 13, 2022; Denver, Colorado, USA; Denver Broncos quarterback Russell Wilson (3) before the preseason game against the Dallas Cowboys at Empower Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Russell Wilson had one of his best statistical games of the season on Sunday against the Las Vegas Raiders, but the Denver Broncos quarterback still cost his team dearly with a very poor decision late in regulation.

The Broncos had a 16-13 lead over the Raiders at the two-minute warning in the fourth quarter, and faced a 3rd-and-10 from their own 34. The Raiders were out of timeouts, so the Broncos had the ability to take about 40 seconds off the clock if they played it right, even if it meant they had to punt.

The problem was that Wilson did not play it right. He dropped back to pass on 3rd down and came under pressure, but instead of taking a sack or trying to run and slide, Wilson opted to throw the ball away. While the play still took 17 seconds off the clock, Wilson’s decision to throw the ball away left a lot of time on the board.

Broncos coach Nathaniel Hackett said after the game that the plan had been to keep the clock running.

Instead of getting the ball back with roughly a minute left, the Raiders instead had 1:43 to try to get a game-winning field goal. That more or less made all the difference, as the Raiders got the ball into the red zone after about 50 seconds. Even if nothing else changes, that leaves them scrambling to spike the ball to get the field goal team on the field with the clock ticking under ten seconds. Instead, they had the time to run a standard hurry-up offense and wound up kicking a game-tying field goal with 16 seconds left, then won in overtime.

Quite simply, Wilson has been in the league for too long to be making decisions like this. It shows a lack of game awareness, and it plays into a narrative that Wilson has resisted doing the simple things and is trying to do too much. Whatever the quarterback was thinking, in this instance, it probably cost the Broncos the game.


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