Nathaniel Hackett: When we needed it, Russell Wilson did it
When the Broncos traded for quarterback Russell Wilson this offseason, they believed they brought in a player who would lead them to both victories and impressive offensive performances.
They settled for half of that on Sunday night. The offense went three and out nine times against the 49ers, but it came up with an 80-yard touchdown drive in the fourth quarter that proved to be enough for an 11-10 win over the 49ers.
That drive saw Wilson hook up with Kendall Hinton to convert one third down and use his legs for another key first down before Melvin Gordon’s go-ahead touchdown run. The drive was an outlier on an ugly night of football, but Broncos head coach Nathaniel Hackett wasn’t focused on all the punts after the game. He called Wilson’s play “just unbelievable” and said “when we needed it, he did it.”
“We knew that was a great football team,” Wilson said, via the team’s website. “That’s a Super Bowl-caliber football team on the other side. How they play defense, they’re coached really well and everything else. We also knew, and I told the guys earlier in the week, I’ve played these guys a bunch over the years. They’re going to win some battles, that’s for sure, but it’s going to come down to the wire in the fourth quarter. It always has, and we were able to win in the fourth. I told the guys, despite us battling back and forth, back and forth, the game was still close. It was in striking distance. We just kept staying on it.”
The first three weeks of the Wilson/Hackett partnership have been filled with game management mistakes and unattractive offensive football, but the Broncos are 2-1 despite the negatives and that makes it a bit easier to deal with the need to play better football over the remaining 14 games on the schedule.