Russell Wilson has a chance to impress Denver Broncos fans. Then another chance. one left.
The Broncos have three games to play in Monday night’s 16-16 draw against the Los Angeles Chargers. One came at the end of the rules, and then there were two that started overtime. All three ended with points, no points. Only one of those drives went down for the first time and it started running.
Then Denver’s special team made a huge mistake. When a blocker was pushed back on him, Montreux Washington was sullen. The Chargers recovered 19-16 in overtime and won the game.
Another game story for the Broncos is a lack of offense. Wilson struggled in the final three quarters. He was also unable to tee off in overtime, making two consecutive three-pointers. He’s been underwhelming for much of the season, and questions about his struggles will continue to linger.
At least the Broncos won’t be in prime time again for some time.
Russell Wilson starts hot
The last time we saw Wilson, he was struggling with a loss to the Indianapolis Colts and missed an open KJ Hamler for a game-winning touchdown. After the Colts’ loss, he reportedly suffered a partially torn lat and had an injection in the throwing shoulder.
He started to get hot on Monday night. He went 10 for 10 for 116 yards and a touchdown after his TD throw to rookie tight end Greg Dulcich. That gave the Broncos a 7-0 lead. It was Wilson’s best season as a quarterback for the Broncos.
Unfortunately for the Broncos, the next three more quarters looked like the first five games of the season. Denver went scoreless the next game. The Broncos instead got a field goal. Entering the fourth quarter, the score was 13-13.
Denver’s defense, as it has done for most of the season, keeps the team in the game. This includes a 4th quarter start and a 2nd quarter stop in the fourth quarter.
Later in the fourth quarter, they got a huge run when Browning Baron, the usual pass rusher, got into screen and was intercepted. He nearly lost it, but the Broncos recovered and had a good spot on the floor.
Of course, the Broncos didn’t get knocked down for the first time after that. They did go 16-13 on the field from the field.
Chargers have chance late in game
The Chargers were underwhelming on offense on Monday, but they had a chance to win in the fourth quarter and overtime.
Broncos appear to be unfinished on clutch 3-pointer in the fourth quarter, but rookie cornerback Damarri Mathis got his fourth pass interference of the game, which kept the game active with less than five minutes left. The Chargers’ concern is that their kicker, Dustin Hopkins, is dealing with a quadriceps problem. A shot close enough to tie was not as easy as it used to be. At 4:02, the Chargers had to make a 35-yard attempt and Hopkins made it. The game was tied again, 16-16. Hopkins will also play well in overtime.
Wilson had a chance to lead the game to victory in the final four minutes of the game. He has led many game-winning games throughout his career, but his first and a half months with the Broncos were filled with mostly sub-par games and criticism. This is his chance to start changing that narrative.
The Broncos got their first drop on a mid-run run and nothing else after that. On the third down, Wilson was fired in a blitz in the middle as linebacker Drew Tranquill was unblocked. The Broncos kicked the ball. After Wilson’s 10-for-10 start, he missed 13 of his last 18 passes. He had 78 yards after the first quarter.
Broncos head coach Nathaniel Hackett said after the game that Wilson hamstring injury Perhaps that affected Denver’s offense and Wilson’s efficiency during the game.
Herbert has a chance at the end of regulation. The Chargers were close to midfield but couldn’t get into shooting range, and they had an incomplete Hail Mary shot in the final game. The game went into overtime. The Broncos won the coin toss to start overtime, but quickly scored. Then the Chargers also won three innings.
The Broncos got the ball back and showed no interest in passing. In the second straight drive, they started with the first and second down runs. Wilson then threw incomplete again. He tries to get deep with Jerry Jedi, but cornerback Asante Samuel Jr. Had a good time and then broke up. Three more.
The Chargers also won three innings, but then got a key recovery in a sullen punt. Herbert completed a big third pass to give Hopkins a game-winning 39-yard field goal. Hopkins passed.
The Broncos defense will likely want to tie it. Denver must know its offense is not helping. It may not have anticipated that particular teams would make crucial mistakes to end the loss.