With Denver Broncos Head Coach Nathaniel Hackett and quarterback Russell Wilson in town, come one, come all to the offensive explosion soon to fuse together at Mile High. The high-octane, uber-successful duo will be tasked with slaying the goliaths that lie ahead in their division.
You either have a franchise quarterback in this league or you’re a team looking for one, and with Wilson now ten-toes down in Denver, who’s to say the Broncos – a team looked upon as a ‘QB away’ for multiple seasons – couldn’t, and shouldn’t realize all expectations come the turn of the New Year?
Though Denver had to part ways with tight end Noah Fant, they acquired Wilson without giving up Jerry Jeudy, Courtland Sutton, Tim Patrick or even rookie standout Javonte Williams. It’s an absolute home run from the top down. The hiring of the offensive-minded head coach in Hackett who spent the last three campaigns mastheading the Packers’ offense could present a match made in heaven for a city hungry for success under center since the retirement of Peyton Manning.
With the aforementioned Jeudy, Sutton, and Patrick representing Wilson’s top three targets on a weekly basis, the key for success will likely lie with second-year ball-carrier Williams and the impact his production will have in making Wilson more comfortable in Denver – and giving him something he never had in Seattle. Under Head Coach Pete Carroll, it was a common offseason theme that the Seahawks were going to improve the run game in order to lift the onus on Wilson. Long story short, it never worked out that way. But in Denver, rather than the run game proving to be a yearly fallacy, handing the ball off to Williams with confidence to gain yards in chunks will keep the tread fresh on Wilson’s throwing shoulder. So, when the time comes to stretch the ball on a nine-route to Jeudy, or pump in a throw between the closing safety and ranging corner to the big body of Sutton or Patrick, Wilson won’t be 45 throws into his script and chasing points late in the ballgame. It’s the formula for a well-rounded offensive attack and while the nine-time Pro Bowler’s hero-ball style of gameplay has taken over headlines and nightly highlight reels, the need for heroics to sneak out wins may not be needed each game for Wilson. That, for now, should provide a sense of comfortability.
All the ingredients are there for Denver to enjoy a plentiful helping of success and win within an ever-deepening AFC West talent pool. While each divisional matchup deserves a primetime spotlight and the headlining names scattered on both sides of the ball will make for outstanding football, the duo of Hackett and Wilson could push the Broncos over the top and meet their long sought after goals of a division title – and potentially more – when the dust finally settles in the West.
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