Broncos HC Hackett got worse than coal after Rams drubbing
By Bret Stuter
Did the LA Rams play the Grinch who stole the Denver Broncos Christmas? You could reach that conclusion in the aftermath of the 51-14 thumping the Broncos received at the hands of an LA Rams team that has had trouble finding the end zone this season. Well, you wouldn’t have guessed that from the six-touchdown outburst by the Rams. Rams running back Cam Akers scored three touchdowns.
Rams tight end Tyler Higbee scored two TDs. And even rookie defensive back Cobie Durant had a pick-six in a sound drubbing of the Denver Broncos, a team whose defense typically dictated the outcome of games. The Rams’ offense unloaded a season’s worth of pent-up frustration on their guests, and the outcome was a lopsided victory for the Rams.
It seems that Santa Claus has contracted with the NFL to add a third list. There are two traditional lists: One with the names of good boys and girls, and another with the names of not-so-good boys and girls. But there is a third list now, a list of bad NFL head coaches. And Denver Broncos Head Coach Nathanial Hackett found his name on that list the day after their Christmas Day drubbing.
The win buoyed the LA Rams to third place in the NFC West, a game ahead of the struggling Arizona Cardinals. The Broncos’ loss ensured that they would finish last in the AFC West, a deeply disappointing season after trading a significant package of picks and players to acquire veteran quarterback Russell Wilson.
Reports about the timing of Hackett’s firing claimed that the move was made now to ensure that the Denver Broncos ended up with the best candidates to take over the team. Further reports indicated that the owners felt that the prime-time Christmas Day performance showed indications that the team was no longer competitive under Hackett and that an immediate change was needed.
Whoever takes over the team is in for a treat. Not only do the Broncos have an excellent defense and the makings of a strong offense with the right coaching, but the team will almost certainly explore landing former New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton. But to do that, they will need to acquire the rights to hire him from the Saints.
The Broncos had been close for several years and believed that adding veteran quarterback Russell Wilson would jumpstart their offense and get them into the NFL playoffs. Unfortunately, for their first season with him, the opposite has happened, and Coach Hackett has become a casualty of that miscalculation.