Even though the Denver Broncos own a 2-1 overall record, they’ve become one of the biggest laughing stocks in the NFL so far this season. From the mistakes from their head coach Nathaniel Hackett to the bad offensive playing from the Denver offense, it’s fair to be calling out the Broncos.
Two-time Super Bowl champion Eli Manning decided to take a shot last night during the “Manning Cast” during Monday Night Football.
Hall of Fame quarterback Peyton Manning and Eli were joined by former Indianapolis Colts punter Pat McAfee last night during their show and the fellas consistently talked about how much punting was going on in the Giants–Cowboys game.
Peyton got the ball rolling last night when New York was down 6-3 with just over two-minutes left in the first half. No. 18 told Eli that, “My Broncos are definitely going to outscore the Giants tonight. We scored 11 [points] last night.”
McAfee added that the Broncos had 10 punts during their Sunday night game against the San Francisco 49ers.
Eli then took his shot, “They should’ve paid that punter $235 million instead of Russell [Wilson].”
This comes after Wilson signed a five-year extension with the Broncos worth $245 million and $165 million of it guaranteed.
Denver’s Punting Was on Point Sunday Night
It’s expected that if a team has to punt 10 times in a game, they’re probably not going to be in a position to win the game, but that was the opposite for the Broncos.
Entering the game against the 49ers, Corliss Waitman ranked dead last of punters in net average of 33.8 yards. Denver’s special teams coordinator, Dwayne Stukes, called out Waitman and the punting unit saying, “It’s sickening.”
“Corliss is trying to be very aggressive as far as getting the ball to the 1-yard line because, again, we preach around here, given our defense, the long field,” Stukes added.
After the comments from Stukes, Waitman went out and had a very good game. Waitman averaged 47.6 yards per punt with a long of 57. The third-year punter also dropped the ball inside the 20-yard line six times on Sunday night without having a single touchback.
Having a net average of 43.6 yards, Waitman was awarded a game ball from the Sunday Night Football crew. Officially, Waitman is not last in net punting average anymore, according to NFL.com.
Waitman entered training camp in a punting battle with Sam Martin, who had been with Denver for the previous two seasons. There became some drama after the Broncos released Martin after reports came out that the Broncos had asked Martin to take a pay cut, but then general manager George Paton publicly declined that report.
Martin, who is considered one of the better punters in the NFL, signed with the Buffalo Bills quickly after being released by Denver. The newly signed Bills punter currently ranks in the top 10 of net punting at 44 yards.
Eli Isn’t the Only One Taking Shots at Denver
It’s fair to say that this isn’t the first time a former player or someone in the national media has called out the Broncos this season because of their offensive struggles.
Sherman has made it known that he’s not Russell Wilson’s biggest fan. Last week, Sherman and former Seahawk K.J. Wright said Wilson got special treatment from head coach Pete Carroll.
The Denver offense deserves to be criticized as well; they’ve only scored one touchdown in the red zone this season. That came this past week when Melvin Gordon scored from one-yard out to give the Broncos the lead over the 49ers.
Denver entered the game Sunday 0-for-6 in the red zone, but left Sunday night 1-for-1.
This means that Denver is dead last in red zone scoring percentage (touchdowns only) at 14.29 percent. The Broncos are behind none other than the Seahawks at 25 percent. The Titans rank first at 85 percent to give some context.
It’s fair to say that the Broncos better improve their offense quickly before they get to the tougher part of their schedule.