When you think of Denver Broncos quarterback Russell Wilson, you think of the magic that he can make on the field. Most people think of Wilson scrambling around the pocket and making plays with his feet and then firing a dart down the field.
Since Wilson has been traded to Denver, you haven’t seen Wilson make many of those magical plays like he did in Seattle.
NFL insider Jordan Schultz, talked to an offensive coach assistant coach in the NFL and was told, “Wilson isn’t running anymore. One of the things that made him so deadly during those Seattle years was his ability to make magic out of nothing.”
Wilson Needs to Run More
Through just three games of the NFL season, Wilson has only taken off rushing nine times for 22 yards. That averages out to just three rushes per game for 7.3 yards per game.
During his time in Seattle, Wilson averaged 5.5 yards per rush which totaled out to 29.7 yards per game. With the Seahawks, Wilson had more designed read option run plays in which he forced the defense going one way and he could take off the opposite way. Denver has yet to call a read option play during a game this season.
Denver’s offensive line hasn’t been special either, but Wilson still hasn’t taken off running when the pocket is breaking down as much as he did in the past.
“When the line is healthy, it should be one of the best he’s had,” an executive told Shultz. “At least an above-average group.”
The offensive line for Denver has given up 9 sacks through the first three games. Wilson is on pace to be sacked 51 times which would tie the most he’s ever been sacked in a single season dating back to 2014.
Now, Denver’s right side of the offensive line is not exactly what the Broncos had in mind to open the season, but this is why they went out and added depth in the offseason.
All through training camp, Quinn Meinerz was starting at right guard as a second-year vet. Meinerz hasn’t appeared in a game since suffering a hamstring injury against Seattle.
At right tackle, the plan was to have Billy Turner or Tom Compton start at right tackle, but both have been injured since before training camp. All offseason, Calvin Anderson was the starting right tackle and practiced with the first-team until Denver was game planning for Seattle. Then things changed.
Out of the blue, a source told me that Cam Fleming was going to start against Seattle to open the season and that Anderson was not happy. Fleming currently ranks 15th in Pro Football Focus’ grades for offensive tackles in the NFL with an overall grade of 74.
The Broncos will travel to Las Vegas this week to take on the Raiders and their elite pass rushers. Even though the Raiders only have two sacks and Maxx Crosby owning both, All-Pro Chandler Jones can turn it on at any time.
Crosby on the other hand has 7.5 career sacks against the Broncos which is his most against any opponent he’s faced.
The numbers might not show that Wilson is going to need to scramble and make plays with his legs, but in order for the Denver offense to score more, Wilson needs to start making magic.
Wilson Isn’t Scared of the Offensive Struggles
With the Broncos owning a 2-1 record and the defense carrying them, Denver’s offense needs to kick it into another gear.
During Denver’s win against the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday night, the Broncos’ offense had a total of nine three-and-outs. That’s more than what the Broncos had in their game against the New Orleans Saints in 2020 when wide receiver Kendall Hinton had to fill-in and play quarterback.
After Denver’s recent win, Wilson was asked if this win could spark the team forward and get the team rolling. “It’s a young football team, we’re all learning each other. It’s all coming together,” Wilson said.
Averaging just 14 points per game ranks the Broncos 31st in scoring just ahead of the Indianapolis Colts. Wilson is still optimistic though, with the offense averaging 348 yards per game, ranking them in the middle of the pack.
“We’re so close. I’ve been a part of some good offenses, and I think we have a chance to be really, really great” I’m excited because I can feel it – everything is just that close.”