Russell Wilson Needs to Be Better Than Ever to Win a Super Bowl In Denver

Russell Wilson

Getty Images Broncos Quarterback Russell Wilson

Everyone knows that the newly acquired Denver Broncos quarterback Russell Wilson is one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL, but he needs to play at an even higher level in the Mile High City.

Of course Wilson won the 2014 Super Bowl with the Seattle Seahawks and was 1 yard away from winning another. That said, many people believe it wasn’t Wilson who was the x-factor in Seattle getting to back-to-back Super Bowls, rather it was their elite defense.

In those two Super Bowl seasons, Wilson never threw for more than 3,500 yards or 27 touchdowns. The “Legion of Boom” defense however ranked No. 1 in both points allowed and yards allowed in 2013 and 2014.

Good news for Wilson, Denver’s defense ranked third in the NFL in points allowed last season and nearly the entire defense is returning. The bad news, Denver has a new defensive coordinator in Ejiro Evero and it might take some time for the defense to adjust.

Denver has also hired an entire new coaching staff after three horrific seasons under Vic Fangio in which the Broncos went a combined 19-30 overall record. In the offseason, GM George Paton went through a very thorough coaching search and ultimately hired Nathaniel Hackett.

Hackett spent the last three seasons as the offensive coordinator for Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers. The only issue is that Hackett wasn’t calling the plays in Green Bay, it was head coach Matt LaFleur.

Hackett will now be calling the plays for Denver and it might take some time for him to get into a groove with Wilson.

Wilson Will Have Input on the Denver Offense

Denver is going back to the offense they are known for and that’s the legendary West Coast offense.

Head coach Nathaniel Hackett has learned the West Coast offense during his time in the NFL and prior to excelling in Green Bay with it, he helped guide Blake Bortles and the Jacksonville Jaguars to the AFC Championship game in 2018.

Wilson’s offense in Seattle over the years has been a concept of the West Coast offense, but it’s never gotten to the elite level everyone is used to seeing in Green Bay, San Francisco, and Los Angeles with Sean McVay’s Rams. This season, however, Wilson is getting more say in the offense and according to ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler, the Broncos are “tailoring things around him.”

Hackett has mentioned multiple times talking to the media that he’s going to build the offense to what Wilson likes and mix in a little bit of his West Coast offense from Green Bay.

It’s fair to say that Wilson is going to get similar treatment like Peyton Manning did when he was in Denver. Manning was in charge of the playbook and obviously changing plays at the line of scrimmage.

The offense will only be as good as what Wilson makes it out to be this season.

Wilson Needs to Be the Best in the AFC West

The AFC West is hands down the best division in the NFL when it comes to starting quarterbacks. Patrick Mahomes is a Super Bowl MVP and league MVP, Justin Herbert was Offensive Rookie of the Year in 2020, and Derek Carr is a three-time Pro Bowler. Now add in Russell Wilson.

It’s fair to say that the NFL can make every single AFC West game a primetime game because of the elite quarterbacks, but Wilson is going to have to play better than all of them in order to give his team a chance at a title.

Wilson has never faced Herbert, but has faced Mahomes and Carr a combined three times and won all three games.

Denver however hasn’t beaten Kansas City since the second week of the 2015 season. Wilson will have to be the x-factor in ending that streak.

Over the past two seasons, the Broncos have put together a bevy of offensive weapons in Courtland Sutton, Jerry Jeudy, Tim Patrick, and K.J. Hamler that can compete with the highest scoring offenses in the division. The only issue was Denver never had an elite quarterback.

Now Denver should be able to score enough points to compete in the AFC West, but Wilson has to use those weapons the way they’re supposed to be used.

Outside of the AFC West, things won’t get much easier for the Broncos.

Joe Burrow took his Bengals to the Super Bowl in his second season, Josh Allen is playing at an MVP level and was 13 seconds away from appearing in his second AFC Championship game, and Lamar Jackson is a league MVP. This is the group of quarterbacks that Wilson will have to fight through if he ever wants to hold a Lombardi Trophy above his head again.

Over Wilson’s last four full seasons, he has finished in the top three for passing touchdowns, but has never ranked in the top five of passing yards. This season, Wilson will be given his offense to run and succeed in. With an elite running game with Javonte Williams and Melvin Gordon and a top three defense from last season, everything looks good on paper for the Broncos, but they’ll only go as far as Wilson takes them.