DENVER (KDVR) — With the 2022 NFL season now more than a third of the way through, the Denver Broncos have reached a boiling point.
“When it comes to the players, yeah, they’re frustrated. The coaches are frustrated. We’re all frustrated,” admitted rookie head coach Nathaniel Hackett.
At 2-4, with his team riding a three-game losing streak, Hackett has his hands full. After six weeks, the Broncos lead the NFL with a staggering 54 penalties for 486 yards.
Uneven play from the offense — which averages an NFL-worst 15.2 points per game — and self-inflicted wounds have become staples for this struggling football team.
Stokley: Broncos must stop ‘shooting ourselves in the foot’
It’s been painful to watch, both for fans and former Broncos wide receiver Brandon Stokley.
“Every week we hear about, ‘Hey, we’ve got to stay on schedule. We’ve got to stop shooting ourselves in the foot with penalties, turnovers, mistakes, sacks,'” Stokley said.
“(The Broncos) are just not good enough to overcome those mistakes. And, right now, they’re not good enough to eliminate these mistakes, unfortunately,” he said.
Which begs the question: How does this team get back on track?
Stokley believes that it begins with Broncos quarterback Russell Wilson, who at this point has not been able to approach the level of play that made him a nine-time Pro Bowler while he was with the Seattle Seahawks.
“He’s missing the basics here, and that’s the confusing and frustrating part. It’s not the big stuff, it’s just the little things that he should have mastered by now,” Stokley said.
Wilson was sacked a total of eight times in overtime losses to the Colts and Chargers while operating out of the spread offense.
That, coupled with a makeshift offensive line after starting left tackle Garett Bolles was lost for the season because of injury, has made protecting the quarterback problematic.
How can the Broncos get back on track?
According to Stokley, simplifying the offensive scheme might be the answer.
“I think the spread (offense) with five wide receivers or the four (wide receivers) with shotgun formation right now is a little bit too much. You saw the Chargers take advantage of it (on Monday night). (The Broncos should) bring everything back (to a basic offensive package),” Stokley said.
“Maybe (it’s) not sexy football (and you’re not) throwing the football all over the place, but right now who cares? Right now, let’s look like a competent offense and help this defense out a little bit more,” Stokley said.
And, hopefully, it will help this football team get back in the win column.
Join our team this and every week at the Orange and Blue Report with Arran Andersen, Bruce Haertl, Taylor Kilgore and Myck Miller – along with former Broncos wide receiver, Brandon Stokley – to get you set for this week’s Broncos game.