There’s a new head coach in the Mile High City. And Nathaniel Hackett takes over a talented Denver Broncos team that’s struggled for far too long.
Dating back to 2008, 12 different franchises have won at least one of the 14 Super Bowls. The New England Patriots have three Lombardi Trophies over that span. For what it’s worth, 11 of those franchises have returned to the playoffs at least once since capturing their NFL championship.
Then there’s the strange case of the Denver Broncos, who won their fifth straight AFC West title in 2015 and entered the playoffs that year as the AFC’s top seed. Led by Hall of Fame quarterback Peyton Manning but mostly by one of the better modern-day defensive efforts, the club stifled the explosive Carolina Panthers in Super Bowl 50 at Levi’s Stadium by a 24-10 count.
Since then, the team from the Mile High City has gone six straight seasons without winning at least 10 games and has not been back to the postseason. After a 4-0 start resulted in a 9-7 finish in 2016, the franchise has posted five straight losing campaigns. The Broncos’ combined record is a disappointing 39-58 since 2016. And new hire Nathaniel Hackett is the club’s fourth different head coach over that span.
Manning retired after that Super Bowl-winning campaign, which was far from a shock considering his physical condition. Meanwhile, president of football operations John Elway failed to find a suitable replacement behind center. Current general manager George Paton is now on the case.
In 2021, the team dealt for veteran Teddy Bridgewater and he played respectable football. But he is also slated to become a free agent next month and three-year pro Drew Lock has digressed since his solid showing during the team’s final five games in 2019.
The Denver Broncos have posted five consecutive losing seasons dating back to 2017. That’s the second-longest streak in franchise history, topped only by 10 straight sub-.500 campaigns from 1963-72. Is Hackett the solution at head coach? It’s been quite the disappointing run by a franchise that ranks fifth in wins dating back to the merger in 1970.