Broncos Fire Hackett

The Denver Broncos have fired first-year head coach Nathaniel Hackett with two games left in the season.

Hackett replaced Vic Fangio last January, but the Broncos got worse in almost every category under the first-time head coach, who struggled with a variety of in-game decisions.

The former quarterback coach of the Green Bay Packers was also never was able to get quarterback Russell Wilson, a high-price off-season acquisition, out of a season-long slump.

Owner and CEO Greg Penner said he’ll lead the search for a new coach with assistance from GM George Paton, in whom he expressed confidence Monday while announcing Hackett’s dismissal.

Firing Hackett with two games left in a lost season allows Penner to begin his search for a replacement immediately.

The Walton-Penner group purchased the Broncos for $4.65 billion last summer, a global record for a professional sports franchise.

They also approved a massive contract extension for Wilson after sending the Seattle Seahawks 3 players, 1st and 2nd-round picks this year and next, and a 5th rounder this year for Wilson and a 4th round pick this year.

On Sunday, the Broncos (4-11) were blown out by the equally downtrodden Los Angeles Rams 51-14 when Wilson threw three interceptions and was sacked six times.

The game featured a sideline spat between backup QB Brett Rypien and guard Dalton Risner as well as a post-game dustup that saw pass rusher and former Cornhusker Randy Gregory exchange punches with a Rams player.

Hackett hasn’t been able to build an offense suitable to Wilson, who has had an awful first season in Denver. The 9-time Pro Bowler has thrown just 12 touchdown passes and 9 interceptions, been sacked 49 times in 13 starts, sat out two games with a concussion, and has been unable to snap out of a season-long funk.

The Broncos have missed the playoffs seven straight seasons and extended their string of losing records to six.

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