The Broncos' Russell Wilson problem somehow gets worse in an abysmal loss to the Rams

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Russell Wilson turned 34 at the end of November.

It’s not an age that a quarterback should completely drop. That’s why the Broncos traded several draft picks and players to Wilson and gave him a five-year extension worth more than $240 million.

The trade and contract could end up among the worst in NFL history. It looks like Wilson’s name will forever be cursed in Colorado for setting the franchise back several years.

Sunday’s 51-14 loss to the Los Angeles Rams was a bad moment for the Broncos in a season that has been miserable since Week 1. Wilson threw interceptions on each of the Broncos’ first two series and both were completely at quarterback. . In one, he dropped a pass terribly, in the other, he threw it straight to linebacker Bobby Wagner in the middle.

It was 17-0 right after the second interception.

If you want to know what it’s like when a team has completely given up on the season and wants it to be over, rewatch the Broncos’ effort on Christmas afternoon. A defense that had been good was shattered by the Rams’ JV offense. The Rams had 31 points at halftime. They scored 31 in an entire game once this season. The Rams had 39 points in quarterback Baker Mayfield’s first two games together. And Denver was tied pretty much from the start of the game because the offense can’t score. The Broncos trailed 41-6 before the offense scored its first touchdown.

Denver’s Nathaniel Hackett had one of the worst rookie seasons of any coach in NFL history, and it would infuriate the Broncos fanbase if he returned for a second season. But firing Hackett may not solve Wilson’s glaring problem.

Russell Wilson keeps fighting

Wilson’s start to the game was so bad that even Patrick Star was cracking jokes on the Nickelodeon broadcast.

At one point in the third quarter, Tracy Wolfson of CBS reported that backup quarterback Brett Rypien argued with the offensive line on the sideline, and the offensive line got hot on him. As if the Broncos needed to add “total sideline dysfunction” to their list of problems.

Wilson has been one of the worst quarterbacks in the NFL this season. If you look at the curve of how much money and resources were spent, Wilson was the worst. When the Broncos acquired him, everyone in Denver was excited. The post-Peyton Manning quarterback blues is finally over. The Broncos would be a contender.

Perhaps the extreme blues in the quarterback – his 2016-21 starters were Trevor Siemian, Paxton Lynch, Brock Osweiler, Case Keenum, Joe Flacco, Drew Lock, Brandon Allen, Jeff Driskel, Brett Rypien and Teddy Bridgewater – led to some desperate decisions. Either way, the Hackett signing, trade, and Wilson contract look like an anchor that will drag the Broncos down for a while.

It’s pretty bad in Denver, and no matter how many times Tony Romo of CBS has tried to imagine the Broncos’ future as bright, it’s not. Unless a new head coach fixes Wilson, because that’s what it will take.

Denver Broncos quarterback Russell Wilson had another terrible game in a loss to the Rams.  (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

Denver Broncos quarterback Russell Wilson had another terrible game in a loss to the Rams. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

Broncos have embarrassing defeat

The Broncos’ defense wasn’t covered in glory either. That group was good most of the season. On Sunday, the Broncos made Mayfield look like a superstar.

It’s also hard to blame the Broncos’ defensive players. It must be hard to keep the upper hand when you know the offense isn’t going to help.

Mayfield was negotiating. He was 18-of-20 for 185 yards and two halftime touchdowns. Aside from a few magical minutes in his Rams debut against the Las Vegas Raiders, Mayfield has not been good all season. The Broncos made him look great. Mayfield set a Rams single-game record for completion percentage, beating Kurt Warner’s former mark. Mayfield finished 24 of 28 for 230 yards. He looked better than Wilson at any point this season.

It’s not like the Broncos are going to come back. Wilson threw another terrible interception early in the third quarter, blindly throwing a ball deep into the end zone, where he had no open receiver. Jalen Ramsey had an easy interception. Interceptions stand out, but nearly all of Wilson’s plays were terrible, a repeat of his troubles all season. He held the ball for a long time and took six sacks. He missed a lot of passes a $240 million quarterback needs to make. With 6:16 left, after Wilson finally led a touchdown, Rypien entered the game. Rypien pitched a pick-six on their first possession.

Even though there were signs that Wilson’s game was slipping last season, a meltdown like this was impossible to predict. There aren’t many quarterbacks in NFL history who went from an elite level to utterly inept at Wilson’s age. Joe Namath’s regrettable season with the Los Angeles Rams came at the age of 34. That might be the best comparison to what we’re seeing with Wilson, and that was 45 years ago.

It’s not a one year problem either. Even if Hackett or general manager George Paton is fired, it doesn’t solve Wilson’s problem. Whoever took over as coach or GM would be starting in a huge hole that won’t go away anytime soon.