Eleven things about the Broncos as they travel to Carolina to face the Panthers on Sunday.
1. Broncos wide receiver Kendall Hinton started the season on the team’s practice squad and wasn’t signed to the 53-man roster until Oct. 10. No. 2 receiver for the last two games without Jerry Jeudy. He came on in place of Jeudy in the first snap against Tennessee and played there without any practice reps there. He’s been in the field for 135 of 144 snaps the past two games and caught seven catches for 119 yards in that span. Perhaps he should have had two touchdowns – one on a 32-yard catch that was ruled on a score and then called off, then his only weak point of the day, a drop on what was almost a long touchdown on a free play in the third quarter. .
2. “He was dynamic there,” Hackett said. “He was able to win on one-on-one runs. He has a lot of sneakiness. Then when you add his intelligence in there, because of his experience as a quarterback, he’s been really good for us.
3. Hinton played quarterback in one game in 2020 and at one point was relegated to cornerback on the scout team. “Last year they had me on the nickel for a week,” the former Wake Forest star laughed. “I guess I dabbled in a bit of everything.”
4. It can quickly give third-year player perspective. “During the season the balls fly and there’s a lot going on, but there are definitely times when I sit down and I’m just grateful for how far I’ve come, the opportunities I’ve had and the ‘where I’m at. The journey.’
5. The team’s top receiver, Cortland Sutton, has had something of a resurgence over the past two weeks. Since Denver’s bye week, Sutton has 11 catches on 18 targets for 144 yards. In the previous three weeks, the fifth-year player had only had six catches on 16 targets. He’s doing that job despite Denver playing without receivers Jerry Jeudy (ankle) and KJ Hamler (hamstring).
6. “(Defensives) challenge our room to come out and make plays,” Sutton said. “We have a lot of young guys who haven’t proven themselves in the league yet. We know what they can do there and it’s up to them to go out there and make plays so the defenses can play us honestly.
7. Quarterback Russell Wilson said Wednesday he realizes the Broncos need to be much better in the third quarter for the rest of the season. Denver’s offense has scored just 10 total points in the third quarter this year and three of them have come after going three out despite being in good field position following an interception. Overall, they scored four touchdowns in the first, second, and fourth quarters each and just one in the third quarter.
8. “We have to go out and have better third quarterbacks,” Wilson said. “It’s part of the reason we’re where we are. Not even a part – a big part. We had good first halves for the most part, some more than others, but the third quarter slowed us down tremendously. It’s something I’m really focusing on in the next few days leading up to this game and the rest of the games this year. I hope we can turn the tide. »
9. Wilson also bid farewell to his friend and former Wisconsin teammate Melvin Gordon, the running back cut by the Broncos on Tuesday. “He’s a guy the guys in the locker room adore to death. It hurts us to see him go. I know how much he cared about him,” Wilson said. felt like he always wanted to try and make a good game. The good thing about Melvin is that he’s going to get another opportunity. We pray that he gets another chance somewhere.
10. The Broncos picked up a win at a neutral site in London this fall, but are 0-4 in real road games and have lost their last seven games since a Nov. 7, 2021 win at Dallas. Now Hackett’s team is heading for a back-to-back tough stretch on the road that includes a trip to Charlotte and then Baltimore.
11. “Just look at our home crowd last weekend,” Hackett said when asked if life was tough on the road. “They were amazing. They were so loud, in the whole game and it was such a good atmosphere. It emphasizes offense just to be able to communicate, even in the group, communicate once you’re (at the line) if you have a check or whatever. So that’s always a big plus.