Before the 2022 NFL season began, the Denver Broncos were expected to beat the Jacksonville Jaguars in London by six points. That’s right, -6 for the Broncos according to the SuperBook Sports preseason lines.

As the Broncos board the plane en route to not-so-jolly ol’ England, the Jaguars – not the Broncos – are favored to win by three points.

What’s wrong with this picture? American football in London? The lowly Jaguars expected to beat the once mighty Denver Broncos? Russell Wilson “leading” the worst offense in franchise history?

Per Nick Kosmider of The Athletic: “The Broncos have scored 100 points through seven games. The only time they ever scored fewer through that many games was a 91-output in 1966. So, since the NFL merger in 1970, the Broncos have never scored fewer points to this point in the season than they have this year.”

The Broncos have been trudging through the fog back home. Who needs London?

This was not what the Broncos had in mind back when they hired Nathaniel Hackett, an offensive-minded coach who was going to bring some fun back to the drab mess left by defensive dinosaur Vic Fangio. Instead, Hackett is showcasing the league’s most boring O. It certainly wasn’t the expectation back in March when Denver traded Seattle for star quarterback Russell Wilson. Wilson, instead, has put up the worst numbers of his career.

Sunday’s 7:30 a.m. kickoff from London was supposed to be a mere formality to the Broncos becoming an 11-win team jostling for a playoff spot in the powerful AFC West. Now it’s a must win that might still be too late.

Even a week or two ago, a field trip overseas was viewed as a “get right” stretch – one that started at home with the New York Jets (who were amazingly a 1-point favorite, which was an 8.5-point shift from the aforementioned SuperBook preseason lines), then moved onto the Jags in London and finally concluded with a Week 9 bye, priming the Broncos for a healthy push to finish the season.

Instead, the Broncos scored just 9 points in a losing effort against the Jets, and they’re still not sure who their quarterback is going to be in London. Before the Jets game, there was debate as to who was to blame for the team’s offensive woes – the coach or the quarterback? But after Hackett inexplicably called more passing plays for backup quarterback Brett Rypien than he has for Wilson all season long, plenty of fingers were redirected firmly at the coach.

When Hackett steps onto the pitch at the famed Wembley Stadium he’ll be as clueless as Ted Lasso back when Lasso did the same thing – only Hackett is coaching a sport he allegedly knows. It took Lasso less time to learn soccer than it’s taken Hackett to figure out coaching in the NFL – and the jury is still out, the stopwatch unstopped.

The list of Hackett headscratchers just continues to grow. In Week 1 there was the 64-yarder. Week 2 was highlighted by the homecrowd’s play clock countdown and a few more mismanaged timeouts. Week 3 was miraculously a win, despite the fact the Broncos only scored 11 points. Against the Raiders, there were more and more and more penalties, and a painful reminder that doing absolutely nothing in the preseason didn’t prevent any injuries, as both Javonte Williams and Randy Gregory suffered major knee injuries. Then there was the Colts in Week 5, and the infamous decision to pass rather than run out the clock, kick a chip shot field goal and win; if that wasn’t bad enough, Hackett wanted Wilson under shotgun on 4th-and-a-yard in overtime. Against the Chargers, the Broncos couldn’t hold a 10-point first quarter lead and could only muster six more points over the next three quarters; Hackett did, however, find a way to create unnecessary drama at the running back position – only to make it even more messy the very next week.

Which brings the Broncos to the Jets game, where Hackett decided to let “Brett cook” for yet another mindboggling move.

What will the coach possibly teach the English about American football on Sunday? Everyone from Roger Goodell and the Walton-Penner Group to George Paton and Broncos fans all over the globe should be very, very fearful.

Hackett’s first step in the right direction should be to sit Russell Wilson, who’s still nursing a hamstring injury. Wilson will say he’s ready; Hackett should tell him he’s not. If the coach doesn’t demonstrate some authority by resting Wilson in a situation that can get far worse than better if Wilson’s hamstring is further aggravated, then Hackett is less of a coach than we thought.

And we haven’t thought much so far.

Hackett’s head has been in a fog in dreary Denver and London won’t help.