The Football Feed

Russell Wilson, Broncos blasted after 1st preseason game

Are they right in their criticism?

The Football Feed

The Football Feed

The Denver Broncos dropped their first preseason game of the schedule last week, falling by a single point to the Arizona Cardinals at State Farm Stadium by a final score of 18-17. 

For quarterback Russell Wilson, it's imperative that he have a better year than he did last season in what was his first season with the Broncos that was nothing short of a disaster. And with new head coach Sean Payton in town, he's expected to make something significant happen.

However, after going 7-of-13 with a touchdown against the Cardinals who were mostly made up of reserves, there was renewed criticism for his performance.

Will Brinson of CBS Sports was particularly scathing towards Wilson: 

"Plenty of people will tell you Russell Wilson was "fine" during Week 1 of the preseason, his first live action in Sean Payton's offense. I am not one of those people. Russ was one of my MVP sleeper picks so this isn't confirmation bias: he didn't look the way I hoped he would in his first action with Payton calling plays. This might not be remotely indicative of how Russ ends up playing in 2023, but the highly-scrutinized quarterback played well into the second quarter of Denver's matchup against Arizona (less than eight minutes were left before halftime) and he looked lethargic."

He continued: 

"I don't care about the points scored, at all. He threw a touchdown to Jerry Jeudy but it was a slant against a silly cover zero all-out blitz. Great job by Russ to throw the ball but that's a freebie. Jeudy killed him with a bad drop the play before and he was penalized by several missed kicks and heavy pressure from Arizona. But Wilson didn't step into any throws and just generally didn't seem comfortable or quick in the pocket. I'm comparing him to Drew Brees, which is unfair, except it's not -- Brees/Russ have been compared for years and Payton turning Russell into Brees 2.0 or Brees 1.5 was the big selling point of this marriage. Brees dropped back, moved in the pocket and scanned the field so quickly you felt like he was on fast forward. Russ looked like someone listening to a podcast at 0.5x speed while sitting in quicksand. I'm not sure he stepped into a single throw on Friday night."

Just how much of this criticism of Wilson is justified, considering this is only the exhibition schedule? 

The Broncos take on the 49ers this Saturday in their second preseason game.

Source: CBS Sports