And yet, the worst moment might have come at the end, when the Broncos had fourth-and-1 at the Colts' 5-yard line down 12-9 in overtime. It was the Broncos' fourth trip into the red zone of the game, with no touchdowns for it.
Faced with another fourth-down choice — take the game-tying chip-shot field goal or go for the win — Broncos head coach Nathaniel Hackett went for it. That decision blew up in his face when a Russell Wilson pass fell incomplete thanks to the efforts of Colts cornerback Stephon Gilmore.
— Indianapolis Colts (@Colts) October 7, 2022
Watching that play out clearly felt familiar to Richard Sherman, Wilson's former Seattle Seahawks teammate who is now working as an analyst for Amazon Prime Video.
After all, Sherman arguably lost a Super Bowl ring when the Seahawks infamously made a similar decision in Super Bowl XLIX, when they had Wilson attempt a pass at the New England Patriots' 1-yard line rather than run it with Marshawn Lynch.
As Sherman talked out the Broncos' decision after the game, it soon became clear he was saying some stuff he had been holding onto since 2015.
Sherman's full rant:
"On the final play, you gotta run the ball. Again. I wish I had Marshawn up here. Like, 1 yard. You need 1 yard. Run the ball. Run the ball! [Charissa Thompson], all he has to do is run the football. Necessary criticism. I've said enough criticism for him, but got dang it, run the dang ball! Like, learn from your mistakes."
There have been some past indications of resentment toward Wilson from Sherman, but Thursday made it very clear that Sherman still isn't over the decision that cost him a second Super Bowl ring.
That end-game ugliness matched the rest of the game, which was brutal, even by Thursday night standards. The Colts and Broncos combined for 15 penalties, multiple injuries including a scary concussion, 12 punts, 10 sacks, six fumbles (none lost), four interceptions and zero touchdowns despite six (six!) red zone trips.
Even the officials seemed out of it, as the words "timeout, San Diego" were said at one point and the Broncos' longest play of the night came after a Colts defender tripped over a ref, leaving two Broncos wide receivers to fight for the ball.
At one point, Prime Video broadcaster Al Michaels said, "Sometimes a game could be so bad, it's almost good. You know what I mean?" His partner Kirk Herbstreit's response: "No."
Just about the only source of joy from this game was the fact that Amazon paid a monstrous amount of money to stream it. Here's a sampling of how it was received, starting with Matt Flynn, the quarterback Wilson beat out as a rookie in Seattle, taking his shot:
I coulda done that
— Matt Flynn (@mflynn3) October 7, 2022
This is one of the worst games I’ve ever seen that involves both starting QBs and no bad weather
— Mitchell Schwartz (@MitchSchwartz71) October 7, 2022
I miss the Aaron Judge cut-ins
— Kenny Ducey (@KennyDucey) October 7, 2022
We all deserve a free month of Amazon Prime for watching this game.
— Robert Griffin III (@RGIII) October 7, 2022
the Broncos paid $245,000,000 to Russell Wilson & then a rich conglomerate paid $4,650,000,000 to own the Broncos and then a richer man is paying $11,000,000,000 to broadcast them on TV for the next 11 years and all the rest of us watching this game are complicit
— Warren Sharp (@SharpFootball) October 7, 2022
This game going to overtime is assault. pic.twitter.com/E4UEeRCNag
— Charles Robinson (@CharlesRobinson) October 7, 2022
This feels like the 4th quarter of the final preseason game. We are all watching because it’s football but just counting down the time until it’s over.
— Geoff Schwartz (@geoffschwartz) October 7, 2022
We deserve overtime. Our entire lives, every mistake we've ever made, every personal failing has led us to watching more of this game. We are never leaving. This is where we live now. We've always been here.
— Kevin Clark (@bykevinclark) October 7, 2022
Just cancelled my Amazon Prime account because of this game. It's back to brick and mortar shopping for me. #TNF
— Mike Polk Jr. (@mikepolkjr) October 7, 2022
This is just bad football tonight I mean just awful
— Roddy White (@roddywhiteTV) October 7, 2022
Al Michaels should be allowed to talk about his paycheck for the rest of this game
— Zach Harper (@talkhoops) October 7, 2022
What a game. Let us never speak of it again.