Broncos coach Hackett fired after Christmas beating by the Rams

The Denver Broncos have fired Nathaniel Hackett after a disastrous 4-11 start to his head coaching career.

Hackett received his pink slip less than 24 hours after the Broncos were shellacked by the Los Angeles Rams 51-14 on Christmas Day. The team has two more games remaining on the schedule.

Team leadership began the season with Super Bowl ambitions because of Hackett’s success as an offensive coordinator with the Packers, the addition of star quarterback Russell Wilson and a bone-crunching defense. But the Broncos struggled to start the season and never righted the ship.

At the time of his dismissal, the Broncos were averaging a league-worst 15.5 points per game. The team hasn’t made the playoffs since Peyton Manning’s final season culminated with a victory in Super Bowl L in 2016.

“On behalf of our ownership and organization, I want to thank Nathaniel Hackett for his dedication as a head coach of the Denver Broncos. We sincerely appreciate Nathaniel’s efforts and wish him and his family all the best in the future,” Broncos owner and CEO Greg Penner said in a statement.

Penner added that the team needed a new direction and would immediately begin its search for a new head coach.

An interim coach is expected to be named this week.

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