ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — As the Broncos prepare for a Christmas Day game against the Rams, Russell Wilson is set to return to game action, and he is ready to help Denver close out the final three games on a high note.
In recent weeks, the Broncos' offense has shown promising strides as its posted back-to-back games with at least 24 points. Denver nearly came back from a 27-0 deficit against the Chiefs in Week 14, and in a matchup with the Cardinals in Week 15 — a game Wilson sat out for as he recovered from a concussion — the Broncos' complementary football led to their first victory since Week 8.
Wilson will make his return on Sunday as the Broncos face the Rams, and he will look to pick up where he left off in an excellent performance against the Chiefs in Week 14. Despite falling to Kansas City in Week 14, Wilson had one of his most productive games as a Bronco, throwing for 247 yards and three touchdowns as well as rushing four times for 57 yards.
"I'm excited to get back on the field," Wilson said. "We are really catching a groove. Obviously in the Chiefs game, we were able to have an amazing comeback and almost be able to win the game there. We believe that we could have won it. Just the ability to make plays — I think it's so important to use my legs, to use my arm and to get outside the pocket. I think we did a great job of that in the Chiefs game."
It was a vintage performance from the nine-time Pro Bowler, and Head Coach Nathaniel Hackett said he expects Wilson to continue that success this weekend against the Rams.
"[I want to see] continuation from that past game," Hackett said. "We want to see him execute, get the ball out of his hands when that's there. If something happens, yes, we don't want him to stay in the pocket and take a hit. We want him to use his legs and protect himself."
Building on the offense's recent execution in the red zone will be crucial as Wilson looks to sustain the team's momentum. Heading into Week 14, the Broncos held the league's worst red-zone success rate — scoring a touchdown in just 37.5 percent of its red zone appearances — but the Broncos' offense has been perfect ever since, finding the end zone in all six of its trips into the red zone.
"The guys have done a great job; the coaching staff [is] putting together a great plan down there," Hackett said. "That's the hardest place to score because of that short field, and I think the guys have really owned it. They've really bought into it. You know you have to make plays; it's going to be much more difficult, like I said. They've stepped up — both the run game and the pass game. I think that's always good. It's not one guy scoring; it's been multiple, it's been play-pass, it's been drop-back, it's been run game, so I think that's what you're looking for, always."
As Wilson rejoins the Broncos' offense, he will join forces with a renewed run game. Led by an outstanding performance from running back Latavius Murray, the Broncos combined for 168 rushing yards — their highest single-game total of the season.
"Latavius has been a true workhorse," Wilson said. "He's been a true leader. He's been a great guy. I think that his mentality is [one] of the best I've ever been around. I really mean that. Every day he comes to work, he's focused. Every day he comes on the practice field, he's lasered in — in the weight room, whatever it may be. He's great with the guys. … He's a guy that you want to be on your team. He's a guy that you trust. He is a guy that no matter what the circumstances, good, bad or indifferent, he's going to be the same guy every day. He's not going to change, and his consistency is what I really admire with him. Murray is one of my favorite guys to play with. Just being around him, we've gotten really close. I really enjoy his presence and what he's done and who he is as a man on and off the field."
There are plenty of positives to build on in the final three games, and after taking a week to fully recover, Wilson said he feels prepared to jump back in.
"I feel great," Wilson said. "... To give me an extra week and let those guys get in there — Brett did a great job stepping up and stepping in. I'm ready to rock and roll."