by: ARNIE STAPLETON, Associated Press Posted: Dec 26, 2022 / 08:08 AM HST Updated: Dec 26, 2022 / 11:43 AM HST ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) -- The Denver Broncos fired first-year head coach Nathaniel Hackett on Monday with two games left in the season. Team owner and CEO Greg Penner said he'll lead the search for a new coach with assistance from GM George Paton, in whom he expressed confidence while announcing Hackett's dismissal. Players were told during a team meeting Monday that senior assistant coach Jerry Rosburg, who was hired by Hackett in September to help him with game operations and clock management, will serve as interim head coach. The Broncos scheduled a news conference for Tuesday to discuss the changes. On Sunday, the Broncos (4-11) were blown out by the equally downtrodden Los Angeles Rams 51-14 when Russell Wilson threw three interceptions and was sacked six times. The game featured a sideline spat between backup QB Brett Rypien and guard Dalton Risner, and pass rusher Randy Gregory threw a punch at a Rams player after the game. This change was made now out of respect for everyone involved and allows us to immediately begin the search for a new head coach.' Penner said that 'moving forward, we will carefully evaluate every aspect of our football operations and make whatever changes are necessary to restore this franchise's winning tradition.' Hackett replaced Vic Fangio last January but hasn't been able to build an offense suitable to Wilson, who recently turned 34. Hackett is the third NFL head coach fired during the 2022 season. Many fans thought the Broncos hired Hackett away from the Green Bay Packers, where he was offensive coordinator, to help them land quarterback Aaron Rodgers. But Rodgers decided to re-up with the Packers and the Broncos instead traded for Wilson, who was seen as still in his prime. Wilson has 12 touchdown passes with nine interceptions and 49 sacks in 13 starts and has been unable to snap out of a season-long funk. He is 3-10 as Denver's starter and has missed games with a pulled hamstring and a concussion. The Broncos have missed the playoffs seven straight seasons and extended their string of losing records to six. They will try to snap a 14-game losing streak to the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday and beat Patrick Mahomes for the first time in 11 tries.