12:49 PM ET

Nathaniel Hackett was fired by the Broncos on Monday.

After a 4-11 start and a 51-14 loss to the Los Angeles Rams, the team moved.

The shortest tenure of any non interim head coach in franchise history has ended with the dismissal of Hackett. The Broncos' new owners, led by Walmart heir Rob Walton, his daughter Carrie Walton Penner and son-in-law Greg Penner, quickly ran out of patience for a team with one of the league's best defenses.

The new direction would be in the best interest of the Broncos, according to Greg Penner. The change allows us to immediately begin the search for a new head coach.

Penner said that Paton will assist in the head coaching search and that they will carefully evaluate every aspect of their football operations. Interim has not been named.

A news conference is planned for Tuesday.

The Broncos had the top scoring defense and scoring offense at one point. The Broncos missed the playoffs for the seventh year in a row, the longest streak since the franchise's earliest years.

Pat Bowlen owned the Broncos for three decades and they went to more Super Bowls than they had lost. Over the last seven years, the Broncos have averaged less than 20 points per game five times. WadePhillips had the shortest tenure as the team's non-Interim head coach in the post-AFL-NFL merger era, two seasons, before he was fired by Bowlen.

He was hired as the 18th head coach in franchise history in January after three seasons as the Green Bay Packers' offensive coordinator. Paton called him a "dynamic leader and coach whose intelligence, innovation and charisma impressed us from the very beginning''.

Kevin O'Connell was a candidate for the job. The Minnesota Vikings hired O'Connell later in the year. The Broncos traded five draft picks, including two first-round picks and two second-round picks, as well as three players to Seattle to acquire quarterback Russell Wilson. Wilson signed a five-year contract extension just before the start of the season.

-- ESPN Stats and Ifnormation

The Broncos' in-game decision-making was questioned right from the start of the season.

Wilson's attempt to convert a fourth-and-5 at the end of the game against Seattle in Week 1 was controversial.

He said the day after the loss that it should have been done. You look back at it and say, "Of course we should have gone for it, we missed the field goal." We knew we had a plan in place.

Fans counted down the play clock during some home games, and former Baltimore Ravens assistant coach Jerry Rosburg was hired in September to help with game management decisions. There was a discrepancy between the offense and the defense. Even as Wilson said he was comfortable doing a lot of things in the offense, Hackett insisted he wanted to build this thing around him.

The Broncos are at their lowest point total of the year at this point.

Injuries to front-line players like left tackle Garett Bolles, running back Javonte Williams, wide receiver Tim Patrick, and outside linebacker Randy Gregory did not help matters. As the season wore on, there was less discussion about why the Broncos' offense was so bad and more about how to teach outside the box. The Broncos have lost five of their six games by one score.

The Rams scored on eight of their nine possessions on Sunday, as the Denver defense was not able to stop them. The backup quarterback and guard exchanged words on the sideline after a sequence in the third quarter when Wilson was sacked on back-to- back plays.

Gregory was pulled from the game twice, once in the first half, when he was flagged for throwing his helmet after a Rams touchdown, and once in the second half, when he was flagged for hitting Los Angeles quarterback Baker Mayfield. He was taken out after the second one.

As the teams crowded the middle of the field on their way to their locker rooms after the game, Gregory and the Rams guard exchanged words. The two men were separated after the first punch.

The Broncos have a home sellout streak that dates back to 1970, and with the wealthiest ownership group in the league as well as a passionate fan base, the Broncos head coaching role will be an attractive one.