Dec 2, 2013; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson (3) passes against the New Orleans Saints during the second quarter at CenturyLink Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Russell Wilson is a Deep Ball Master


Russell Wilson is having a good season. This isn’t a controversial statement. He is third in the NFL in passer rating and is coming off a complete dismantling of a solid Saints defense on Monday. He has led his team to the best record in the NFL this season. In case anyone needs a refresher, here is his basic stat line for 2013:

Completions

Attempts

Completion %

Yards

YPA

Touchdowns

Interceptions

Rating

198

305

64.9%

2672

8.8

22

6

108.8

 

Those numbers are some of the best in the business. Two things that particularly stand out are his touchdown to interception ratio and his yards per attempt. The reason that yards per attempt number is so high is that Wilson has been arguably the best quarterback in the league when it comes to the deep ball. Pro Football Focus defines a “Deep Ball” as one that travels at least 20 yards in the air. The following chart shows how effective Wilson’s “Deep Ball” has been this season. In brackets beside each number is his rank league wide among quarterbacks who have taken at least 50% of their team’s snaps.

Completions

Attempts

Yards

Touchdowns

Interceptions

Attempt%

Accuracy%

25 (2nd)

45 (14th)

847 (t-2nd)

8 (4th)

2 (t-7th)

14.8% (5th)

60.0% (1st)

 

For the record, the only difference between Accuracy percentage and Completion percentage is that Accuracy percentage includes balls the wide receiver drops as “accurate”. It’s worth noting that not only is Wilson the most accurate deep ball passer in the NFL in 2013, it isn’t close. The next highest number was 53.3%, put up by Aaron Rodgers, and Alex Smith is the only other quarterback above 50%.

To be fair, you can’t give Russell Wilson all of the credit for the deep pass success. The receiving core, despite the injuries, has been fantastic this season. The chart below shows how the Seahawks receivers have done of those 20+ yard passes:

Players

Targets

Catches

Yards

Touchdowns

Catch Rate Total

Doug Baldwin

11

9

302

2

81.8%

Jermaine Kearse

6

4

141

3

66.7%

Sidney Rice

7

3

78

2

42.9%

Golden Tate

15

6

219

1

40%

 

Doug Baldwin has been fantastic at bringing down those deep passes. That’s one of the things that separates him from your garden variety slot receiver. We’ve seen Baldwin continually pull in those tough throws at the sidelines all year. Kearse has also made some very memorable catches down the field over the course of the season as well. Even though Golden Tate’s numbers are less sterling here we all know what a deep threat he can be. Some teams don’t have a single receiver who can really get downfield, it seems like the Seahawks don’t have one who can’t.

Seattle’s offense is rolling right now. This team has put up 400+ yards in three of their last four games. A great deal of the credit goes to Marshawn Lynch, and deservedly so. Even on plays where he doesn’t touch the ball he creates opportunities for others. However, one of the overlooked things that really makes the Seahawks tick is the deep ball, and no one is doing it better than Russell Wilson and this receiver group at the moment. For a team that has often played with a mix and match offensive line and down two of their top receivers that’s pretty encouraging.

 

 

 

 

 

Tags: Russell Wilson

  • skeletony

    The only real criticism I have of Wilson this year is that he overthrows WAY too many of his targets. There were 6 or 7 overthrown receivers in the game against the Saints and I usually count 4-5 of those in any game they play. I think this may go down when Harvin is healthy (if that ever occurs and he avoids the Terrell Davis early retirement thing he often looks to be headed for.) because he can run fast enough to catch up to overthrown balls.