Russell Wilson is Absurdly Consistent
Oct 28, 2013; St. Louis, MO, USA; Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson (3) throws a pass for a touchdown against the St. Louis Rams in the third quarter at Edward Jones Dome. Mandatory Credit: Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports
When Russell Wilson had his breakout rookie year last season it was hard to know exactly what to expect this year. Was he going to build off his 2012 performance and reach greater heights? Was he going to suffer a sophomore slump? Football is a pretty unpredictable game, last night’s contest was a great example of that, and although Wilson seemed poised, efficient, and hard working it was still difficult to pin down a reasonable projection for 2013. Through eight games it appears that the effort put into dreaming up such a projection was a waste of time. In fact, there was a much easier method for predicting Wilson’s production this year: write in last year’s stats. Below is a chart with Wilson’s 2012 numbers as well as what he is on pace for in 2013:
|Year||Completions||Attempts||Completion %||Yards||Yards Per Attempt||Touchdowns||Interceptions||Rating|
Those lines are pretty much as similar as you can get. Wilson has been slightly less accurate, but he is getting more yardage on a per completion basis to churn out essentially equal production. These numbers might be slightly disappointing to some who were expecting the Wilson from the 2nd half of last year, but it was probably unfair to expect him to dominate like that for a full season. Now, there is absolutely no guarantee that Wilson finishes 2013 the way he has started it. In fact, there are multiple reasons to think he will improve. The return of Percy Harvin is one. Five out of eight games at home is another. Perhaps the most importance factor in a potential improvement in Wilson’s production down the stretch is the return of his tackles Russell Okung and Breno Giacomini.
The statistics above are interesting but they don’t tell the whole story. When the ball gets out of Russell Wilson’s hands it’s doing the same thing as last year. However, it’s not getting out of his hands at nearly the same rate. Not only is Wilson being sacked more but he is also running more, often as a result of pressure. It can’t be denied that some of the runs are designed but I don’t think there are that many more designed runs than last year, and as a result I think the increase in runs is indicative of an increase in scrambling due to pressure. Here are Wilson’s rushing and sack numbers in 2012 compared to his pace for 2013:
Wilson is running for his life. It goes without saying that this is a problem. Firstly, Wilson is more dangerous throwing the ball down the field than he is with his legs. More importantly, Wilson is getting exposed to hit after hit. One hopes that Wilson doesn’t reach that number of rushes or sacks this year due to the return of his starting tackles because those are downright ugly.
The good news is that Russell Wilson has not slumped in his sophomore season when it comes to passing the ball. However, his offensive line has given him less time and space to do so effectively. Furthermore, they’ve allowed him to take an inordinate amount of hits. By coming out in 2013 and repeating his 2012 performance Russell Wilson has proven he is truly a franchise quarterback. Now the Seahawks need to give him the protection a franchise quarterback deserves.