A brief breakdown of all of eight of Russell Wilson’s interceptions from the 2015 season. He continues to show growth, even though he is already one of the league’s top QBs.
In his 4th season in the NFL, Russell Wilson’s ability to improve upon his weaknesses throughout a season has become a staple of his game every year. Wilson took a major step forward in his development this season, thrusting himself into the upper echelon of QBs.
Seattle’s pass protection issues became a major issue this season, forcing Wilson to scramble more often then ever before. Compounding this issue was an injury to starting RB Marshawn Lynch, taking a central figure of this offense out of commission for most of the season. Seattle has attempted to address those issues with selecting 3 Ol in the 2016 NFL Draft, but the damage had already been done.
Wilson muddled through the first half of the season, throwing 9TDs:6INTs in 8 games. Wilson made drastic improvements to his decision making and timing to push his offense into a top 5 scoring machine after their Week 9 bye, even moreso after their loss to the Arizona Cardinals; the first game after their bye. Wilson threw for 24TDs:2INTs in 8 games following the bye.
One of Wilson’s biggest strengths since he arrived to the league has been his ball security. Wilson’s INTs have been consistently in single digits every year since his rookie season. Additionally, Wilson bettered his career best accuracy of 64.1% from his rookie season to 68.1% this past season, reflecting better knowledge of the game and the system he quarterbacks in. His interceptions this season demonstrate his growth throughout the season, as well as a response to an offensive line in flux.
The following is a breakdown of those interceptions.
3rd & 4 on SEA 38
Second Quarter, (11:20) (Shotgun) R. Wilson pass short right intended for M. Lynch INTERCEPTED by T. Johnson at SEA 41. T. Johnson to SEA 26 for 15 yards (M.Lynch).
The Rams appear to be in a Cover 1 defense. The Seahawks spread the Rams out by placing Marshawn Lynch as a receiver on the perimeter. The defense signals man coverage as as Trumaine Johnson adjusts to play Lynch in off-coverage in a 3rd & 4 situation for the Seahawks.
At the snap of the ball the Rams blitz 5 players – Gilliam, their right tackle, is tasked with blocking 2 Rams at once presenting Russell Wilson with immediate pressure. He lofts an unadvised pass off his back foot Johnson jumps the pass for an athletic interception.
1st & 10 on SEA 42
Third Quarter, (6:50) (Shotgun) R. Wilson pass short right intended for M.Lynch INTERCEPTED by J.Elliott at SEA 39. J.Elliott to SEA 38 for 1 yard (G.Gilliam).
The Packers show a Cover 1 defense in man coverage. The Seahawks want to set up a screen on the right side, so they motion their slot receiver, Baldwin, to the opposite side of the field creating more space, and have their 3 receivers run 20 yard curl routes creating underneath space for the screen.
Russell Wilson looks off to his left side before turning back towards the direction of the screen. Wilson flicks a pass to Marshawn Lynch – who appears to be behind his lineman at this point. The Packer’s DT reads the play, and makes a ridiculous one-handed catch for the interception.
1st and 10 on CIN 16
Third Quarter, (11:14) (Shotgun) R. Wilson pass short middle intended for J. Graham INTERCEPTED by A. Jones (R. Maualuga) at CIN 2. A.Jones to CIN 2 for no gain (T. Lockett).
This play comes directly after a 46 yard deep ball to Doug Baldwin, placing the Seahawks just in the redzone. Points on this drive could’ve secured the victory for a game that later went down as a loss in overtime. The Bengals are playing in a zone defense with a single high safety. Wilson tries to squeeze the ball in between 2 Bengals, however the ball is thrown late, tipped up and intercepted.
2nd and 10 on SF 20
Second Quarter, (:52) (Shotgun) R. Wilson pass deep right intended for D. Baldwin INTERCEPTED by T.Brock at SF-5. Touchback. (C.Matthews).
The 49ers are running a Cover 2 scheme with zone coverage. Wilson is flushed to his right and doesn’t see Truman Brock sitting in his zone. Brock baits Wilson into making this throw and is rewarded with a red zone interception.
2nd and 6 on SEA 35
Third Quarter, (6:34), (I-formation) R.Wilson pass deep middle intended for J.Kearse INTERCEPTED by K.Acker at SF 7. K.Acker to SF 7 for no gain (J. Kearse).
The Seahawks are in a heavy formation signaling run to the defense. The 49ers respond in a Cover 2 Man defense, before placing the CB guarding Baldwin in a blitz on the LOS. Their safety runs down to cover Baldwin once the ball is snapped. The Seahawks scored a TD to Lockett on this very same play. This time, neither receiver appears to be wide open, and Russell uncharacteristically forces a ball into double coverage resulting in an interception.
2ndand 6 at SEA 34
Third Quarter, (:23), (Shotgun) R. Wilson pass short left INTERCEPTED by G.Hardy at SEA 25. G. Hardy to SEA 16 for 9 yards (R. Wilson).
The Cowboys defense appears to be running a single-high safety in man-to-man coverage. Their defensive line shifts to the left side, signaling they may know where the ball is going on this particular play. Wilson handles a poor snap and tries to fit the ball over Greg Hardy. Hardy tips the ball up for the interception. Wilson shows his toughness by saving the pick-six and bringing down the defensive lineman.
2nd and 4 at SEA 20
(8:23 – 3rd) (Shotgun) R.Wilson pass deep left intended for D.Baldwin INTERCEPTED by T.Mathieu [F.Rucker] at ARZ 40. T.Mathieu to SEA 36 for 24 yards (J.Graham)
The Cardinals are in a Cover 2 zone defense with 2 high safeties. The Seahawks are aligned in a trips left formation with Graham inline to the right side. The ball is thrown high and outside, and Baldwin is unable to prevent a leaping interception by Tyrann Mathieu. Lockett who is streaking wide-open down the field was another possible choice on this play.
3rd and 19 at SEA 37
(12:40 – 2nd) (Shotgun) R. Wilson pass deep right intended for T. Lockett INTERCEPTED by T. Johnson at SL 11. T. Johnson to SL 11 for no gain (T. Lockett).
Trumaine Johnson strikes again. The Rams rush 3 and drop 8 into coverage on this 3rd and 19 play. Baldwin might’ve been an option on this play as he runs a curl route at the down marker. This results in an ‘arm-punt’ for Wilson.