Russell Wilson 2016-17: A Deep Passing Game Analysis (2)

Page 1: Introduction and 1st Quarter (Weeks 1-4)
Page 2: 2nd Quarter (Weeks 6-9)
Page 3: 3rd Quarter (Weeks 10-13)
Page 4: 4th Quarter (Weeks 14-17)
Page 5: Playoffs and Conclusion


The next quarter of games for Russell Wilson presented an issue that would be present all season, which was red-zone execution. 3 out of the next 4 games had Wilson throwing for no touchdowns, before breaking out against the New England Patriots. It appeared there was a clear change in game plan to accommodate Wilson’s lingering knee and ankle injuries, prevent the offense from executing deep passes with much regularity.

The Seahawks admitted this themselves publicly, with offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell stating in an interview with ESPN writer Sheil Kapadia “… there was a little bit of holding back, and I think of a lot of it can be drawn to Russell’s health and where he was at. He showed some signs in that game that he was getting back to himself. Not a hundred percent. But obviously he was getting back to himself.”

Sheil described the downfield passing game with a notable statistic, stating that “in the first eight weeks, only 13.7 percent of Wilson’s pass attempts traveled 15 or more yards down the field. That ranked 31st in the NFL”.

The Seahawks had placed their focus on the quick passing gaming, with “Wilson getting rid of the ball on average in 2.35 seconds, seventh-fastest in the NFL. As a point of reference, he’s never finished higher than 32nd in that category for an entire season.”



SHORT: 174 yards, 20/30 – 67%
INTERMEDIATE: 96 yards, 5/6 – 83%
DEEP:  0 yards, 0/1 – 0%

25/37 for 270 passing yards, 67.6% completion, 7.3YPA, 88.8 passer rating, 1 sack for 9 yards

2-6-ATL 47, 4th quarter
(7:09) (Shotgun) 3-R.Wilson pass incomplete deep middle to 15-J.Kearse.

Russell Wilson tries to get the defense to jump, revealing their desire to bail out of press coverage once he snaps the ball. The Falcons show a five man blitz with their linebacker right in front of the center. Wilson feels edge pressure immediately from LB Vic Beasley (#44) and mitigates it by stepping up in the pocket.

The Falcons are playing in a cover 3 zone, with a Falcons defender passing off Baldwin to the free safety, allowing Wilson to find his one on one with Jermaine Kearse (#15). The pass is just too far in-front of Kearse, and he is unable to come down with the reception.


SHORT: 157 yards, 19/29 – 65%
INTERMEDIATE: 57 yards, 4/5 – 80%
DEEP: 31 yards, 1/3 – 33%

24/37 for 225 passing yards, 64.9% completion, 6.1YPA, 81.5 passer rating, 1 sack for 20 yards

1-20-ARI 32, 4th quarter
(4:22) (Shotgun) 3-R.Wilson pass incomplete deep right to 15-J.Kearse.

The deep passing game continued to be restrained in terms of attempts, but Jermaine Kearse as Russell Wilson’s favorite target when throwing deep continued.

The Cardinals are playing in a cover 2 zone with two linebackers dropping underneath. The deep sidelines of cover 2 are typically the weak part of the zone, which Wilson recognizes and attempts to exploit on this play. Seattle’s offensive line provides a good pocket for a deep ball from Wilson, which is again, just in-front of his receiver as it lands out of reach for Jermaine Kearse (#15) who has gained separation from his defender.

3-4-SEA 26, OT
(2:00) (Shotgun) 3-R.Wilson pass deep left to 15-J.Kearse pushed ob at ARI 43 for 31 yards (41-M.Cooper).

Deep in overtime, Wilson is finally able to complete his first deep ball of the game. The Cardinals have two defensive tackles in 3-point stances, with three lineman playing in 2-point stances showing blitz. With one safety deep and man coverage, it appears they are playing cover 1. Jermaine Kearse (#15) brings down a perfect pass from Wilson as gains positioning on his defender, CB Marcus Cooper (#41).

On the other side of the formation, Tyler Lockett (#16) has such an outstanding release he causes CB Patrick Peterson (#21) to hesitate momentarily, and uses his speed to take advantage and create a few yards of separation that Wilson could have used for a potential walk-off in overtime.

On a side note, it’s pretty cool seeing our sideline explode like that. Can’t wait to watch these guys play again soon.


SHORT: 200 yards, 1 interception, 19/29 – 65%
INTERMEDIATE: 30 yards, 2/4 – 50%
SHORT: 23 yards, 1/1 – 100%

22/34 for 253 passing yards, 64.7% completion, 7.4YPA, 1 interception, 74.8 passer rating, 1 sack for 11 yards

1-10-SEA 33, 2nd quarter
(:10) (No Huddle, Shotgun) 3-R.Wilson pass deep left to 15-J.Kearse pushed ob at NO 44 for 23 yards (31-J.Byrd).

The New Orleans Saints defense appears to be playing cover 4 on this play, electing to rush 3 defensive lineman and drop 8 defenders into coverage. Russell Wilson finds the soft spot in the zone, between the dropping corner and deep safety, and muscles a bullet to Jermaine Kearse (#15) on a corner route. The 3 man rush gives Wilson plenty of time to look downfield as he steps up in the pocket to gain better positioning for an accurate pass.


SHORT: 102 yards, 11/15 – 73%
INTERMEDIATE: 130 yards, 2 touchdowns, 8/8 – 100%
DEEP: 50 yards, 1/3 – 33%

20/26 for 282 passing yards, 76.9% completion, 10.8YPA, 2 touchdowns, 137.0 passer rating, 4 sacks for 37 yards

2-5-SEA 47, 1st quarter
3-R.Wilson pass deep middle to 89-D.Baldwin to BUF 3 for 50 yards (28-R.Darby).

The Buffalo Bills are already showing a zero safety look with their free safety playing in the shallow box to stop the run very early in this game. Wilson runs a hard play-action fake to his RB and surveys downfield for a target. Wilson uncorks the ball as a defender in his right in his face and is still able place it accurately for Doug Baldwin (#89).

Baldwin runs a precise route against CB Ronald Darby (#28), and gets him to commit the wrong way with a sharp cut, and promptly accelerates down the field to gain separation. Baldwin tracks the ball as its in the air and falls right below it to the Buffalo 3 yard line.

1-10-SEA 44, 2nd quarter
(8:48) 3-R.Wilson pass incomplete deep right to 15-J.Kearse (28-R.Darby).

The Seahawks are in an I-formation with Will Tukuafu (#46) in at fullback. The Bills are playing a single high safety deep are playing in man coverage. The pass is too far inside and Jermaine Kearse (#15) does not have the necessary separation to come down with the ball as he fights through it in traffic.

3-6-BUF 31, 4th quarter
(Shotgun) 3-R.Wilson pass incomplete deep right to 15-J.Kearse.

Presnap the Buffalo Bills here show they’re going to blitz five defenders. With a single high safety and press coverage on the outside, their defense appears to be in cover 1 with one of their safeties playing inside the box as an extra defender. The Bills defensive line attempts to stunt to confuse the offensive line but their stunting defender is never able to get to Wilson.

Wilson recognizes man coverage on the boundaries and throws deep to Jermaine Kearse (#15) who is running a go route up the sideline. Kearse is ultimately unable to bring a difficult grab on a well-placed ball by Wilson.


SHORT: 633 yards, 1 interception, 69/103 – 67%
INTERMEDIATE: 313 yards, 2 touchdowns, 19/23 – 83%
DEEP: 104 yards, 3/8 – 38%

1,050 passing yards, 2 touchdowns, 1 interceptions,  91 completions on 134 passing attempts – 68%.

…continue on to PAGE 3 


Page 1: Introduction and 1st Quarter (Weeks 1-4)
Page 2: 2nd Quarter (Weeks 6-9)
Page 3: 3rd Quarter (Weeks 10-13)
Page 4: 4th Quarter (Weeks 14-17)
Page 5: Playoffs and Conclusion

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