Russell Wilson 2016-17: A Deep Passing Game Analysis (5)

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

NFL PLAYOFFS: 

NFC WILD CARD: DETROIT LIONS @ SEATTLE SEAHAWKS (W)

SHORT: 109 yards, 1 touchdown, 18/24 – 75%
INTERMEDIATE: 46 yards, 1 touchdown, 3/4 – 75%
DEEP: 69 yards, 2/2 – 100%

23/30 for 224 passing yards, 76.7% completion, 7.5YPA, 2 touchdowns, 119.3 passer rating, 3 sacks for 14 yards

As the run game was clicking early, Wilson was not needed to throw deep very often throughout this game. With the passes he did make, he made them count.

1-10-SEA 35, 4th quarter
(11:09) 3-R.Wilson pass deep left to 89-D.Baldwin ran ob at DET 23 for 42 yards [92-H.Ngata].

It’s late in the game and Detroit’s defense is needing a stop to give the ball back to their offense. They are betting run, and as such stack the box with eight defenders. Seattle calls smartly calls a play-action shot play on 1st down.

With the play-action working as well as it has all year, Doug Baldwin (#89) runs from his slot left position, first making a sharp cut inside at the 40 yard line to create separation, and follows it with a shallower cut at the 50 yard line, creating space towards the sideline, away from both his corner and the incoming deep safety. Wilson is given the time he needs and sets his feet to throw a dime on the sideline to Baldwin for a completion of 42 yards.

3-5-SEA 33, 4th quarter
(4:44) (Shotgun) 3-R.Wilson pass deep left to 10-P.Richardson to DET 40 for 27 yards (24-N.Lawson) [98-D.Taylor]. Penalty on DET-24-N.Lawson, Defensive Pass Interference, declined.

It’s a critical 3rd down late in the 4th quarter. Detroit pressures with a five man rush with a linebacker show blitz in the A gap. They have one safety deep and their corners are aligned in man coverage on Seattle’s receivers.

RT Garry Gilliam elects to help RG Germain Ifedi with his lineman and ignores the incoming edge rusher. Paul Richardson (#10) is aligned slot left, and beats both the corner and safety with straight, nasty speed. Wilson sees he has his man open and places the ball just in-front of him, allowing him to one-hand the reception.

NFC DIVISONAL ROUND: SEATTLE SEAHAWKS @ ATLANTA FALCONS (L)

SHORT: 89 yards, 1 touchdown, 1 interception, 12/20 – 60%
INTERMEDIATE: 32 yards, 2/2 – 100%
DEEP: 104 yards, 1 touchdown, 1 interception, 3/8 – 38%

17/30 for 225 passing yards, 56.7% completion, 7.5YPA, 2 touchdowns, 2 interceptions, 75.0 passer rating, 3 sacks for 17 yards

2-7-SEA 48, 2nd quarter
(13:22) (Shotgun) 3-R.Wilson pass deep left to 10-P.Richardson for 52 yards, TOUCHDOWN. The Replay Official reviewed the runner was not down by contact ruling, and the play was REVERSED. (Shotgun) 3-R.Wilson pass deep left to 10-P.Richardson to ATL 19 for 33 yards (32-J.Collins). Penalty on ATL-34-B.Poole, Defensive Holding, declined.

Taking a break from their usual cover 3, Atlanta is playing a safety deep, another in the box, and have their corners in press man. Wilson takes a deep drop-back and surveys the field, scanning from right to left. After seeing Paul Richardson (#10) establish outside leverage on his corner towards the sideline, Wilson throws to him. Richardson makes a fantastic adjustment and puts the Seahawks in scoring territory with a 33 yard reception.

2-14-SEA 32, 3rd quarter
(6:06) (Shotgun) 3-R.Wilson pass deep right to 10-P.Richardson to ATL 28 for 40 yards (34-B.Poole).

One of the hardest throws you’ll see Wilson make all year, running to his right and throwing an accurate bomb 40 yards down the field. With his health returning to him, the Seahawks could count on Wilson’s mobility ability to mitigate pressure and escape the pocket to buy extra time.

The Falcons are playing in another cover 1 look with with their corners in man coverage. Wilson takes the shotgun snap and drifts right after seeing edge pressure off his right tackle, and pressure in the A gap from the defender LG Mark Glowinski disengages from.

A knock on Paul Richardson (#10) coming out of college was his inability to beat press coverage because of his technique and slight frame. The corner he completely whiffs on Richardson as he takes an inside move and dodges the corners attempt to press, ultimately breaking free down the sideline. The Seahawks are hoping Richardson continues to show this ability next season.

2-15-SEA 20, 4th quarter
(14:49) (Shotgun) 3-R.Wilson pass incomplete deep middle to 89-D.Baldwin.

Down 29-13, on the road in the playoffs, the Seahawk are looking to be especially aggressive on this 2nd and 15.  After initially showing a no safety look, S Keanu Neal (#22) retreats from the box and into deep middle. Doug Baldwin (#89) is slot left, and runs a go route across the field, showing a decisive cut that gets his corner to hesitate and allow him to get open.

Neal picks the wrong receiver to cover, and Baldwin finds himself open down the field. Wilson sidesteps left to avoid a strong push from LB Vic Beasley (#44) against right tackle Gilliam, and attempts to set his feet and make the throw. Wilson misjudges it and overthrows him by a hair.

Wilson missed Baldwin deep against Carolina late in the playoffs last year that was very reminiscent of this overthrow. Have to hit these if you want to win in the playoffs.

1-10-ATL 31, 4th quarter
(3:29) (Shotgun) 3-R.Wilson pass deep left to 89-D.Baldwin for 31 yards, TOUCHDOWN. Penalty on ATL-23-R.Alford, Defensive Holding, declined.

Russell Wilson and Doug Baldwin can strike from any part of the field. Usually. On this play they do. The Seahawks have 3 receivers bunch left and Jimmy Graham (#88) split right. Jermaine Kearse (#15) contributes in protection with an effective chip block here that puts DE Dwight Freeney (#93) on his ass and gives Wilson enough time to step up in the pocket and throw deep. RT Garry Gilliam does a great job here pushing Beasley out of the way as he rushes off the edge.

Doug Baldwin (#89) attempts his release and is immediately held by CB Robert Alford (#23). After breaking through his clutches Baldwin escapes down to to the far corner of the field towards the unoccupied zone.

1-10-SEA 20, 4th quarter
(2:51) (Shotgun) 3-R.Wilson pass deep left to 10-P.Richardson to ATL 22 for 58 yards. Atlanta challenged the pass completion ruling, and the play was REVERSED. (Shotgun) 3-R.Wilson pass incomplete deep left to 10-P.Richardson. 

Seattle is in an empty set looking to strike fast as they are down big late in this playoff game. Atlanta drops 7 defenders into zone coverage anticipating a pass down the field. Paul Richardson’s (#10) corner chooses not to press him and almost pays for it as Richardson speeds past him after causing him to bite on an inside move. After looking off the free safety, Wilson throws a beauty to Richardson on the opposite of the field but is unable to secure the reception.

CUMULATIVE PLAYOFF STATS:

SHORT: 198 yards, 2 touchdowns, 1 interception, 30/44 – 68%
INTERMEDIATE: 78 yards, 1 touchdown, 5/6 – 83%
DEEP: 173 yards, 1 touchdown, 1 interception, 5/10 – 50%

449 passing yards, 4 touchdowns, 2 interceptions, 40 completions on 60 passing attempts – 66%.

Russell Wilson is a quarterback who loves throwing the deep ball, and he’s been quite good at it throughout his career. Overall, his accuracy hitting this part of the field took a step back this season due to both protection and injury issues. This also impacted the amount of throws that went deep, as the numbers show the quick passing game to short and intermediate areas became much more of a priority early in the season. When missing deep, Wilson typically overthrew his receivers. Wilson will use the offseason to get healthy and work on timing with his receivers, hopefully addressing this deficiency.

1st Quarter: (Weeks 1-4)
Dolphins, Rams, Niners, Jetsankle injury Miami
knee injury Niners
403 yards, 1 touchdown, 1 interception, 11/19 – 57%
2nd Quarter: (Weeks 6-9)
Falcons, Cardinals, Saints, Billspectoral injury Cardinals
104 yards, 1 interception, 3/8 – 38%
3rd Quarter: (Weeks 10-13)
Patriots, Eagles, Bucs, Panthers
330 yards, 1 touchdown, 1 interception, 11/26 – 42%
4th Quarter: (Weeks 14-17)
Packers, Rams, Cardinals, Niners
347 yards, 1 touchdown, 4 interceptions, 12/27 – 44%

2016 Regular Season: Deep Ball Passing
1,184 passing yards, 3 touchdowns, 7 interceptions, 37 attempts on 80 passing attempts – 46%.

NFC Wild Card:
Detroit Lions
69 yards, 2/2 – 100%
NFC Divisonal Round:
Atlanta Falcons
104 yards, 1 touchdown, 1 interception, 3/8 – 38%

2017 Post Season: Deep Ball Passing
173 passing yards, 1 touchdown, 1 interception, 5 completions on 10 passing attempts – 50%.

The Seahawks altered their game-plan early in the season to accommodate the injuries by their quarterback. They all but stopped throwing deep in Weeks 6-9 before ramping it up for the final 2 quarters of the season. Wilson did not find a lot of success throwing the ball deep when it came to scoring touchdowns – ultimately he ended with a 3:7 TD/INT ratio on passes traveling over 21+ yards. This ratio was heavily impacted by Wilson’s game against Green Bay, where he threw 3 interceptions when throwing deep.

 DEEP PASSING TARGETS (21+ yards)
TYLER LOCKETT 8/15 for 292 receiving yards, 1 touchdown, 1 interception, 53% catch rate
DOUG BALDWIN 13/20, 486 receiving yards, 1 touchdown, 2 interceptions, 65% catch rate
JIMMY GRAHAM 6/9 for 189 yards, 1 touchdown, 66% catch rate
JERMAINE KEARSE

4/19 for 114 receiving yards, 2 interceptions, 21% catch rate

PAUL RICHARDSON 5/14 for 166 receiving yards, 35% catch rate
LUKE WILLSON 0/2, 0% catch rate
MARCEL REECE

1/1 for 31 receiving yards, 100% catch rate

TANNER MCEVOY 2/2 for 63 receiving yards, 2 touchdowns, 100% catch rate
ALEX COLLINS

0/1, 1 interception, 0% catch rate

C.J. PROSISE 1/2 for 38 receiving yards, 50% catch rate

When throwing deep, Russell Wilson’s top 5 favorite receivers in order of total targets, were Doug Baldwin, Jermaine Kearse, Tyler Lockett, Paul Richardson, and finally Jimmy Graham. Of these five, Graham caught the highest amount of his targets, with 6 completions on 9 attempts for 189 yards and 1 touchdown and a 66% catch rate. Doug Baldwin produced the most yards of the group, with 486, flashing a 65% catch rate with 13 completions on 20 attempts.

As you can see from some of the incompletions deep to Baldwin this past year, more than a few touchdowns have been left on the field. Doug Baldwin is a top 10 receiver in the league regardless of the numbers he logs.

Tyler Lockett continued a trend from last year of being one of Wilson’s favorite receivers to hit deep, but suffered because of the numerous injures he sustained throughout the year. Lockett made 8 completions on 15 attempts for 292 yards, and had 1 touchdown for a 53% catch rate.

Wilson’s fourth most targeted receiver was Paul Richardson. Richardson made an impact here and there with deep targets throughout the season, but never established himself as a consistent receiver until after Lockett suffered his season ending injury in Week 16 against the Arizona Cardinals. Richardson appeared to have a bigger impact on the offense once the playoffs started after receiving more targets, but nevertheless finished with 5 completions on 14 attempts for 166 yards, and a 35% catch rate.

The worst statistically out of the bunch was Jermaine Kearse, who was only able to produce 4 catches on 19 attempts for 114 yards and a meager 21% catch rate. For the offense to reassert itself when throwing down the field, the receiving corp needs to continue its growth and flesh out the depth. A substantial part of the deep passing game this past year were incomplete passes thrown at Kearse. If this is no longer successful, as the offense seemed to demonstrate this past season, then it needs to be adjusted as such. Here’s to Jermaine Kearse, Russell Wilson and the rest of the Seattle Seahawks having a better season in 2017-18.

auctions.jpgGo Hawks!

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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