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



SHORT: 108 yards, 1 touchdown, 14/23 – 61%
INTERMEDIATE: 103 yards, 2 touchdowns, 7/8 – 88%
DEEP: 137 yards, 4/6 – 67%

25/37 for 348 passing yards, 67.6% completion, 9.4YPA, 3 touchdowns, 124.6 passer rating, 3 sacks for 24 yards

2-10-SEA 40, 1st quarter
(10:14) 3-R.Wilson pass deep right to 16-T.Lockett to NE 24 for 36 yards (32-D.McCourty).

It is no surprise that Russell Wilson’s best game of the season (and his career) coincided with his best deep passing performance of the year as well. After having some early success running the ball with RB C.J. Prosise against the Patriots, the Seahawks used play-action to throw deep early and often with good results.

On this play, Wilson motions Jimmy Graham (#88) across the line of scrimmage, causing their safety Patrick Chung (#23) to follow, indicating man coverage. Seattle pulls Graham after the play starts to sell the run fake, and Wilson looks off the free safety and fires a strike to Lockett for a over the shoulder catch.

LT George Fant’s (#74) block here really demonstrates the potential he can have as an offensive lineman as he drives his defender completely out of the field creating an open lane to aid in selling the run fake.

1-10-SEA 36, 2nd quarter
(7:56) 3-R.Wilson pass incomplete deep right to 15-J.Kearse (26-L.Ryan).

The Seahawks are in a singleback formation with 2 tight ends split left of the offensive line. Jimmy Graham (#88) motions back and forth and the defender mirrors him, indicating man coverage. After a slight play-action fake Wilson decides he’s going deep. The ball drifts a little too inside and Jermaine Kearse (#15) is unable to gain positioning and come down with the reception. The Patriots are stacking the box with 8 defenders on this 1st and 10, and Seattle picks a good down to throw the ball deep on.

2-4-SEA 46, 2nd quarter
(:41) (Shotgun) 3-R.Wilson pass deep right to 16-T.Lockett to NE 30 for 24 yards (21-M.Butler).

Looking to push the ball down the field with time ticking down, Seattle goes into an empty set with running back C.J. Prosise (#22) split out wide. The Patriots respond with 2 safeties deep to stop any major possible completions. The Patriots actually only rush 2 defensive lineman at the snap, with their defensive end Lawrence Guy blitzing after chipping Jimmy Graham (#88) on his release. This gives Wilson plenty of time to survey the entire length of the field and find Tyler Lockett (#16) open on a deep curl, who comes back to the ball and secures the catch for a gain of 24 yards.

2-4-SEA 31, 3rd quarter
(7:16) 3-R.Wilson pass deep middle to 10-P.Richardson to NE 30 for 39 yards (23-P.Chung).

The Seahawks are in a singleback formation with one tight end set inline to the right of the line. They motion Jimmy Graham (#88) from out wide towards the line of scrimmage and he lines up in the slot to the left of the offensive line. The motion causes the Patriots safety to drop and create an eight man box. Wilson runs play-action and finds an open Paul Richardson (#10) running a deep crossing route. This pass is inches away from being deflected from linebacker Donta Hightower (#54). Richardson shows a good move to stop, and turn back around upfield to gain an extra 10-20 yards on the play.

3-6-NE 40, 4th quarter
(11:09) (Shotgun) 3-R.Wilson pass deep left to 22-C.Prosise to NE 2 for 38 yards (32-D.McCourty; 52-E.Roberts).

On an important 3rd down late, Seattle returned to a matchup they exploited frequently throughout the game. Splitting running back C.J. Prosise (#22) allowed them to key in on certain coverages and dictate matchups. A converted receiver such as Prosise found success against linebackers frequently throughout the game and on this play.

The Patriots are in cover 1 with man coverage all across the board. LB Elandon Roberts (#52) gives Prosise over 7 yards of space and is unable to keep up with him as he runs a wheel route up the sideline. Prosise has to come back inside to make the catch. Had the throw been more positioned further down the sideline this might’ve been a touchdown.


SHORT: 112 yards, 12/18 – 67%
INTERMEDIATE: 17 yards, 1/3 – 33%
DEEP: 143 yards, 1 touchdown, 5/10 – 50%

18/31 for 272 passing yards, 58.1% completion, 8.8YPA, 1 touchdown, 97.8 passer rating, 1 sack for 0 yards

3-11-SEA 19, 1st quarter
(7:08) (Shotgun) 3-R.Wilson pass incomplete deep left to 10-P.Richardson.

The Seahawks have 3 receivers out wide and 1 tight end set inline to the right of the offensive line. The Eagles show a 4 man rush and blitz two linebackers after Wilson snaps the ball. Wilson recognizes man coverage and decides to throw a 50/50 ball to Paul Richardson (#10) down the sideline. The ball is placed just a bit too outside and Richardson’s attempt to one-arm the catch fails.

3-16-PHI 40, 2nd quarter
(8:36) (Shotgun) 3-R.Wilson pass incomplete deep middle to D. Baldwin. PENALTY on PHI- B. Graham, Defensive Offside, 5 yards, enforced at PHI 40 – No Play.

Russell Wilson is in shotgun in a 3WR/1TE set. The Eagles play two safeties deep and drop all three of their linebackers back in coverage. Wilson uses a hard count and gets DE Brandon Graham to commit an offsides penalty. The offense converts their routes as a result, and Wilson targets Doug Baldwin (#89) who runs towards the middle of the field.

Despite this counting as a “no play”, I still wanted to include it. Wilson pump fakes as he reaches the end of his drop back, and floats a deep ball over an Eagles defender right off Baldwin’s outstretched hands. This is a very difficult throw in-between two defensive backs and over a linebacker.

3-11-PHI 35, 2nd quarter
(8:30) (Shotgun) 3-R.Wilson pass deep left to 88-J.Graham for 35 yards, TOUCHDOWN.

The Seahawks have 5 eligible receivers split out wide with an empty set for Russell Wilson. The Eagles have a single safety deep and are playing in off coverage with their corners in man coverage.

Wilson feels immediate pressure off his LG and chooses to escape the pocket to his left and look down the field. Wilson throws an accurate pass off a awkward platform and trusts Jimmy Graham (#88) to adjust and come down with the pass. He does that and takes it into the end zone.

1st and 10, 2nd quarter
(5:32) 3-R.Wilson pass deep right to 89-D.Baldwin to PHI 33 for 44 yards (27-M.Jenkins).

The Seahawks are in singleback formation with C.J. Prosise in at tailback. Wilson runs play-action to his running back and looks down the field. TE Luke Willson (#82) pulls to sell the run fake, and provides protection after doing so. The Eagles are in zone coverage with a safety deep. Doug Baldwin (#89) takes advantage of the lack of press coverage and outruns the corner and nearby safety to streak open down the field.

Wilson goes for the sure completion and chooses not to air the ball out completely down the field. A ball with more air on it could’ve resulted in a longer play or a touchdown. Baldwin is able to adjust to the throw and complete the reception for a 44 yard gain.

1-10-PHI 33, 2nd quarter
(4:47) 3-R.Wilson pass deep left to 16-T.Lockett pushed ob at PHI 3 for 30 yards (23-R.McLeod).

After completing the 44 yard bomb to Doug Baldwin, the Seahawks return in a singleback formation on the very next play. Wilson motions Jimmy Graham (#88) towards the line of scrimmage and diagnoses man coverage with the shifting of the Eagle’s cornerback.

Wilson runs play-action to C.J. Prosise and takes a deep drop back to survey the field. Tyler Lockett (#16) runs an exceptional route against his defender. Lockett eats up the off coverage with his speed and fakes an outside move, causing the corner to bite and lose a step to him in the process. Lockett takes advantage and separates across the field and hauls in the accurate ball from Wilson.

1-10-SEA 41, 3rd quarter
(9:47) 3-R.Wilson pass incomplete deep left to 15-J.Kearse [55-B.Graham].

The Seahawks are in singleback with a receiver set bunched to the left. Wilson runs play-action to Thomas Rawls and looks down the field. Jimmy Graham (#88) gives up inside positioning to DE Brandon Graham (#55) and Wilson responds by escaping the pocket left. Wilson throws from another awkward platform but delivers the pass accurately on the sideline. Jermaine Kearse (#15) secures the reception but is unable to toe-tap his feet on the sideline.

3-11-SEA 40, 3rd quarter
(9:15) (Shotgun) 3-R.Wilson pass deep middle to 89-D.Baldwin pushed ob at PHI 26 for 34 yards (26-J.Watkins) [96-B.Logan].

The Eagles show edge pressure here, showing blitz with a corner on each side of the line of scrimmage. Wilson notes the blitz and calls it out, with Jimmy Graham picking the left edge blitz and Thomas Rawls helping with the right edge blitz. The edge pressure spooks Wilson here as he starts to climb up in the pocket shortly after taking his dropback.

The Eagles drop 5 defenders into deep coverage. Someone fails to pick up Doug Baldwin (#89) and he strolls into the middle of the field wide open on his crossing route. Wilson one-arms a pass to a wide-open Baldwin on a crossing route in the middle of the field.


SHORT: 65 yards, 12/20 – 60%
INTERMEDIATE: 65 yards, 1 interception, 4/6 – 67%
DEEP: 21 yards, 1 interception, 1/7 – 14%

17/33 for 151 passing yards, 51.5% completion, 4.6YPA, 2 interceptions, 38.8 passer rating, 6 sacks for 33 yards

Russell Wilson found himself touchdown-less for the 5th game already this past season. Constant pressure all game resulted in 6 sacks for the quarterback, as he struggled to find anything deep completing only 1 of 7 deep passes.

3-11-SEA 24, 3rd quarter
(13:42) (Shotgun) 3-R.Wilson pass incomplete deep left to 16-T.Lockett.

Seattle needs a sizable chunk of yardage here to convert this 3rd and 11. The Buccaneers have two defenders showing blitz in the A gaps. With 6 blitzers, both the running back and tight end are kept to provide protection for Russell Wilson. Tampa Bay is playing cover 1 with a single high safety and off man coverage.

Tyler Lockett (#16) runs a sharp route here, and uses his superior speed to outrun his defender as he breaks back towards the sideline at his 40 yard-line. Wilson gets the pocket he needed but just overthrows his receiver down the field.

2-7-TB 31, 4th quarter
(1:36) 3-R.Wilson pass deep right intended for 16-T.Lockett INTERCEPTED by 30-B.McDougald at TB 2. 30-B.McDougald to TB 34 for 32 yards (39-G.Farmer).

Seattle needs to gain chunks of yardage quickly and Tampa Bay knows it. Their defense is in zone with all their corners playing off to keep completed passes directly in front of them. Wilson attempts to look deep S Bradley McDougald (#30) off but he is unfazed as he baits Wilson into making this throw to Tyler Lockett (#16), ultimately intercepting it.


SHORT: 149 yards, 1 touchdown, 19/26 – 73%
INTERMEDIATE: 99 yards, 1 interception, 6/7 – 86%
DEEP: 29 yards, 1/3 – 33%

26/36 for 277 passing yards, 72.2% completion, 7.7YPA, 1 touchdown, 1 interception, 92.0 passer rating, 3 sacks for 21 yards

2-12-CAR 19, 2nd quarter
(2:00) (Shotgun) 3-R.Wilson pass incomplete deep left to 88-J.Graham.

The Carolina Panthers are in cover 2 zone with 2 safeties playing deep. Russell Wilson sees nothing open at first, and has to deal with immediate pressure from DT Charles Johnson (#95) off LG Mike Glowinski (#63). Wilson pulls his patented spin move and runs out of the pocket to survey the field.

Despite an accurate strike down the field, normally sure-handed Jimmy Graham (#88) is unable to come down with the catch. Graham uses his giant frame to box his defender out of the play and make sure he is the only one with an attempt on the ball. Graham’s boxing out technique is unique and hopefully something the Seahawks can capitalize more on in the red zone next year.

1-10-CAR 44, 4th quarter
(13:09) 3-R.Wilson pass deep left to 89-D.Baldwin pushed ob at CAR 15 for 29 yards (27-R.McClain; 22-M.Griffin).

The Seahawks are in singleback formation here with three eligible receivers bunched to the left of the line of scrimmage. The Panther linebackers and safety near the box are betting on the Seahawks running the ball here, as they aggressively jump toward the line of scrimmage as the ball is snapped.

Doug Baldwin (#89) fakes like he’s run blocking here, pulling his corner in to think he needs to help defend the run. After Baldwin disengages, Wilson finishes an effective play-action fake to his running back and finds his receiver with a touch pass in-between two defenders.


SHORT: 434 yards, 2 touchdowns, 57/87 – 66%
INTERMEDIATE: 284 yards, 2 touchdowns, 2 interceptions, 18/24 – 75%
DEEP: 330 yards, 1 touchdown, 1 interception, 11/26 – 42%

1,048 passing yards, 5 touchdowns, 3 interceptions, 86 completions on 137 passing attempts – 63%.


…continue to PAGE 4.

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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