Why Russell Wilson’s 340-yard day against the Seahawks was so unlike Russell Wilson’s

Before the Seattle Seahawks’ thrilling Monday night football win over the Denver Broncos, I thought aloud how the defense would position itself against opposing quarterbacks including Russell Wilson and beyond. You might remember that the Seahawks weren’t battered deep last year, but they were ripped off by the short stuff.

Lots of bending, not a lot of refraction.

Well, that schematic trend continued against Russell Wilson, who was his first baseline Denver Broncos Debut looks good: 29/42 for 340 yards and a 67-yard touchdown pass to Jerry Goody. It’s only game number 22 and 300+ yards off his regular season run and number 12 on the highest level. His EPA/play was about 0.43, Good for the 3rd best player in the league.

But when you dig a little deeper, the way he got 340 yards wasn’t really Wilson’s typical performance.

Seahawks Fans have long known that Wilson has a tendency to regularly search and hit big plays deep in the field. There are few in league history who can match the accuracy of the long ball from week to week. However, outside of Jodi’s landing, Wilson’s passing success was almost entirely in the short passing game. Does this sound like a normal Russell Wilson diagram to you?

Well, maybe the midfield challenge isn’t the only natural part, but you’ll see heavy combinations of short passes that turn into big wins. according to Pro Football referencethe Seahawks gave up 230 yards after the catch, the most YAC Wilson has had since PFR began tracking data in 2018.

Wilson’s target distribution was unlike anything we’d seen before when he played in Seattle. All the questions about not targeting him for runs and the ends are tight enough? we will…

Wilson distribution target by position

broad receptors: 8/15 for 178 yards and landing

narrow ends: 7/11 for 85 yards

turn their backs: 14/15 for 81 yards

(Obviously the unknown target was a throw.)

That’s a huge model size for one game, but it’s worth noting that a historically aggressive person like Wilson has been limited to 6.5 air yards intended per attempt, and only 3.7 air yards per completion. During opening week, Wilson bonds with Keeler Murray For the second lowest average air yards per achievement. You might also notice that all six QB members at the bottom lost their games, and then there’s Geno Smith in 25th place.

Only five of Wilson’s completions were more than 10 yards from the line of scrimmage. We’ve even seen him perform two successful screens. This may have always been Denver’s game plan that defines Seattle’s trends for 2021, but I think it was more on the Seahawks dictating the terms of how the Broncos’ passing attack would work.

Wilson was also prolific in third, going 12/14 for 199 yards and a TD without bags taken. That means his early bottom passes were only 17/28 for 141 yards, which when clearing 10 missed yards on sacks means his net yards per early touchdown attempt was just 4.36. It was a full 180 for someone who was consistently great in the first and second But he repeatedly struggled in third place.

Oh, and if you thought the Seahawks were a Stone Age team that didn’t use analytic data in a meaningful way, Pete Carroll and Clint Hurtt could put you straight into a very specific strategy that has led to many of Wilson’s less effective plays.

I was initially critical of the way the defense plays even with 16 points allowed, due to the element of good luck to recover two steps at the 1 yard line, the touchdown canceled due to a false start, and a potential touchdown called incomplete because the receiver’s toe was barely on the line. With some time to think, the way the Seahawks plotted against Wilson may have always been the best course of action. The execution wasn’t perfect – a better defense down in third and an improved tackle is a must going forward – but the Seahawks’ players and coaching staff did a fairly good job of eliminating a lot of what Wilson likes to do.