QBs in Focus: Russell Wilson

Russell Wilson's 2013 numbers are dissected by Steve Palazzolo in today's installment of the QBs in Focus series.

| 1 year ago

QBs in Focus: Russell Wilson

qb-month-wilsonThough we certainly miss football during the offseason, it’s always a good time to take a step back and analyze our plethora of data.

We’re often so busy grading and collecting data during the season that we’re unable to put a lot of the information to good use. With that said, we’ve decided to declare June as “QB Month” as we break down NFL quarterbacks every which way.

We’re going to examine quarterbacks from a number of situations before looking at each of them individually. The grades and numbers should reveal each quarterback’s strengths and weaknesses from the 2013 season.

As we go through this series, it’s important to understand the relationship between QB Rating (NFL’s version) and PFF Grade.

While QB Rating is obviously supposed to be a QB statistic, it’s actually a better gauge of what the entire offense did in a given situation. This is the type of information that is actually extremely valuable to our NFL team customers as their game planning efforts must go towards stopping an entire passing offense, not just the quarterback.

If the quarterback throws an easy dump off pass to the RB who then weaves through the defense for the touchdown, it’s certainly not a great indicator of quarterbacking skill as it is the running back and defense accounting for the majority of the work on the play. Of course the QB Rating will look quite shiny in that situation.

On the other hand, PFF Grade is a good indicator of how well the quarterback actually performed in a given situation. Whether they throw an accurate pass that was dropped, or perhaps an inaccurate one that should have been intercepted and the defense dropped, the PFF grade will account for those situations with a positive and a negative grade respectively while QB Rating will simply reflect the 0-for-1 passing.

It’s important to distinguish between QB Rating and PFF grade, though there’s a good chance they’ll match up in most situations.

After taking a look at the entire league in various situations, it’s time to break down each quarterback individually.

Russell Wilson

Russell Wilson

Russell Wilson (2)

Russell Wilson (3)

All categories with a * are normalized so that the league average is 0.0.


•  Second-best grade on third down at +13.1, including a +5.6 grade on 3rd-and-long.
•  Led the league with +9.9 on plays that broke out of the pocket and ranked second on designed rollouts at +4.7.
•  Showed well at pass depths, namely 11-20 yards (+7.6), 21-30 yards (+6.6), and 31-40 yards (+3.1).
•  Threw extremely well outside the numbers, including +12.1 to the left and +10.3 to the right.
•  Third-highest grade when pressured (+4.5) and also graded well from a clean pocket (+19.2).
•  Led the league with a +21.5 grade against the blitz, including a +14.4 grade on third down.
•  Showed well on 7-to-8-yard drop-backs (+10.6), and drop-backs of 9 yards or longer (+6.0).
•  Led the league with a +14.5 grade on plays lasting at least 3.6 seconds.
•  Graded at +23.9 when throwing to wide receivers (by alignment).
•  Tied for league lead with a +6.0 grade on crossing routes, and also showed well on hitches (+5.6) and go routes (+10.7).


•  Graded at -2.7 on throws of at least 40 yards in the air.
•  Graded at -0.1 on throws in between the numbers.
•  Struggled in the first quarter (-9.1).
•  Posted a negative grade when pressured from a traditional rush (-4.1).
•  Graded at only -1.0 when throwing to tight ends.


•  35.9% of drop-backs came from under center; seventh-highest in the league.
•  Had highest percentage of designed rollouts (14.5%) and second-highest percentage of drop-backs that broke the pocket (13.5%).
•  15.9% of attempts traveled at least 20 yards in the air; sixth-highest in the league.
•  Threw 53.1% of passes outside the numbers; ninth-highest in the league.
•  Faced pressure on 43.8% of drop-backs; second-highest in the league.
•  Faced the second-highest percentage of blitzes in the league at 39.2%.
•  Only 13.1% of drop-backs went 9 or more yards; eighth-lowest in the league.
•  Faced the second-highest percentage of pressures that came in two seconds or less (14.7% of drop-backs).
•  Used play action 34.1% of the time; highest in the league.
•  Threw to slot wide receivers 26.0% of the time; above the league average of 19.7%.
•  Threw third-highest percentage of quick outs at 8.8%.
•  Threw 43 crossing routes, 41.9% of which came off designed rollouts.


For the entire set of “Quarterbacks in Focus” posts, click here.


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  • Edward Rychwalski

    So basically one out of every 7 drop backs he was pressured before he even had a chance to make a read or throw anything except a designed quick pass. On top of that, he was pressured on almost half of his dropbacks, yet still managed to grade out, by any metric, as one of the best QBs in the league, in only his sophomore season nonetheless. Remind me again why is he still underrated?

    • Shawn Blake

      Great observation. Wilson is burdened by the fact that it makes it look so easy. In the next 5 years, if he continues on this trajectory, I will be scouring the internet to find some of the articles and comments of people who were saying he wasn’t that good, “game manager”, benefited from good team, blah blah blah. Just like the articles and analysts that killed the Seahawks for their 2012 Draft.

      People forget that all the principles on this offense (Lynch, Rice, Tate, Baldwin, Miller) and defense (Thomas, Sherman, Chancellor, Browner) were there during the 7-9 years. If it only take a game manager, What happened in 2010 and 2011. 2012-present this team goes from Avg of 20pts per game to 28 and more yds per play.

      • Chris

        What happened in 2010 and 2011? A decrepit Matt Hasselbeck and a totally inept Tarvaris Jackson. They went from 20 points per game to 28 because they upgraded from the waste of space that is Tarvaris Jackson to a terrific game manager in Wilson. Cool under pressure, great leader, intelligent. He also has the mobile skillset to be able to succeed behind a terrible line. Arizona and Seattle have had similar OL issues lately, but Arizona doesn’t have the the type of QB it takes to be successful despite a terrible OL.

        It takes both athleticism and intelligence to succeed as a mobile QB. Wilson may not be the most athletic, but I would still rank him as the best mobile QB in the league. His ability to throw on the run, he excels at roll outs, he can avoid pressure better than almost anyone. Those are all more important than juking defenders and doing a Superman rip in the endzone.

        That said, Wilson is still a game manager. He’s not an excellent pocket passer. He did rank 4th overall out of all QBs, but that’s due in large part to his #2 rushing grade – he ranked just 8th in passing, which is more akin to “good” than “great” and it’s certainly not “elite”. Look at the names ahead of him: Manning, Brees, Rivers, Stafford, Brady – all guys who are great pocket passers.

        It’s also not logical to assume that just because Wilson succeeds behind a crappy OL means he would be even better with a better OL. I’ve already given my opinion on why I think Wilson is the best mobile QB in the league (avoiding pressure, rollouts, throwing on the run). Those are his best skills. He’s not a pinpoint accuracy guy – he ranked just 22nd in Accuracy, which factors out throwaways and hits from pressure and whatnot. I don’t see any basis that suggests he would improve with more time to throw. He is built to succeed behind a crappy OL – his unique skills allow Seattle to skimp on the OL and rack up talent at other positions.

        I would call him the best mobile QB in the game right now – not the most athletic, but his combination of athleticism, intelligence, and ability to throw on the run – and likely the best game manager ever. I don’t think he will ever develop into an “elite” passer. But an intelligent leader who plays with poise, confidence under pressure, and who can make his teammates better is an asset most teams want.

        • Mauha Deeb

          “He’s not a pinpoint accuracy guy – he ranked just 22nd in Accuracy, which factors out throwaways and hits from pressure and whatnot. I don’t see any basis that suggests he would improve with more time to throw.”

          The basis is simple: his accuracy would be heavily affected by high volumes of pressure which also led to throwing on the move more often(be it from extending plays with his legs to avoid pressure or gameplan scheming to negate the effects of poor OL performance). Better OL performance in most cases leads to improved accuracy.

          Of course there is always Tebow lol

          • LightsOut85

            The solution to this (if someone wants to spend a few minutes in Excel), would be to subtract PFF’s “accuracy under pressure” numbers from the total accuracy-% numbers & get a “under no pressure” accuracy %, which would be the best “basic stat” way to measure “natural accuracy”.

          • Scott@Seattle

            The whole concept is flawed from the start. You cant start with completion percentage and juggle some numbers and end up with accuracy. They are completely different.

          • LightsOut85

            I ended up doing it:

            Last season Wilson ranked 19th (of 39) with 76.8% accuracy% when not under pressure. This obviously doesn’t take into account aDoT (or type/difficulty of routes thrown)…but I don’t think it says a lot about Wilson’s accuracy either way. Not one of the elite-ly accurate passer, not one of the guys who really struggles with accuracy. (What I’d love to see if a progression of accuracy (whatever kind) for QBs, see if they ever GREATLY improve, or if they stay in the same group for most of their career. From what I’ve seen I’m inclined to think it’s the latter).

            Here’s the full table: http://s23.postimg.org/vmxl4t89n/no_prs_acc.jpg

          • Chris


          • Chris

            I’ve mentioned this above though. Wilson is uniquely skilled at beating the blitz (as evidenced by his +21.5 grade against the blitz and only +3.5 when not blitzed, even though he was not blitzed more often he graded worse). He excels at rolling out and throwing on the run. I think he is the best mobile QB in the league, and his ability to ad-lib and beat pressure is second to none.

            Well maybe 2nd to Ben Rapelisberger, but only because he’s practically untackleable.

            As I said above, most of Wilson’s best work, and his big plays, came when ad-libbing and beating pressure. Having more time in the pocket doesn’t give him more of those chances. I’d argue he wouldn’t grade as well as he does now if he was under pressure and blitzed less often.

        • Shawn Blake

          Don’t know why I am responding to this ridiculous comment by a poster that not only contradicts himself, but who bases his conclusion on the opposite of what the evidence says.

          First, perform this exercise. Go to any NFL database (profootballreference comes to mind) and compare any QB you would label a “game manager” to Wilson. In their best years of their career they haven’t put up the numbers Wilson has, even in his rookie year.

          The two previous Seattle QB were average, and were by no means incompetent. Exhibit A: they have a pretty long and current career in the NFL. The league quick finds ways of ridding incompetent players. Wilson placed 8th in DVOA according to Footballoutsiders.

          You stated that Wilson is not good from the pocket even though he ranked 4th from the pocket. Huh?? Your reasoning, which you stated as fact, was because he is a good “rusher.” Again, Huh? Please explain. By that reasoning, any QB that is a decent to good runner, should be at the very least decent from the pocket.

          You stated that it is not logical to assume because Wilson was good behind a bad Line, that he would be better behind an improved OLine (which I did not assume). But lets say I did assume this. The reason is, the evidence states this. See his grade and rating without pressure. Therefore, it is logical to assume that, if I did in fact assume that.

          To state that Wilson is not accurate, he placed 4th in accuracy % per PFF at 77.1%, since want to go that route. By the way, that year his Oline performed significantly better:)

          You seem to be stuck on volume of passing, rather than efficiency. Wilson may never reach the volume of passing attempts of the Qb’s you named, as long as he is playing for Carroll. That is Carroll’s style. But Wilson makes every throw count. Don’t have the list of explosive plays that Seattle had last year, I just know that they are in the Top 3. Considering they only ran 990 plays, less the almost 1200 that the QB’s you list had, that is amazing. Wilson is top 5 in YPA and Air Yards, suggesting, if he had the volume of passing attempts as these other QB, he would have comparable, if not more passing yds. That is not Carroll’s style. Also consider how many Yds and TD’s Wilson gave up because of Seattle being ahead in so many games.

          ” I don’t think he will ever develop into an “elite” passer,” may qualify as the dumbest statement in your comment. You provided no evidence to back this up, so I won’t spend any time to even refute it other than to say, it is contrary to all the evidence thus far.

          • andy tyl

            Oh, here we go AGAIN. These guys just can’t help themselves, can they? Based their “observations” of the
            “eye-test”, pick out ONE game to justify the opinion; the laziness of these people. Maybe these guys SHOULD subscribe to other TRUE analytic sites (i.e. football focus, football perspectives, cold hard football, NEP etc.) that
            do REALLY analyses, BASED ON EMPIRICAL EVIDENCE, rather than your own BIASED opinions. What can you say at this point? 11-5 w/o RW, really? I guess he has forgotten that they were 7-9 for two seasons, prior to RW came on-board, with basically the same roster (exactly on offense, w/o MB, CA, and BW on defense). I am getting tired of these ‘analyses” that premised on the factors of AL is playing w/ an inferior team, clutch factor, and “throwing the ball down the field”. This is nothing further from the truth. Let’s compare the TEAM- a team basically makes up by 3 components- off, def, and special team. Let’s not do
            defense because we all know Seattle has a better defense. So let’s focus on the other two- offensive unit- let’s break down to sub-unit- OL, passing game, and running game. OL. Let’s examine the talents of the pass-catcher. Based on
            football focus analysis, here is its take on the talent level

            Wide receiver-

            Indy- 2 high quality (Wayne and Allen), 1 good starter (Hilton), 1 average (Fleener) (this is not including Nicks
            because he was there last year) 1 1st rounder, 1 2nd
            rounder, 2 3rd rounders (draft position)

            Seattle- 1 high quality (former Golden Tate), 2 good starter (Zach Miller, Doug Baldwin), 1 average starter (Kearse) (Harvin did not play enough to qualify), 2 2nd rounders, 2 undrafted free agents (draft position)

            Actual production- (receptions,
            yardage, yards per catch, big plays 20 yards+, big plays %, touchdowns, touchdown %, team target percentage caught, team drop rate)

            Indy- 350 total team receptions out of 582 targets, 3952 total yards, 11.3 average yards per catch, 45 big plays, 7.73% big plays, 23 touchdowns, 3.85% td percentage, 60.7% team target caught, 4.5% team drop rate.

            Seattle- 267 total receptions out of 420 targets, 3508 total yards, 13.1 average yards per catch, 52 big plays,12.38% big plays, 27 touchdowns, 6.43% td percentage, 65.3% team target caught, 3.2% team drop rate.

            Summary- It seems Indy has more talents but the production does not correlate to the talents. So there are two
            possibilities- a) overrated of talents or b) quarterback’s play is not up to par. It is probably a combination of both. One can argue RW makes his teammates better regarding to maximizing the talents around him. RW, supposedly, is a
            “game manager” but according to these metrics, I want that kind of game manager as my quarterback.

            Offensive Line

            Indy- 2 high quality, 1 average, 1 below, 1 undetermined (not enough information)

            Seattle- 2 high quality, 1 average, 2 below

            Now let’s examine the actual production for the OL (based on passing yards, passing yards per game, pass protection- sacks allowed, sacks percentage, pressurized percentage, ANY/A, and rushing yards (total and per game and adjusted per rush), percentage of total plays, rushing tds %

            Indy- 3,952 total passing yards, 247 average yards per game, 32 sacks allowed, 5.5% sack percentage, 25.6%
            pressurized of total drop backs (i.e. total sacks, hits, pressures, hurries etc.), 5.71 ANY/A, total rushing yards- 1743 on 409 total attempts, 25.56 rushes per game, 108.9 yards per game, 4.86 adjusted net yard rush attempt, 41.27% of total plays, 3.67% rushing td.

            Seattle- 3,508 total passing yards, 202.3 average yards per game, 44 sacks allowed, 10.48% sack percentage, 32.7%
            (last) pressurized of total drop backs, 6.68 ANY/A, total rushing yards- 2,188 on 509 attempts, 31.81 rushes per game, 136.8 yards per game, 4.65 adjusted net yard per rush attempt, 54.79% of total plays, 2.75% rushing td.

            Summary- It seems Indy has a better overall OL play. They are much better in pass protection and comparable in the running game as well per indication by the higher adjusted
            net yard per rush, even though Seattle has an elite running back compared to below running backs for Indy (Football Focus).

            Special Team

            Indy- 1 high quality (McAffee Punter, 1 good starter (Vinatieri, kicker)

            Seattle- 1 high quality (Haushka), 1 below average (Ryan)

            Actual production-kickoff touchbacks percentage, field goal efficiency, punt average

            Indy- kickoff touchbacks percentage- 46.6%, field goal efficiency- 1.52, punt average 45.4,

            Seattle- kickoff touchbacks percentage- 51.1, field goal efficiency- 1.27, punt average 41.6

            Summary- It looks even here for both teams. Better kicker vs. better punter, even though Indy scored much higher in field goal efficiency (own kicker has better average in
            field goal made per game vs. opponent).

            So as we can see, the team argument is not much of an argument. AL is given with better talents at the skill position, in the offensive unit, but lesser production; however,
            Indy’s OL is much better, talent wise, and production. So one can argue RW has lesser talents but because of his efficient and effective plays that help to maximize his teammates’ skill and talent, which is an indication of
            great players makes their teammates better.

            The Clutch Factor- based on comeback wins, winning drives, and qb ratings in “pressurized situations” like blitz, playing from behind, and red zone efficiency.

            AL had 8 comebacks and 11 winning drives over the two
            seasons. Blitz- 2.1 grading (football focus 2013), playing from behind- 78.2 ratings (career average, his ratings
            went down at higher deficit (i.e. ratings of 72.75 when trailing between 9-16 points), Red zone passer ratings (career average) – 82.

            RW had 8 comebacks and 10 winning drives over the two
            seasons. Blitz- 21.5 (first in football focus 2013), playing from behind- 101.08 ratings (career wise, actually his ratings were higher at higher deficit (i.e. ratings of 113.45 when trailing between 9-16 points), red zone efficiency
            passer ratings (career average) – 98.25 ratings.

            Throw the ball downfield- Total Yards, YAC Percentage, Total Air Yards, Air Yards per Attempt,

            AL- 3,822 total yards, 52.7% is YAC, 1,808 Total Air Yards,
            Air Yards per Attempt- 3.17

            RW- 3,357 total yards, 46.3% is YAC, 1,804 Total Air Yards,
            Air Yards per Attempt- 4.43

            Let’s put this area into perspective, AL had a total of 570
            attempts vs. 407 for RW and he had a total of 4 more air yards than RW.

            So ladies and gentlemen, based on the empirical evidence
            here, if you’re just as smart as a fifth grader then you should know who is a better quarterback at the moment. AL may turn out to be a better one in the future but at this moment he is not even CLOSE.

          • Chris


            Andrew Luck is incredibly overrated. Wilson is by far the better QB.

            There I just made your point in about 5000 less words.

          • andy tyl

            I have no ideas why you are being a smart ass w/ me in this discussion. My post, AL and RW comparison, was not a rebuttal to your comments. It was for someone else in making the point about the narrative in RW’s role as a qb. FYI, it was not 5k words, it was 1,115.

          • Chris

            I agreed with your post. You just spent 15 minutes rambling about something everyone knows already

          • andy tyl

            “everyone knows”, really? If all the MSM outlets (i.e. ESPN, NFL network, SI etc.) have the same view as you and I then we wouldn’t have this kind of discussion about RW and AL. So I’d strongly suggest you expand your “horizon” a bit more to realize that perspective IS NOT ubiquitous as you might think. That post was done to refute the moronic argument about AL and RW at another site. Actually, it took me an hour to research and compile the data so don’t sneer about that effort. It is something you might want to consider, in the future, when you want to persuade someone in a debate- facts and data.

          • Dale GoDawgs McLerran

            If everyone knows that Luck is overrated, then shouldn’t Luck have a lower rating to begin with? Apparently, Luck being overrated is not something everyone knows already.

          • Shawn Blake

            Couldn’t have stated this much more succinctly. And that Chris, is how you support an argument. I find basing conclusions on cold hard facts the best way to go. But go ahead and contort another excuse as to why Wilson is just a good game manager again. Calling him the best game manager is a backhanded compliment.

            Also note as Andy pointed out, how Wilson performs in the “clutch” since you want to state that he “can’t carry a team.”

            As far as AL is concerned, I’ll just quote Sam Monson of PFF when asked why AL was left off of PFF 100.

            ” The simple answer is that Luck isn’t as good as some people think he is.”

            I’ll Trust Mr. Monson’s analysis since this is what he is paid to do.

          • Dale GoDawgs McLerran

            Regarding the game winning drives for AL and RW, people regularly brag about Luck’s 11 GWDs to argue that Luck is elite. But Wilson’s 10 GWDs represent a higher success rate in producing a GWD.

            What is the game winning drive success rate? GWD success rate is the number of game winning drives divided by the number of opportunities to complete a GWD. With every loss, there is a wasted opportunity to complete a GWD. Thus, the number of opportunities to complete a GWD is #GWDs + #Losses. So, GWD success rate (expressed as a percentage) is 100 * #GWDs / (#GWDs + #Losses).

            With 11 GWDs and 12 losses, Luck’s GWD success rate is 47.8%. Wilson has 10 GWDs and 9 losses for a GWD success rate of 52.6%. So, while Luck had one more GWD than Wilson, Wilson is a little bit ahead of Luck in GWD success rate. A similar 4th Q comeback success rate could be computed. Luck and Wilson are tied in number of 4th Q comebacks. But the comeback success rate for Luck is 40.0%. Wilson has a comeback success rate of 47.1%.

            Tying this in with PFFs grades, Wilson is 6th in 4th Q/OT grade at 7.0 (behind Brady, Cutler, Manning, Brees, and Dalton). Luck is 22nd in 4th Q/OT grade at 0.5. With very few holes in his game, Wilson is always in position to pick up a 4th Q comeback and/or GWD. (Under Wilson, the Seahawks have not lost a game by more than 7 points.) His high PFF late game grade allows Wilson to cache in on a comeback or GWD with a high relative frequency.

          • atyler2011

            Nice analysis. May I use this info for future “discussions”, regarding to this moronic RW vs. AL argument? Did you see Ron Jaworski’s qb ranking? He is such a joke. I know he “favors” the typical and traditional quarterback (i.e. big, strong arm, stay in the pocket, supposedly “throwing down the field” crap). I believe he has AL as number 5, Joe Flucco as number 10, and RW as number 9 (I guarantee it because we won the SB, if we didn’t, I’d strongly doubt he has him as the top-10). Also, here is another tidbit- in the 9 losses RW incurred, we lost by the combine total of 41 points. In those 9 losses, we were leading, in 7 games, going to the 4th quarter. I always have made this argument about our defense. We are very good but not as dominant as previous great defensive teams like the 85 Bears, 2000 Ravens, and 2002 Bucs. Those teams actually carried their team. Actually, statistically, according to Number Fire NEP, we are not even in the top 15 going back to year 2000. However, we are number 1 since 2009. My point is we have a great defense but our defense can be had at times, as indicated by our losses. This team CANNOT win w/o RW, period. He added almost a touchdown per game over the replacement qbs.

          • Scott@Seattle

            Statistics are not empirical evidence. I just read an article where statistics ‘proved’ that Tony Romo was clutch. If that doesnt prove that statistics can be manipulated to prove anything then i dont know what does.

          • atyler2011

            I am not quite sure what you mean by statistics are not empirical evidence. Statistics only DERIVE from computational research on certain assumptions; it is an objective supportive argument for a scientific research. You hypothesize something, collect data and compute the data, w/ the end-result, is the statistics to support your premise. Statistically, TR is a very good qb. We only associate the guy w/ those “bone head” plays at the utmost inopportune times (we remember by watching the replays and replays all over the TV) Realistically, can you name other “bone head” plays beside the three: (a) field goal fumble against Seattle in the playoff, (b) interception vs. WA in 2012 (for the playoff spot), and (c) interception vs. PM last year? The guy is a very good qb. We can make the same argument about PM as well. Nobody is really “chastised”, maybe one of the greatest qbs ever, him for being “sub-par” during “clutch” times (i.e. under .500 in playoffs, qb ratings almost 10 points below reg season career average). TR averaged, per year, as much as PM in comebacks and GWDs during his career. That being said, statistically alone does not translate to winning football. Because we associate successful to winning and winning championships as a team effort, especially in football.

          • Scott@Seattle

            That something is based on numbers does NOT mean that it is objective whatsoever. Statistics are so easily manipulated. All you have to do is change a couple definitions and exclude the data that doesnt agree with your position. Why do you think that in debates you have two politicians with different views and they both endlessly quote statistics? Statistics have a long history of manipulation and being used for evil which i wont go into here. I know this is just sports, but statistics are not facts.

          • atyler2011

            Based on your argument, then we shouldn’t have ANYTHING objectively to support any argument. How do you propose to achieve anything, objectively, w/o having anything objectively to measure? The eye-test? Regarding to your politician’s argument, it is true they spout out different statistics, but they are general in terms, sometimes you have to “dig” a little deeper to understand the context within the statistics. Let me give you an example, U-3 report. It sounds good when they’ve said they have created so many jobs, but then when you look at closely, the jobs are not “good jobs”, mostly low-wages and part-timers. From the macro perspective, it looks good but within the micro context, it is not good for the people who actually live it. We can debate about statistics but they are the only things that available for some objective measurement. If you can come up w/ something more objective and better then I am all for it. In the end it is still the human still have his or her “hands” in the process so you always have “assumption of variables” involved.

          • Scott@Seattle

            My point is that statistics are not objective at all. Facts are objective. Statistics are spin. You take some data and manipulate it to fit your agenda. You can use statistics to support any argument whatsoever.

          • atyler2011

            And how do you derive something as “facts” and objective? The “eye-test” again? I’d entertain your hypothesis for this discussion.

          • Scott@Seattle

            My point is that statistics are not objective. I’m not saying there is an objective basis to evaluate football players. How good would Tony Romo be with a different team? We might never know.

          • atyler2011

            I’d agree w/ you on that point. However, statistics or numbers are used to support the fact that someone is trying to prove it is a fact. Let’s put this discussion in a real application. I assume that you are employed. So let’s use that scenario as an example. Let’s assume that you have worked and earned $500 for this week (hopefully that you are making much more than that), but as you’ve indicated the stat or number in the $500 is indeed can be manipulated and not objective so as a good employer that I am, I will come to you and say- Hey, Chris, your check this week is $400 because I share the same view as you in believing stats or numbers are not an objective measurement for your worth. Base on my judgment, you’re only worth 400 this week. I don’t think you’d be very happy to hear that. But base on your argument, I can do that to you because the “500” number is not an objective measurement of your worth. Like I’ve said it before, stats are used, in the right context, are indicators of fact that it is supposed to support. For this example, the 500 by itself does not mean anything but in the context of your worth, it is a fact that you have earned the 500, instead of 400. Regarding to TR scenario, it is true that we will never know about his legacy w/ another team but because that scenario hasn’t happened so we can only “view” or “judge” him based on what he has done so far w/ the Cowboys. I think TR is a very good qb but I do not trust him in critical situations.

          • Scott@Seattle

            Earning 500 dollars isnt a statistic. If your boss said that you earn more than 66% of the people who perform your job. That would be a statistic. And you’d be right to be very skeptical of it.

          • atyler2011

            Then what is it? I believe 500 represents some sources of a number. Correct? You know we have been through this discussion back and forth but I still haven’t heard one better alternative, coming from you, addressing your concern. Would you mind offer one?

          • Scott@Seattle

            A number is not the same thing as a statistic. Statistics are manipulated numbers with the emphasis on manipulate.

          • atyler2011

            Even if I’d agree w/ your premise, you haven’t answered my question. I sound likes a parrot by repeating this- statistics are just numbers that have been studied and researched to make or support a fact. How they are utilized is another thing. You are arguing the utilization of statistics not the mechanics or spirit of statistics. Anybody can use any resources or techniques to manipulate everything if they have a desire to do so. If everyone decided to follow that practice then nothing deems to be “FACTUALLY CORRECT” as you’ve been argued. This is my last point because it is not going anywhere w/ your adamant view because you are not allowing yourself to be “enlightened”. FYI, regarding to the 500 example, if that is not the case then why do they use “some numbers” as a prevailing average wages, median income etc. in ALL economics reports or studies to determine what is your worth or income group. They also use them to determine your future earnings when an employer calculates your compensation package. I believe they refer these “numbers” as statistics. If they don’t have them as a parameter then as an employer I can use any “numbers” that I choose to (i.e. lowball) and you wouldn’t like that either. And I’m very sure that is a big FACT.

          • Scott@Seattle

            Calling things a fact doesnt make them one. You seem to be saying that if i dont like statistics i should take a pay cut. That makes no sense whatsoever, and i work on commission.

          • atyler2011

            And what do you think on how they come up w/ your comp plan in paying you in commission, genius (i.e. statistics on your production etc.)? It is so funny that you can’t win an argument so the last resort is “putting words” into people’s mouth. Can you point out when I’ve said that you need to take a paycut based on statistics? I was making a point if there were no statistics to base on then anyone can make up anything to come up w/ your comp plan (i.e. minimum wages etc.) I AM STILL WAITING FOR AN ANSWER.

          • Peter Smith

            You’re joking right? You make it sound like there’s some guy who is a fan of Player X who sits in a corner for days on end trying to create some mathematical formula that makes his crappy quarterback look good. These are not formulas created to make a specific player look good. They are metrics that are designed to eliminate some of the elements that muddy the waters in how we compare players at a position. They are designed by mathematicians to eliminate the BS, and focus on what matters, no matter who the payers are. Once they are an established metric, or stat, they just stick around and get used… players flourish in those statistics, or they don’t. But the metrics we use to measure these players are NOT then adjusted to make Player X look better. I’m surprised I actually have to explain something like this. Advanced metrics are fair no matter who your favorite player is… they are NOT designed to favor a player or team.

          • LightsOut85

            I think 1 big issue here, is 2 people with different definitions of “game manager” (a big point of contention in NFL discussions, I think). One taking it to mean crappy-journeyman who is just a veteran (used during a rebuilding time), and another to just mean a guy who is efficient but not asked to carry an offense on his back. (To not be a gun-slinger, take too big of risks, etc. A running game putting him in a position to succeed in passing).

          • Chris

            I would argue they are the same definition, just varying levels of talent. A game manager is not someone who can carry a team on his own, I agree. A game manager is expected to play without weakness, not turn the ball over, and let his teammates go to work.

            Some guys who fall into the game manager role are franchise rejects who are journeymen at best – mediocre arm talents who were overhyped in college but can’t handle the pro game for long stretches of time without getting scoped out by opposing DCs.

            Wilson is not one of these guys. I’ve said several times he is likely going to be the best ever. He isn’t an amazing arm talent, but he has literally every trait required to be a game manager, and he has it in spades. He will have a long, illustrious career because he plays with intelligence and confidence, he is a great leader, and he makes his teammates play better. But he will never be Aaron Rodgers.

          • LightsOut85

            I don’t think you said anything false, but some people still take the term to be an insult (regardless of it being true or not). So if it gets used, they won’t see it anything different.

          • Chris

            Some testy Seattle fans in here.

          • jacklaughing

            That’s only because you sound like a jackass.

          • Chris

            No its because most people can’t take criticism without overreacting.

            All I’ve done is offer my opinion.

          • andy tyl

            Don’t bother. To follow up w/ your observation. Just did a piece to debunk another man-crush, moronic argument between AL and RW.

          • andy tyl

            Just as a discussion point, the closest “comparable game manager” narrative is Troy Aikman. There is no comparison between the two, for the first two years, RW smoked him and the guy is a HOF for god’s sake. I am not saying RW is a HOF but if he continues this trajectory then we can make the same argument, granted TA played well in big games and won 3 SBs. Talking about volume, TA averaged less than 200 passing yards per game in his career.

          • Jim Clark

            are “game managers” any good against the blitz cause he sure rips against it

          • Chris

            I don’t think you can read.

            1. I called Wilson the best game manager ever. To compare his stats to other game managers, I would expect to find his to be better? Not sure where you were going with this.

            2. Hasselbeck USED TO be a great QB. He was tumbling down the hill by 2010. And Tarvaris? LOL his best season as a starter was +2.1, also known as his only positive grade as a starter. Talk about rose colored glasses.

            3. Here’s where your reading comprehension is lacking. I did say Wilson ranked 4th…in OVERALL grade. Which was LARGELY BOOSTED by his #2 running grade (+10.8). His PASSING grade was a more mediocre 8th (+16.6) – I’d call it Good – and it is a far cry from the true Elite passers who graded in the upper 20s and 30s in PASSING. Their Overall grades weren’t boosted by running grades like Wilson’s – they are Elite pocket passers, something Wilson will never be. Hate to break it to you.

            4. I’ll agree that is an acceptable point. But I will offer a counterpoint. His grade against the blitz vs. no blitz. +21.5 when blitzed vs. just +3.5 when not blitzed? Sounds to me like Wilson is Elite at diagnosing and beating a blitz (another coveted trait of an Elite game manager). He plays with intelligence and can get the ball out when he sees pressure coming – this is not a trait that will make him any more successful against no pressure.

            5. I see Wilson at 22nd with 71.9% Accuracy in 2013. That is down from his 5th place 77.1% in 2012 (which you didn’t specify in your post, thanks for making me look that up). Why exactly is his 2012 number more relevant than his 2013 number? Not to mention, if you take the time to chart it out, his Accuracy drops 4% both without pressure (81% to 77%) and against pressure (66% to 62%). Because he had almost twice as many throws without pressure, his overall Accuracy drops just 5% (77% you mentioned to 72% I mentioned).

            And how was the OL better? Sure Unger and Okung were good. But Giacomini sucked, McQuistan was below average (excellent by his own crappy standards), and anyone who played the other guard spot was even worse.

            Sure in 2013 Unger and Okung took a step back. But the rest of the line was the same? You still had Sweezy and Carpenter, and McQuistan was terrible. Giacomini was still crappy as well – at least his replacement after injury was pretty good?

            5. You just know they’re in the top 3 for explosive plays? Good one.

            I’ll make another random accusation with no empirical backing – most of Wilson’s explosive plays came off broken plays as a result of him being the best mobile QB in the game. Having more time in the pocket will not give him more broken plays to ad-lib, roll out, and find a WR who has broken off his route to find the ball for 15 yards.

            6. You have just the same evidence (none) to suggest that he will ever develop. His Accuracy dropped after his first year. If you want to do the 2012 comparison again:

            He graded 6th Overall in 2012, but again that was boosted by the #2 Rushing grade (+11.1). His Passing grade once again was just 8th, at a more impressive +30.9 (meaning his grade in 2013 was half of 2012 – that doesn’t sound like development does it?), far short of the 40s and 50s posted by the Elite pocket passers in Peyton, Brees, Rodgers, Brady, and Ryan.

            I am basing my projection based upon a declining Accuracy mark and Passing grade. I’ll restate that he possesses all the required traits for a game manager in spades (intelligence, confidence, poise, leadership). But he will never be Aaron Rodgers (the Elite comparison, as Rodgers is mobile as well as being arguably the best pocket passer in the league).

          • Sid

            His passing grade and accuracy dropped because he was constantly under pressure. When you’re always worried about pressure, you don’t perform as well even on plays where you’re not pressured. Simple as that.

            His 77% accuracy and ELITE +30 passing grade in 2012 demonstrate what he can do with a more reasonable amount of pressure. He is chugging along at a historically unprecedented rate, and no one seems willing to admit it because they can’t see past the lack of volume. Well guess what, Brady wasn’t allowed to throw for volume early in his career and Wilson’s stats are better than what Brady put up back then.

          • Thomas Holm

            Im not quite sure how much the normalization “fixed” the fact that the grades are/were cumulative, so we have to dig deeper than just looking at the grades. (Again, i could be wrong here)

            I just wanted to mention one thing. While Wilson did finish 8th in passing grade, you’re forgetting that he did so on just 407 attempts. The rest of the top 8 had at least 535 attempts (4 of them over 600+). I think we can safely assume his grade would be higher with 600+ attempts. Sure there is a chance it wouldnt be higher, but i highly doubt it.

            I think we can all agree that outside of Peyton Manning (Maybe a healthy Rodgers too), this was a “down” year for QBs (In 2012, 7 QBs posted +35 or higher passing grade, just 1 in 2013) , so Wilson wasnt the only one who had a worse grade than in 2012.

          • Dale GoDawgs McLerran

            No, you are not wrong that each play is graded and that the final grades are based on all plays that an individual is involved in. Consequently, you will find that Aaron Rodgers 2013 grades are lower than a lot of the better starting QBs who played a full season. In missing 7 games, Rodgers just did not have as many plays to accumulate positive grades. Likewise, if there is no problem with the center exchange and no problem with a handoff to a RB, then a QB will not get any grade from running plays (except where the QB keeps the ball on an option run). In fact, non-zero QB grades on running plays will generally be negative: the QB screwed up the exchange.

            Consequently, in an offense like Seattle’s which features the run, Wilson will have fewer opportunities for a positive grade than QBs who are asked to pass 35-40 times/game. For instance, Brees is credited with a grade of 30.7 on 699 dropbacks. Wilson has a grade of 23.2 on 502 dropbacks. Assuming that the chance to positively affect a play is independent of dropback number (which may well be a false assumption), then Wilson’s grade pro-rated to the same number of dropbacks that Brees had would be 32.3.

            Since Wilson grades well in just about every situation, it is probable that he would accumulate more positive grades with more dropbacks. Whether he would accumulate them at the same rate is not known. But in a system where he is asked to carry more of the load, Wilson would be right up there with the elite QBs.

          • Chris

            Thank you for the intelligent response. They are few and far between.

            I hadn’t considered that. I also am with you wondering what the normalization process did to the grades.

            It would be nice if they were more transparent with their background data to their premium members.

        • jacklaughing

          I love when people talking well out of their ass call Wilson nothing more than a great game manager. If you look really closely at Wilson’s first two season and the composition of the Seahawks vs Brady’s first two seasons and the composition of that Pats team then, they’re almost identical in every sense. So when you rate Brady as a “great” or “elite” passer ahead of Wilson, all you’re really saying is that Russell Wilson is on the path to becoming Tom Brady. Because he is.

      • andy tyl

        “So, essentially, Wilson has been good for 5.9 points a game, a yard a
        play, and three extra first downs over Tarvaris Jackson (a.k.a.
        “replacement-level QB”)” (Cold Hard Football Facts, 2014) Another amazing fact is that his over 30% of the total wins are comebacks; the 9 losses of which we had the lead in 7 games, going into the 4th quarter, and the defense blew it (I always try to make this point about our defense, we are very good but not as dominant as the others like 85 Bears, 2000 Ravens, or 2002 Bucs, which actually carried their teams); never have lost by more than 7 points. This team CANNOT win, consistently and in the big games, w/o RW, period. Numberfire just did an analysis and concluded, we are not comparable to those mentioned but we are number one since 2009.

  • Not_Wayne_Rooney

    Was blitzed 2nd most in league. Faced pressure 2nd most often (41%) and 2nd most often having pressure in less than 2 seconds.

    That about sums up his year. Anyone watching Seahawks games saw Russell running for his life often. That’s why his 100 passer rating without Harvin and most of the year without Rice is so impressive. And Zach Miller at TE is not Vernon Davis or Jimmy Graham etc. Zach is a blocker.

    If the Seahawk line is just average this year, look out! Wilson may have a full season with Harvin and now has a 2nd rounder Deon Jackson type (Richardson) and a 6’2″ 4th rounder, who is getting rave reviews from OTA’s.

    Wilson’s numbers with his lack of protection and without a true number 1 receive last year were amazing.

    Looking forward to 2014.

  • Sammy G

    As a 49er fan, I must admit, the numbers prove Russell Wilson is better than I thought he was. I am sure if you check out Kaepernick’s article from yesterday, you guys would say the same. Which just shows how bias and blind hate can cloud objectivity and hard facts.

    I must say I’m impressed by RW’s pros.

    Nevertheless, I think we can both agree that both our respected teams have very bright futures with some very exciting young QBs at the helm.

    Its all going to make for some great years of football, that most NFL fans of other teams, can’t comprehend.

    • andy tyl

      Thank you, sir. You are an intellectual honest Niners fan. I like the Niners as a matter of fact because of JH. He was the Bears qb back then of whom I’ve followed since his days at Michigan. To be honest, I used to like CK a lot but as I’ve watched him play, he seems to lack the “maturity” level and the leadership skills necessary to make sound judgment at times and to lead an organization. If you compare the two, the only BIG difference is the intangibles like Emotional Intelligence and leadership skills; RW is no where close to CK’s physical attributes; the guy is freakishly gifted. Hopefully the guy can grow up and maximize his god-given talents but he needs to improve, drastically, his mental game as to a physical game (all though he REALLY needs to work on those “touch passes”; I’d classify him as an “one-speed” thrower but that can be learned and taught). Being a great qb is not just able to throw the ball through the wall or run likes Usain Bolt; it is about the continuous process in studying film, learning from others, observing, and fine tuning every details of the game, coordinate all the football activities w/ your receivers and OL, demand and expect them to follow certain vision that you have established (be a leader). He needs to follow the process as many great qbs do. As long as he can recognize this part of football and translate this realization to his physical skills then there is no stopping the guy. Training camp next week. Good luck to you and the Niners. What’s next? Go Hawks.

    • Not_Wayne_Rooney

      Yep, it’s difficult to be objective when it’s your arch rival. Both Wilson and Kaepernick have upgraded their receiving corp. Should be a hell of a year. Nice post.

    • Scott@Seattle

      Statistics dont prove anything. Ever. Its hard to imagine something so ridiculous that you couldnt use statistics to ‘prove’ it. The person who makes up the statistic (even assuming its honest which many of them arent) can manipulate the data with ease by changing the definitions of terms or excluding data.