Seahawks: Russell under pressure

| 2 years ago

Seahawks: Russell under pressure

PFF-headlinesRussell Wilson is under more pressure more than any other quarterback in the NFL. No, we’re not talking about the pressure to repeat as Super Bowl Champions. We’re talking about defenders. A league-leading 46% of Russell’s dropbacks are pressured.

You could argue that Russell invites that pressure himself, with an average time to pass attempt of 2.90 seconds – longest in the NFL.  Does Wilson struggle with the quick decisions?  Is he gaining something that other QBs aren’t with that extra time?

Our Quarterback Time in Pocket stats suggest “no” on both counts.

When Wilson does get rid of the ball quickly (2.5 seconds or less), he actually has the top QB rating in the league (113.2) and a gaudy 73.9% completion rate.

When he holds on to the ball 2.6 seconds or longer (54% of his dropbacks) his QB rating (75.7) plummets to 17th in the league.

So as the Seahawks gear up for another playoff run, they may want to consider leaning on what’s worked for them this season – getting the ball out quickly!

  • SeattleGuy

    When the pocket disappears and RW starts to improvise, he is much more dangerous than your simple analysis would indicate. First, let’s be honest. He often gets flushed out of the pocket and simply throws the ball away. Other times he gets sacked as when the Cards sacked him 7 times at the Clink and pressured him often in the desert. But when they missed, he threw long passes against them or ran for big yardage.

    In fact if you combine your numbers with Brian Billick’s Toxic Differential, another “relationship” emerges. When you pressure Russell Wilson, you’d better damn well get to him or he’s going to kill you with big plays. Seattle leads the NFL in big play differential by a wide margin. Anyone paying attention can see that RW more than makes up for this fall off in QBR when he scrambles. He often breaks off big runs or throws long passes to wide open receivers or Marshawn Lynch. These are the plays that break a defense down and determine the outcome of a game. I can attest to that firsthand as a former Ram’s fan when Dryer and Youngblood would end up exhausted and totally frustrated chasing Fran Tarkenton for what seemed like a minute at a time.

    So, don’t make the mistake of thinking Seattle is better off with quick passes. That a red herring as the team’s Toxic Differential proves. As one fan posted a few weeks ago, sure the Hawks O-line is crap and yes the receivers are garbage but Seattle leads the league in big plays? His recommendation? Throw away the play book. Who cares if your opponent sacks you for a 10 yard loss 5 times a game, if you offset that with a few 50-yard throws and runs? No DB can cover a pro receiver no matter how bad they are for 5 to10 seconds.

    • osoviejo

      Good stuff, but I wouldn’t dismiss the PFF conclusions entirely. When it comes to big plays, and successful extended plays, Russell Wilson was a lot better last season (although I have no idea why).

      The Seahawks had 38 “big” pass plays last season. With one game to play in 2014, it’s 23. The biggest contributor to the gaudy toxic differential numbers in 2014 is a defense that has been far more consistent against the run than they were last year (48 allowed in 2013, 29 allowed in 2014).

      As for the extended play performance of Wilson, I’ll just note that his passer rating last season on such plays was 92, this year it’s 75.

      I’ve also been troubled by the big dip in yards per attempt this season, although it has certainly looked better recently. The improved defense since week 11 has gotten a lot of attention, but I’d be curious to see how some of those numbers that have been historical strengths for Wilson (deep passing accuracy, yards per attempt) have changed over that period as well.

      • SDHawk

        In 2013, Golden Tate lead the league in yards after the catch (of WR with at least 50 rec). Better than Demaryius Thomas, Julio Jones and Josh Gordon. This season, Golden Tate (7.3 YAC) is behind just DeSean Jackson (7.4 YAC). I may have an idea as to why Wilson was a lot better last season in making big plays.

        Going into the 2013 season, the Seahawks were envisioning 3-Wide sets featuring Sidney Rice, Percy Harvin and Golden Tate. I think it’s safe to say that things haven’t gone as planned. This season they’ve been featuring some combination Doug Baldwin, Jermaine Kearse, Ricardo Lockette and Paul Richardson. By my count, that’s three undrafted free agents and one rookie.

        With the above, I’m less concerned with Wilson’s passing metrics and more appreciative of how he’s made up for it with rushing. Wilson, who is having yet another historic season, is on pace to finish 6th, all time, in rushing yards by a Quarterback. All this guy does is find ways to win.

        I get that people want to measure a Quarterback by his passing metrics but let’s save the evaluations of Wilson, the passer, for when he has better weapons.

        • SDHawk

          Edit: Wilson is currently 6th, all time, in rushing yards by a Quarterback. He is on pace to finish 5th.

      • SeattleGuy

        Ososviejo- I think the big drop off in YAC is a combination of the loss of Tate AND Harvin’s horrible numbers. Check out his yards per catch and you’ll quickly see why the Hawks gave up on him. He was definitely not worth targeting. In Tate’s case, the team could not keep him and Russell on the same roster. (See the rumors columns for Seattle’s worst-kept-secret)

        I think the loss of both #1 and #2 receivers has killed RWs passer rating this year, not that I think we need them to win. As the Seahawks have proven this year, it’s always easy to find someone open after five seconds. Hell, I think you’d be open by then. Russell will simply have to throw the ball away, run or eat it a little more often than the average QB.

        • eYeDEF

          Rumors stay rumors for a reason, because they can’t be substantiated as fact and should not be cited like they are.

    • Hawkman54

      All correct – But wouldn’t it be nice to have an o-line that would allow RW and the team to just function normally and do what they planned to do???
      I certainly think so !!!!

      • SeattleGuy

        Absolutely, hawkman. I hope JS & PC focus on the o-line for next year. My wish is for biga$$ run blockers, so Marshawn and Russell can choose where they want to run. Watch Will Tukufu’s effect on Turbin’s runs on Sunday. He is a phenomenal addition. He was even sent in to rush the passer in the 4th quarter.

        Play action will take care of the passing side of the offense. Our receivers are good enough, not to mention decent free agents will flock to Seattle for a ring in the autumn of their careers after the Hawks win another Lombardi in February.

        • LightsOut85

          It seems that (the FOs of) teams with RB who can break tackles at an elite level &/or QBs who can readily scramble rarely invest in OL. (Thinking, “Well, they can put up all these numbers with much less of an OL than players with similar production, so we should invest the money elsewhere”). It may work good-enough in the end, but it’s probably not the best long-term choice. Good luck getting those OL.

      • David Stinnett

        They can only hold so long. A fast, tall (open) receiver could help so that someone’s open sooner

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    • Brandon

      All fair points, but when he gets rid of the ball fast he might not be throwing a 30 yard+ pass but hes getting rid of the ball and having success doing it. And that puts the defense on its heels a little and forces them to get out of the box. Which then allows lynch to run against an honest defense. Which allows russell wilson to have even more success when scrambling because the spy LB cant simply spy wilson because the chance of a quick pass.

      Imagine if wilson could throw a slant… the nfl wouldnt be able to stop him.

      • RA

        He can throw slants, Bevell just never calls the damn things.

        • LightsOut85

          IDK about 2014, but according to that super in-depth QB report PFF put out last year, he threw them at an above-average rate.

    • RA

      I wouldnt call all the wr’s trash, Baldwin is arguably a top 5 slot wr in the nfl. I put alot of blame on poor routes designs from Bevell.

  • NoBeezwax

    Seattle wanted Bitonio and traded down when he was taken before them. They should have been more aggressive and traded up a bit.

    • Johnny Twobutts

      Fans everywhere(other than Seattle) should be glad the Seahawks were not able to draft Bitonio. Can you imagine that running attack?

    • David Stinnett

      Seattle was looking at Luck and Wilson and decided on Wilson. Beforehand.

  • ;ldk

    YOu can’t say WIlson isn’t a quick decision maker. When he scrambles against a blitz, there’s an advantage for the offense. less men in coverage. he’s exposing the inherent faults of a blitz. He can also identify pre snap favorable match ups. just look at him throwing on blitzes. he’ll stand in the pocket take the hit and find Baldwin for >15 yrd pass or Willson up the seams over a bad coverage LB immediately