I officially jumped off the Bandwagon two weeks ago. I posted. I got flamed. I went away sulking and resolved to do a deep break down of Russell Wilson's shortcomings when my work schedule calmed down and I had the time to do it right.
Get ready, because this anonymous boob on the internet is about to blow your minds...
I was wrong. I admit it. I embrace it. I love the fact that I was wrong. There you have it. Someone on the internet admitting they were wrong. Apologies if this does indeed usher in the end of the life as we know it.
When Wilson hit the game-winner to Rice I jumped out of my chair screaming, and I didn't stop screaming until Welker got hammered to end it all. I didn't decide on Sunday that I was wrong, but I did wonder. Did I miss something in the first 5 weeks? I haven't been this excited for the Coach's reel since the NFL started selling it last year. I needed to see if this was a fluke, a horrible secondary, or if I was going to have to man up and eat some crow. After breaking down Wilson's throws last night I am hungry for more.
He's still a rookie, and he's going to make us shake our collective heads at times, but this kid has some elite-level deep-ball accuracy. It isn't just the accuracy, although it really is mostly the accuracy, that has me salivating. It's the way Wilson and Bevell were able to manipulate the Safeties, and put them in a no-win situation.
Here's my breakdown of the first Wilson-to-Baldwin hookup. I haven't found a sane way to generate gifs from game rewind yet (tips appreciated) so I can't show the animations, but I can generate screen captures. This play doesn't look like a designed roll-out. Rice and Tate each run 10-yard hooks. Baldwin appears to be a go. Miller is assigned to run either a post or a dig.
What happens is that as soon as Wilson breaks weak side contain the strong side safety rolls over the top of Miller. From the endzone you can see it very clearly
Side note: Kudos to Miller for being able to climb on top of the LB. If he doesn't get over the LB I'm not sure the safety rolls. In this case the throw probably would have gone to Miller, but for around half the yardage. Because Miller gets on top of his man the safety rolls over to help, I assume thinking that due to the roll out the strong side is dead.
The safety rolling leaves Baldwin 1:1 with his Man. I'm going to infer from the fact that the corner took outside leverage that the safety was supposed to be over-the-top. That becomes the last piece of the puzzle which is Baldwin seeing the safety roll and bending his go route to the play side. Without this adjustment the throw would have needed to be about 8-15 yards longer. The rest is Wilson getting his hips in the right alignment to send a throw down that field that has no business looking as effortless as this one did. I'm considering asking this throw to the homecoming dance as soon as I can find her number in the student directory.
This thing went 58 yards in the air (accounting for the angle of the throw), and is placed exactly where it needed to be. No adjustment back to the ball. No chance for the DB to get back into the play. Nothing but net.
Now I get it. Now I see what Carroll, Gruden, et. al. have been raving about. If this thing can develop and build it's going to be special. If only being wrong was always this enjoyable.