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The Film Room: Russell Wilson’s perfect lob to Jimmy Graham

New York Jets v Seattle Seahawks Photo by Kevin Casey/Getty Images

Before we move on to the Seattle Seahawks-Atlanta Falcons this weekend, I wanted to take a step back and look at the offensive tape from the New York Jets game back in Week 4. Instead of posting this in my usual video format, I decided to do a write-up of my favorite throw Russell Wilson made during the game.

This play happened right at the start of the second quarter.

The Seahawks have a 2nd-and-11 from their own 7-yard line. Here's the ALL-22 angle of the play:

Before the snap, Wilson motions Doug Baldwin across the formation. Thinking Wilson is about to snap the ball, safety Calvin Pryor shows his intent and approaches the line of scrimmage.

If you watched my Greg Olsen video breakdown (here), this is a key tell that allows the Seahawks to readjust their protection to pick up the blitzer with Christine Michael. In addition to protection, this also gives Wilson an indication on the Jets’ secondary on the right side of the field. With Graham’s out-n-up route, Wilson knows that linebacker Darron Lee will be the only defender in the area responsible giving him a one-on-one match-up as the free safety is by the left hash marks at the time of the snap.

After the snap, New York is playing “Cover 1 man” with a deep safety and man-to-man on the wide receivers.

Michael cut blocks Pryor — His form is definitely not textbook, completely leaving his feet, but it works to bring down the edge rusher.

Wilson locates the safety to confirm the coverage and then finds Graham, lobbing it to him. Wilson’s throw was completely based on arm strength as he didn’t step into it. At the time of the throw, Lee has good coverage, but pay close attention to how Jimmy Graham runs his route.

Graham fakes the out-portion around the 20-yard line and this is what grants the quarterback the window to place his pass. Wilson gets destroyed after his throw since Bradley Sowell completely whiffs on his cut block.

For this play to happen, many things had to go right in quick succession:

  1. Wilson adjusting the protection with Michael’s cut block on Pryor
  2. Wilson’s perfectly lobbed pass
  3. Graham’s head fake to create enough separation for the throw

These are the type of plays that energize a team. It definitely showed on the field as the Seahawks drove down the field to take a lead they would never give up.

If you haven't already checked out my film breakdown on Richard Sherman versus Brandon Marshall make sure you give that a look (here). Also, let me know what you think about this format versus video too!