Russell Wilson is off to a good start this season as a passer. By now, you should know that. But to better understand the context of the year that Wilson is having, his first under an offensive coordinator who is not Darrell Bevell, we should review the seven game starts he had prior to Brian Schottenheimer’s arrival with the Seattle Seahawks.
Wilson through seven games in 2012:
104-of-175, 1,230 yards, eight touchdowns, seven interceptions, 79.5 rating, 14 sacks, 35 carries for 119 yards.
Wilson through seven games in 2013:
115-of-187, 1,489 yards, 11 touchdowns, four interceptions, 97.2 rating, 20 sacks, 58 carries for 323 yards
Wilson through seven games in 2014:
135-of-207, 1,490 yards, 11 touchdowns, three interceptions, 98.1 rating, 15 sacks, 7.2 Y/A, 44 carries for 362 yards
Wilson through seven games in 2015:
142-of-204, 1,668 yards, eight touchdowns, five interceptions, 97 rating, 31 sacks, 8.18 Y/A, 52 carries for 271 yards
Wilson through seven games in 2016:
158-of-241, 1,812 yards, five touchdowns, two interceptions, 91.5 rating, 12 sacks, 7.52 Y/A, 25 carries for 44 yards
Wilson through seven games in 2017:
164-of-258, 2,008 yards, 15 touchdowns, four interceptions, 100.4 rating, 16 sacks, 7.78 Y/A, 36 carries for 194 yards, one touchdown
As you can see, Wilson’s attempts through seven games went up every year other than 2015, when he dipped by three attempts. Over the course of the whole season, his pass attempts have gone up successively since year one, topping out at 553 attempts in 2017, his first without a playoff berth. Utilizing Wilson as a rushing threat peaked in 2014 (118 carries, 849 yards), but he still had 95 attempts and 586 yards last year.
That’s not going to happen in 2018, but Wilson is still on pace to have the best season of his career as a passer. It turns out that “Wilson needs to be a dual threat to be effective” is yet another Wilson myth that needs to be dispelled.
Wilson through seven games in 2018:
120-of-182, 1,556 yards, 16 touchdowns, four interceptions, 112.8 rating, 21 sacks, 8.55 Y/A, 19 carries for 77 yards
Wilson passed for more yards through seven games in each of the last three years, including almost 33% more in 2017, but he’s not being asked to pass it nearly as much and his efficiency per pass has gone from 7.8 Y/A to 8.5 Y/A. He’s thrown 16 touchdowns (tying Dave Krieg for most touchdown passes by a Seattle QB through seven games) on 76 fewer attempts than he had in 2017. He’s one of the top rated passers in the pocket. He’s one of the top rated passers outside of the pocket. He’s maybe the best passer in the league on play action.
Yes, Russell Wilson is good and historically, he’s always gotten better as the season goes on.
Russell Wilson was expected to complete just 45.8% of passes today according to our Completion Probability model.@DangeRussWilson completed 82.4% (14 for 17), +36.5% Above Expectation, the highest single-game xComp +/- recorded over the last three seasons.#SEAvsDET #Seahawks pic.twitter.com/hYapH0jrIL— Next Gen Stats (@NextGenStats) October 29, 2018
He’s good with Bevell. He’s good with Schottenheimer. He’s good with Paul Richardson. He’s good with David Moore. He’s good with Jimmy Graham. He’s good with Will Dissly or Ed Dickson or Nick Vannett or Tyrone Swoopes. He’s good with Marshawn Lynch. He’s good with Chris Carson. He’s good when the defense has the Legion of Boom. He’s good when the defense has literally none of those guys.
The only variable that has not been removed or replaced at this point is Carroll. And I imagine that for awhile after Carroll opts to leave, Wilson will still be good. People may still deny it or make excuses to the contrary, but it won’t really matter ... Russell Wilson will still be good.