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Looking at Russell Wilson’s 2018 efficiency, Part Deux

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NFL: NFC Wild Card-Seattle Seahawks at Dallas Cowboys Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Thursday I started a review of Russell Wilson’s efficiency throwing the football over the course of the 2018 season, and in that piece we started looking at passing game of the 2018 Seattle Seahawks by looking the defensive coverages on the nine longest pass plays for the team this past season.

Continuing on with that, this piece is going to look at eleven pass plays by the offense which yielded gains of 29 to 42 yards. Just as in the Thursday piece, only passes that travel more than twenty yards past the line of scrimmage are included, thus we once again see a Will Dissly catch and run excluded (this time it was his 34 yard reception in Week 2 against the Chicago Bears. In any case, jumping right to the film, here are the eleven passing plays we are looking at today. These plays are in the order in which they happened over the course of the season.

By fan request, here is the full list of the plays that we are looking in this piece as pulled by the Pro-Football-Reference.com Game Play Finder. Of note is that the first two are not in chronological order, so that is why the descriptions below will not match up perfectly with the order from the table.

1st & 10, 9:19 in Q2. Seahawks leading the Los Angeles Rams 13-10. The first play is a deep pass to Tyler Lockett, and it’s fairly obvious that he’s behind the cornerback who has no safety help over the top.

3rd & 6, 1:41 in the Q3; score tied 24-24 against the Los Angeles Rams. Not difficult to see that David Moore has made his way behind the corner and the safety is in no position to be of assistance.

2nd & 11, 6:14 in Q3; Seahawks leading Oakland Raiders 20-0. That’s Doug Baldwin behind the cornerback with no safety help anywhere in sight.

1st & 10, 8:57 in Q2; Seahawks losing to the Los Angeles Chargers 12-7. Once again we see Doug Baldwin breaking past the cornerback on the deep left side with no safety in any position to be able to provide help.

2nd & 10, 1:19 Q4; Seahawks down 31-36 to the Los Angeles Rams. Lockett is bracketed on this play (that’s him at the 47 on the far side of the field), and there is over the top safety help on the near side of the field. Wilson buys time with his legs, and the downfield coverage breaks down, allowing Lockett to come open in the middle of the field.

1st & 10, 6:41 in Q4; Seahawks losing 20-24 to the Green Bay Packers. On this play Wilson has his choice of hitting Baldwin or Lockett, both of whom are open. Baldwin is the receiver at the 36, while Lockett is at the 27. Rather than zipping the ball through a beautiful throwing lane to Baldwin, he lofts a near perfectly placed ball to Lockett crossing the field.

4th & 3, 3:33 in Q4; Seahawks losing 20-27 to the Carolina Panthers. This play has been looked at in depth in multiple other pieces, and it’s obvious that it’s one on one with Moore deep to the left.

3rd & 5, 5:29 in Q2; Seahawks losing to the San Francisco 49ers 6-14. On this play Wilson buys time with his legs once again and Baldwin slides into an open area behind the underneath layer of the zone.

2nd & 19, 2:44 in Q4; Seahawks leading the Kansas City Chiefs 31-28. That’s Baldwin with the matchup the offense wants inside the 20 yard line with no safety help.

3rd & 3, 1:31 in Q1; Seahawks down 3-0 to the Arizona Cardinals. I’m sure this was some sort of miscommunication by the defense, because two defensive backs covering Ed Dickson on a TE screen (that’s Dickson at the 28 yard line jogging down the field) while no one covers Tyler Lockett streaking down the field doesn’t seem like a sound defensive strategy.

1st & 10, 1:02 in Q4; Seahawks tied with the Arizona Cardinals 24-24. Once again the Cardinals have managed to leave Lockett uncovered streaking down the field, and this play moved the team into position to kick the game winning field goal.

The common thread of no or limited safety help is not quite as prevalent on these throws, as there are a couple of plays on which Wilson threw to a player who was double covered, or at least in the vicinity of two defenders. However, both of those throws took place in the final five minutes of the game, with the Seahawks losing both times. Thus, a little less risk aversion does not seem too big of a deal, since the game is already at risk of slipping away.