Johnny Kinsley of LastWordOnSports.com published his annual Deep Ball Project last week, his fifth year doing so. For those unfamiliar, the Deep Ball Project is the premier project done every season on the top-35 deep passers in the NFL, charting passes of 21-25, 26-30, 31-35, 36-40 and 41+ air yards.
This season, the categories charted by Kinsley for the Deep Ball Project were: Clean pockets, pressure, open window, tight window, accurate incompletions, inaccurate completions, air yards, yards after the catch and dropped interceptions. It is a comprehensive list of all the NFL’s passers, counted down from the worst to the best.
In 2018, the Seahawks’ own Russell Wilson finished second in the Deep Ball Project, behind league MVP Patrick Mahomes. Wilson was the NFL’s best deep passer from a clean pocket, completing 66.67% of his throws for 845 yards, five touchdowns and no interceptions. He ranked second in throws between 31-35 yards, as well as deep passes to the left and into a tight window. Nine of Wilson’s career high 35 touchdown passes in 2018 came on throws of 21+ yards.
Check out his full Deep Ball Project chart below:
Kinsley called Wilson’s unbelievable throw down the right sideline to Tyler Lockett against the Chiefs his best of the season—a pretty fair decision, and one could argue that was the best throw of his career.
Russell Wilson's pass to Tyler Lockett was a thing of beauty... Just dropped it out of the sky right into his hands. #Seahawks pic.twitter.com/XpjkZmDd9h— Samuel Gold (@SamuelRGold) December 25, 2018
Since Wilson entered the league in 2012, he has thrown a sexy deep ball, but he made a big jump between 2017 and ‘18 in Kinsley’s rankings, improving from 14th in 2017 to now 2nd. With one of the best deep threats in the NFL in Tyler Lockett, and one of the best vertical passers in Wilson, Seattle will remain an explosive play waiting to happen on offense for years to come.
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