Russell Wilson set some of his best marks for the Seattle Seahawks this year. In the regular season. Once the Seahawks hit the playoffs, Wilson’s regular season numbers were the furthest thing from a predictor of success.
Here’s some of the latest colorful explosions from the great Ben Baldwin.
NGS and @nflfastR CPOE finished pretty similar pic.twitter.com/ADBhaX6lVJ— Computer Cowboy (@benbbaldwin) January 4, 2021
Wilson had one of the highest Completion Percentage Over Expectation (CPOE) of the NFL, and Pro Football Focus appreciated him as well. One could argue that having six quarterbacks ahead of him in Predictive EPA is a step back, but the point remains that he played (once again) extremely well.
Meanwhile, the Wild Card loss to the Los Angeles Rams left many wondering: what just happened?
Playoff QBs pic.twitter.com/ZuEvkYIUcb— Computer Cowboy (@benbbaldwin) January 18, 2021
I left in the Jameis Winston play because it is the most redeeming play of the postseason thus far.
But back to the last chart. Russell Wilson was the statistically weakest quarterback of this season’s playoffs. Worse than three backup quarterbacks, Mitchell Trubisky, and Jared Goff.
Wilson has traditionally been among the game’s elite in completion percentage over expected in particular. I’ve always figured it has something to do with people not expecting Tyler Lockett to make one handed catches.
That type of quarterback is not a trade option.* That quarterback is a near lock to lead even a mediocre team to the playoffs every year. That type of quarterback ends the search and lets the GM go find other toys.
*we do not consider the Houston Texans as capable of making rational decisions and therefore refuse to factor Deshaun Watson into this argument.
But suddenly, after another early playoff exit, we have to put up with this.
Seahawks should trade Russell Wilson to Jacksonville for the No. 1 pick. Feel like his relationship with Pete Carroll has run its course, with Pete wanting to return to a run-heavy offense. Can’t see them ever returning to the Super Bowl together. #GoCougs https://t.co/HrjaWLk3us— Jim Moore (@cougsgo) January 17, 2021
That’s from Seattle media, and it’s not an isolated event.
This season has culminated the biggest shift in the perception of Russell Wilson since he entered the league. For years, the Seattle faithful have been fighting back against the rest of the
United Nations country’s disrespect (disRusspect).
Now, it seems he finally has to prove it to his own fan base. By pointing out Wilson’s regular season elite stats, his postseason drop-off (and it’s not just this year), and the response, I’m just trying to highlight a simple observation. People have noticed.
Guys like Ben Baldwin and others have gotten so good at what they do that it’s now easy for a casual fan to find a chart - almost by accident - with much more compelling metrics than passing yards, and conclude “hey Russell Wilson doesn’t play well against good defenses, especially in the playoffs”.
Fans have united around the national media underappreciation of Wilson for a decade. Now, some legitimately want him traded, and I wonder how far he’ll have to go to win them back?
Russell Wilson takes great interest in his brand, and I believe his remarks about the offensive coordinator search make it clear that he feels there is something to prove.