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Seahawks vs. 49ers: PFF Signature Stats of the Week

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Troy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports

Back at you with another week of Signature Stats and other notables from Pro Football Focus, via our friend Jim Seki. Big thanks to Seki as always for working closely with us to put together some interesting looks at trends and patterns for the Seahawks.

Opponent time to throw:

First up, here's a look at the average time that each team's defense sees opposing quarterbacks take to throw.

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Jim and I took a look at this stat because it was a theory of mine that Seattle wasn't "finishing" and getting sacks early in the year because opposing quarterbacks were getting the ball out too quickly. Well, the stats debunked that theory somewhat, because as we've pointed out over the last few weeks, Seattle opponents actually take a relatively long time to throw -- now 8th slowest among all the league's teams.

It should be noted though that this time-to-throw number is dropping (getting quicker) and may coincide with Seattle's recent success in getting sacks. Seattle got four sacks at Cincinnati and three against the Panthers after starting out the first four games with just eight total sacks.

Take a look:

Opponent TTT
Team (defense) 2014 2015
NE 2.904 2.945
NO 2.668 2.931
SF 2.817 2.864
CHI 2.800 2.830
TEN 2.578 2.800
GB 2.664 2.792
CAR 2.677 2.724
SEA 2.698 2.706
NYG 2.837 2.695
TB 2.544 2.650
NYJ 2.605 2.636
JAX 2.756 2.628
SD 2.733 2.627
BLT 2.512 2.613
ARZ 2.755 2.604
IND 2.548 2.599
HST 2.586 2.583
MIA 2.554 2.581
WAS 2.753 2.568
PHI 2.897 2.565
CLV 2.781 2.557
KC 2.605 2.524
DET 2.577 2.521
CIN 2.717 2.518
MIN 2.682 2.471
OAK 2.575 2.450
DAL 2.644 2.444
ATL 2.741 2.431
DEN 2.682 2.414
PIT 2.662 2.404
SL 2.480 2.394
BUF 2.735 2.280

As you can see, Seattle is inching closer to their opponent time-to-throw from 2014. Not sure if we need to study this stat closely all year now that more sacks are coming, but it's an interesting one.

PFF Signature Stats

Jim's signature stats in italics, and my thoughts follow.

-- Russell Wilson had the highest YIA rate this week at 76.5%. Yet again he also leads all QBs in pressure rate, passing under duress on exactly half of his dropbacks.

Russell Wilson continues to push the ball down the field, which is awesome. This stat above says that 76.5-percent of Wilson's passing yardage comes in the air (Yards in Air percentage), meaning he's not just throwing screens and getting a bunch of yards after the catch from his playmakers. His passing is primarily downfield, and as Jim points out, it's pretty crazy this is the case considering how much Wilson is under pressure.

More on that here...

-- Russell Wilson continues to excel while passing under pressure—he currently ranks fourth with a 77.8% accuracy rate under duress. Colin Kaepernick is on the opposite end of the spectrum, ranking second-to-last with only at 48.9%. The 49er defense allows the opposing QB 2.86 seconds to throw this year, slightly up from 2.81 last year. Their 2.86 seconds is third-most, so Wilson, along with his scrambling ability, should theoretically have more time to throw.

Again, Wilson showing that when life gives you lemons, make lemonade. His completion percentage under pressure is impressive, and while I do think that there are times when Wilson could respond better to pressure -- i.e., step up from the outside rush to deliver a throw rather than try to spin away from pressure -- when you're getting pressured on half of your snaps I can see why he is leaning on his instinct to survive.

As for the Niners' opponent time-to-throw numbers...

-- Pressure from the Niners front has been nonexistent this year. Starting DEs Glenn Dorsey and Quinton Dial are 43rd and 44th in 3-4 DE pass rush productivity...there are only 49 eligible DEs. Starting DT Ian Williams only has a 2.6 PRP which is 53rd of 63.

That's good news, obviously. If Seattle can give Wilson time to throw, he has shown he can really slice and dice. Which leads me to the next stat...

-- Wilson's 119.0 QB rating when his time in the pocket exceeds 2.6 seconds is the third-highest among QBs, behind only Tom Brady and Ben Roethlisberger.

Man, can you just imagine a world where Russell Wilson had clean pockets with time to throw? As long as we're dreaming, I'd also like a pony.

-- Jimmy Graham leads all TEs this week with his 4.00 YPRR.

I thought the Seahawks had no idea how to use this guy. In seriousness, it's great to see Wilson and Graham find some chemistry on those "scramble rule" plays, and I have the feeling this is going to be huge the rest of the year. If Graham can get involved in this area that's going to really augment his role in this offense, obviously.

-- Kaepernick uses play action on 28.7% of his dropbacks, third-most for QBs. His -6.1% completion differential with and without play action is way below average but his YPA for both are about league average.

No surprise - the Niners have always heavily featured play action. Let's see how it affects the Seahawks as they get into their zone drops. The main guys to watch will be the linebackers here.

-- Doubt he plays but newly resigned C Lemuel Jeanpierre last year had a pass block efficiency of 97.9 on 105 snaps. This year, Drew Nowak is at 96.4 while Patrick Lewis is at 95.6, both of whom are in the bottom-third among Cs.

It always confused me a little that the Seahawks released Jeanpierre in the first place, though it does say a ton that he was not signed anywhere else after being released. I would agree that it seems unlikely he'll play this week barring injury.

-- Erik Pears is one of the worst RTs currently grading at -11.2. The Avril/Bennett combination should have a field day against him and at the very least, make the Niners cheat to their right side, opening up space for other guys on the weak side. Grade-wise they're a combined +12.5 with 35 pressures*.

Definitely something to watch for.

-- Richard Sherman has been targeted 35 times by Niner quarterbacks and while he has allowed 13 receptions, he also has four INTs, resulting in a minuscule 18.6 QB rating (*Russell Wilson Era in SF/SEA games).

Speaks for itself.

-- The current weather report shows no high winds and a comfortable 75F at kickoff. Niners kickoff man Bradley Pinion has an average kickoff distance of 73.3, second-best in the league. He's had 22 of 27 KOs go for touchbacks and thus could neutralize Tyler Lockett and his 26.5 KO return average.

Bummer.

PFF Links:

-- Best players at their position in Week 6—Jimmy Graham and Earl Thomas both make the list.

--Ten things you need to know from Week 6—Jimmy Graham and Russell Wilson are atop the list.

-- Week 7 Power Rankings—Seattle slid from 7th to 13th.

-- PFF Podcast where one of the topics is the Seahawks/Panthers game, touching on Seattle's defensive breakdowns.

-- Top 10 slot WRs so far with Doug Baldwin ranking first! Interestingly ex-Seahawks Golden Tate and Bryan Walters round out the tenth and honorable mention spots.

-- Current Top 10 safeties in the league—Earl Thomas with a 90.2 overall rating good for third.

-- Grade recaps from the Week 6 Seahawks and 49ers games.