2017 Grade: .594

2017 3rd Down: .580

Week 1 at Green Bay: Seattle never gave Wilson much of a chance. Under duress from the moment he touched the ball on most plays, even Wilson’s extraordinary Houdini act wasn’t enough. He made some incredibly impressive throws on the move, but also missed some key throws — including a potential touchdown on a third and goal situation. Under impossible circumstances, he still posted a solid score, and gave us this tasty treat of superb quarterbacking.

Week 2 vs. San Francisco: Russell Wilson is a terrific player, one of the best quarterbacks in the league. He isn’t, however, Aaron Rodgers or Tom Brady. That’s not a slight at Wilson, there are maybe 10 quarterbacks in the history of the league that can consistently carry a team week-in and week-out. When Wilson is asked to be a drop back quarterback on third and long, he struggles – like 99% of quarterbacks would. In this game, early drops hindered the Seahawks offense. Then, Wilson hit a stretch where he made some really bad plays (the GIF below is the least “Russell Wilson play” I’ve ever seen Wilson make.) Fortunately, the star quarterback took over on the game-winning touchdown drive and saved a dreadful day for the Seattle offense.

Week 3 at Tennessee: I can’t remember a game where Wilson missed so many easy throws. He started off slowly with some high throws, and a pretty poorly played first half – at least till the end of it. He bounced back with two beautiful touch passes up the near sideline, and then played a terrific second half. The nine negative plays were a season high for Wilson, but his 2-point plays gave him an impressive score.

Week 4 vs. Indianapolis: I love when performances prove that the box score means very little. Wilson was tremendous in this game. Evading pressure, dropping dimes in the bucket, throwing against his body, scrambling for huge gains, he did it all. This was the kind of performance that I envisioned when I chose him as my 2017 MVP. Marvel at the GIF below.

Week 5 at Los Angeles Rams: Russell Wilson is such an enigma. The Seahawks would have trouble scoring any points if he were to go down. He is under siege just about every rep and he creates plays more than any other quarterback in football. His ability to keep the play alive and extend drives, in dire circumstances, were largely responsible for the Seahawks earning a massively important division win on the road. There were multiple escape-artist plays to choose from for his GIF, but I went with the negative play because it was so out of character for Wilson.

2016: Business As Usual

The Seahawks loaded Russell Wilson’s plate more than they ever have before. Featuring a lackluster run-game and a neglected offensive line, any production typically comes from Wilson making all-pro level plays.

Despite his perpetual Houdini Act, Wilson rarely takes risks with the football. The shot plays are built-in wheel routes or back shoulder fades, but mostly, they are Wilson escaping pressure and playing sandlot football. This does, however, lead to some problems as his lack of height will cause him to tuck his head and run into a sack or miss a read at times. He doesn’t force balls down the field and is always willing to fight to live another day. He gets away with this because of his propensity to extend plays that are otherwise broken down, but he’s not going to mentally destroy teams before the snap.

Seattle has the majority of its playbook built into safe throws within the scheme.

The Seahawks offensive line couldn’t block spyware – let alone NFL pass rushers. There are more plays where Wilson has to abandon and simply eat a sack than in just about any other NFL city. Doug Baldwin is an exceptional slot receiver and Jimmy Graham is a mismatch nightmare that Wilson better utilized in 2016.

There are too many instances where Wilson will forego taking a shot down the field on third and long and just check it down or scramble for yardage. This has probably been engrained in him by the coaching staff because of Seattle’s dominant defense – but it does inflate his score a tad.

His ability to contort and get the football out while attacking the line of scrimmage among the trees and just flip the ball out is remarkable. He’s nearly impossible to get a clean shot on and frustrates rushers by getting rid of the football just before contact.

By design of the offense, he doesn’t have many opportunities to make two or three-point plays but he executes them at a high level when given the opportunity – particularly squeezing balls into tight-windows down the field.

His arm talent is off the charts. He doesn’t lose velocity regardless of the platform and rarely sacrifices accuracy in cases where he is off balance.

With a better bill of health, improved line play and running game, Wilson should score even higher in 2017.

Stat Sheet

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