First, a quick reminder: There are more important measures for a quarterback than passing yards (completion percentage, efficiency, scoring, etc.). But since it’s the offseason, let’s focus on an easy-to-digest numbers game involving passing yards, just for the fun of it.
As in, how many will Russell Wilson throw for in year two?
Here’s a quick rundown of how Wilson fared statistically compared to other quarterbacks in the league a year ago (These numbers don’t include the postseason):
- 3,118 passing yards as a rookie. That ranked him 23rd in the NFL, just ahead of Jay Cutler, Christian Ponder and Mark Sanchez and just behind Ryan Tannehill, Ben Roethlisberger and RGIII.
- 393 attempts. That ranked him 25th in the league. It’s also the same number of attempts by RGIII. It was the fewest attempts by any regular starting quarterback.
- 64.1 completion percentage. That ranked him tied for 8th in the league with Phillip Rivers. The quarterbacks ahead of him? Matt Ryan, Peyton Manning, Aaron Rodgers, RGIII, Tony Romo and Matt Schaub. The guys right behind him? Ben Roethlisberger, Drew Brees and Tom Brady.
So, what’s a realistic target for Wilson this season?
There are a couple of factors worth weighing. For starters, he returns every important receiver from last year, plus adds one of the league’s most versatile and explosive players in Percy Harvin. The Seahawks also became more comfortable with letting him loose as the season went on, particularly when it came to throws down the field. All of that should add up for the chance for more big plays this season.
But there’s another side, too. The Seahawks are still going to be a team that relies heavily on the running game. Much of their passing game last year revolved around play action and the ability to first run the football. From the sounds of it, that shouldn’t change this season with Marshawn Lynch back, Robert Turbin more experienced and rookie Christine Michael being added to the mix in the backfield.
My guess, if I had to? Wilson passes for somewhere around 3,700 yards this season, which would average out to around 230 yards per game. He averaged 195 yards a game as a rookie. With the fact the Seahawks want to run the ball a lot, and also with the possibility that they will be ahead in the second half in a decent amount of games, Wilson shouldn’t be needed to air it out.
Previous 15 Questions in 15 Days: