Around the NFC West: Wilson's deep passes

October, 17, 2012
10/17/12
8:41
AM ET
Russell Wilson's five longest pass completions against the New England Patriots accounted for 200 of his 293 yards passing.

The Seattle Seahawks rookie hit for gains of 51, 50, 46, 29 and 24 yards. There was also a 22-yarder to tight end Zach Miller on a pass delivered into tight quarters.



Wilson now has five touchdowns on deep throws, defined as those traveling more than 20 yards past the line of scrimmage. That figure leads the NFL. It also includes game-winning strikes against preseason NFL favorites Green Bay and New England.

It's likely Wilson will have a much harder time completing similar passes when the Seahawks visit the San Francisco 49ers on Thursday night.

The 49ers are one of two NFL teams yet to allow a scoring pass on these 21-plus throws (Pittsburgh is the other), according to ESPN Stats & Information. They have veteran safeties in Dashon Goldson and Donte Whitner. The Patriots had rookies Tavon Wilson and Nate Ebner at safety on Wilson's winning 46-yard pass to Sidney Rice. By then, injuries had forced starters Patrick Chung and Steve Gregory from the game.

Wilson does throw an outstanding deep ball, no matter who is in coverage. That is one reason he has already outperformed predecessor Tarvaris Jackson on throws traveling more than 20 yards downfield.

Jackson completed 16 of 52 passes (30.8 percent) for 609 yards with two touchdowns and four interceptions when throwing passes traveling more than 20 yards past the line of scrimmage. Jackson was hit and/or under duress on two of the intercepted deep throws, including one as the first half ended during a Week 3 game against Arizona. The two others were fourth-quarter throws in the final 30 seconds when Seattle trailed by more than one score.

Wilson has completed 10 of 19 such throws (52.6 percent) for 344 yards with five scores and one interception. The lone pick came on a Hail Mary throw to end the first half at Arizona.

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