Saturday, November 10, 2012
Wilson's progress shows up in red zone
By Mike Sando
The Seattle Seahawks have scored six touchdowns on nine red zone possessions over their past two games.
They had scored six in 18 red zone possessions previously this season.
Their quarterback, Russell Wilson, ranks as one of the NFL's most effective red zone quarterbacks not just over the past couple games, but since Week 4.
Wilson ranks third in NFL passer rating (118.9) in the red zone during that span (min. 5 attempts). Passer rating fails to account for sacks, scrambles, down-and-distance, penalties, air yards and game situations, including whether the quarterback's contributions mattered. Wilson's production holds up even when these factors are taken into account.
The first chart shows the five highest-rated red zone quarterbacks from Week 4 through Week 9, measured by Total QBR. Wilson trails only Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers and Drew Brees. Peyton Manning is fifth. All five have scores in the 90s (100 is maximum). The rest of the league is at 37.3.
The second chart shows the 10 lowest Total QBR scores in the red zone from Week 4 through Week 9.
Those weeks were relevant for Wilson, because they showed clear improvement for a rookie quarterback. He had only one red zone pass attempt in Week 4. His improvement began against Carolina the following week. Wilson completed two of his three red zone attempts with a touchdown in that game.
Wilson completed only 8 of 18 attempts with one touchdown and three first downs on red zone passes over the first three weeks of the season. His receivers could have done more to help at Arizona in Week 1. Braylon Edwards and Doug Baldwin both has chances to make winning catches in the red zone that day. But Wilson has likely improved with experience as well.