Saturday, December 8, 2012
Where Seahawks' pass game hits groove
By Mike Sando
Our Friday look at the St. Louis Rams' deep passing game required sorting quarterback production by how far passes traveled past the line of scrimmage.
The Rams' Sam Bradford was more effective than most on passes traveling more than 35 yards past the line, for example.
In filtering passes by distance, I noticed a sweet spot for Seattle's Russell Wilson between 16 and 25 yards downfield.
Wilson leads the NFL in passer rating and Total QBR on passes traveling that distance. He attempted only one of them against Arizona in Week 1, completing it for a 27-yard gain while going into two-minute mode shortly before halftime. The Seahawks were conservative in their handling of the rookie quarterback in that game. They're giving him more of the playbook heading into a Week 14 rematch with Arizona.
Arizona's defense ranks second in passer rating allowed and fourth in QBR allowed. The team Wilson dissected last week, Chicago, ranks higher in both. And as the chart shows, the Cardinals' defense has had problems defending passes thrown in the 16-25 range where Wilson has flourished. Arizona has allowed pass plays of 25-plus yards on these throws to Tom Crabtree, Roddy White, Lance Kendricks, Wes Welker, Brent Celek, James Jones, Zach Miller, Harry Douglas and Vernon Davis.
Sidney Rice leads the Seahawks with 10 receptions for 222 yards and a touchdown on these throws. Miller has seven catches for 165 yards on them, followed by Golden Tate with three for 93 yards, Doug Baldwin with three for 62 yards, Ben Obomanu with two for 52 yards and Anthony McCoy with two for 42.
Rice had four catches for 36 yards and a touchdown against Arizona in Week 1.