Huard: Breaking down Seahawks QB Russell Wilson’s amazing first 5 games
Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson has been downright dominant through the first five games of the 2019 season.
That continued Thursday night in Seattle’s 30-29 win over the Rams, as Wilson completed 17 of 23 passes for 268 yards, four touchdowns and no interceptions. Throwing four TDs with no picks is quite the achievement on its own, but it’s just another day at the park for Wilson, who has thrown a whopping 12 TDs to zero interceptions this season. Wilson just may challenge Tom Brady’s record of only two interceptions in 2016, and Brady did that playing in only 12 games.
One of 710 ESPN Seattle’s resident quarterbacks, Brock Huard, joined Danny and Gallant Friday to answer some football questions on Blue 42, and he had a lot to say about Wilson’s incredible start to the season. Let’s take a look at a few of his statements.
A class of two
Kansas City’s Patrick Mahomes, the 2018 NFL MVP, is widely considered the league’s best QB, but Huard said Wilson is right up there with Mahomes with the way he’s playing.
“He proved that, as far as playing this position right now in the NFL, the only guy playing better is Patrick Mahomes,” Huard said.
Perhaps the biggest reason why is Wilson’s ability to create plays as opposed to just waiting for plays to develop, something that was on display throughout the win over the Rams.
“What he did (against the Rams), stepping up, stepping through, stepping over, and then throwing with deadly accuracy on the run, that’s what he and Patrick do at a level better than anybody else going on planet Earth right now,” Huard said.
Huard, who has been covering Wilson in Seattle since he was drafted by the Seahawks, noted that Wilson’s game elicited comments from Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll that were unlike any he had heard before.
“I have never heard Pete Carroll praise Russell Wilson publicly the way that he did in that press conference (after the game Thursday night),” Huard said. “It was almost as if Pete felt what I felt, and that was the degree of difficulty for which he made look so easy was, in Pete’s words, exquisite.”
Why didn’t the Seahawks let Wilson pass more?
When a quarterback throws four touchdowns and makes just six incompletions on 23 attempts, it’s worth asking why he didn’t get the chance to throw more than that. Danny O’Neil, a longtime Seahawks reporter who has also been covering Wilson since he arrived in town, had an explanation.
“Given the pass rush he was under, he was dancing and avoiding – it looked like he could avoid raindrops, how nimble he was – and if he’d thrown more times he might have ended up taking more of a beating,” O’Neil said of Wilson, who was surprisingly sacked just once by Los Angeles.
Huard responded by remarking about Wilson’s knack for getting a pass out just in the nick of time: “The number of times he just gets the ball out of his hand and just gets whacked. I mean, the timing and the feel to do it.”
Wilson’s best play yet
There was one play that stood out above the rest from Wilson on Thursday night – his picture-perfect touchdown pass on the run to Tyler Lockett in the corner of the end zone.
Huard pointed out that the play, statistically, was about as unlikely as it gets. In fact, according to Next Gen Stats, that throw had a completion probability of just 6.9%, making it the most improbable completion of the past two seasons (watch a video here of the TD pass with a look at some of the remarkable numbers connected to it).
Russell Wilson & Tyler Lockett's 13-yard TD in the back of the end zone is the MOST IMPROBABLE completion of the last two seasons (6.3%).@TDLockett12 was 0.2 yards from the sideline and 1.1 yards from the back of the end zone when the pass arrived.#TNFonPrime | @Seahawks pic.twitter.com/vgPRim3Q3h
— Next Gen Stats (@NextGenStats) October 4, 2019
“To me, this time the numbers and the stats meet my eye perfectly, and that was on his throw and his touchdown to Tyler Lockett. The Next Gen STATS say that that was the most improbable throw and catch touchdown in the league this year, and I don’t know if you’re going to see one more improbable,” Huard said.
Based off of his experience as a former NFL QB himself, Huard was as amazed as anybody about Wilson’s connection with Lockett.
“Having played the position, all I can tell you is never in my wildest dreams would I have ever been able to do that. There’s about, what, 90 or so guys on this planet being paid to play quarterback in the NFL? I don’t know if there are three of them that could make that throw (Wilson did).”
Listen to the full Blue 42 segment with Huard in the player embedded below.