Coming into a game with huge playoff implications for the Philadelphia Eagles, it’s poor timing that they’re going up against a quarterback having the best season of his career. Russell Wilson, a top dog in the MVP conversation, is lighting defenses up with alarming regularity.
Nobody has more touchdowns (23), a better QB Rating (114.9), or a better PFF grade (90.1) than the dynamic Wilson. Even with a defense allowing a 4th best 14.7 points per game in their last three games, the Eagles haven’t seen a test like this in a while and when they did they’ve completely collapsed. Perhaps it truly is a different defense; that will be put to the test on Sunday afternoon.
There are two areas to focus on with Wilson that are behind his booming success in 2019. First, his under pressure stats are unreal. Per PFF, he’s been under duress on 43% of his dropbacks (3rd most). It hasn’t mattered. When facing pressure, Wilson had 9 touchdowns (1st) and 1 interception (t-5th least) while completing 57.3% of his attempts (2nd) with a 71.0% adjusted completion percentage (3rd) and a 108.7 QB Rating (2nd). He’s thrown for 1,035 yards in ten games while under pressure, by far the most in the league.
The second area of focus is the Seahawks play-action attack. Over the past three weeks we’ve seen a significant increase in play-action from the Seahawks, jumping up from 23% over the first seven games to 35% in the last three. In their last game against the San Francisco 49ers, they utilized run fakes on 48% of their passing attempts.
That’s trouble for a defense like the Eagles. Jim Schwartz has become notorious for stuffing the box more than any other coach in the league. Their linebackers are fast to flow and get upfield and there’s been a consistent disconnect between the second level and third level in coverage when facing play-action. This plays right into Seattle’s hands.
It wouldn’t make sense for the Seahawks to run play-action any less than they have been. With play-action, Wilson adds 11% to his completion percentage (77% vs. 66%), 2.6 yards extra per attempt (10.3 vs. 7.7), and his 141.2 QB Rating is by far the best in the league. Combine that with a deep ball that has also produced the best QB Rating in the NFL (135.4) and you’ve got a recipe for disaster for the Eagles.
How can the Eagles
stop slow down Wilson and the Seahawks’ offense? We analyzed Wilson’s game and tried to find those answers on The QB Scho Show #41! Listen on the media player below or click here if the player doesn’t load. New to podcasts?! Check out our guide on how to listen to BGN! FLY EAGLES FLY!