The few, the proud
The field gets even narrower when looking for quarterbacks who have been efficient and explosive. Yards per attempt is a good way to measure explosiveness in the passing game. Netting 8.5 YPA has been done 75 times in NFL history (min 200 attempts), including by two players (Nick Foles, Aaron Rodgers) last season. There have only been three seasons in league history where a player has completed at least 70% of their passes and had 8.5+ YPA.
Two of those players, Montana and Young, won the MVP for those efforts. Brees finished second to Peyton Manning in 2009. More importantly, all three players won a Super Bowl in the year they accomplished this combination of explosion and efficiency.
Where Russell is, where he could be
|If 70% CMP||285||407||3357||70%||8.25||26||9||106.9|
|Russell Wilson 2013 Season If 70% Completion Rate|
I did not modify yards per attempt at this point, and also did not adjust pass attempts. Because yardage, touchdowns and interceptions are usually projected based on attempts, those numbers do not change. I was tempted to hang them off of completions instead, but it starts to get a little harder to follow. For now, the important thing to understand is that Wilson would have needed 28 more completions last season, or 1.75 more per game, to be a 70% passer.
Now, let’s start projecting 2014 if he was at that 70% completion rate and we play with the idea that he will attempt more passes and have a higher yards per attempt.
|2014 Projections w/70%||CMP||ATT||YDS||CMP %||YPA||TD||INT||RAT|
|25.5 ATT/G (like 2013)||285||408||3357||70%||8.25||26||9||106.9|
|25.5 ATT/G & 8.5 YPA||285||408||3468||70%||8.5||26||9||107.8|
|28 ATT/G & 8.5 YPA||314||448||3808||70%||8.5||29||10||108.1|
|Russell Wilson 2014 Projections|
You can see in the first two rows that touchdowns and interceptions do not change because the attempts have not changed. The second row shows what Wilson’s 2013 season would have projected to be if his completion rate was 70% and he raised his YPA to 8.5. More interesting are the last two rows that increase his pass attempts as well. Averaging more attempts per game this season seems likely as the team has incredible strength in the receiving corps, and there will be more short passes and screens to feature a player like Percy Harvin. The challenge there will be to have a high yards per attempt if there is an over-reliance on things like bubble screens. Harvin has never been a big yards per reception guy, topping out around 13.0 as a rookie.
If Wilson were to throw 28 times per game, complete 70% of his passes, and average 8.5 YPA, his typical game would be 20/28 for 238 yards. That sounds doable, but Wilson has only two game games in his career where he has thrown at least 28 times, completed at least 70% of his passes and averaged at least 8.5 YPA. One was @CAR to open the season last year, and the other was vs. NOR on Monday Night Football.
Big talent, big goals