Seahawks offense ranks among top 10 in EPA/Play going into Week 3

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The Seattle Seahawks lost a football game, giving them a 1-1 record after two weeks of play. As excruciating as their overtime collapse against the Titans was on many levels, some folks have gotten carried away fretting about what it means for the rest of this season. If you hadn’t seen the games and only read fan reactions on Twitter you’d think this team was somehow 0-4 already, Bobby Wagner had a serious knee injury and that Pete Carroll and Russell Wilson had come to blows on the sideline over just how established the run needs to be.

Let’s pump the breaks and focus. First of all, it’s only one non-conference loss in a 17-game season and the Seahawks have always responded well after a hiccup in the Carroll/Wilson era. More importantly, Wilson is leading one of the most efficient offenses in football, which should give them a strong chance to catch up with the rest of the NFC West.

Heading into Week 3, Seattle’s offense ranks No. 7 in the league in EPA/Play, per Pro Football Focus. Here’s a glance at the top-10.

via Pro Football Focus

The criticique of this group at the moment is a feast-or-famine issue. Either the Seahawks are blowing away opposing defenses with 50+ yard bombs to Tyler Lockett and scoring quick, or they go three-and-out fast with very little going on in-between. The idea is if Wilson embraced the intermmediate attack those short drives wouldn’t be happening nearly as often.

Wilson’s passing chart from Week 2 illustrates the point pretty well.

via NextGenStats

This is hardly a new dynamic, though. Seattle’s passing game has always been boom or bust with Wilson controlling it.

What matters more is Wilson’s instinct to throw deep is a good one – especially because he throws better long balls than anyone else in the sport. Wilson leads the NFL in several deep-passing categories since he was drafted and his willingness to test opponents vertically at any moment makes him one of the league’s most difficult quarterbacks to stop. Getting hung up on Wilson’s not throwing over the middle is like focusing on a supermodel’s one blemish rather than the whole picture. Through two weeks Wilson’s passer rating is the best in the league. Just enjoy it.

For better or worse, this is what Wilson’s game is. Fans should be grateful for that, because it’s his aggressive nature that is driving this offense more than anything.

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