Russell Wilson just turned in one of the most impressive four-game stretches in NFL history, completing 75.4 percent of his passes while throwing for 16 touchdowns and no interceptions.
Here are five numbers that explain what we're seeing from the Seattle Seahawks quarterback.
152.3: Wilson's passer rating the past four weeks when staying in the pocket. He's 81-of-99 (81.8 percent) for 1,094 yards (11.05 yards per attempt), 15 touchdowns and no interceptions. This continues to be one of the major storylines associated with the Seahawks' offensive explosion. Wilson trusts the protection, the offensive line has improved and the coaches have put him in position to get rid of the ball on time. Wilson's completion percentage when he's in the pocket this season is a league-best 72.9, and his passer rating is a league-best 117.6. Statistically he has been the best pocket passer in the NFL. What will be interesting going forward is whether opposing defenses choose to attack Wilson differently.
"If you look at the game, we had a game plan," Ravens coach John Harbaugh said following Baltimore's 35-6 loss to the Seahawks. "We were going to keep him in the pocket. We didn’t want him to make extended plays, throw or catch, on us and not let him run around and run for 150 yards or whatever, like he has done before."
That game plan won't work right now. Wilson has just been too good from the pocket.
153.9: Wilson's passer rating against the blitz the past four games. This has been truly a remarkable turnaround and one of the reasons the coaches have praised center Patrick Lewis so much. Wilson has been the best passer in the NFL against the blitz over the past month. In the first 10 weeks, his passer rating against the blitz was 66.9 (30th). He and the offensive line are doing an excellent job of identifying what they see pre-snap.
"For the most part, he had a very good game in the sense -- he moved the running game around, moved the pass protection around, made a couple of really nice checks and did some good stuff," Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said. "I thought that was kind of hidden in the stats of the game."
This goes hand in hand with the first point. Every offense wants to make itself difficult to defend. With the way Wilson is operating against the blitz, the Seahawks are doing that.
79.4: Wilson's completion percentage on third down the past four weeks, tops in the league. In the first 10 weeks, the number was 56.5 percent (21st). Seahawks coaches are obsessed with third down -- extending drives on offense and getting off the field on defense. One thing offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell has done a good job with is using the same passing concepts out of different looks. On three occasions Sunday, they used the slant/flat route combination to Doug Baldwin on third down. The first one was in a 3x1 look. The second featured two receivers stacked to one side, and the third was out of a 2x2 formation. Each time, Wilson found Baldwin in the flat for first downs. Wilson's average time to pass the past four weeks has been 2.52 seconds. In the first 10 weeks, it was 2.72 seconds. The coaches don't want him always getting rid of the ball quickly. They want Wilson to use his athletic ability to extend plays in certain situations. His decision-making in terms of knowing when to get rid of it and when to improvise has been outstanding.
158.3: Wilson's passer rating (perfect) when the Seahawks have gone with an empty set the past four games. Early in the season, this was a disaster. Wilson was holding on to the ball too long, taking sacks and scrambling. But in the past four games, he's 19-of-22 (86.4 percent) for 289 yards, five touchdowns and no interceptions out of the empty set. When there are no running backs staying in to help in pass protection, getting rid of the ball quickly is crucial. And Wilson has been taking only 1.99 seconds on average the past four weeks when the Seahawks have gone to the empty set. The diversity on offense has really helped. The Seahawks have run it up the middle with a fullback blocking, gone empty, used the quick game and also run bootlegs for shots downfield. Right now, everything has just been clicking.
Three: The number of quarterbacks in NFL history who have finished a season completing 68.8 percent of their passes and averaging 8.57 yards per attempt. That's where Wilson is after 13 games. If he's able to sustain those marks, he will join Joe Montana (1989), Steve Young (1994) and Daunte Culpepper (2004). If you're wondering how many quarterbacks put up those numbers while also rushing for 456 yards (Wilson's current total), the answer is zero. Sunday's opponent, the Cleveland Browns, ranks 26th against the pass, according to Football Outsiders. The St. Louis Rams and Arizona Cardinals rank third and fifth, respectively. With a strong finish down the stretch, Wilson has a chance to produce one of the greatest seasons by a quarterback in NFL history.