Russell Wilson vs 49ers – 24/29, 260 yards, 3 TDs

Russell Wilson went 11 for 11 for three touchdowns against the blitz last Sunday versus the San Francisco 49ers. According to ESPN, he’s only the third quarterback in the last decade to be 10 for 10 or better versus the blitz. The other two quarterbacks are Tom Brady and Phillip Rivers. Inspired by this statistic, I wanted to dive deeper into some of his plays and how he dealt with the pressure. In this game, Russell Wilson’s 260 yards and three touchdowns along with rookie Thomas Rawls’ 209 yards and a touchdown helped seal the victory over their division rival: the San Francisco 49ers.

Russell Wilson – 24/29, 260 yards, 9.0 ypa, 3 TDs, 9 rushes for 30 yards, 2 sacks for 7 yards

Play 1
Situation: 1st and 10 at SF 24
Description: (9:55 – 1st) Tyler Lockett Pass From Russell Wilson for 24 Yrds S.Hauschka extra point is GOOD, Center-C.Gresham, Holder-J.Ryan.


  • Seahawks come out in shotgun trips right formation with running back #22 Fred Jackson in the backfield. They motion, Jackson wide left to pair with tight end #88 Jimmy Graham. This signals man-to-man coverage along Jackson-Graham’s side of the field as both defenders line up directly across their men post-motion.
  • 49ers are in Cover 1 playing man-to-man coverage on every wide receiver including Jimmy Graham.
  • Wilson takes the snap and linebacker #57 Michael Wilhoite blitzes through the weakside A-gap.
  • The pocket starts collapsing, but Wilson finds his man, wide receiver #16 Tyler Lockett, on a seam-route streaking up the right numbers.
  • Wilson places a touch pass perfectly into Lockett’s outstretched fingertips for a 24 yard touchdown to take the lead 7-0 in the first quarter.
  • Outside of Wilson’s beautiful pass, Lockett deserves the credit on this play as he fakes inside, then releases outside turning the hips of second-year safety #25 Jimmie Ward in man-to-man coverage. This allows him to get behind him for the easy touchdown. Excellent route-running from the rookie wide receiver.

Play 2
Situation: 3rd and 10 at SF 11
Description: (7:15 – 2nd) Tyler Lockett Pass From Russell Wilson for 11 Yrds S.Hauschka extra point is GOOD, Center-C.Gresham, Holder-J.Ryan.


  • The Seahawks come out in shotgun trips bunch far on this 3rd down play.
  • The 49ers are in Cover 2 with two deep defenders playing man-to-man on the wide receivers.
  • The 49ers bring linebacker #53 NaVorro Bowman on a blitz. Watch the center get destroyed by a stunt on the defensive line.
  • The play-call is a design rub-concept to Tyler Lockett underneath tight end #88 Jimmy Graham and wide receiver #89 Doug Baldwin on the left side of the field.
  • Lockett catches Wilson’s ball underneath the corner-route of Baldwin and slant-route of Graham and then shakes the tackle of fellow rookie Jarquiski Tartt from Samford.
  • Lockett then muscles his way into the endzone showing surprising power for the 5’10” 180 lb receiver.

Play 3
Situation: 2nd and 5 at SF 31
Description: (12:32 – 4th) Thomas Rawls Pass From Russell Wilson for 31 Yrds S.Hauschka extra point is Blocked (I.Williams), Center-C.Gresham, Holder-J.Ryan.


  • In the last touchdown, the 49ers are in Cover 1 playing man-to-man coverage on the outside wide receivers.
  • Wilson motions tight end #88 Jimmy Graham in the backfield to the left side of the formation to block, and then snaps the ball.
  • The 49ers bring six pass rushers, but Wilson releases the ball to running back #34 Thomas Rawls on the wheel-route up the left sideline before the rush can get to him.
  • After Rawls catches the ball, he shakes linebacker #57 Wilhoite in space before finding his way into the endzone for a 31 yard score and a 29-13 lead over the 49ers.

The play-design and route combinations is why I personally love this last play. First, wide receiver #15 Jermaine Kearse is a decoy on his deep crossing route over the middle of the field as he pulls his defender away from the play. Bevell and the Seahawks clearly saw a lot of Cover 1 Man in the film as this play would not have worked this well against Cover 2 or Cover 4. Next, the drag-wheel route by tight end #82 Luke Willson and the wheel-route by Rawls floods the left sideline zone of linebacker #57 Wilhoite who is late in coverage due to the play-action fake at the beginning of the play. The play-design is what causes the touchdown along with Wilson’s quick release and Rawls’ ability in space.

Tyler Lockett is coming into his own as a wide receiver taken in the third round out of Kansas State. Earlier this season, also versus the San Fransisco 49ers, I broke down his play as he caught 5 balls for 79 yards and a touchdown. In this game, he was targeted five times again, and converted four of them for 48 yards and these two touchdowns that I just reviewed.

Overall, Wilson’s ability to get the ball out quickly and accurately along with some great play-calling by Darrell Bevell is what made the difference. The Seahawks are 5-5 and are three games back from the Arizona Cardinals. They face Antonio Brown and the 6-4 Pittsburgh Steelers, which should be a great match-up to keep their playoff hopes alive.

Follow Samuel Gold on Twitter: @SamuelRGold.

Samuel Gold

Sam founded NFL Breakdowns after working his way through the journalist farm system and is enjoying life in the big league. Growing up outside of Washington, D.C., Sam didn’t choose the Redskins, the Redskins chose him. Out of a love for the game and an insatiable curiosity to determine why his beloved team was underperforming, Sam turned to studying film in NFL Breakdowns.