Right after the Pittsburgh Steelers had agreed to terms with QB Russell Wilson several weeks ago, I went and pulled his Next Gen Stats passing charts from the 2023 regular season as a member of the Denver Broncos. I had meant to post them not long after doing so, but I somehow got sidetracked and forgot about them. After coming back across them today in a post draft, I figured I would table them for all to see and analyze. (Click on one of the passing charts to enlarge so you can scroll through all of them.)

Let’s now color these charts in with a little bit of statistical context.

For starters, Sports Info Solutions has Wilson attempting 19 passes with more than 15 air yards past the line of scrimmage to the middle of the field (left middle, middle, right middle) in 2023. Nine of those were completed for 304 yards and two touchdowns.

Baltimore Ravens QB Lamar Jackson, according to SIS, had 19 such throws in 2023 and he completed eight of those for 219 yards and one touchdown. Additionally, QB Kenny Pickett attempted 15 such throws last season with the Steelers, and he completed six of them for 212 yards with one touchdown.

Last season with the Chicago Bears, new Steelers QB Justin Fields attempted 20 such pass attempts, and he completed 13 of them for 366 yards with three going for touchdowns.

How about some shorter-throws context to go along with those middle-of-the-field throws of more than 15 air yards?

According to SIS, Wilson attempted 87 pass attempts in 2023 in which the football never crossed the original line of scrimmage in the air. He completed 73 of those attempts for 400 yards with three going for touchdowns. He ranked third in the NFL in such attempts behind Miami Dolphins QB Tua Tagovailoa (97) and Kansas City Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes (89).

With the Bears in 2023, Fields attempted 48 such throws that failed to go past the original line of scrimmage in the air. He completed 39 of those for 197 yards with no touchdowns.

Finally, SIS has Wilson down for an average throw depth of 7.3 yards in 2023. As a comparison, Mahomes, according to SIS, registered an average throw depth of 6.4 yards in 2023. Pickett checked in at 7.1 yards while Fields registered an average throw depth of 8.1 yards.

These stats that I threw in here should help provide some context and comparison. Let me know in the comments what else sticks out to you when it comes to Wilson’s 2023 passing charts.


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