The latest one came Sunday in Seattle’s victory over the Indianapolis Colts. Facing pressure on the first play of the fourth quarter, Wilson stepped up in the pocket and then moved left, heading directly toward the sideline along Seattle’s 18-yard line. He drifted a couple of yards forward before releasing the ball at the 20, with his feet not set and entire body pointed downfield.
The ball traveled about 45 yards in the air before Tyler Lockett hauled it in for a 41-yard gain.
Ben Baldwin posted a video of the play on Twitter.
“When you watch that back on tape, it’s an amazing throw,” said offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell, a former college quarterback. “To be able to make that type of throw moving as hard as he was to his left, and then Tyler broke back to the middle, it was a great throw to be able to get it that far. I think one of our coaches, when we were watching the tape, said that he would have lost his arm, his arm would have come off trying to make that. So it’s really a special throw that he made.”
Wilson has made throws like that while moving hard to his left before. But this one might have been the longest.
Adding to the difficulty of it was how the ball tends to sail to the left when a quarterback is moving that direction. Lockett was running the other way, heading to Wilson’s right from the sideline. Wilson accounted for that by aiming back toward the middle of the field, and his pass didn’t drift more than 10 yards left of where he released it.
“There’s a lot of torque that goes into it, there’s a lot of ability to be able to move and make that throw and everything else, but a lot of it is trusting the receiver,” Wilson said. “We’ve worked so much at that trust factor of knowing where to go and how to do it and how to move, and just balling, just playing football.”
Wilson said his baseball background helps him make those throws. A former second baseman, he played baseball for three seasons at NC State before the Colorado Rockies drafted him in the fourth round in 2010. He appeared in 61 games for the team’s Class A affiliate in 2011, the year before the Seahawks drafted him.
“In the middle infield, you had to make throws and make plays all the time while moving,” he said. “I think that’s a lot of it too.”
Wilson also attributed it to the core and shoulder work he does as part of his training regimen. He has a full-time trainer, Decker Davis, and a full-time physical therapist, Janet Jin.
“I’ve thrown a lot of footballs and a lot of baseballs and everything else, so that’s just training your arm,” he said. “That’s just doing manual work, it’s strengthening your arm, and I do focus on those things. … I’m constantly working on those things, so that way when you get in those positions, nothing crazy happens.”
Except the throw itself.
How many other quarterbacks can do that?
“I’m sure there’s some,” Bevell said. “Aaron Rodgers comes to mind right away. I’ve seen him make those special throws, but those are really special throws. To be able to get enough velocity and arm strength on that to get that ball that far was pretty spectacular.”