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Russell Wilson could lead league in passing

The AFC West has had an absolutely wild offseason. Tyreek Hill left Kansas City after being traded to the Miami Dolphins. Davante Adams joined the division after being traded to the Las Vegas Raiders. Highlighting the list, however, was Denver sending the farm to solve their quarterback woes in acquiring former Seahawks signal caller Russell Wilson.

Wilson has been a prolific passer throughout his career despite being in a run-first offense that has generally lacked top-tier receiving options. Now in Denver, in a high-flying division where points are plenty, Wilson should be able to reach new heights as a passer. 

This gives rise to the idea of one bet in particular being worth a wager — that the new Broncos quarterback will lead the league in passing yards. 

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Russell Wilson: Most Regular Season Passing Yards (+1600 FanDuel Sportsbook)

Wilson pretty much operates as a tier-break when looking at the odds for this bet. Leading the way is Justin Herbert, followed by Matthew Stafford, Tom Brady, Patrick Mahomes, Derek Carr, Dak Prescott, Josh Allen, Joe Burrow, and finally Wilson. 

Looking at that list, the three other AFC West quarterbacks have better odds than Wilson, and all four are in the top nine in the NFL.

Russell Wilson passes.
Russell Wilson throws a pass during the Broncos mandatory mini-camp.
Getty Images

It speaks to the talent of these quarterbacks. Herbert has thrown for 9,350 yards and 69 touchdowns in his first two seasons. Carr has thrown for over 4,000 yards in each of his last four campaigns. Mahomes is the all-time leader in passing yards per game at 301.4, the only quarterback in league history to average over 280 yards per game. 

Then there’s Wilson, who has never thrown for more than 4,219 yards in a season. He seems to stick out, until you look deeper.

Let’s start with their pass attempts. Over the course of the careers of these four quarterbacks, their average number of pass attempts per season is:

  • Herbert: 633.5
  • Mahomes: 577.5
  • Carr: 557.0
  • Wilson: 473.5

This isn’t a product of Wilson’s lack of talent or efficiency — this is a product of the Seattle Seahawks’ system. Among these four quarterbacks, Wilson ranks second in yards per attempt and yards per completion, behind only Mahomes in both metrics. 

Wilson is also one of the best deep-ball passers in the game. Last season, on a largely mediocre roster, Wilson had a 112.5 passer rating and 9:2 TD/INT ratio on deep passes, and his 978 passing yards on deep passes was third-most in the NFL, per Next Gen Stats. 

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Now residing in an offense that should allow him to feature his arm instead of hide it, combining more pass attempts with his otherworldly efficiency and deep-ball placement, and Wilson has as good a chance as any quarterback to post league-high passing yards. 

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