3 reasons Geno Smith should be the Seahawks quarterback in 2022
Reason 2: Moderate success in a difficult situation
When the quarterback you are backing up to hasn’t missed a start in 149 straight games, it’s easy to fall into the trap of believing you’re never going to see the field again. Geno Smith was in this position when Russell Wilson took the field for game 149 at home against the LA Rams.
Halfway through the 3rd quarter, the Seahawks season…and future…changed forever. Russell Wilson severely injured his middle finger on his throwing hand, an injury that would cause him to miss the rest of the game and the ensuing three weeks.
Into the fire was Geno Smith thrown, tasked with trying to lead a comeback against the eventual Super Bowl champion Rams and their vaunted defense. Most starting quarterbacks fold under the pressure of Aaron Donald, Leonard Floyd, and Jalen Ramsey, let alone a journeyman backup like Smith. Instead of folding, Geno gave Seattle a chance and looked pretty impressive.
While Seattle would lose 26-17, Smith completed 10 of 17 passes for 131 yards with 23 yards rushing, as well as a touchdown and a late interception that should have been called for pass interference when the game was hanging in the balance. Most impressive, Geno led two long scoring drives, including a 99-yard touchdown drive in the fourth quarter.
Over the next three games, Smith would have his moments of successes and failures. Facing the Pittsburgh Steelers on the road, he would struggle mightily as his offensive line cratered to T.J. Watt and crew as he was sacked five times.
With the game on the line and down three with 90 seconds to go, he marched Seattle 50 yards down the field to nail a game-tying field goal. The celebration didn’t last long, as Smith was sacked and fumbled the ball on their second drive of overtime, leading to a 23-20 defeat.
The following week Seattle faced the New Orleans Saints at home on Monday Night Football. On his first pass of the game, Smith threw a beautiful 25-yard laser to D.K. Metcalf, who would take it the rest of the way for an 84-yard touchdown. The ball was beautifully placed in between the corner and the safety, allowing Metcalf to do his thing.
Unfortunately, due to weather and more poor offensive line play, Geno would struggle mightily as Seattle lost in an absolute must-win game at the time 13-10. This was the night that Pete Carroll told the media he wouldn’t still be in Seattle if it were not for Russell Wilson. Not a great vote of confidence in Geno.
In his final start of the season, Smith and the Seahawks played their best game of the year. Yes, they were playing the worst team in the league in Jacksonville and the worst head coach in NFL history, but there was still a lot of good to take away from the game. Smith would finish 20 for 24 for 195 yards and two passing touchdowns, along with a rushing score.
Seattle had a terrible game on the ground, but with solid protection, Smith was efficient and got the ball to Seattle’s stars in Metcalf and Lockett. Lockett would snag twelve catches for 142 yards and Metcalf would have six catches for only 43 yards, but he was a monster in the red zone, collecting two touchdowns against former Seattle cornerback Shaquill Griffin.
Geno truly looked like a point guard distributing the ball to the open stars, something Pete is looking for in his QB this season.
After the victory, Seattle would go on their bye and Russell Wilson would take the job back from Smith. Wilson was clearly not healthy, and Seattle would pay the price, losing their next three games and essentially ending their season. Even with a non-existent offense, the Seahawks were within one score in the fourth quarter of all three games.
You have to wonder if Seattle would have been able to win a couple of those games if they had stuck with Smith and forced Russ to rest. The season, and the narrative around Geno Smith, could have really changed.
Considering everything that Geno Smith went through in 2021, it’s not hard to imagine him being far more comfortable, consistent, and successful knowing he’s the guy.