The Seahawks took a lot of people by surprise on Monday night, hitting the Denver Broncos in the mouth in all three phases en route to their first win of the season.
The defense held Russell Wilson out of the end zone all game long, save for a lone blown coverage by rookie Coby Bryant, and came away with several key takeaways on the goal line. The offense ran circles around the vaunted Denver defense for much of the first half, in both the running and passing phases.
On special teams, Seattle utterly disrupted the Broncos’ field position and looked like a team on a mission to destroy anyone and everyone between them and the ball.
Most media members across the nation weren’t prepared for a lot of the things they saw from the Seahawks, who even caught yours truly off guard in a few ways. So, what about this team do we now know that, perhaps, we were not privy to last week?
Seahawks QB Geno Smith is not the quarterback he was seven years ago
If you were to ask the average football fan what the first thing they thought of when they considered the career of Geno Smith prior to Monday, you might have heard some combination of him getting his jaw broken by a teammate in training camp, a few game-killing interceptions, or perhaps being the one that ended Eli Manning’s iron man streak of consecutive games started.
Had you asked that fan to compare his career to another quarterback, the names listed would likely be very unflattering.
But Geno Smith has not been idle in his years holding the clipboard for Manning, Philip Rivers, and Russell Wilson, and he’s taken the opportunity to learn from each star. And lo and behold, the first comparison that came to mind when I sat down to watch Geno Smith take the reins of an NFL offense for the first time in eight years was Jeff Garcia.
Some of our younger readers may not remember Jeff Garcia, so for anyone that needs a brief refresher, allow me to explain. Garcia didn’t take his first snap as an NFL starter until he was 29, stepping into Steve Young’s titanic shoes.
Over the next few years, Garcia would make his living as an accurate passer with some serious mobility, throwing to the supremely talented Terrell Owens en route to making a few Pro Bowls and later becoming the NFL’s premier journeyman as he played late into his thirties.
Am I saying that Geno Smith will consistently be the QB we saw in the first half on Monday? Well, no. But all the pieces are there, and if Geno can start climbing the pocket with a little more confidence, all of a sudden, this Seattle offense could coagulate into a threatening unit.