Grading Geno Smith in Seahawks sluggish Week 10 defeat

Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports /

A lot went wrong for the Seattle Seahawks in Germany as their comeback bid fell short to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. I am certain the 9 hour time difference and thousands of miles traveled for the Seahawks played a role in their sluggish start. And yes, the field conditions weren’t the best as multiple players slipped.

But, the truth is, the Buccaneers drew up a better game plan. Entering this matchup, many believed that the Seahawks were the better team. They certainly were playing better leading up to this game. The Seahawks seemed to have found their identity on both sides of the ball while Tampa was struggling to just put one scoring drive together in a single game.

In Week 10 though, it seemed to be the reverse. Tampa was able to get their ground game going, allowing Tom to stay ahead of schedule and convert on multiple 3rd downs with short yardage. Defensively, they stopped the run and got pressure on Geno. They did what Seattle had to do if they wanted to win that game.

In spite of the flaws, the Seahawks almost found a way to get the ball back down 5 with two minutes left. The second half play of QB Geno Smith once again proved why he is no fluke. It once again proved why the Seahawks are actually a good football team. More importantly, it proved why Geno is worthy of leading this Seahawks franchise.

Evaluating Seattle Seahawks QB Geno Smith’s Week 10 

The box score will show a scoreless first half for the Seattle Seahawks. They failed to convert on any third downs in the first half. Moreover, as much as I love Shane Waldron, I think he could have done a better job of calling this game early on. Despite the Buccaneers struggles, their defense has been the one bright sight. Especially, Vita Vea, who can single handily disrupt a running game (watch him versus the LA Rams as a reference).

It seemed that early on in this game, the Seahawks were putting a heavy emphasis on running the football. Kenneth Walker III was essentially stonewalled on all of his attempts. Thus, the Seahawks were facing third and longs against an aggressive coordinator in Todd Bowls, resulting in blitzes and sacks.

But, in the second half, Shane and this offensive staff adjusted and had success on nearly every drive except for the one that Geno fumbled. Now, that play alone knocks Geno’s grade in this game because it came at such a crucial point. Down 14-3 with a chance to make it a one-possession game, it felt as if Geno was forcing a play. If he just slid down or threw the ball out of bounds, maybe the trajectory of this game changes.

Nonetheless, he responded very well to the turnover. In fact, Shane Waldron was able to expose this Buccaneers defense in the second half by getting the tight ends involved. Will Dissly and Noah Fant contributed in the second half. Quick easy completions for Geno, which allowed him to get into a rhythm. Although they ultimately fell short, how impressive was Geno Smith in that fourth quarter?

On this possession in specific, he converted two fourth downs where he was faced with pressure. The first came on a completion to Tyler Lockett and the second came on that touchdown pass, where he rolls out and drops a dime to Goodwin with pressure in his face. Credit to both Lockett and Goodwin for completing the plays as well. Again, the resiliency was on display for Geno Smith. More importantly, he showed he can rally his team when losing in the 4th quarter.

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The one thing I’ve been harping about all year long with Geno is how he molds himself into whatever this team needs. Meaning, he has bought into winning as a team. This game provides another example of that. I know the turnover in the red zone was huge, but this loss cannot be put on the shoulders of Geno Smith. He deserves some of the blame, but he was also one of the bright spots in this long trip to Germany.

Grade: B