Grading Geno Smith’s thumb-pointing Week 12 performance
By Jake Luppino
After dropping two straight games, reality might be setting in for the Seattle Seahawks. This a young team that is learning on the fly how to win. We have seen the inconsistency on the defensive side. They started off the year porous, made some adjustments and in the past two weeks, they have gone back to the worse version of themselves.
That was clearly on display as Josh Jacobs had over 300 scrimmage yards, 86 of those coming on the game-winning touchdown that helped his team win in overtime. Offensively, the numbers do not look bad as Seattle scored 34 points. But, numbers do not tell the whole story. This team has really struggled in running the ball on this two-game skid and it has affected the flow of this offense.
It feels to me that they have lost some of their identity. Geno Smith played subpar. This game came down to missed opportunities. The Seahawks missed their chances while the Raiders capitalized. Smith himself was at the core of why this team did not capitalize on the early mistakes made by Las Vegas.
Evaluating Seattle Seahawks QB Geno Smith’s Week 12
For those of you wondering what I am referring to as thumb-pointing in the title, allow me to explain. In his post-game presser, Geno cited advice he once received from a college coach that told him the difference between a finger-pointer and a thumb-pointer. Finger-pointing is when you blame others while thumb-pointing is citing yourself for the struggles.
Being the stellar leader that Geno Smith is, it did not come as a surprise to see him take accountability. But, he isn’t just saying the right thing to just simply say the right thing. He does need to look at himself in the mirror after this game. The Seahawks defense was able to produce early turnovers. Kenneth Walker III scored on the first, but Seattle had to settle for a field goal on the other.
However, my problem with Geno in this game more so lies with his decision-making. Early on in the game, Geno got away with two passes that should have been intercepted in the red zone. One was simply dropped by the defensive back. The other was caught and ruled an interception but got overturned as the defensive back did not survive the ground.
He eventually he did get intercepted on a crossing pattern. I know the tape will show Tyler Lockett and D.K. Metcalf running into each other, but it appears to me at least that Geno picked the wrong wide receiver to throw it to. Also, he had the critical fumble on the RPO early in the fourth quarter coming off the big fourth down stop by the defense. I know some may want to blame Kenneth Walker III, but it was Geno who fumbled the ball. He tried pulling it and running – which was the right read in this case – but lost it, and gave the ball back to the Raiders.
It’s not all on Geno. In Weeks 10 and 12, the Seahawks have shied away from the run game. One could argue the run game has been stonewalled, as they’ve averaged 1.9 yards per carry in those two games. Yet, in other games when the running game wasn’t doing as well, Shane still stuck with it and big plays happened as a result. Too much is being put on the shoulders of Geno and it has resulted in two straight losses.
Now, to the positive. As he has done all year long, Geno Smith bounced back from his mistakes.
He’s shown great resiliency throughout this season, especially when responding to a mistake he created. I’ve attested many times to his incredible leadership and willingness to be coached. This team rallies around him for a reason. After the interception, he was precise in his reads, accurate with his throws and helped this team regain the lead.
Although it ultimately wasn’t enough, it was one of the bright spots in an otherwise disappointing game. Sitting at 6-5, the Seahawks are still in a prime position to make the playoffs. Shane Waldron and this offensive staff need to get back to establishing the run and more importantly, sticking to it when it isn’t necessarily producing the results they want to see. That is their offensive identity.