Seattle Seahawks: Grading Geno Smith’s sloppy Week 14 performance
By Jake Luppino
After starting off 6-3 with a great shot of winning the division, the Seattle Seahawks now find themselves on the outside looking in of the playoff race after dropping 3 of their last 4.
The Seattle Seahawks rush defense has not been able to stop a single thing. In the last four games, the Seahawks have allowed 839 rushing yards, which averages out to about 210 yards per game. That is not an indication of a winning football team. More so, it shows how flawed the Seahawks actually are.
Teams are starting to realize the losing formula for Seattle and thus, we have seen more teams stick to the run game. Against Carolina in Week 14, it was quite hard to watch. The Panther’s offense was very basic. They did not take any shots down the field. Simply put, they just pounded the ball down the throats of the Seahawks until they broke. To make matters worse, Geno Smith had his worst game of the season.
Evaluating Seattle Seahawks QB Geno Smith’s Week 14
When you have a struggling defense, every single offensive possession matters. In fact, early on in the season for the Seahawks, their offense was their defense. Against Carolina on Sunday, Geno Smith did his defense no favors early on in the game with two interceptions. The initial one came on the literal first offensive snap.
The rollout play that was designed for D.K. Metcalf turned into an utter disaster as Geno held onto the ball for too long, leading to a poor decision. That type of play often frustrates me as it really narrows down the quarterback’s options. Of course, Geno didn’t have to throw the ball. Simply, he could have thrown it out of bounds and moved on to the next play. But, that sequence proved costly as the Panthers scored a touchdown on the very next play, giving themselves a 10-0 lead.
Again, when your defense is getting run all over and your opponent is controlling the clock, burying yourself in a hole is the last thing you want to do. The second interception that Geno threw, I sort of understood. It appeared prior to the snap that Carolina jumped offsides. Thinking it was a free play, Geno forced a throw to D.K. Metcalf, which got intercepted, setting up the Panthers in Seattle territory. The Seahawks’ defense actually held the Panthers to a field goal. But nonetheless, that’s 10 points Geno gave up in the first half.
It was certainly an up-and-down game for him. We saw some good as he responded well to adversity. He bounced back nicely after the interceptions. In particular, he led a scoring drive before the half, cutting the lead down to 6, and giving the Seahawks some sort of hope. But, the bad in this game outweighed the good. He had many missed throws in this game. He missed Will Dissly on a crossing route. He overthrew DK on a play-action fake post-route. He threw two balls that got intercepted but didn’t count as the defender landed out of bounds.
I am in no way putting this loss entirely on Geno Smith. There were many other variables that contributed. What frustrates me the most though, is the fact that the Seahawks leaned into their losing formula. Forget the horrendous rushing defense. We have now seen a big enough sample size that when Seattle puts the offense entirely on the shoulders of Geno Smith, they lose. Asking him to do too much is not going to result in wins. We had the same issue with Russell Wilson. I know the backfield was banged up going into the game. But, 36 passing attempts to 14 rushing attempts is a losing formula for this team.
With a tough slate of games coming up, it is going to be critical to see how this team responds as a whole. If Geno wants to get $33 million a year, he is going to have earned it in this home stretch. Shane Waldron, who has done a tremendous job this season needs to focus more on balance and less on putting a heavy reliance on the arm of Geno Smith.