The X-Factor that can lead the Seattle Seahawks to victory in Week 16

Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports /

All the momentum the Seattle Seahawks generated early on in the season with a 6-3 start has disappeared. After the defeat last week, they are no longer in contention for the division as the 49ers clinched it. They still remain on the outside looking in of the playoff picture and their schedule certainly isn’t doing them any favors.

Worst case, the Seahawks missing the playoffs doesn’t deem this season as a failure. The fact that they have seven wins and are even in contention to make the playoffs is a win. This is a young team who is on the up and up. The majority of their success belongs to Geno Smith, who will be looking to close out this season strong as he has hopes of getting paid in the offseason.

What better way to prove your worth than win a huge game on the road in Arrowhead against Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs? This game presents Geno Smith with an opportunity to prove he belongs as the franchise quarterback for the Seattle Seahawks.

Seattle Seahawks: X-Factor that can lead them to victory in Week 16

I think we would all agree that the downfall of this team has been the defense. It certainly wouldn’t be fair to put it all on the shoulders of Geno Smith. Now, he does get a portion of the blame pie as all franchise quarterbacks do when their team is struggling. Sprinkle in some poor play calling along with injuries and you get to the reason why the Seahawks are 7-7.

Throughout the season, Geno has checked off many boxes. He’s helped this win by doing just enough when he outperformed Russell Wilson in Week 1. He has helped them win by putting up video game numbers as such in Week 4 against Detroit. Most recently, he’s checked off the box that many had been anticipating when he led a game-winning drive against the Rams in Week 13.

One he has yet to check is to outduel an elite quarterback. You could technically mention the Chargers game back in October, but I would push back on that. Herbert was dealing with a nagging rib injury and the team was dealing with multiple injuries. Nonetheless, this weekend Geno Smith can check off that box. The Kansas City Chiefs are arguably the best team in the AFC and are known for having great home fans.

Patrick Mahomes is having an MVP-type year. He leads the NFL in passing yards, touchdowns, and QBR. While he has been complimentary of Geno throughout the week, he will be looking to destroy his defense on Saturday. For Geno, outplaying Mahomes will be a daunting task as the Seahawks have one of the worst passing defenses in the NFL.

I’m not saying this game will determine whether or not Geno Smith gets paid. But, it can most definitely help him get closer to that $33 million dollar number that he’s associated too. This is a true test of the type of player Geno Smith is. He will be without star wideout Tyler Lockett and the status of Kenneth Walker III is up in the air as he missed practice on Tuesday.

In spite of that, I truly believe the Seahawks can win this game. Just as their defense is bad, so is Kansas City’s. They might not be as bad as Seattle, but if Geno plays a particular way, he will find major success against them. My guess is D.K. Metcalf gets double-teamed on nearly every play. This means that Geno will need to revert to how he played early in the season. Take the check downs, move the chains, and most importantly, get your tight ends involved.

Noah Fant has been coming on strong as of late and Will Dissly was putting up solid numbers early on. This is a winnable game for the Seahawks and we will truly see if Geno Smith can put this team on his back. This isn’t like last week against the 49ers where he was playing the best defense in the league. He can carry this offense to success against Kansas City.