The biggest key for Seahawks in Week 16: Geno versus Mahomes

(Photo by Christopher Mast/Getty Images)
(Photo by Christopher Mast/Getty Images) /

The Seahawks and Geno Smith are in a peculiar spot heading to frozen Arrowhead Stadium to take on the Kansas City Chiefs. Both shocked the world in the first half of the season. But they have faced significant challenges and questions leading into the final three-game stretch of the season.

Seattle has an immense challenge awaiting them in a clear Super Bowl-contending Chiefs squad on the road. This includes the daunting task of trying to keep up with MVP favorite Patrick Mahomes. This might be the best test for the Seahawks to see if Geno is the type of QB Seattle truly wants to build around.

Let’s be clear, Geno Smith has been fantastic this season. Also, he is not the reason why Seattle has slid from 6-3 to 7-7. Smith, who this week was voted to his first-ever Pro Bowl, has completed 71 percent of his passes for over 3,600 yards and 26 touchdowns. These are quite the stats when you consider the Seahawks have had no run game to speak of for nearly two months, and he’s had to work with a young and inconsistent offensive line.

Can Seahawks QB Geno Smith match the Chiefs’ Patrick Mahomes in Week 16?

On the flip side, when looking for a franchise quarterback to invest in and build your franchise around, there are things that we haven’t seen yet. The Seahawks going 0-4 against the lowly NFC South is inexcusable, for instance. Going 3-3 at home is also not good enough. The inconsistencies in end-of-game situations are something to monitor. Lastly, we have not seen Geno be asked to go up against one of the game’s best QBs, something that will change on Sunday. This is a great opportunity for Geno and Seattle.

So far this season, you can make a strong case that the best quarterbacks that Geno has had to duel with were Justin Herbert and Tom Brady. Herbert was not fully healthy and was missing numerous weapons, while Tom Brady has had one of the toughest seasons of his career. With all due respect, we’re talking about a different type of elite QB with Patrick Mahomes. On the year, Mahomes has thrown for nearly 4,500 yards and 35 touchdowns, putting him in a tight battle with Jalen Hurts for who wins the NFL MVP award.

No, Geno Smith is not competing directly against Mahomes, but you can’t help but feel that will be how the game is decided. Seattle looked like a surefire playoff team about a month ago. Now, they may need to win this game on the road against an 11-3 squad, or hope for a ton of help to make the playoffs.

Whether you want the Seahawks to make the playoffs, or are more focused on draft position, the way this team has played the past five weeks is concerning. You have to think that the Seahawks’ defense is going to get carved up by the Chiefs’ offense. But if Geno can match Mahomes, Seattle can keep the game close.

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A Seahawks upset, or a competitive game with Geno playing well, should have Seahawks fans feeling better about this season and the future of the quarterback position. If Seattle gets destroyed, and Geno doesn’t look like he belongs on the same field as Mahomes, it will only add more fuel to the fire about the future of the quarterback position in Seattle. Seattle might need to take a quarterback with one of their two first-round picks in 2023.