There's no disputing that Seattle Seahawks quarterback Geno Smith hasn't performed as well after his hot start in 2022. Those calling for Drew Lock to replace him have very little evidence that he'd be any better. In fact, there's much more evidence that he'd be worse.
There's no disputing that the Seattle Seahawks offense has sputtered over the past few weeks. In fact, it's more accurate to say this offense has had precisely two good games, against the Lions and Panthers. Since then, the offense scored 17 against the Giants (average allowed 25 points), 20 versus the Cardinals (allowed 27.5 on average) and fell asleep in the second half versus the Bengals (scored 13, the Bengals allow 21 on average). The Browns game was the only contest in which the Hawks scored more than the average opponent (24 compared to 16 points). And that, of course, came by the skin of their teeth. I don't have to mention the outcome in Baltimore, right?
Yes, the offensive line has been a work in progress all season. All too often, Seattle seems to forget they have running backs on the roster. But Geno Smith is the signal caller; regardless of the circumstances, the offense always runs through him. If there's miscommunication between him and his receivers, it really falls on his shoulders to ensure that doesn't happen. He's calling the plays, they're not.
It hasn't just been rookies missing routes, either. As Tyler Lockett said last week, the interception versus the Ravens was the result of him and Smith miscommunicating on the route. Regardless of the causes, there's no disputing Geno Smith hasn't played nearly as well since week 12 of 2022.
The Seattle Seahawks miss the Geno Smith of 2022
Let me reiterate, they miss the performance of Smith from the first 12 games of last season. Smith was terrific through the first three-quarters of the season. I won't go through it game-by-game. You can find that yourself on several sites, including where I pulled the data, pro-football-reference.com. The following line shows Smith's stats from his last 13 games. That begins with the loss to the Panthers in 2022 though last week, a total of 13 games.
You don't exactly have to be a Josh Dobbs - you know, a rocket scientist - to see that Smith hasn't been as good in his past 13 games as he was in his first 12 as the Seahawks first-string QB. Full disclosure: I was going to cheat on the passer rating and just calculate the average of his rating for each set of games. Then I found a quick little calculator on the same site from which I pulled the stats. Not a big difference, as the average for 2022 was 108.96, and the latter set 85.67.
So Geno Smith was a great QB for 12 games, and he's been mediocre for the past 13. For a bit more perspective, his worst passer rating in the first set of games was 80.10, and he topped 100.0 eight times. In contrast, his worst rating in the latter set was 49.30; I'm sure you can guess which game that's from. In his last 13 outings, Smith only topped 100.0 three times, and has been below 80.0 in a total of five games. So, not great.
The real issue comes when you say, it's time for Geno to go. Sure, okay, it sounds great. Put in Drew Lock; he can't be worse, right? I wouldn't be so sure about that. Smith ranks 20th in the league, right between Deshaun Watson and Gardner Minshew. Yeah, Minshew would have been cheaper, but aren't you glad the Seahawks didn't guarantee Smith $230 million? Anyway, let's talk about the guy some 12s see as the savior of the season, Drew Lock.
First, I'm glad the Hawks re-signed Lock. He's been a great teammate and has shown that he wouldn't self-destruct if he had to step in for Smith. But this idea that he's the solution to the quarterback issue in Seattle is frankly a bit daffy. He completed two of six passes in his only action, that being against the Giants.
Too many 12s have forgotten that Lock rolled out on his plays, as the Seahawks didn't seem to trust him to read the pressure in the pocket. They forget he was nearly picked off as he too got his signals crossed with a receiver. They also seem to forget that 52 of his 63 yards passing came after the catch, as Noah Fant turned a short pass into a 51-yard gain. Lock's two completions traveled a total of 11 yards.
Smith had a rough game in New York, to be sure, but of his 110 yards passing, 51 were before the catch. If you adjust Lock's passing yards to a more realistic 23 yards, his passer rating this year is just 45. 83. Over his career, Lock has thrown for 4,803 yards, with 2,455 coming before the catch. So yeah, I got all mathy, and that made me happy.
Yes, it's a very small sample set, of course. But his career passer rating is 79.3. Again, I'm not saying he's a bad quarterback at all. But nothing in his history, including his performance so far with the Seahawks, shows that Drew Lock would be any better than Geno Smith. If Smith can't turn it around versus the Commanders, there will be more calls for a change than ever. If that happens and Lock pulls off an Earl Morrall, no one will be happier than me. Well, okay, maybe Lock. And Pete Carroll. And yeah, Geno Smith would be happy for him, too. Just don't bet your house on it.