Hard to believe it, but the Hawks did have some studs
Oh, believe me, I know the Geno haters are gonna hate this. Social media is littered (and I'm using the termn quite literally) with rants that Geno has to go because he cost the Seahawks the game again. Yeah, okay, Coach Rockne. Last I checked, Smith doesn't play defense. Once again according to Pro Football focus, Smith dropped back 37 times and was pressured on 23 of those plays. For those of you who are too lazy to pull up the calculator on your phone, that means he was pressured on 62 percent of those plays. He still completed 69.7 percent of his passes, even with four drops. He also scrambled three times for 33 yards.
Yet his detractors only want to talk about the strip sack. I agree, that wasn't his best moment, for certain. But no one seems to acknowledge that it came from his blind side, or that Charles Cross was the man who let Nick Herbig blow by him. Really, you're going to focus on the one error Smith made - questionable at that - and ignore all his solid plays, and give Cross a pass?
Let's compare Smith's performance to Mason Rudolph's. The Steelers QB dropped back just 26 times - you don't have to throw much when your guys are running the ball all day long - and was pressured just 10 times. That means he was pressured only 38 percent of the time, compared to what Smith faced. Rudolph also had zero drops, so he got a little more help from his receivers than Smith.
My guess is the Steelers caught everything because they weren't too concerned about getting hit. So, stow your Smith criticisms away. You can trot them out next week, just like you always do. No, Smith wasn't perfect, but he doesn't rank 24th in points allowed, or 27th in yards allowed. Nor does he rank 30th in rushing yards allowed, or dead last in first downs allowed, now does he? That's the stellar Seahawks defense.