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Geno Smith is owning his moment
Top-5 QB? By almost any definition: Seaside Joe 1372
Nobody except Geno Smith gets to say that they predicted Geno Smith’s success. Not even Pete Carroll and John Schneider.
Though Pete consistently told reporters that it was Geno’s job to lose, the Seahawks were also open about their belief that Drew Lock should be a starter in the NFL and that the competition remained open until the end of the preseason.
Had Pete known then that Geno would become the talk of the league through 13 weeks as no less than the best quarterback in the NFC, would that have changed his approach to the quarterback competition? Or would it have been best to not tamper with whatever motivation erupted due to the skepticism from people who didn’t get letters from Geno?
Which by my count is 100% of the population, including myself.
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As Broncos fans contemplate whether or not there’s any possible escape from Russell Wilson…
Geno Smith leads the NFC in Pro Bowl voting and that margin will only increase after his performance against the Rams on Sunday.
Geno’s single-game stats were as good as ever (I’m sure you’ve read them multiple times by now) but it was how he played that got my attention. Geno improved his red zone efficiency (now 26/50, 11 TD, 0 INT, 1 rush TD in the red zone) and he’s now up to six touchdowns and one interception in the fourth quarter. A passer rating of 113.5.
I have always felt good about my judgments on quarterbacks and I have never been shy about telling people who I felt was being overrated. Not that I don’t get a lot of evaluations wrong, as evidenced here by Geno Smith and me not being shy in the preseason about my feelings that some fans were getting too hyped for him.
Geno has every right to rub those types of comments back in the faces of people like me who outright said he could never be this good, but instead he has chosen the most righteous path. He’s letting each moment come to him and not focusing on the bigger picture, because if he did that would confuse him as much as it confuses the rest of us.
If he thought about “the meaning of Geno Smith’s season” week-to-week, like the rest of us do, what would that do to him? Because before Sunday, I was told by so many people that Geno Smith would probably be available for “like, $20-$30 million per season, at most.” And with how people are talking about Geno on Monday, how can it be possible that Russell Wilson is making more than Geno Smith on his next contract?
Not even I could stand for that.
In his postgame press conference, Geno talks about the game like he’s a 10-year NFL veteran. Because he is. He talks about how Sunday feels like what a playoff game will feel like, the importance of tight window throws like on his game-winning touchdown to DK Metcalf, the play of his supporting cast giving him the opportunity to play “pitch and catch” with his receivers, and his desire to get to the playoffs.
Which I think he will fulfill.
Geno’s next start will be his 16th under Pete Carroll, so essentially he’s about to complete one full season as the Seahawks starting quarterback. In his first 16 games, including in place of Wilson against the Rams last year, Geno has completed 72% of his 487 passes for 3,871 yards, 27 touchdowns, seven interceptions, 7.9 Y/A, and a passer rating of 107.6. He has also rushed for 285 yards and two touchdowns.
By Russell Wilson standards, that would be a good year. It would be Wilson’s third-highest passer rating in any season and easily better than any of his last four.
Not to pick on Wilson, a quarterback who I never said was overrated, but Wilson sets a good bar. It’s a compliment to both quarterbacks.
Certainly Wilson is among those of us who could not have predicted the season of Geno Smith. Or Russell Wilson.
We have to stop talking about Geno Smith as a guy who will be getting another opportunity to start in 2023 and to start thinking of him as a quarterback who should feel established in the NFL for a long time. Earlier in the season, I compared him to Case Keenum.
That was wrong too.
The NFL watched Keenum play for the Vikings and only the Broncos fell for it. There’s nothing to fall for here with Geno Smith, he’s proven to be as valuable as the top quarterbacks in the league and he’s continuously getting better as he gains more in-game experience for the first time in eight years. He’s a quarterback story that we’ve never seen or heard before and instead of getting himself wrapped up in that movie, he’s letting it play out for itself and only worrying about the responsibilities he owns.
If Patrick Mahomes was having the season that Geno Smith is having right now, we would not be saying, “This is Mahomes’ masterpiece.” But you know what we would be saying? “Damn, Patrick Mahomes is still so good! Don’t let the lower rate of touchdowns fool you!”
By almost any definition, Geno Smith is a top-five quarterback right now. To what degree “top-five” actually matters, probably not as much as we think that it does and I don’t think those are the types of thoughts that Geno has to himself. I know that he’s a lot better than I could have ever imagined and selfishly I wouldn’t have it any other way.