Discover more from Seaside Joe
Seahawks-Cowboys: Result, Reaction, Stock Up/Stock Down before Final Cuts
Seaside Bo, 8/26/22: Updates on Drew Lock vs. Geno Smith, position battles, should Seahawks add a big name before the season?
The Seattle Seahawks played the Dallas Cowboys on Friday night in the preseason finale and as always promised in this newsletter, I won’t spoil the result to anybody who happens to see the e-mail and doesn’t want to know the score. However, that sentence is now over.
The Seahawks finished the preseason with as many wins as Geno Smith has had touchdown passes: none yet. They have as many preseason losses as Drew Lock had interceptions on Friday: three!
We don’t choose sides at Seaside Joe. We choose to look at things realistically and the most logical outcome is that no fan is going to be completely satisfied with either option. But clearly one of the quarterbacks is at least more entertaining.
That was the main takeaway from Friday’s preseason action if you were hoping to get an immediate reaction on the current status of the quarterback competition, but I also have 3,000 more words about what happened in the 27-26 loss to the Cowboys this week including:
-Stock Up, Stock Down, Stock Up and Down
-Drew Lock or Geno Smith?
-Is Jimmy Garoppolo still an option?
That’s all here in today’s Seaside Bonus article following the game. You can expect post-game bonus articles every week. I’m keeping this post free in the hopes that if you think it’s good, you will do one of these things: Share it!
If you haven’t already, get a free subscription to Seaside Joe or upgrade to premium to help for only $5 to help us reach the top of the (newsletter) charts and shock the (seahawks internet) world.
Today’s Bonus(!!) article goes over the e-mail length limit. Word to the wise: Hit the Seaside Joe banner above to read the whole article on SeasideJoe.com. That’s Seaside Joe….. dot com.
Please get into the comments! The Seaside Joe community welcomes your input!
Geno Smith/Drew Lock Report
Through the preseason, I don’t think the results could be more obvious that Geno and Drew are the exact quarterbacks who we thought they were. And to my eye, Drew Lock is a bottom-tier starter while Geno Smith is a high-end backup.
That’s what they are.
And so it would make more sense to me for the Seahawks to start the season with Lock and to give him an opportunity to play himself out of being a starting quarterback over the course of September and October. That would seemingly be a lot easier to navigate than the opposite approach, which would of course be giving Geno the job and then having to fight off Seattle fans literally every time another drive ends in a bad sack and a punt on fourth-and-15.
I don’t need to analyze preseason tape to tell you that the Seahawks are one of the worst offenses in the NFL when Geno is running it—that was proven in his three starts last season—but the results haven’t been any better during these exhibition contests.
Behind the starting offensive line for two first halves and one first half drive, Geno Smith has had:
2 field goals
That’s coming with a number of starting supporting cast members and second and third-string defensive players. So if that were to be one game for Geno, it would result in 13 points and I do think that’s a fair expectation. Eight of those 11 drives gained 25 yards or less. Smith has been sacked four times, losing 30 yards.
In the preseason, the Seahawks have scored 13 points on Geno Smith’s 11 drives; they have scored 34 points on Drew Lock’s 14 drives. Smith had zero turnovers and Lock had four. It’s exactly as expected.
Last year, the Seahawks scored 30 points in Geno’s first two starts and he was sacked 10 times, losing 82 yards on those plays. He threw two touchdowns and averaged under 7 yards per attempt. The game against the Jaguars, the worst team in the NFL, gave him a misleading boost, as did DK Metcalf’s individual effort to score an 84-yard touchdown against the Saints.
We know who Geno Smith is and the preseason affirms that he hasn’t changed, which should be surprising to nobody. He’s an above-average backup who has made a great career out of that role.
If the Seahawks decide to go into the season with Geno, it means that if Seattle struggles to reach the end zone against the Broncos, 49ers, and Falcons, that fans will be relentless in their desire to see Lock. Many of them already are and would rather be tantalized by an exciting quarterback who’s decisions could go either way than frustrated by a limited quarterback who is as immune to touchdowns as he is to interceptions.
Lock did throw an ugly interception (and an interception that was partly attributed to Dee Eskridge) (and a third interception that bounced off of Aaron Fuller’s arms), but he also made the game more entertaining because of his unique arm talent, effortless motion to flick the ball 40 yards to a good spot, and confidence in evading pressure and rolling out to make an improvisational decision. Lock finished with one touchdown pass but Dareke Young and Eskridge failed to reel in really solid end zone throws.
Watching Geno Smith play quarterback is like watching a player who takes direction extremely well. Watching Drew Lock play quarterback is like watching a guy who directs. Just not that well.
They both contain the missing ingredient that the other needs, but going from Lock to Geno (if you have to) makes more sense than going from Smith to Lock if you have to…and you most likely will have to.
Geno Smith or Drew Lock? I am going with the same belief that I had last month and that I have yet to divert from despite constant and immense pressure from literally every other force on the internet to say otherwise… Drew Lock.
WHAT ARE WE EVEN TALKING ABOUT?!?!!!!!
However, Lock may not get the start against the Broncos in Week 1. It could be “Geno’s job to lose” rather than “Geno’s job.”
If Smith is named the starter right away, then I would have to believe that there are bigger forces at play against Lock than the turnovers. He outplayed Geno in the mock game, outplayed Geno against the Steelers, and he outplayed Geno when comparing Smith against the Bears (0 points) and Lock against the Cowboys (17 points).
The fact that this is preseason action isn’t lost on me. Neither is reality.
It could be that behind-the-scenes, Lock just doesn’t get it—and that’s purely speculative. It could be that Pete thinks that he’s not ready, but that he could be in a month.
As I wrote a few weeks ago, now is not the time to panic about the Seahawks’ offense. That time was months ago. For many of us, we’re seeing the exact quarterback competition we expected.
Neither option is appealing. One just happens to be much more entertaining.
Seaside Joe is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.
I will address Jimmy Garoppolo just this once because I know that many of you are wondering about him. I wrote about Garoppolo on July 11 when I brought up the possibility that the Seahawks were complicating his situation in San Francisco because the 49ers were fearful of releasing him when Seattle became the only option remaining. Six weeks later, that’s the story.
And way back in March, I was thinking that Garoppolo was one of the only names that made some sense.
Again, I don’t know what’s going on behind-the-scenes, but holding onto Garoppolo seems like it makes the most sense for the 49ers given their championship window and Trey Lance’s risk of getting injured or playing poorly. Seattle’s opening at quarterback exacerbates their situation. I do not know if Garoppolo has agreed to return but I think that $25 million and a job (he won’t be handed one elsewhere this late in the year) would be appealing.
If Garoppolo is released, there is reason for both sides to be talking. The Seahawks give Garoppolo the best chance to start soon and Garoppolo gives the Seahawks an experienced game manager who hands out trade secrets.
But Garoppolo would not have an impact on Seattle’s odds to win the Super Bowl. We know that the focus is long-term and so the question is whether or not he gives the Seahawks’ other players a better chance to develop and succeed than Lock or Smith would…I don’t think we’re there yet.
The 49ers should hang onto him.
Outside of an early false start penalty, Adams looked like a starting quality defensive tackle going up against backup offensive linemen…which is what you love to see from anyone. The former undrafted free agent should make the roster. Will it come at the cost of a veteran?
Good outing from Robinson, a player who gets lost in the shuffle behind the other three edge rushers. He left with an injury at what point but the reaction after didn’t make it seem serious.
How fitting. Dallas had 13 carries for 75 yards and a touchdown, also catching two passes for nine yards. Dallas and Homer could be important early in the season with Ken Walker III recovering from injury. Homer had three carries for five yards, with a couple long runs called back by holding penalties.
This really was not a good game to judge because the Cowboys didn’t put any regular season NFL players out there. But Woolen was out there with the first team defense (preseason edition) and looks like an NFL cornerback. He’s ahead of Coby Bryant faster than anyone expected him to be.
It appears that Sidney Jones IV and Artie Burns are safe for Week 1. I’m not sure about Justin Coleman, though that’s not Woolen’s position.
Michael Jackson started at LCB and then moved over to RCB, which he played into the second half. Is Jackson pushing Burns?
Jake Curhan/Abe Lucas
The right side seems just fine and could spell a trade for Gabe Jackson, a savings of $6 million if the Seahawks can find a taker.
Put. Him. On. The. Team!
It seems like Lock is most comfortable with Fuller, as he got the start over Austin Blythe. It makes sense, Lock has worked with the second team offensive line for most of practice. What if Lock is called to start in Week 1 or Week 2? Would Fuller follow? Maybe a nice Stock Up by proxy here.
He made his kicks! 4-of-4 with a long of 53 and 2-of-2 on PATs.
3 punts, 53.3 average, long of 62, one inside the 10.
While I won’t put Drew Lock in “stock up” (see below), I can’t ignore that the offense looks worse with Geno. If the answer isn’t Lock, that doesn’t mean that it is Geno. There was one pass completed to Tyler Lockett that made some fans go “Oh nice throw!” but I saw a target that forced Lockett to dive to the ground instead of being able to make a play after the catch. That’s often the case with Geno’s completions, they’re not “accurate” completions. They’re “catchable” completions.
Geno’s wind up, needing that much effort to torque a ball 17 yards away, it’s just not that common at this level of football.
Training camp reports were so positive that you’d think Burns was a lock for the roster. He seems to be lower on the depth chart based on Friday’s playing time and then you remember that he was once a first round bust for the Steelers who hasn’t played much football recently.
A dropped pass led to Lock’s third interception. It’s not as though Fuller could have made the team as a receiver but coupled with his special teams gaffe last week, this makes it clear that he’s a practice squad hopeful.
Holding penalty in the first quarter could have cost Geno Smith a touchdown drive. I believe Haynes is expected to start in Week 1 for Damien Lewis, so it would be better if he was perfect. Just be perfect, that’s all I ever ask.
Holding penalty on a player trying to win the last spot on the 53.
Seahawks Defense Depth
The quarterback competition has overshadowed legitimate concerns that should be had with Seattle’s defense. Maybe Jamal Adams, Quandre Diggs, Jordyn Brooks, Darrell Taylor, Al Woods are the key to changing that perception but it’s been poor effort after poor effort in the preseason.
Will Grier, Ben DiNucci, and Cooper Rush are not starting quarterbacks, but the Cowboys did score 27 points and have three passing touchdowns. They rushed 36 times for 128 yards.
Please consider joining the Regular Joes club to get bonus posts and help support this Seahawks newsletter!
Stock Up and Down
He didn’t get help from Geno on the play (again, one of Geno’s biggest problems is number of sacks and yards lost on sacks) but Cross did give up a sack. He’s gotten away with at least a couple of holding penalties this preseason, he’s been beaten here and there, he had those false starts last week. I’m not worried about Cross. These are all things you would expect from a rookie. He’s looked good overall!
But I would not expect this season to be like Rashawn Slater had with the Chargers last year.
He looked like a receiver who has not played a lot of football in the last 18 months. Eskridge also flashed a little bit of what made him a second round pick. With patience, I believe Eskridge will have a valuable role on the offense this season.
I’ll mention Penny Hart
Where else? The box score says this: 12/22, 147 yards, 1 TD, 3 INT. But I think he’s very close to a box score that is more like 15/20, 150 yards, 2 TD/2 INT than it seems. Of course, you could say that two of the interceptions were the fault of his receivers but that’s just part of the game. It’s all part of the game! Lock wasn’t as effective as you want a starter to be!
But he’s more effective than Geno Smith.
Lock also had a 32-yard gain on a DPI against Dareke Young.
I think the blocking continues to be an issue.
He may be the most experienced player to have played on Friday night and he played a lot. But I don’t know if Carroll feels ready to start anyone else at nickel.
He was out there EARLY, which bodes well for his chances on the 53-man roster. I’ve said before that I think Young will be the last receiver in because he LOVES playing special teams. I’m still thinking that’s the case but he did have a couple of drops—not an issue though if you’re playing special teams.
Young finished with three catches for a team-leading 43 yards.
Remember, Seaside Joe is an AMAZING newsletter! Be with us everyday during the Seahawks season and tell your Seahawks friends that such a place exists. Thank you!