STACY ROST

Rost: That Smith’s outing wasn’t worst part of loss to Bears is bad news for Seahawks

Aug 19, 2022, 9:21 AM
Seahawks Geno Smith...
Geno Smith talks to the offense during the preseason game against the Chicago Bears at Lumen Field on August 18, 2022. (Jane Gershovich/Getty Images)
(Jane Gershovich/Getty Images)

When the Seahawks prepare to take on the Broncos in less than a month they’ll be 0-0 and one preseason loss (or two) will have counted for nothing. But Thursday’s ugly showing still matters — at least for now.

Good, Bad and Ugly: Seahawks’ poor showing vs Bears

This wasn’t an offense opting to keep things conservative, or a defense with backups falling apart. This was a poor performance in every phase of the ball throughout all four quarters, including the two in which the presumptive starting quarterback and a handful of other starters played. And they did it all against a Bears team that’s still trying to rebuild and find its footing.

There were drops, missed tackles (again), passes that sailed in front of or behind open receivers, a missed field goal, and explosive returns allowed on special teams.

But worse still might be that Geno Smith’s final stat line (10 of 18 for 112 yards and no touchdowns) wasn’t the worst of it.

Make no mistake: Smith didn’t do anything to make himself a clear front runner for the starting gig. There was a trip-up in the backfield that counted for a nine-yard team sack and acted as a gut punch after a 29-yard gain from running back DeeJay Dallas. There were a couple errant throws. But Smith didn’t get much help from the receiving corps, who accounted for a handful of drops, nor from rookie tackle Charles Cross, who drew five penalties. Many of those errors stalled drives that started out promising: a 41-yard deep pass from Smith to Penny Hart turned into 2nd-and-20 two plays later after a holding call.

That Smith isn’t playing like a franchise quarterback is OK since, with respect to Smith, the assumption held by most critics in and particularly outside of Seattle is that the Seahawks’ quarterback of the future isn’t yet on this team. Smith and former Bronco Drew Lock will continue vying for the role, and each is undoubtedly (and understandably) looking for a chance to prove he’s capable of being a reliable starter.

But the lens with which fans will view this year’s Seahawks extends to several other positions, and in some cases those other pieces are more important.

Can the Seahawks improve their 31st ranked pass defense? Can they make the most of Jamal Adams, a safety they gave up two first-round picks to acquire? Can former first-round pick Jordyn Brooks settle into his new role in the middle of the defense? Can Rashaad Penny build on last year’s stellar finish? All are questions that are hugely important not just to the 2022 season, but to the foundation of a Carroll-led team.

In the end, it’ll be easier for fans to stomach a poor performance from one of these two quarterbacks if Seattle’s biggest stars and its newest talent find ways to shine. There will be growing pains for youngsters on any team (something Cross learned Thursday night). Plus, key starters have yet to truly play in a game. After all, players like DK Metcalf, Jamal Adams and Quandre Diggs get paid because they can make a difference. And as ugly as this preseason loss was, August is no time to press the panic button.

All of that said, until the young players around these two quarterbacks start to improve and the shape of a winning team starts settling into place, you’d be forgiven for keeping a hovering hand just over it.

Fast Facts: Seahawks lose to Bears 27-11 in preseason; Lewis injured

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