Bump: What Geno Smith needs to do for Seahawks to beat Broncos

Sep 9, 2022, 5:07 PM | Updated: Sep 11, 2022, 1:18 pm
Seahawks Geno Smith...
Seahawks QB Geno Smith looks to make a pass in a preseason game against the Bears on Aug. 18. (Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)
(Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

The Seahawks’ Week 1 game will feature quite the interesting quarterback matchup: Seattle’s Geno Smith against the man he backed up the previous three seasons, new Denver Broncos franchise QB Russell Wilson.

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Nobody expects Smith to outplay Wilson this year. The expectations for the 31-year-old veteran are modest, and there’s not even a guarantee he will be the Seahawks QB the whole season after battling Drew Lock for the starting job in the preseason and training camp. But that’s not to say the Seahawks have no chance of winning Monday night when Wilson and Broncos come to Lumen Field.

On Thursday’s edition of Seattle Sports’ Bump and Stacy, former NFL wide receiver and current Seahawks analyst Michael Bumpus broke down what Smith will need to do if the Hawks are to win Monday.

“The obvious is what he needs to do: take care of the football, do not turn the football over, run the offense, be deceptive in the play-action game, be a leader on the sidelines and in the huddle,” Bumpus told co-host Stacy Rost. “But also what he needs to do is throw the football down the field.”

Weren’t expecting that last part, were you?

With the Seahawks and Wilson splitting up this offseason, the general impression is that head coach Pete Carroll will favor a more balanced offense in 2022. And with Smith taking over at QB, that has led to the assumption that there will be a lot of leaning on Seattle’s running game and shorter, more efficient passes. Bumpus isn’t disagreeing with any of that, but just like how it’s helpful to establish the run in a pass-heavy offense, Smith and the Seahawks need to show they’re still a threat to make big plays in the passing game.

“You need to be able to throw the football down the field five to six times over 20 yards and complete maybe four to five. You’ve got to be able to make a play that no one expects you to make,” Bumpus said.

Smith has the ability to throw deep. Bumpus passed along that Smith completed 68% of his pass attempts over 20 yards when he filled in for an injured Wilson in four games last season, and he had a strong 103 passer rating last season. Plus, the Seahawks have two of the best deep threats in the game in Pro Bowl wide receiver DK Metcalf and the always reliable Tyler Lockett, who has three straight seasons with 1,000 yards or more and had 965 yards the season before that streak started.

Bumpus explained that Carroll is going with Smith as his QB because of reliability, but there will still be times when the Seahawks need to go big.

“The reason why Geno has the job is because Pete Carroll believes that he’s going to run that offense. He’s not going to do too much, he’s not gonna do too little. He’s going to do exactly what he’s told, or at least attempt to do exactly what he’s told,” Bumpus said. “But every now and then – and it’s going to happen on Monday – he’s going to have to be able to make a play. He’s going to have to roll to the right during a scramble, point DK down the field and let a bomb loose, put it in the right spot for DK or Lockett or one of those guys to make a play.

“Be the Geno that got you this job. Be responsible with the football, but at some point he’s going to have to make a play. He’s going to have to get the crowd up and cheering and roaring and change the momentum of this game on Monday night. Let’s see if he does it.”

You can listen to the full conversation in the Four-Down Territory segment of the podcast at this link or in the player below. Four-Down Territory airs at 11:15 a.m. during each edition of Bump and Stacy on Seattle Sports.

Seahawks on the radio

Catch the Seahawks’ season opener Monday night against Russell Wilson and the Broncos on Seattle Sports 710 AM and streaming at SeattleSports.com, on the Seahawks app and the Seattle Sports app. Coverage begins at 2 p.m. with the pregame show, followed by kickoff at 5:15 p.m. and the postgame show, which airs for roughly two hours after the end of the contest.

Note: Due to NFL restrictions, Seahawks games are available to stream from Seattle Sports only if you are within 75 miles of Seattle. There are several Seahawks Radio Network affiliates throughout the Pacific Northwest. Find your nearest affiliate at this link. If you are outside of the Pacific Northwest and want to stream Seahawks radio broadcasts, the NFL offers a subscription streaming service. For details, click here.

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