Geno Smith hears chants, relishes Seahawks opening victory

Sep 12, 2022, 10:28 AM | Updated: 10:31 pm
Seattle Seahawks quarterback Geno Smith passes against the Denver Broncos during the first half of ...

Seattle Seahawks quarterback Geno Smith passes against the Denver Broncos during the first half of an NFL football game, Monday, Sept. 12, 2022, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Stephen Brashear)

(AP Photo/Stephen Brashear)

SEATTLE (AP) — Hearing his name chanted as he left the field as a winner for the Seattle Seahawks wasn’t validation for Geno Smith.

It was gratification that eight years after he last was a starting quarterback on the opening weekend of the NFL season he again had the opportunity.

“As far as worrying about naysayers, anything like that, I don’t get into that type of stuff,” Smith said. “People can write you off, but life is about what you make it and so I’ve just been blessed enough to be in the NFL for 10 years, and been working my butt off, and it’s a team game and we got to win tonight as a team.”

With most of the attention on Russell Wilson’s return to Seattle on the other side of the field, it was Smith and the Seahawks celebrating a 17-16 win on Monday night.

Wilson had the more memorable evening, from the boos that cascaded down on him from Seattle fans, to Denver’s decision not to go for it on fourth-and-5 and instead attempt a 64-yard field goal in the closing seconds.

But it was Smith that was in the celebratory locker room afterward, the one that Wilson called home for a decade.

“He’s had it in his whole time. He just hasn’t had the perfect opportunity for him to go out there and showcase what he really is able to do when he’s in full control of a football team or of an offense,” Seattle wide receiver DK Metcalf said.

Smith was spectacular in the first half and perhaps more of what was expected in the second half as Seattle was shut out. He finished 23 of 28 for 195 yards, but was 17 of 18 for 164 yards and two touchdowns in the first half.

Smith threw a 38-yard touchdown to Will Dissly on Seattle’s first possession of the season. He added a 25-yard strike to Colby Parkinson in the second quarter that gave Seattle a 17-7 lead at the time. He jogged off the field at halftime to chants of “Geno, Geno.”

That big half proved to be enough, but barely.

“He was so poised and so calm in this game. It was just fun playing with him,” Seattle coach Pete Carroll said. “And we’re talking as the game is going on, he’s having fun and laughing and enjoying it. The moment came to him and he was ready for it.”

Smith’s second season in the NFL, in 2014, was the last time he started on the opening weekend of the season. It was the first time since 1971 there had been that large of a time gap for a quarterback between opening week starts.

Smith appeared to relish his opportunity. He played fearless and the Seattle crowd — already amped by Wilson’s return — roared its approval. When Smith lowered his shoulder on a 14-yard scramble late in the third quarter rather than sliding, the Seahawks fans followed with more chants of his name.

For all Smith did right, Seattle’s offense was inefficient in the second half. The Seahawks had just 34 total yards and five first downs after halftime. Seattle had less than 10 minutes time of possession in the third and fourth quarters.

It made for a nervy final few moments for Smith as he watched Denver try to rally. It created flashbacks to the past three seasons serving as Wilson’s backup and watching him lead the Seahawks in games and practices down the field in those late-game situations.

“For so long, I watched Russ go down and win those games,” Smith said. “It was a surreal moment seeing him on the other side, up against our defense, going for one of his vintage comeback wins, and we stood up tonight and I was happy about that.”


More AP NFL: and

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Indianapolis Colts wide receiver Parris Campbell (1) makes a catch as Denver Broncos cornerback Ron...
Associated Press

Broncos lose Bolles, Darby to season-ending injuries

The Denver Broncos lost two more starters to season-ending injuries when medical tests Friday morning revealed left tackle Garett Bolles (lower leg) and cornerback Ronald Darby (ACL) need surgery. They were injured in Denver’s 12-9 loss to the Indianapolis Colts on Thursday night, just four days after the Broncos lost star running back Javonte Williams […]
2 days ago
Cleveland Guardians' Emmanuel Clase pitches in the ninth inning of a wild card baseball playoff gam...
Associated Press

Guardians take WC opener as Ramírez homers, Bieber dominates

CLEVELAND (AP) — The Guardians were certain of two things: José Ramírez would deliver, and Amed Rosario touched second base. Cleveland’s kids were right. Ramírez connected for a two-run homer, Shane Bieber dominated Tampa Bay for 7 2/3 innings and the young Guardians played with poise in their postseason debut, beating the Rays 2-1 in […]
2 days ago
Ryan Blaney (12) leads the field through the tri-oval during a NASCAR Cup Series auto race Sunday, ...
Associated Press

NASCAR teams call revenue model ‘broken,’ warn of layoffs

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — The most powerful teams in NASCAR warned Friday that the venerable stock car racing series has a “broken” economic model that is unfair and has little to no chance of long-term stability, a stunning announcement that added to a growing list of woes. The Cup Series is heading into the Charlotte […]
2 days ago
Detroit Red Wings coach Derek Lalonde looks at the scoreboard during the first period of the team's...
Associated Press

NHL’s East ‘have nots’ hoping to start challenging the elite

Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin aren’t getting any younger, and New Jersey Devils general manager Tom Fitzgerald isn’t shy about hoping that age finally catches up to the NHL Eastern Conference’s elite players. At the same time, Fitzgerald can appreciate it takes more than hope and age to level the ice for teams such as […]
2 days ago
The referee throws a flag as Indianapolis Colts quarterback Matt Ryan (2) runs during the first hal...
Associated Press

On Football: NFL teams aren’t doomed with losing Octobers

DENVER (AP) — A losing record in October doesn’t mean playoff hopes are lost. Last year, the Patriots, Steelers and Eagles rebounded from a 1-3 start to earn a postseason berth. The Chiefs and 49ers both opened 2-3 and still reached their conference championship games. Entering Week 5, nine teams had losing records, including three […]
2 days ago
New York Giants quarterback Daniel Jones, number 8, attends a practice session at Hanbury Manor in ...
Associated Press

QB Jones set to start for Giants against Packers in London

WARE, England (AP) — Giants quarterback Daniel Jones is expected to start in New York’s game against the Green Bay Packers at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium after participating fully in practice on Friday. Jones sprained his left ankle last Sunday and was limited in midweek practices before the London trip but didn’t receive an injury status […]
2 days ago
Geno Smith hears chants, relishes Seahawks opening victory