JOE FANN

Overreaction Monday: Can Seahawks QB Geno Smith get an MVP vote?

Oct 31, 2022, 2:07 PM | Updated: 2:08 pm
Seahawks Geno Smith...
Geno Smith of the Seattle Seahawks celebrates against the New York Giants at Lumen Field on October 30, 2022. (Lindsey Wasson/Getty Images)
(Lindsey Wasson/Getty Images)

I’d like to reintroduce a column that I began as a Seahawks beat writer and am now bringing back to Seattle Sports.

Pete Carroll breaks down Seahawks’ ‘complete win’ over Giants

As some of you remember, the concept of Overreaction Monday is to solicit hot takes from Twitter and make my determination as to whether each is an overreaction or not.

There were lots of spicy opinions to choose from this week with Seattle sitting at 5-3, winners of three straight games and sitting in first place of the NFC West. Let’s dive in.

@tomfuge: Geno Smith is an MVP candidate.

Overreaction? No.

I’d define “MVP candidate” as the top five, and Geno Smith is unequivocally in that group. For me, he’s behind only Josh Allen, Patrick Mahomes and Jalen Hurts. Whether he gets an actual vote is a different story. Every MVP voter is given just one vote, which is the predominant reason why Russell Wilson never received a single vote during his peak seasons.

Barring injury, Smith is almost assured of a Pro Bowl nod as a top two quarterback in the NFC. You could argue Smith over Hurts, but I’ll go with the Eagles QB to this point due to his rushing production and edge in total touchdowns (16-14) despite playing in one fewer game. That, and his team remains undefeated.

Still, Smith should be celebrated league wide as one of the NFL’s best stories this season. He has All-Pro upside that would likely require an injury to one of the names I mentioned above him.

@staypuftmcfly: They aren’t actually this good and will miss the playoffs at 7-10.

Overreaction? Yes.

There’s no reason why Seattle’s current success is unsustainable. I define that under the expectation that the Seahawks will be in the mix for a playoff spot for the remainder of the season. I don’t anticipate a massing losing streak that derails their season at this point.

To argue that the Seahawks aren’t “this good” is to suggest that teams behind them in the NFC standings will ascend at some point and take their spot. The entire conference is such a mess that the first team on the outside looking in of the current playoff picture is the 4-4 Washington Commanders. You can’t tell me with confidence that Seattle is an inferior team to Washington, or the 3-4 Buccaneers and Packers for that matter.

I’ve seen enough from Seattle’s offense to believe that it can produce against any defense, and I’m eager to see a rematch against San Francisco’s defense in Week 15. Smith and Co. could withstand some regression from the defense, one that has been quite literally one of the best in football over the last three weeks.

A Week 16 road game in Kansas City is the only matchup left on the schedule that I feel confident that the Seahawks won’t win. They’ll either be favorites or slight underdogs in every other game.

@GenoEnjoyer: This year’s team is more enjoyable to watch than any team from the Pete Carroll-Russell Wilson era.

Overreaction: Yes (for now).

I’ll assume this take is meant specifically regarding the offense. There’s no way you could argue this team as a whole is more enjoyable than the pinnacle of the L.O.B. era. Even if talk strictly about offenses, we’re still not there yet. In 2015 Seattle ranked fourth in both scoring and total yards. Through eight games I’d also say the 2019 offense was more exhilarating.

But we know the second half of that 2019 campaign ended much differently than it began, and those struggles persisted through the 2020-21 seasons as well.

So while this remains an overreaction in my opinion, I understand why this year’s offense is such a breath of fresh air for Seahawks fans. There’s more rhythm, timing and consistent production within the natural flow of the offense this year without being at the expense of explosive plays. Everyone involved deserves immense credit for what has been the fourth-ranked scoring offense through eight weeks.

@andthatswhy: This is the Shane Waldron offense Russell Wilson wanted but refused to run.

Overreaction? Yes (sort of).

This is something I’ve been mulling over immensely. It’s becoming more apparent by the week that Pete Carroll was not holding back Russell Wilson to the degree in which myself and many others believed during the final years for the Wilson-Carroll era.

In fact, there’s some validity to the notion that Carroll did an impeccable job masking Wilson’s flaws and limitations. Everything that has transpired this season, both in Denver and in Seattle, has been an indictment on Wilson.

I’d argue that Carroll has evolved some when it comes to fourth down aggressiveness (Seattle was 2/2 during Sunday’s win over the Giants) and neutral situation pass rate (Seattle ranks fourth over the last four weeks). But the answer might be as simple as he trusts Smith more than he did Wilson in those situations.

And that’s why I say this is an overreaction because it might not be that Wilson refused to run this scheme so much as he was incapable of doing so to the same efficiency as Smith. If you look at the 2022 passing charts between the two quarterbacks, you’ll notice a huge discrepancy in production in the intermediate middle of the field (10-20 yards downfield). Wilson owns a 51.4 passer rating when targeting that area of the field while Smith has a 155.8 rating. That certainly helps open up the playbook for Shane Waldron.

@Jtalkhawk: L.J. Collier will be a surprise boost on defense and fans will want him re-signed this offseason.

Overreaction? Yes.

L.J. Collier had a pressure and a tipped pass in just 18 snaps on Sunday, but I need to see much more before I consider him to be a possible important piece on Seattle’s defensive front for years to come. Collier has just 23 pressures and 3.0 sacks in 577 career pass rush reps.

@Yvslexus: The Seahawks should still draft a QB next draft.

Overreaction? No.

I agree with this wholeheartedly, but only if the Seahawks have the chance to draft a quarterback who John Schneider and Co. grade as a can’t-miss guy without having to trade up for him.

@PopsAllen: The Seahawks need to add depth at LB to continue to improve the defense.

Overreaction? No.

It would be unwise for Seattle to continue this playoff push with Nick Bellore as the two-deep behind both Cody Barton and Jordyn Brooks.

@mtweetz406: Ryan Neal is the most important person on the Seahawks’ defense.

Overreaction? Yes.

Ryan Neal has been tremendous the last few weeks, but I’d put Uchenna Nwosu, Quandre Diggs and Tariq Woolen above him.

@AlexMueller23: Kenneth Walker III is a top-5 RB in the NFC

Overreaction? Yes.

If we are talking about trajectory then Kenneth Walker is absolutely in the top five, but even in the here and now there’s a case to be made that he’s in that group. That said, I don’t think he’s there yet.

I’d take, in no particular order, Saquon Barkley, Dalvin Cook, Alvin Kamara, Christian McCaffrey and Aaron jones over Walker at this point. Guys like Tony Pollard and D’Andre Swift would also get consideration from me. We could hem and haw over this list, and so you’re free to disagree. The moral of the story is that Walker is a tremendous talent who deserves the notoriety he’s getting right now.

Rost: Seahawks have something more and unexpected to play for this year

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