STACY ROST

Rost: Seahawks still have questions, but Geno Smith has answered some

Dec 5, 2022, 10:05 AM
Seahawks Geno Smith...
Mchael Hoecht of the Los Angeles Rams pressures Geno Smith of the Seattle Seahawks on December 04, 2022. (Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
(Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

There were plenty of question facing Seahawks quarterback Geno Smith heading into the season.

What feels good and what doesn’t from Seahawks’ win over Rams

Could he make the most of the newly-extended DK Metcalf? Could he spearhead an offense that was far more explosive than the lackluster version seen in Seattle’s preseason? Could he hold down the starting job, or would the younger Drew Lock swoop in and take it from him?

Two-thirds of the way into the season, we know the answers. Smith is a top-five quarterback in nearly every passing category. He’s tied for fourth in total touchdowns (22), fifth in quarterback rating (64.8), fifth in total yards (3,169) and first in completion percentage (72%). He’s also the only starter with a completion percentage above 70% this season. Simply put, he’s not just been a surprise; he’s been a revelation for Seattle.

With that production came a new question: what if Geno Smith is the guy?

It’s not a question most NFL fans were thinking back in August, but Smith had shown everything he needed to entering Week 13 barring one thing: a clutch, come-from-behind touchdown drive to win the game.

It feels like an arbitrary measure of quarterback glory (should quarterback wins even matter?) but nonetheless, there’s one shared truth among the league’s best: absolutely no defense wants to see them with the ball in their hands late and time on the clock.

On Sunday, Smith showed he can be that player. He had an opportunity the week prior in an overtime loss to the Raiders, but he was sacked to end a drive and Seattle never got the ball back. There was a missed chip block from the tight end and a sick right tackle who was outmatched against an elite edge rusher. Still, the question – and burden – fell to Smith. Could he do it if he had another shot?

Lucky for the Seahawks, the answer was yes. Down by a field goal to the Rams with just under three minutes remaining, the Seahawks’ offense took over at their own 25-yard line. Smith found Metcalf over the middle for nine yards. Then he found tight end Noah Fant along the right sideline for a first down. With pressure in his face, Smith lobbed a 14-yarder to Fant for another first down. Next was a pass to Tyler Lockett to convert third-and-10, and in what might’ve been his best throw of the drive, a 17-yard dart over the middle to Marquise Goodwin to take Seattle to the 8-yard line. And if that wasn’t it, it was Smith’s touchdown to Metcalf.

Seattle’s offense didn’t play its best game and it was still good enough for a win over a banged-up Rams defense, but also a Rams defense that put up a fight against Kansas City in the red zone last week.

There are questions remaining that have nothing to do with Smith. How healthy are the running backs? Can the pass protection hold up toward the tail end of the season?

But Smith and the offense clearly pack a punch, and if the Seahawks’ defense can take even modest steps forward, they’ve proven they can go toe-to-toe with almost any team in the conference.

Instant Reaction: Geno leads winning drive, Seahawks beat Rams 27-23

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