BROCK AND SALK

Huard: 4 numbers tell story of Seahawks QB Geno Smith’s season

Jan 2, 2023, 4:51 PM
Seahawks Geno Smith...
Seahawks QB Geno Smith celebrates with fans after a win over the New York Jets on Jan. 1, 2023. (Photo by Lindsey Wasson/Getty Images)
(Photo by Lindsey Wasson/Getty Images)

In the context of recent Seahawks history, where the 2022 team stands right now might not jump out as anything all that extraordinary.

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Seattle has made the postseason in nine of Pete Carroll’s 12 years as head coach, so the fact that the Hawks are 8-8 and still have the window open to make the playoffs entering the final game of the regular season may not be getting the same kind of attention it would in other cities.

Then there’s the play of quarterback Geno Smith, who followed in the footsteps of Russell Wilson, who made nine Pro Bowls in 10 years with Seattle before moving on to Denver before this season. Smith is also Pro Bowl-bound, a first in his career, but the buzz around him has quieted down in recent weeks with the Seahawks losing five games in a six-game span, the last three of which saw Smith finish with a quarterback rating below his season mark (currently 102.9).

Smith, 32, got moving back in the right direction in Sunday’s 23-6 win over the New York Jets, completing 18 of 29 passes for 183 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions for a 103.1 rating.

Following that win, former NFL QB and current FOX football analyst Brock Huard thought it was a good time to highlight what Smith has accomplished in a year where he had to win Seattle’s starting QB job in training camp and the preseason.

Here’s a look at four numbers Huard pointed to from Smith’s season, three of which are positive and one that’s an area for improvement.

4,000 yards and 29 touchdowns

The first two stats Huard brought up really hammer home just how good Smith has been. In 16 games, which is the amount the NFL used to play in the regular season until they tacked on an extra week starting in 2021, he has passed for 4,069 yards and 29 TDs. Wilson is the only other Seahawks QB to reach the 4,000-yard mark in a season, which he did four times, and only Wilson and Dave Krieg have thrown more touchdowns in a season for Seattle. That’s right, not even Matt Hasselbeck produced the kind of numbers Smith has in 2022.

“That is pretty remarkable stuff,” Huard said. “… He’s showing you that he is a very good starter in this league. And when you can play that kind of blueprint (on offense) and you can run the ball and you can play defense, he won’t turn it over, he will be efficient, he will spray it (around), he’ll throw it on the run incredibly well. And 4,000 yards and 30 touchdowns is real. That’s a real number.”

As is the next one Huard pointed to, which is arguably just as important.

16 starts in 16 games

Smith hasn’t missed a snap this season, which is as big of a reason as anything else for the Seahawks’ success in a year when they weren’t expected to challenge for a playoff spot.

“The other number that I loved as much as anything that they put up yesterday, (Smith is) one of only three QBs to take every snap for his team this season,” Huard said. “That reliability – the most important ability, that durability, availability, whatever you want to say, all three of those mixed into one – that continues to jump out to me. … Hats off to you, Geno.”

43 sacks taken

This is where Smith could stand to make an improvement. His 43 sacks taken is fifth-most in the NFL, and while it is better than Wilson has done with the Broncos (53 sacks in 43 games), Smith’s reliability could go away if he continues to take hits.

“Four sacks yesterday – that sack reel will be something… and he’s still an inexperienced QB,” Huard said. “This is his first season as a full-time starter taking every one of those snaps, and there were a few sacks again yesterday that he needs to get rid of (the ball), that he needs to step up, that he could have avoided because that total is now at 43 on the season. So that’s the one that’s got to be trimmed eventually.”

You can hear Huard’s full thoughts on Smith and more from the Seahawks’ Week 17 win in the Blue 88 segment from Monday’s edition of Brock and Salk at the end of the podcast at this link or in the player below.

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