Huard: Geno Smith ‘totally different’ on play-action vs dropbacks

Nov 9, 2023, 12:09 PM

Seattle Seahawks Geno Smith...

Geno Smith of the Seattle Seahawks attempts a pass on Sept. 24, 2023. (Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

(Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

The Seattle Seahawks left Baltimore licking their wounds after a 37-3 thumping at the hands of the Ravens.

Football 101: Why couldn’t Seahawks stop the run vs Ravens?

Nothing went right for the Hawks really on either side of the ball, but it was offensively one of the worst games the team has had with Geno Smith under center, with the 2022 Pro Bowl quarterback completing less than half of his passes for just 157 yards and had two more turnovers.

Smith’s numbers have been worse basically across the board this year compared to last season, but he is still excelling in one area, which puts a focus on the Seahawks’ play-calling.

As former NFL quarterback Brock Huard broke down during Wednesday’s Brock and Salk on Seattle Sports, the Seahawks need to focus more on the play-action game rather than straight dropback passes.

“Unbelievably different. I mean night and day different .. It’s just a totally different game,” Huard said when asked the difference in Smith’s stats between those two categories.

Huard got some numbers from ESPN Seahawks reporter Brady Henderson focused on Smith’s QB rating. QBR scales from 1-100 with 50 being average, and every quarterback is graded on the same scale and with the same metrics.

“They’re all under the same algorithm in this QBR,” Huard said. “Geno Smith is third in the NFL on play-action plays this season (with) an 85.7 grade, behind only Patrick Mahomes and Lamar Jackson.”

As Huard’s co-host Mike Salk put it, “Pretty good company.”

Mahomes is a perennial MVP candidate and two-time Super Bowl champ while Jackson, who had a big game against the Seahawks for the Ravens on Sunday, is playing arguably his best football since winning MVP in 2019.

While Smith is elite on play-action, the numbers are vastly different when he performs a straight dropback pass attempt.

“On non-play-action plays, (Smith is) 25th in the NFL (with a) 38.2 QBR. So 38.2 versus 85.7,” Huard said. “What do you think? Should we drop back and throw it between the tackles? Or should we design a little play-action pass? What do you think?”

Smith had 15 total turnovers last season and has nine so far through Seattle’s first eight games, with eight coming over the Seahawks’ last four contests.

Of those nine turnovers, seven are interceptions, and Huard had a stat about that, too.

“How about every one of his interceptions had been (on a) dropback? Not one interception in the play-action game.”

Listen to the second hour of Wednesday’s Brock and Salk at this link or in the player near the top of this story.

More on the Seattle Seahawks

Huard: Which college QBs could be in play for Seahawks in draft?
Bump’s Video Breakdown: What happened to Seahawks’ offense?
Huard: Why has Seahawks’ Riq Woolen disappointed in Year 2?
Bump & Stacy: How Seahawks can use Drew Lock to push Geno Smith
Salk on Seattle Seahawks: What did Carroll’s answer to QB question really say?

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