The Seahawks have needed every bit of Geno Smith’s unlikely success – Seattle Seahawks Blog

DETROIT — Pete Carroll stood on the podium at Ford Field after his Seattle Seahawks just walked away with a win in a shootout against the Detroit Lions on Sunday, and smiled and answered indirectly when asked about Geno Smith’s hot start to the Season exceeded his expectations.

It was apparently tacit confirmation that the quarterback was doing better than even the NFL’s most optimistic head coach had anticipated.

“He plays pretty good football, man,” Carroll said, shaking his head.

Over in the visitor’s locker room, receiver Tyler Lockett broke into a brief chant when asked about one of the many big plays Smith made during Seattle’s 555-yard offensive run. Up seven at the start of the fourth quarter, Smith hung in the pocket against an encompassing blitz just long enough to float a throw over the middle to Lockett for a 34-yard gain, taking a big shot from a Lions rusher scored .

“Hey man,” said a smiling Lockett, “GE-NO, GE-NO.”

But before the locker room opened to reporters, veteran defensive tackle and co-captain Al Woods addressed the team with a message that acknowledges the sobering reality of the Seahawks’ 48-45 win — their offense saved a defense that continues to struggle hard.

Smith, who played well in Seattle’s first three games, was brilliant on Sunday while accounting for three touchdowns and 369 yards of offense. The running game, a non-factor in Seattle’s 2-1 start, came alive against the Lions as Rashaad Penny threw up 151 yards and two long touchdown carries to end a narrow win that should have been a blowout.

After their defense put in their worst performance from another poor start — against a Lions offense missing three of their playmakers in D’Andre Swift, Amon-Ra St. Brown and DJ Chark — the Seahawks needed everything they got from Smith and co

Hence Woods’ dressing room address, which he later shared with ESPN: “Basically just to show love to the offense for carrying us.”

The Seahawks went the entire game without a punt for the first time in franchise history, scoring on seven of their nine possessions (plus a pick-six from Tariq Woolen). The two exceptions were a missed 39-yard field goal by Jason Myers (who struck from 56 and 25 yards on Sunday) and the final drive, which ended in the two downs. Her 555 yards offense was her fifth-highest of all time.

Smith started his big day early, delivering a pinpoint back-shoulder throw to Will Dissly in the end zone for a 17-yard touchdown pass on an 80-yard opening drive. That made up for Smith overshooting an open lockett on a deep shot a few games earlier, one of the few mistakes he made all game.

The lack of deep completions was one area where Seattle’s offense has seen an expected drop from Russell Wilson. One area Smith did better: Getting tight ends. Dissly’s touchdown was his third of the season. Colby Parkinson had one in the opener. Noah Fant came on the board with a 2-yard score on Sunday in a game that had him wide open in the end zone. That was Smith’s sixth passing touchdown of the season compared to two interceptions.

And while no one will mistake Smith for the mad scrambler Wilson was early in his career, he showed on Sunday he can still play with his legs. He ran for an 8-yard score, converted a third-and-7 with a 17-yard scramble, and finished with 49 rushing yards. Smith, who turns 32 next week, would have surpassed his previous career high of 50 had he not been docked two yards on consecutive knockdowns to end the game.

Smith started Week 3 with by far the best completion percentage in the NFL. After completing 23 of 30 attempts (for 320 yards) in a typically efficient performance, he’s now at 77.3%. That’s the highest completion rate in NFL history in a team’s first four games among quarterbacks who attempted at least 125 passes, according to ESPN Stats & Information.

Not bad for a longtime backup who is widely believed to be just a bridge to Wilson’s long-term successor and was by no means the obvious favorite to beat Drew Lock in his offseason contest.

“I’m just excited [Smith] and for our boys that he had that kind of early success to kick-start this season and show us that we can play really good football with him up front,” Carroll said. “And he’s just been so rock solid throughout this whole process, and then he plays and makes it, takes it to the streets.”

The Seahawks — 2-2 with an away game against the New Orleans Saints next — will need to make another massive turn on defense, as they’ve done each of the past two seasons, if they’re to make anything of 2022. They will have to do without one of their best playmakers in Jamal Adams, who is out with a quadriceps tendon injury that required surgery. And they must hurry, because no matter how good Smith was, no quarterback could be expected to continue leading the kind of offensive explosion the Seahawks needed to beat the 1-3 Lions.

Penny was asked what Smith has shown in four weeks.

“That he’s a starting quarterback and maybe even more,” Penny said. “I mean he wins games for us.”

https://www.espn.com/blog/seattle-seahawks/post/_/id/36198/the-seahawks-have-needed-every-bit-of-geno-smiths-unlikely-success The Seahawks have needed every bit of Geno Smith’s unlikely success – Seattle Seahawks Blog

Emma Bowman

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