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3 reasons it’s time to fully buy Geno Smith stock

NFL, Seattle Seahawks, Geno Smith

Geno Smith has replaced Russell Wilson as the Seattle Seahawks’ starting quarterback. On Monday Night Football, Smith actually played more like the classic Wilson than the real Wilson did.

Keep in mind that Russell Wilson received almost all of the attention leading up to and during the Broncos’ Week 1 encounter against the Seahawks.

It seemed natural that this would be the case. Wilson, after all, was returning to Seattle for the first time since being moved away from the franchise where he spent the first decade of his career. Naturally, in such an intense game, he was expected to give his best.

Instead, a man who had been his backup quarterback for three years stole the show.

Geno Smith helped lead the Seahawks to a 17-16 victory in one of 2022’s biggest Week 1 surprises. The 10-year NFL veteran had a strong start and earned his first win as a starter since 2017.

The season-opening win is a tremendously positive way to begin the Geno Smith era in Seattle. Now let’s look at three reasons why it’s time to buy Geno Smith stock this season.

3. The numbers back it up

As the fourth quarter of this tight game began, QB great Troy Aikman stated that Geno Smith had been “nearly flawless” until that point, and he was correct. With the exception of one pass in the first quarter, Smith’s decision-making was flawless. He was also quite precise with the ball, throwing with plenty of touch or zip. He finished with 23-of-28 passes for 195 yards, two touchdowns, and a passer rating of 119.5. Smith also wowed the fans with a pair of tough runs totaling 14 yards.

In contrast, Wilson had a completion rate of 69 percent though he did have a total of 340 yards. Wilson put up one TD and had a passer rating of 101.3. The numbers back up how Smith was statistically more efficient than the guy behind whom he played since 2019.

Smith surely appeared more at ease in the first half. He completed his first 13 throws of the game, helping the Seahawks to a four-point halftime lead. Things slowed down for him in the second half, but in totality, Smith far exceeded expectations in this game.

2. Seahawks offense and Smith make each other look good

Late in the game, Seahawks left tackle Charles Cross permitted two quarterback hits, which overshadowed an otherwise solid performance from him and the rest of the offensive line in general. The o-line clearly had Geno Smith’s back in this game. He had plenty of time in the pocket, and the running backs had plenty of room to maneuver, especially when they rushed behind right tackle Abe Lucas.

The o-line’s stout stand enabled Smith to exhibit his versatility as well. Throughout the game, he was in the shotgun, pistol, and under center formations. To get Smith moving, Seattle used a variety of moves and bootleg activity. The tight ends also played an important role, with Will Dissly and Colby Parkinson accounting for both of Smith’s touchdown passes.

Smith also spread the wealth. In Seattle’s big win, eight different receivers touched the ball. Most of the night, the ball was delivered efficiently and on time, with Smith being sacked only twice, both times by linebacker Bradley Chubb.

Remember that, for better or worse, Seattle employs an offense that hasn’t altered much through the years. Despite three different offensive coordinators, the Seahawks have consistently returned to former QB Wilson’s strengths. With Smith possessing a unique skill set that allows the attacking plan to appear more layered and dynamic, expect the Seahawks offense to look a touch better. Conversely, expect the Seahawks offense to make Smith look good, too.

1. Satisfaction is a function of expectations

Geno Smith is desperate to prove himself and silence his skeptics. In Week 1, Smith showcased the skills, demeanor, and hunger needed to be a quality quarterback for the Seattle Seahawks.

Take note that he is decent but not extraordinary. The degree of satisfaction that Seahawks fans have with Smith will be determined by their expectations. They should keep their expectations of Smith in check, but it doesn’t imply he’ll be a wuss. Smith, on the contrary, will be efficient, maybe even efficient enough to lead this Seahawks team into postseason contention.

Smith had been written off by many. Few even expected the Seahawks to stick with him as their main quarterback in 2022. Drew Lock was acquired as part of the Wilson deal and was expected to start.

But Smith never paid attention to the outside noise. Instead, he relied on his previous experience with the Jets, Giants, Chargers, and as a Seahawks backup to keep him sharp.

And he didn’t see acting largely as a backup from 2015 onwards as a significant challenge.

“When people say ‘what I’ve been through,’ I think that’s a stretch, man,” Smith told Seahawks.com. “I’m in the NFL for 10 years, so to say what I’ve been through is kind of funny. Then to say people wrote me off, I’ve just been working. That’s what I mean by ‘I never wrote back.’ I don’t listen to stuff like that. I just work. I know what I have inside of me.”

On Monday, all of Smith’s hard work certainly paid off. We’re not expecting him to average 250 yards and multiple touchdowns each game this season, but 200-220 yards and 1-2 touchdowns would be reasonable. That wouldn’t be a terrible thing for this post-Wilson Seahawks team, either.