SEATTLE, Wash. — With all the talk about Russell Wilson returning to Seattle for an alleged “revenge game,” it was Seahawks quarterback Geno Smith who opened a bigger can on Wilson’s Broncos in the first half of Monday Night Football.
Smith, making his way as the starting quarterback for a team since he held that title for the 2014 New York Jets, put on a show of efficiency in the first half that had to make head coach Pete Carroll happy.
Geno Smith got the Juice right now! pic.twitter.com/q4EebM4cLO
— Robert Griffin III (@RGIII) September 13, 2022
Smith completed 17 of 18 passes for 164 yards, two touchdowns, and no interceptions, hitting eight different receivers. This put Smith in rarefied air.
From @ESPNStatsInfo: This is Geno Smith’s first half of any kind with 150 pass yards and two TD passes since 2015. And per Elias, he’s the third QB since 1990 to complete each of his first 13 passes in a Week 1 game. Others: Gardner Minshew (’19 Jaguars) and Jim Kelly (’90 Bills)
— Brady Henderson (@BradyHenderson) September 13, 2022
Were Smith to continue at this rate through the entire game, it would be historic.
At the half, Geno Smith has completed 17 of 18 passes. That would tie him with Eli Manning, Craig Morton, and Fran Tarkenton for sixth all-time in completion % in a single game. https://t.co/It4cSDVyvH
— Doug Farrar ✍ (@NFL_DougFarrar) September 13, 2022
This exactly fits Carroll’s quarterback preferences over time, and why he was okay in the end with trading Wilson to Denver for three players and a horde of draft picks. Carroll wants his quarterback to both take care of the ball and create explosive plays in the passing game, but he’ll sacrifice the latter at the altar of the former.
Last Thursday, Carroll was asked about his mindset, and what he has said before about hs ideal quarterback being a point guard — i.e., an ideal distributor of the football.
“Yeah, it’s just the way I’ve learned to appreciate the position. I really learned to appreciate through the San Francisco system, way back when, when Coach (Bill) Walsh was there and what he did with his guys, Joe (Montana) and Steve (Young) and how he talked about it and how he expected them to play and what their role was in a football team’s approach. He designed his offenses; he’s the most brilliant guy to ever coach the game. He designed his offense to make it as easy as possible for the quarterbacks because he knew the position was so hard to play. And remember all the catch and run stuff and all the quick rhythm stuff that he was famous for, that was so the quarterback didn’t have to be carrying the load.
“He can get the ball out of his hands, working with his line and his guys and all that. That just has always resonated. That’s what west coast is. West coast is long lost from where it was, but that was all of Coach Walsh’s image of what that position and how it should function in terms of how a team plays football. They’ve featured a tremendous amount of short passing game. He was kind of the guy that started all that. So, I’m kind of a hoops guy. Maybe that’s why that reference comes out.”
So far, Geno Smith has been exactly that guy. If Carroll really wanted a point guard instead of a three-point shooter in Wilson, Geno Smith may have been his guy all along.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism