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Geno Smith has his signature Seahawks drive

Smith was perfect when the Seahawks needed him to be.

New York Giants v Seattle Seahawks Photo by Lindsey Wasson/Getty Images

The Seattle Seahawks’ 27-13 win over the New York Giants carried some personal statistical significance for quarterback Geno Smith.

For the first time since the finale of the 2014 regular season with the New York Jets against the Miami Dolphins, Smith engineered what will officially go down as a game-winning drive.

Pro Football Reference’s definition of a GWD is an offensive touchdown in the 4th quarter that gives the winning team the lead for the final time. Smith’s GWD against Miami was mostly in the 3rd quarter and the go-ahead points were kicked in the opening minute of the 4th, so this is a true 4th quarter game-winning drive.

Smith had GWD opportunities against the Atlanta Falcons and New Orleans Saints, coming up short on both occasions. Technically speaking he had a game-winning drive against the Saints, but Taysom Hill ruined what would’ve doubled as a phenomenal 4th quarter comeback.

With the score tied 13-13, Smith punished the Giants defense by going 5/5 for 75 yards and the winning touchdown to Tyler Lockett, whom on the previous series failed to come up with what would’ve been a touchdown and forced Seattle to settle for a field goal.

Seattle was just 3/13 on 3rd down in this one, so they solved that problem by never touching 3rd down on the go-ahead drive. Smith went twice to DK Metcalf, twice to Lockett, and once to Marquise Goodwin (whose catch was the only one that didn’t gain a first down). The ball was consistently out of Smith’s hands quickly so that the Giants pass rush would never factor, and it was a thing of beauty to watch.

For Smith, it’s the most significant drive of his Seahawks career. Seattle would’ve lost the NFC West lead had they lost this game, and obviously a tiebreaker against the Giants could loom large. On a day when the passing offense had sputtered at times and hurt itself with brutal drops, everything clicked for Geno and company at the most opportune time.

I’d argue that Smith’s been more clutch in critical situations than you may think this year. Go back to the Detroit Lions win and note that the Seahawks responded to every score by the Detroit Lions in the 2nd half with a score of their own up until they ran the clock out. Geno might not have thrown a touchdown during that stretch but he audibled into Rashaad Penny’s 3rd and 16 touchdown run and hit key passes to Tyler Lockett on two other scoring drives. In some ways this was more clutch than the actual game-winning drive against the Giants because the Seahawks defense was performing at a level so low that empty trips would’ve probably meant a loss.

Against the Arizona Cardinals with the score at 12-9, Smith was 5/6 for 65 yards and Kenneth Walker III capped things off with the clinching touchdown in the 4th quarter. Arizona never had a chance at a go-ahead drive largely thanks to Geno, and I’m still amazed that he made this throw.

What’s impressed me most about Smith is how poised he’s been. Perhaps given his prior history with the Jets, there was a bit of an expectation that if things weren’t humming he’d come unstuck. So far that hasn’t been the case, and indeed he’s the one rallying his teammates.

His teammates, and the Seahawks fanbase collectively, are rallying around him.