At one point, it was Russell Wilson, Tyler Lockett, and Chris Carson.
Now, somehow - miraculously - it’s DK Metcalf, Rashaad Penny, and Geno Smith.
In a world where the NFL makes absolutely no sense - in other words, the real world - the Seattle Seahawks have run offensive circles around the team that traded for their former quarterback.
Allow me to ask a simple yet deeply impactful question.
Every team needs weapons, and a quarterback to get them the ball. With a bevy of draft picks on the horizon, plenty of money and a coach who doesn’t believe in rebuilds: would you keep the other two members of this trio and build around an explosive offensive corps nobody saw coming?
I’ll ask it again: you’ve already got Metcalf locked up. Rashaad Penny’s 26; Geno Smith 31. You want to give them deals?
Smith to Metcalf has gotten better each game. Metcalf started at 5.1 yards per catch, then 8.8, then 12.8, then a blistering 21.3. He’s only had one truly bad game in terms of catch rate, against the San Francisco 49ers who are giving everyone a hard time right now.
Otherwise, the two have been remarkably efficient. 7-7, 4-6, and 7-10 are his other three catch-to-target stats. Metcalf managed to leave the game without a touchdown, but his gains were huge and there was a defensive pass interference in the end zone not called in a game that had
roughly three hundred way too many flags thrown.
The Detroit Lions defense is bad, but cornerback Jeff Okudah is not. DK wrecked him.
Since 2019 Metcalf has the 8th-most receiving yards in the NFL. But he’s already locked up, let’s look at the other guys.
He’s just so good.
Rashaad Penny gained +49 rushing yards over expected, his 5th game gaining at least +40 RYOE since Week 14, 2021 (most in NFL).— Next Gen Stats (@NextGenStats) October 2, 2022
Nick Chubb is the only other RB to gain at least +40 RYOE in multiple games (4) over that span.#SEAvsDET | #Seahawks pic.twitter.com/fDToP7qKsL
I mean this seriously - if he ran like this at literally any point other than the final six weeks of his contract season, he’d be rich. NFL rich. A good Rashaad Penny game is a top-5 RB in the NFL game, and he has a growing handful of them at this point.
It’s also pretty important to point out at this stage in the season that Penny has one statistically good game, but a pretty ridiculously good four games already. He’s had three 20+ yard gains called back on holding penalties by Abraham Lucas and Damien Lewis. Despite that, he’s 12th in rushing yards this season. The difference between him and fifth are the two of those plays called back. 19 players have a 40+ yard run this year; he’s got one of those. Only four players have four runs or more of 20 yards; Penny is one of them.
We’re approaching a critical mass of games played, wherein one is forced to declare Penny the real deal or stake a claim in his first three seasons. Running in the NFL is as hard as it’s ever been, and he continues to hit home runs.
Now he’s 26, on a one-year deal. They gave him $5.75 million which is a pretty good chunk of change for a guy who was a negative WAR for most his career. He has injury history, but whatever groin issue he had in August has been a non-issue this season.
Can you get...three more good years out of Penny? The production has finally caught up to the talent, which has finally justified (terrible word choice) the first-round selection. But Seattle has to decide all over again how much capital they’d be willing to invest in him.
This is awkward. He’s playing so well. That’s not the awkward part, it’s the future decision making that’s become a changing landscape. I just saw the beginnings of “forget the draft, keep Geno forever” on Twitter this week.
John Fraley, and most reporters honestly, have delved into the fascination of Geno Smith’s resurrection so we’ll skip all that here and say he’s been fun while sporting the best completion percentage in the league.
#Seahawks Quarterback Geno Smith is 5th in epa/true-dropback (no screens, RPO, PA).— Irreversibly Genopilled (@cmikesspinmove) September 28, 2022
It's early, but he's quarterbacking for real right now.
In the new age of medicine, trainers and whatever Tom Brady does to shrink his face, Smith’s age - 31 for those who haven’t googled it by now - is quite young by NFL QB standards.
The team is now great at third down, Smith’s got growing chemistry with a star receiver, they have a homerun hitter at running back.
One decision is easy: give Rashaad Penny another contract, let Kenneth Walker continue to develop and see if best running back tandem is in the cards.
The other...at some point Seattle will draft a quarterback. That’s inevitable. But does the rush to do so diminish, especially as this team may not see a top-5 draft pick?
Smith is not under contract next year. Playing like this, he won’t sign a one-year cheap deal to return to Seattle. John Schneider has to decide. Let him walk and draft a quarterback who will immediately get thrown in? Or sign Geno back, which means he’s the starter next year, at which point you’re drafting a quarterback to sit, or even not drafting until 2024.
Do you like the offensive trio enough to keep it together for a little while?