The Geno Smith league takeover continued in Week 4 as the veteran quarterback completed 23 of 30 passes for 320 yards and two touchdowns against the Detroit Lions. Smith has now posted a 99.2 or better passer rating in three of his four starts this season and has had 320 or more passing yards in two straight games. There is still some natural hesitation in believing whether or not this is Geno is going to be able to continue this for the remainder of the season, but the analytics and the eye test are continuing to back up his production. Below we are going to evaluate three of his best plays from the week 4 win.
Love this rare post thrown into a half field safety. Geno Smith makes this look easy. It's not easy. I'm used to calling this an Angle 8. I loved the route once I played it a number of times. Originally, I was not a believer. #GoHawks— The QB School (@theqbschool) October 4, 2022
Of the three plays that will be highlighted in this article, I believe this is the best of the bunch because of the anticipation and patience shown by the former West Virginia Mountaineer, as well as the fact that he makes the throw under duress. Detroit is playing a Cover 3 zone on this play, meaning the place to attack with this route concept is the post in behind the linebackers and in front of the deep third safety. Once Smith gets his head around off of the play-action pass, he recognizes the defense post snap and knows that he will have Metcalf once he clears the hook zone defender. He makes this throw with great anticipation, letting it go before Metcalf actually clears that defender.
My favorite part of this play though is the late pocket movement the Seahawks signal caller does in order to get the throw off which can be seen from the endzone cam. He takes a really subtle slide step to his right in order to give him the extra millisecond needed to make the throw. There are some quarterbacks who would’ve felt the pressure and tried to duck out of the pocket or take too much of a step to their right which would’ve allowed the deep third safety an extra second to come up and make a play on the ball.
This is just a fantastic ball from Geno Smith to Will Dissly, who was as the author of the tweet says, “NFL open.” Detroit was in a Cover 1 robber defense on this play with the single high safety shading to the two wide receivers on the field side, as well as the hook zone linebacker sliding to that side. Because of this defensive alignment Dissly was Smith’s only option on the play. There was one spot where he could place this ball without it either being an interception or uncatchable overthrow and Smith put it in the exact spot needed for it to be a touchdown. Seeing Smith being able to make this throw is extremely encouraging as it is an extremely difficult throw for any quarterback to make.
When I first saw this throw from the broadcast cam, I thought it was a bad ball from Smith as it looked like he underthrew Metcalf. Upon seeing it from the endzone camera it looks like a great ball from Smith as Metcalf is running the route on the inside shoulder of the defender Jeff Okudash. If the QB was to loft the ball over the top taking his target more to the sideline it would have taken away Metcalf’s leverage on the play, giving Okudah a shot at the ball or a chance to make a tackle at the catch point. Pre-snap Smith recognizes Detroit is in Cover 1 man with the single high safety shading slightly to the field side which gives Metcalf a true 1 vs. 1, which is a matchup Smith knows he has to attack and does.
These plays were just a microcosm of an excellent day for Smith, who deservedly won NFC Player of the Week honors.