Seattle Seahawks quarterback Geno Smith played one of the games of his life on Monday night against the Broncos. The nine-year vet completed 82.14% of his passes, threw two touchdowns and had a passer rating of 119.5. As the late great Stuart Scott would say, Smith looked as cool as the other side of the pillow all night.
Denver threw multiple looks at him as well as varying their pressures, but it was not enough to get him off of his game. Down below we are going to break down some of Geno Smith’s best plays from the win over Denver.
Geno Smith 17-yard completion to Tyler Lockett
This really is one hell of a throw by Geno Smith. Randy Gregory swam inside late against Charles Cross and hit him as he threw and the QB still slings a bullet to Lockett in the middle of the field under duress.— Corbin K. Smith (@CorbinSmithNFL) September 14, 2022
Good pass pro by Lucas on right side against Chubb. pic.twitter.com/BrjhJsgDUz
This was a fantastic play by Smith and despite being the third offensive play of the game, it was once of the most important plays for Seattle as it prevented an early three-and-out. Off of the snap Geno’s eyes are locked onto the left side of the field giving the impression that the ball was going to come out quickly. He recognizes that it is zone coverage and sits back in the pocket and waits for the middle linebacker to cheat inside and jump what he thought was a quick route on third down. Although, as we can see the West Virginia alum does not throw the quick pass and instead hits Lockett in the second window of the zone for an easy first down.
It also cannot be understated just how impressive this play was because of the pressure that Smith was under. He does feel the blitz as shown from the head on angle although, he does not panic, his feet do not get tight. Smith knows when the ball has to come out and that he is going to take a hit on the play regardless of whether or not he gets the throw away.
Geno Smith 16-yard completion to Marquise Goodwin
This is Exhibit B of a grown man throw by Geno Smith. Steps up in the pocket and throws a third down dime off platform to Marquise Goodwin along the sideline to extend drive.— Corbin K. Smith (@CorbinSmithNFL) September 14, 2022
Few plays later, he's going to hit Parkinson for six points. pic.twitter.com/dBQ1OqtUxj
Personally, I think this was Geno’s most impressive play of the night. There are a lot of quarterbacks in this situation who would simply either tuck the ball and run or throw the ball away the second they got out of the pocket. Geno does a great job of keeping his eyes down the field rather than dropping them as he breaks contain.
The Denver zone defenders did help a bit as they lost eye discipline on the play by stepping up to take the shorter route as soon as Smith scrambled rather than staying true to their zones. But regardless, the veteran quarterback does a great job of quickly recognizing the defenders stepping up and lofting the ball over the two zone players right into Goodwin’s hands for a first down. Also this is yet another throw that Geno makes down the field for a first down whilst he is being hit by a defender.
Geno Smith scrambles for a gain of 14 yards
Geno Smith: "People forget I can run."— Dugar, Michael-Shawn (@MikeDugar) September 14, 2022
While I get his point...Geno is a Black quarterback. People always gonna think he can run! pic.twitter.com/fIcizVl9nq
Geno Smith’s mobility is not something that is discussed much in part because of his age as he is nearly 32 and not the athlete,he once was but also because when he plays, he does not run much. In his last 16 games, he only has 33 rushing attempts (some of which were kneeldowns). Despite his lack of carries over the past seven seasons Smith is able to comfortably feel the pressure, climb the pocket and then find an exit point to turn a second and long into a third and manageable.
On this play Denver sends five blitzers with the additional blitzer coming from the slot. Seahawks right tackle Abe Lucas is late to pick him up on the play, so he is only able to force the defender slightly up field which forces Smith to have to climb the pocket. After he does that Gabe Jackson gets pushed back into Geno’s lap, so Smith gets his hips parallel to the line of scrimmage, does a small jump cut and then finds the exit point. Importantly on this play as well Smith kept two hands on the football the entire time, he was in the pocket rather than putting the ball in one hand and the other on the back of a lineman as some quarterbacks do in this situation. Smith does take one of his hands off of the ball when he is out of the pocket and becomes a runner. He was a little loose with it at that point running with the ball out and to the side rather than tucking it high and tight, but with how well he played it is something that can be excused.