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Geno Smith’s worst decision of the Bengals game was an 11-yard run

Geno Smith scrambled for a positive play. He could’ve had a touchdown.

Syndication: The Enquirer Kareem Elgazzar/The Enquirer / USA TODAY NETWORK

Seattle Seahawks quarterback Geno Smith threw for over 300 yards, but he had a couple of costly interceptions that took points off the board for Seattle and gave the Cincinnati Bengals their only points after halftime.

And yet, Smith had a chance to win the game in the end, but came up 8 yards short after a hurried 4th down incomplete pass. We’ve since learned that Colby Parkinson was the intended receiver but Jake Curhan, who played through injury and struggled mightily all game, essentially made this entire sequence impossible to pull off.

On a day filled with questionable decisions by Geno, neither of his interceptions was as costly as his 11-yard run late in the 4th quarter. Why yes, scrambling for 11 yards on a 1st and 10 play is usually good, but not when you could’ve had a 30-yard touchdown to Jaxon Smith-Njigba. We saw this on the live broadcast, and the All-22 footage confirms that the rookie wide receiver was open and Geno didn’t let it fly. A moment’s hesitation led to Jake Curhan letting his assignment go by him, and Geno went into scramble mode.

This drive ended with a 4th down sack in the red zone, so the miss was costly.

By this point in the game, Smith had thrown both of his interceptions (including a very forced one to JSN). He was pressured on nearly half of his dropbacks and took a season-high four sacks and 13 QB hits. A lot of his pressures were instant and others were him taking too long to get the ball out. The Bengals’ front four, which on reputation is arguably the best of any team the Seahawks have faced this season, probably had Geno frazzled, hesitant, and way out of rhythm. Regardless, that’s a throw that needed to be made, and it’s one of those high-leverage moments that contributed to Seattle’s defeat.

The Seahawks are going to be playing better defenses than this as soon as throwback day against the Cleveland Browns. They cannot afford more of these misses or else the season is going to unravel. The optimistic view is that Geno (and the offense as a whole) had a wasteful day, particularly in the red zone—evidently not out of step with most of the NFL—and these are correctible issues moving forward.

Ironically, for all of the red zone woes, all of Seattle’s offensive touchdowns have come in that area. This was the opportunity to get their first explosive play score of the season, and the chance wasn’t taken.