Geno Smith did not greatly improve in the 2022 season

Let's hide the counting stats and look at rate stats instead. Let's break Geno's career into four periods:

A: 55.8% completion, 6.88 yards/att, 2.71% TD%, 4.74% INT%, 66.5 passer rating

B: 57.3% completion, 5.91 yards/att, 2.71% TD%, 4.26% INT%, 65.8 passer rating

C: 64.8% completion, 7.72 yards/att, 4.93% TD%, 1.64% INT%, 97.8 passer rating

D: 69.7% completion, 7.49 yards/att, 5.24% TD%, 1.92% INT%, 100.9 passer rating

In period A, Geno was a bad quarterback. Indeed, he was one of the worst starters in the league. In period B, Geno was still a bad quarterback, and still one of the worst starters in the league.

But then something changed. In period C, Geno was pretty good. That's borderline pro-bowl stats. In period D, Geno was still pretty good. Geno's performance in period D isn't much different from period C. Geno's big jump in performance came between periods B and C, not between C and D.

So when were these four periods?

A: 2013 season

B: 2014 season, up through December 1, 2014

C: December 7, 2014 through 2021 season

D: 2022 season

So yes, Geno was terrible early in his career. But he's hardly the first quarterback to struggle early. Peyton Manning led the league with 28 interceptions as a rookie. Steve Young threw 11 TDs and 21 INTs in his first two seasons, and wouldn't complete 54% of his passes in a season until his fifth in the league.

But Geno's big jump came way back in December 2014. He had more than 300 attempts in period C, so that's not a small sample size. A majority of Geno's passing attempts in period C came as a Jet.

Some people don't want to believe that 2022 is the real Geno, as it's only one year. If you think that 2022 Geno was a mirage, then how about if you believe that 12/7/14 through 2021 season Geno is the real Geno? Because that's not all that much different from 2022 Geno. He hasn't been a bad quarterback in more than eight years. It's ridiculous to argue that his performance up through 12/1/14 tells us more about him than his performance since then, especially when a significant majority of his career passing attempts have come after that date.

People did initially believe that the Geno's last four games of 2014 were a mirage. That's why Geno ended up signing some veteran minimum contracts. But his performance since then proves otherwise.

If not for IK Enemkpali's punch, Geno would have been the Jets' starter in the 2015 season. But then he got stuck behind Ryan Fitzpatrick's career year. In 2016, the final year of his rookie contract, he only played about half of a game before tearing his ACL. In subsequent years, he was stuck on the bench behind Eli Manning, Philip Rivers, and Russell Wilson. With so little playing time, he didn't get the chance to prove that his good performances at the end of his time as Jet would be typical of the rest of his career and his early struggles would not.

But you know who did understand that Geno was better than the rest of the league realized? Pete Carroll and John Schneider. That's why they kept re-signing him, year after year. And they were rewarded by Geno helping the team to a playoff berth in a rebuilding year.

Geno was never going to be Aaron Rodgers or Patrick Mahomes. He doesn't have the talent to match theirs. But if not for IK Enemkpali's fist, Geno might have had roughly the career of Derek Carr or Kirk Cousins. And that's not bad. You could do worse than to have Carr or Cousins as your starter, and in a typical year, a majority of the league will do worse than having either of them--or Geno.

People need to get over the idea that having a good but not great quarterback is something to be terrified of. If you're quick to discard a good quarterback, you're not likely to end up with a great one. You likely won't even get an average quarterback, but will suffer through watching a bad quarterback sink your team in game after game. It's been quite a while since Seahawks fans have had to suffer through that, and I want it to stay that way.