Week 1 was terrible for Seattle Seahawks quarterback Geno Smith and the offense, as he completed 16 of 26 passes for just 112 yards, which is an average of 4.3 yards per attempt. As a result of that performance and a slow end to his 2022 season, there were some natural questions surrounding the West Virginia alum. He silenced the majority of those questions with a fantastic Week 2 against the Detroit Lions. Smith completed 32 passes on 41 attempts and threw for 328 yards as well as two touchdowns, including the game-winner in overtime. Geno made multiple solid plays and looked far more comfortable in the pocket than he did in week 1 against the Los Angeles Rams.
Geno Smith touchdown #1 to Tyler Lockett
Geno Smith dropped it in Lockett’s hands— George Jarjour (@GeorgeOnTap) September 17, 2023
I didn’t think it was really possible to drop a throw ten yards down the field into the bucket, but Geno does just that here. Seattle is in 12 personnel on this play, meaning they have two tight ends and a running back (Zach Charbonnet) in the game. Paired with their proximity to the goal line the Lions defense puts in their big personnel and anticipate run. Instead Seattle runs a play-action pass. DK Metcalf runs a deep slant and Tyler Lockett runs a shallower slant. Noah Fant is running what almost looks like an angle route and Will Dissly is on a chip and flat. Seattle’s offensive line holds up well, which gives Geno the time to wait for Lockett to get to the middle of the field before he floats a ball right into his hands.
Geno Smith game-winning touchdown to Lockett
Geno Smith > Tyler Lockett— NFL on ClutchPoints (@ClutchPointsNFL) September 17, 2023
Geno called ball game on this throw, but it should have likely been a negative play as Seattle looks to have gotten away with a Jake Curhan hold on Aidan Hutschinson. Regardless of that, DK Metcalf is the initial read atthe bottom of the screen, but the inside help defender took the slant away.
Jaxon Smith-Njigba was next in the progression as he was running a drag route with two quick outs being run above him to provide a rub to the man coverage defender. JSN was open when Smith looked at him, but for some reason he did not pull the trigger. Then the pressure by Hutchinson forced him to escape the pocket and with Lockett keeping his eyes down field he throws it to Lockett who got open on the out route, and dove for the winner.
Geno Smith’s pocket presence
This is HIGH level QB play from Geno Smith on Sunday vs DET - with TWO backup OTs in there— Ben Fennell (@BenFennell_NFL) September 19, 2023
Thought he managed the rush well, kept eyes up (that's your job!), and made some clutch f'n throws (like hitting backside dig vs 2man on 3rd & 6 in OT)
Geno... Wow, gotta give him props. pic.twitter.com/oXD0JTSRBH
Geno Smith has rightfully gotten some criticism for an awful sack that he took at the end of the 4th quarter, which helped set the Lions up for an overtime-forcing field goal However, as discussed above, Geno looked far more relaxed in the pocket this week, and we can see that in the first two plays of this tweet. The first play is rather rudimentary but for a quarterback with a beaten up offensive line and who faced a decent amount of pressure in this game, it is nice to see him stand calm and not get tight. Hutchinson beats Jake Curhan upfield, which forces Geno out of the pocket where he has to evade a Lions defensive tackle. He importantly though remains a passer throughout the duration of his scramble. He keeps his eyes downfield and runs parallel to the line of scrimmage which allows him to deliver a dart to JSN.
The second play should have been a sack, but thanks to fantastic pocket movement by Smith, it instead goes down as a roughly 18-yard completion to Metcalf. Seattle is running a play action pass to the left with Jake Bobo, who is in at the snap motion, assigned to pick up any back side blitzer, which Detroit sends. He is late to diagnose the blitz, which means Geno has to quickly diagnose the blitzer, slide up in the pocket and hit Metcalf on the deep curl. The best part of this play for me is the fact that Geno kept two hands on the football until he started his throwing motion. Seemingly more than ever now quarterbacks keep one hand on the football when in the pocket. Had Geno done that on this play, there was at least a chance the ball would’ve been knocked out by the blitzer.