Mountaineers in the Pros
Former WVU QB Geno Smith Keeps NFL Playoff Hopes Alive
Former West Virginia quarterback Geno Smith has kept his magical season going after he led the Seattle Seahawks (8-8) to a 23-6 win over the New York Jets (7-9) to keep the Seahawks hopes alive for a playoff berth.
Smith put up another solid line of 18-for-29 passing for 183 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions. He also ran five times for 18 yards.
Overall he’s one of the favorites for comeback player of the year award alongside New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley, of Penn State fame. Smith is likely to eclipse 4,000 passing yards this season as he finished today with 3,886 yards, 27 touchdowns and nine interceptions.
His 102.9 passer rating from those statistics is fifth in the NFL right now behind franchise quarterbacks Tua Tagovailoa (105.5), Patrick Mahomes (105.1), Jalen Hurts (104.6) and Jimmy Garoppolo (103.0).
Entering today, the Seahawks needed to win in order for their playoff hopes to stay alive. They also needed either the New York Giants (9-6-1) or Washington Commanders (7-8-1) to lose. The Commanders did lose to the Cleveland Browns, keeping the Seahawks alive for, at least, one more week.
The Giants win clinched a spot for them, which means the final playoff spot in the NFC is now between the Seahawks, Green Bay Packers (8-8) and the Detroit Lions (8-8). The Lions and Packers play each other next week and that means that the Seahawks must beat the Los Angeles Rams (5-11) or they will be eliminated.
The Seahawks own the tiebreaker over the Lions thanks to a 48-45 victory earlier in the season. The Packers own the tiebreaker over the Seahawks though, so if they beat the Lions, then they make the playoffs.
Perhaps something that means a lot more to West Virginia fans is that Smith’s performance also keeps the Pittsburgh Steelers (7-8) in the playoff hunt. The Steelers entered the day needing the Seahawks to beat the Jets, as well as, the New England Patriots (8-8) to beat the Miami Dolphins (8-8).
With many West Virginia fans also being Steelers fans, it should be nice to know that both of those happened. The Steelers still need to win on the road tonight against the Baltimore Ravens (10-5) to keep their playoff hopes alive.
If that happens, they will then need to beat the Cleveland Browns (7-9) while also needing the Buffalo Bills (12-3) to beat the Patriots and the Jets to beat the Dolphins.
Ironically, Smith’s win over the Jets also eliminated the franchise that drafted him.