Former West Virginia quarterback Geno Smith hasn’t been a starter in the NFL since he was a 24-year-old second-year player for the New York Jets in 2014. He’s spent a lot of time in the league as a backup but hasn’t gotten a chance to jump back into the league as a starter.
With Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson likely to miss a month or more after having surgery on a ruptured tendon in his middle finger, it’s time for Smith to get his shot.
Love this team! Love this city!
Winning is all that matters.
Let’s get back to work. https://t.co/gzUppQmQNO
— Geno (@GenoSmith3) October 8, 2021
Smith played well in relief of Wilson Thursday night, coming in for Wilson in the third quarter and leading the Seahawks to 10 points and a chance for a game-winning drive late in the fourth quarter. The box score will say a Smith interception killed the drive before it could get started, but his intended target, Tyler Lockett, slipped on his route and gave the Los Angeles Rams’ defense a free play.
On Smith’s first drive of the night, he led the Seahawks on a 98-yard scoring drive in which he went 5-of-5 for 72 yards and capped it with a touchdown strike to DK Metcalf. On the night, Smith completed 10-of-17 passes for 131 yards and a touchdown, with 23 more yards on three carries.
Despite coming into the game cold, Smith looked cool and collected in the pocket, routinely hitting his receivers with crisp, accurate throws, and his touchdown toss with a deep strike to his new top wideout.
In Smith’s NFL career, he’s completed 537-of-928 attempts for 6,346 yards with 30 touchdowns to 37 interceptions. His 57.9% completion percentage and 6.8 yards per attempt aren’t great, but he hasn’t played much in the last six seasons.
In his two seasons starting for the Jets to begin his career, he led New York to an 11-18 record. He completed 466-of-810 attempts for 5,571 yards and 25 touchdowns. However, his 57.5% completion percentage isn’t great, and he threw 34 interceptions. He isn’t a true dual-threat kind of quarterback, but he did rush for 604 yards and seven touchdowns on 131 attempts.
Smith’s stats aren’t impressive, but he was a young quarterback on a subpar Jets team that he wasn’t ready to start for. A 31-year-old veteran now, he will be tasked with guiding a 2-3 Seahawks teams in the toughest division in football back into the playoff hunt.
It won’t be easy, but Smith will have some pieces around him that should help him succeed. And if he does, maybe he gets a look at starting somewhere in the NFL next season. He only needed a chance, and now he’s got one.