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Mountaineers in the Pros

Geno Smith Wins PFWA Comeback, Most Improved Player of the Year Awards



As he waits to hear if he won the NFL’s actual award, Geno Smith continues to receive recognition for his great 2022 comeback season.

Smith, who was named a finalist for the NFL’s title of Comeback Player of the Year, has now earned the honor from the Pro Football Writers of America. The PFWA revealed Smith as the winner of their Comeback Payer of the Year and Most Improved Player of the Year awards.

On Wednesday, the NFL announced Smith along with San Francisco 49ers running back Christian McCaffrey and New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley as the three candidates who were remarkable comeback stories throughout the 2022 season. Not only was Smith always expected to be a finalist, but many believe he could be the favorite to actually win the award that’s voted on by the Associated Press.

NFL Names Geno Smith Among Finalists for Comeback Player of the Year

Pro Football Focus actually already named the Seahawks quarterback as its top comeback player a couple weeks ago. And the West Virginia product’s case is a simple one. Smith led Seattle to a postseason appearance and earned a spot on the NFC’s Pro Bowl team while putting up statistics that were right up there at the top of most major passing categories. He did all of this as a full-time NFL starting quarterback for the first time since 2014

Smith threw for 4,282 yards with 30 touchdowns and only 11 interceptions. He completed a league-leading 69.8% of his passes, posted an 100.9 rating overall and also ran for 366 yards and scored a touchdown on the ground.

At one point, Smith’s season reached historic levels in terms of efficiency, tying an NFL record for the most consecutive games completing at least 60% of his passes and doing it with an 80 or better rating. The only other quarterbacks to ever be that consistent efficient wise for as many games in a row in one season are Peyton Manning and Aaron Rodgers.

This is the third time the PFWA has named one single player the winner of both of these awards in the same season, joining Jon Kitna in 2003 and Ryan Tannehill in 2019. The PFWA started giving out their own Comeback Player of the Year award in 1992 and then Most Improved Player of the Year in 2000. Smith becomes the first Seahawks player to win either of these titles.

The Associated Press Comeback Player of the Year award, which is considered the true award for the NFL will be presented at NFL Honors on Feb. 9.

Regardless if Smith wins the award or not, his 2022 season will surely be remembered for a long time for how great and improbable it was. Either way, Smith has displayed his motivation to do it all over again and take his game to another level next season, likely back with Seattle.

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