What We Learned in Week 2, feat. The rise of Jordan Love
Geno Smith has shown enough in his NFL career to be considered for a starting position on Sundays. Last fall, with Russell Wilson injured, he stepped up some of the best football in his career at 31.
In four games – three starts – the veteran had a 5:1 touchdown:interception ratio, completed nearly 70% of his passes and recorded a career-best 103.0 passer rating. His 6.5 completion percentage over expectations (CPOE) was second best among all quarterbacks who played at least 100 snaps last season, behind only Joe Burrow.
That wasn’t the reason Pete Carroll traded Russell Wilson. That’s * * * why he felt comfortable letting Smith and newcomer Drew Lock battle it out for snaps this preseason. It didn’t go well.
Lock missed this week’s game with COVID-19, which Carroll said hit him pretty hard. Smith started, led his team to 11 points against the dollar store line of action figures known as the 2022 Chicago Bears, left with a minor knee injury and did enough good things to baffle Twitter.
Like Love, Smith’s impact was muted through disappointing widenings; in his third practice, he pitched to Penny Hart and Cade Johnson. Even occasional starter Freddie Swain was stuck dropping rust, leaving dads across the Pacific Northwest salivating at the chance to torture their kids with weather forecasts where “Swaindrops” is the punchline:
Aaron Fuller and Bo Melton combined 21 targets on the night and caught only seven. Their 2.5 yards per target made them twice as ineffective as the team’s leading preseason running backs; Travis Homer and Darwin Thompson averaged more than seven yards per transfer.
That might be the only lesson we really take from the Seattle show; Carroll threw the ball a ton in Week 2 and his passing game averaged fewer yards per attempt than his running game. After a prepped offseason to return to the heavyweight roots of his 2013 league season, this could be all the proof he needs to spam more than 30 transfers per game and hope to draw the NFC West offenses into a rock fight.
It’s not the worst idea! The Seahawks have a talented and wealthy team that can handle that kind of workload. The offensive line, led by preseason rookies Abe Lucas and Charles Cross, has the chops to push linebackers out of the traffic lanes and keep Lock or Smith up. Whoever wins the quarterback combination could have the support they need to win games after racking up 91 net passing yards (it happened twice – TWICE! – On this Super Bowl run 2013).
Of course, if Carroll’s defense folds and suddenly one of those quarterbacks has to fire his team from a deficit, well, that’s where things get dicey.