Geno Smith, for many of his profession, had been synonymous with the NFL’s most piercing curse word: bust. Heading into this season, at the same time as he had quietly shown maturation on the sector, nobody bought into the Seattle Seahawks as a competitive franchise. There have been several reasons – sloppy game management and unknowns at corner, amongst them – but mostly it was rooted in few outside Seattle viewing Smith as a legitimate NFL quarterback.
He continued to prove the doubters flawed on Sunday, leading the Seahawks to a 48-45 shootout win over Detroit on the road. Smith was electric. He annihilated the Lions’ poor defense, throwing dimes to DK Metcalf, Tyler Lockett, and Will Dissly. All told, Smith was 23-of-30 for 320 passing yards and two touchdowns. He also added 49 rushing yards and a rating on the bottom. Smith achieved back-to-back 300-yard passing games for the primary time in his NFL profession, a testament to Pete Carroll’s growing faith in his quarterback’s abilities.
Smith isn’t alleged to be here, still playing and winning games as a starter. His NFL profession began with a thud: a star at West Virginia and once a possible top-10 pick within the 2013 draft, Smith fell to the Latest YorkJets within the second round at No 39 overall. Smith said all the suitable things about it not mattering whether he was the primary pick or the thirty ninth, that he was going into an excellent situation. He was not.
The Jets were on the tail end of Rex Ryan’s reign, short on offensive skill players and protection. Smith’s first two seasons produced 34 interceptions and just 25 touchdowns, and Latest Yorkers, not known for his or her patience, gave up on him. Whether it was an issue with the culture or the scheme (Smith ran the spread in college), he looked a good distance from the following Joe Namath.
He could have had a probability for a fresh start when Todd Bowles entered the constructing in 2015, but then got here the punch. A teammate, IK Enemkpali, walked as much as Smith within the locker room and socked him within the face due to a dispute over a plane ticket, fracturing the quarterback’s jaw. Smith’s teammates weren’t exactly lining up to point out their support, and Ryan Fitzpatrick became the regular starter. Then Smith tore his ACL and his Jets profession was effectively over.
By some means, regardless that he was the one who was punched moderately than the opposite way around, Smith was labelled as an issue. Often, quarterbacks who start out with such turmoil are left for dead – especially young Black ones within the mid-2010s. But Smith got healthy and bounced across the league, getting spot probabilities here and there before becoming Russell Wilson’s backup in 2019.
He did well when he needed to step up, however the Seahawks were Wilson’s team … until they weren’t. Smith survived a battle with Drew Lock – and rumors of a trade for Jimmy Garoppolo – and, for the primary time in eight years, he was a Week 1 starter.
Smith’s resurrection from quarterback purgatory is a feel-good story in and of itself. But he just isn’t only a placeholder while the team rebuilds. His decision making has been mostly phenomenal, as we saw in Sunday’s win over Detroit and the upset over Wilson’s Broncos in Week 1. It’s a far more mature brand of quarterbacking.
As Smith said within the lead-up to the season: “I don’t should make every play, I don’t should play hero-ball.”
Smith now leads a stable franchise, knows the playbook, has higher protection than Wilson ever had (because of the Seahawks turning the first-round pick from the Wilson trade into starting LT Charles Cross), and may depend on elite receivers.
We’re only 4 weeks into the season and anything can occur. But in a weak NFC, why not Geno and the Seahawks?
MVP of the week
Saquon Barkley, running back, Latest York Giants. In case there was any doubt, SAQUON IS BACK. A now healthy Barkley continued his commanding comeback, this time powering the Giants to a unusual 20-12 win over the Chicago Bears. Barkley put up 146 yards on the bottom, and leads the NFL in rushing.
Saquon Barkley leads the NFL in rushing yards. Photograph: Brad Penner/USA Today Sports
And within the fourth quarter with Daniel Jones out with an ankle injury and Tyrod Taylor suffering a helmet-to-helmet hit, Barkley grabbed his cape and assumed the quarterback role (OK, the wildcat quarterback role). Still, with Barkley taking direct snaps, the Giants held on to a narrow lead and now sit at 3-1 in a surprisingly competitive NFC East.
Video of the week
I don’t have any words for this either. Lamar Jackson continues to make magic in ways we haven’t seen since Michael Vick.
Jackson was on the losing side of this week’s quarterback battle royale against Josh Allen and the Buffalo Bills, falling 23-20. The Ravens might want to work out how they lost a 20-3 lead. It got worse: tied at 20-20 with just over 4 minutes remaining and little or no second-half Ravens offense, John Harbaugh selected to go for it on fourth and goal as a substitute of choosing a field-goal and an almost certain three-point lead. Jackson as a substitute threw a pick which helped arrange Buffalo’s game-winning field goal.
Stat of the week
4. Did Trevor Lawrence know there could be a torrential downpour in Philadelphia? Has he ever played within the rain? These are the questions we’re left asking after Lawrence turned over the ball five times, including the 4 lost fumbles in Jacksonville’s 29-21 loss to Philadelphia. That makes Lawrence the primary player on this century to fumble 4 times in a game.
Trevor Lawrence had every week to forget for the Jaguars. Photograph: Bill Streicher/USA Today Sports
The Jaguars took a 14-0 lead and looked like they may unseat the last remaining undefeated team. However the Eagles defense followed last week’s nine-sack performance with one other gem.
Quote of the week
“It is a game we needed to win, needless to say. We will’t be 2-2 losing to a 3rd string quarterback” – Aaron Rodgers.
Rodgers did go on to commend the “third-string quarterback” also often called Latest England Patriots rookie Bailey Zappe.
What an exhilarating watch. Zappe. Rodgers. Time beyond regulation. The rookie entered the sport when backup Brian Hoyer left with a head injury. The Patriots ran a run-heavy offense with Zappe but he did have a controversial 25-yard touchdown throw to DeVante Parker. After a lackluster first half, Rodgers got here alive within the second and led the Green Bay Packers to a game-winning field goal deep in time beyond regulation. Because after all he did.
Elsewhere across the league
The Tom Brady-Patrick Mahomes series now stands at 3-3 after the Kansas City Chiefs beat the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 41-31 on Sunday Night Football. Brady put in his best performance of the season, ending with three touchdowns and no interceptions for 385 yards passing. But he had no rushing game to support him because the Bucs managed just three yards off six carries on the bottom. Mahomes was typically superb, pulling off some jaw-dropping throws, including the ridiculous effort below.
Patrick Mahomes made mincemeat of the Tampa Bay defense for much of Sunday evening. Photograph: Jason Behnken/AP
Social media’s calls to bench Mitchell Trubisky for Kenny Pickett got here to fruition. Trubisky, who displayed next to no feel for the pocket in three-and-a-half games this season, was replaced by the rookie. Pickett’s first pass within the NFL was an interception (similar to Peyton Manning’s) and he would throw two more picks that cost the Steelers in a 24-20 loss to the Latest York Jets. But he did offer more options than Trubisky, and had two rushing touchdowns.
Baker Mayfield’s profession reinvention in Carolina continues to underwhelm. The Panthers, after all, are a fairly poor team and the Arizona Cardinals defense harried him all day but Mayfield’s struggles will not be only all the way down to others. Panthers fans booed the previous No 1 overall pick during the 26-16 loss to the Cardinals as he overthrew receivers, had passes batted down and gave away three turnovers. Anyone for a little bit of Sam Darnold?
The Las Vegas Raiders aren’t any longer winless! They beat the Denver Broncos 32-23 because of an enormous rushing day, recording 212 yards on the bottom. Russell Wilson had a solid game but Denver too often did not capitalize on good field position.
The Cowboys have a history of wonderful quarterbacks. However it is Cooper Rush who has topped them multi function category, becoming the primary Cowboys quarterback to win his first 4 starts. Rush once more provided a gentle, though not flashy, presence throwing for 223 yards and two touchdowns, completing 15-of-27 attempts. However it was the Dallas defense that cemented a commanding 25-10 win over Washington. DeMarcus Lawrence had seven quarterback pressures, continuing his bid for Defensive Player of the Yr.
The dominoes proceed to fall following Tua Tagovailoa’s concussion Thursday night, 4 days after he reentered a game against the Bills despite looking shaken after being driven into the bottom. The NFLPA fired the unaffiliated neurotrauma consultant who cleared Tagovailoa last Sunday, though the NFL and NFLPA released a joint statement that they’ve not yet reached any conclusions about medical errors or protocol violations. The league and union also agreed to update their concussion protocol. Moving forward, any player exhibiting gross motor instability might be robotically ruled out of a game.
JJ Watt dropped some eerily timed medical news of his own.
I used to be just told any person leaked some personal details about me and it’s going to be reported on today.
I went into A-Fib on Wednesday, had my heart shocked back into rhythm on Thursday and I’m playing today.
— JJ Watt (@JJWatt) October 2, 2022
We’re thankful he’s healthy, at first. However it seems a bit surprising he was cleared to play on Sunday.
And eventually, DK Metcalf showed us one in every of the advantages of being good at football: you get a ride to the lavatory.