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NFL starting QB tracker: Geno Smith named Seahawks’ starting QB for Week 1

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There are a handful of NFL teams with quarterback competitions this summer. 

With the preseason in full swing, let’s dive into where the league’s quarterback battles stand. 

Pete Carroll pronounces Geno Smith will start at QB within the Seahawks‘ Week 1 matchup against the Broncos.

Carroll made the announcement following the team’s final preseason game Friday night, which resulted in a 27-26 loss to the Dallas Cowboys.

Smith began the sport and led the Seahawks to a field goal in his lone series before giving strategy to Drew Lock, who threw a touchdown pass and three interceptions within the loss.

“Geno was solid in his outing and he’s gonna start,” Carroll said following the sport. “He’s earned it.”

Smith and Lock had been alternating first-team reps throughout training camp practices. Lock was purported to start Seattle’s second preseason tilt against the Chicago Bears, but those plans were foiled after Lock tested positive for COVID-19. It robbed the 25-year-old QB of a critical opportunity to push Smith for the starting job.

“The time-frame got tousled for us for Drew,” Carroll said. “He just ran out of time in making his bid for it.”

Smith said he learned that he could be the Seahawks’ Week 1 starter when Carroll addressed the team within the locker room following Friday night’s game.

“Obviously I’m thankful for the chance and grateful, but I actually have plenty of work ahead of me,” Smith said. “It’s really about winning and none of this is able to matter if we do not exit and win the games we’re purported to win.”

Kenny Pickett impresses in Pittsburgh Steelers’ second preseason game

Pickett received more snaps within the Steelers’ 16-15 win against the Jacksonville Jaguars on Saturday. While playing against higher competition, Pickett had a productive day, completing 6-of-7 passes for 76 yards and one touchdown with a 151.5 passer rating. 

While Mitchell Trubisky got the starting nod, coach Mike Tomlin made it some extent to play the rookie alongside the first-team offense. 

“We simply wish to see Kenny in additional varsity motion,” Tomlin said. “We all know more about Mason [Rudolph]. Mitch has been across the skilled game, obviously. So, this can be a big week for [Pickett] when it comes to possibly getting in the primary half of this game and I might imagine getting the chance to see frontline defenders for Jacksonville.”

Pickett has still mostly taken snaps with the Steelers’ second unit in practice. 

Trubisky began the Steelers’ first preseason game against the Seattle Seahawks, leading Pittsburgh on an opening-drive touchdown. The drive was capped off by a 13-yard touchdown pass to Gunner Olszewski. Trubisky finished the night 4-for-7 on passing attempts with 63 yards and the touchdown. 

Rudolph, entering his fifth season with the Steelers, picked up where Trubisky left off, completing 9-of-15 passes for 93 yards. His night was highlighted by a 26-yard touchdown pass to rookie wide receiver George Pickens. 

Pickett, the No. 20 pick within the 2022 draft, had a sparkling debut. The University of Pittsburgh product finished the night with 95 passing yards and two touchdowns on 13-for-15 passing, taking what the defense gave him. Pickett’s efficiency potentially tightens Pittsburgh’s quarterback competition.

“They moved their units,” Mike Tomlin said of his QBs. “They did the informal things related to the position from a leadership and communication standpoint. They were engaged. It was a superb first day trip for all three.”

Carolina’s Matt Corral likely out for the season

Rookie QB Matt Corral suffered a “significant” Lisfranc injury late within the Panthers’ second preseason game against the Recent England Patriots this past Friday. Coach Matt Rhule said afterward that he expects the third-round pick to miss the season. 

Corral threw for 58 yards on 9-of-15 passing and no touchdowns before exiting. 

He was certainly one of 4 candidates for the starting quarterback spot entering camp, together with Baker Mayfield, Sam Darnold and P.J. Walker. Mayfiled and Darnold were rested in Carolina’s 20-10 loss to the Pats. All 4 QBs played within the team’s preseason opener against the Washington Commanders, with the veterans holding their very own.

Mayfield, who was recently acquired from the Cleveland Browns, began for the Panthers and finished with 45 passing yards on 4-for-7 passing. Darnold, the team’s primary quarterback in 2021, was impactful in short reps. The fifth-year quarterback was 2-for-3, including an 8-yard touchdown to Rashard Higgins. Walker, whose roster spot is in jeopardy given the team’s acquisition of Mayfield, got essentially the most playing time of the bunch, throwing for 136 yards on 10-for-19 passing.

Corral, who Carolina traded up to pick with the No. 94 pick within the 2022 draft, finished 1-for-9 for 11 yards. 

Head coach Rhule said he would not name a starter until after the team’s Aug. 19 matchup with the Recent England Patriots.

Mayfield and Darnold seem to be the front-runners to begin, nonetheless, given Mayfield’s 4 years of experience starting for the Browns and Darnold entering his second season with the Panthers.

“They were each in command,” Rhule said of Mayfield and Darnold. “Sam got us in the long run zone, Baker led us down the sector, so it looked like each guys played well when it comes to production. We’ll return and look and see where they’re.”

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