Geno Smith’s Seattle Seahawks aren’t interested in rebuilding, but are they ready to compete? | NFL news

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Geno Smith is playing some of the best football of his career so far for the Seattle Seahawks. Here’s a look at some of his best games this season

Geno Smith is playing some of the best football of his career so far for the Seattle Seahawks. Here’s a look at some of his best games this season

For the Seattle Seahawks, this season was meant to be a “rebuild.”

After their worst season in a decade (a 7-10 record and a fourth-place finish in the NFC West), the summer of 2022 was seen as a chance to freshen up the roster and start over.

For the first time since 2011, they started a season without quarterback Russell Wilson and linebacker Bobby Wagner on the roster, two mainstays of a record-breaking decade.

Wagner was released, but in exchange for Wilson (plus a fourth-round pick), Seattle received quarterback Drew Lock, defensive tackle Shelby Harris, tight end Noah Fant, two first-round picks (2022 and 2023), two second-round picks . (2022 and 2023) and a fifth round. It was a huge trade-off.

The expectation — at least from the outside — was that the loss of a longtime and successful starting quarterback would mean Seattle didn’t have a chance this season. But instead, head coach Pete Carroll, quarterback Geno Smith and a formidable rookie class helped the Seahawks to a 3-3 record and joint first place in the NFC West.

Are they already correct? And how did it happen?

Geno Smith’s outstanding recovery

Smith and the Seahawks beat Russell Wilson's Broncos in Week 1

Smith and the Seahawks beat Russell Wilson’s Broncos in Week 1

In a league filled with star quarterbacks, young and old, there is one name that stands out when looking through the stats so far this season.

Geno Smith, a second-round pick in 2013—who was in the conversation to go No. 1 in the NFL Draft that year—could have probably been described as a “bust” early in his career.

With the New York Jets, where he was drafted, he was 12-18 as a starter, 57.9% completion percentage, threw for 28 touchdowns on 36 picks and had a QB rating of 72.4. In other words, he didn’t play.

He spent two years as a backup with the New York Giants and Los Angeles Chargers before coming to Seattle in 2019 to sit behind Wilson.

What a turn he had.

Highlights from Seattle's thrilling Week 4 win over Detroit

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Highlights from Seattle’s thrilling Week 4 win over Detroit

Highlights from Seattle’s thrilling Week 4 win over Detroit

As a Seahawk, he has completed over 70% of his passes, thrown for 14 touchdowns with three picks, and boasts an absurd 106.2 passer rating.

This year – after just a few games in relief of Wilson – he’s the main man, leading the entire NFL in completion percentage (73.4), third in passer rating (108.1) and 10th in passing yards (1,502). . It’s quite incredible.

Although he has spent his career thus far catching passes from a Pro Bowler to Wilson, wide receiver Tyler Lockett is actually on the verge of breaking his own record for receiving yards in a season, already with 423. Alpha Wideout DK Metcalf is also over 400 yards away.

Smith finally stood out.

Revolution for beginners

While Smith has been turning heads, something else is brewing in Seattle.

After their last win, Metcalf told the Seahawks website, “I congratulated Pete (Carroll) because he did a heck of a job drafting this year.

“Especially with the two tackles (Abe Lucas and Charles Cross), Coby Bryant, Tariq (Woolen), Kenneth Walker, Boye (Mafe).

Highlights from Seattle's win over Arizona last week where the rookies played

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Highlights from Seattle’s win over Arizona last week where the rookies played

Highlights from Seattle’s win over Arizona last week where the rookies played

“They all come together, keep their heads down and work. You can tell how much they really love the game.”

Even though the franchise let Wilson go and risked him with draft picks, the move is paying off so far because their rookie has been excellent. Five are beginners and another is making a strong impression.

The 1,660 combined offensive and defensive snaps played by Seahawks rookies leads the league so far. And they don’t just play, they play.

In last week’s win over division rivals Arizona, freshmen Bryant and Woolen both forced turnovers to seal the game.

Bryant’s four forced fumbles this season are the most in the league, while Woolen became the first rookie corner to record an interception in four consecutive games since 2010 — and was named NFC Defensive Player of the Week for his efforts. .

Is this the resurrection of the Legion of Boom?

Watch out Walker

Although the Saints dominated the Seahawks, Smith and Kenneth Walker stood out

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Although the Saints dominated the Seahawks, Smith and Kenneth Walker stood out

Although the Saints dominated the Seahawks, Smith and Kenneth Walker stood out

Another such rookie who has come to the fore recently is second-round running back Kenneth Walker. We may be witnessing the start of something special.

Until a heartbreaking, season-ending injury to veteran starter Rashaad Penny, Walker’s stats hadn’t been noteworthy (15 carries for 58 yards). In the last game and a half, when he was thrust into a starting role, he was serious.

He has 185 rushing yards and two touchdowns on 29 carries, including a 69-yard sprint against the Saints. He’s no stranger to production — he passed for 1,636 yards and 18 touchdowns in his final college season with Michigan State, earning multiple awards along the way.

It’s not just what he did, it’s how he does it. Walker makes people miss easily – he can sprint past them or run over them. He is patient but sudden. It can move sideways and then explode upwards. The sky’s the limit, and Seattle would do well to use it as much as possible.

The Seahawks will show their true colors over the next few weeks with a visit to the Los Angeles Chargers 4-2, a home game against the New York Giants 5-1 and a rematch against Arizona 3-4.

Are they really ready to compete or is our excitement premature?

Watch Seattle Seahawks at Los Angeles Chargers live on Sky Sports NFL at 9.25pm ​​on Sunday.

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