The Seahawks beat the Rams yesterday, but it was hardly an encouraging performance from a team that’s fallen ass-backwards into the playoffs. While their pass rush has picked itself up off the ground, they’re still having trouble against the run and their offense has become totally dysfunctional outside of Ken Walker in recent weeks.
At the heart of the issue is continued reckless play by quarterback Geno Smith. On Sunday he threw two more interceptions, both picked off by Rams quarterback Jalen Ramsey. He also made at least one other throw that should have been his third pick of the game. Smith finishes the 2022 season with 11 interceptions to go with his 30 touchdowns. While that’s not a bad ratio by any means, it’s also much worse than earlier in the season and somewhat masks the problem.
Whereas early in the year Smith rode the fine line between being careful and aggressive as well as it possibly can be, since midseason Smith has been over-aggressive, sometimes by his own admission.
Smith’s mistakes have hurt his team in a huge way. Pro Football Focus detailed the numbers one month ago and actually claim his decline began way back in Week 5, causing a massive drop in total EPA for the Seahawks.
Since Week 15 things haven’t gotten any better. While Smith has looked competent in a couple games here and there, his turnover-worthy plays have continued at an unacceptable rate. All together, Smith threw seven interceptions over his last seven games and he’s lucky that total wasn’t higher thanks to dropped picks by his opponents. He has also fumbled five times since Week 10.
Smith might be feeling a bit defensive about his play, because he posted this after last night’s win, claiming he’ll be WAY better after a full offseason to focus on improvements.
The sample size is too large to write off, especially given Smith’s gunslinger instincts with the Jets early in his career.
Add it all up and you can make a compelling case for the Seahawks drafting a young quarterback, if nothing else as a backup plan in case Smith has reverted back to that 2013-2014 form permanently.
With the regular season over, the Seahawks are in line to pick at No. 5 overall in the draft. That probably puts them out of reach for Alabama’s Heisman winning quarterback Bryce Young, but Ohio State stud C.J. Stroud might yet still be on the board.