Could Geno Smith be the Seahawks’ quarterback of the future?

Geno Smith has surprised just about everybody as the Seahawks’ quarterback this season. Doug Farrar posits that it might be more than a one-year thing.

Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll has said for years that he envisions his ideal quarterback as a “point guard.”

Before the 2022 season started, and as the Seahawks prepared for their season-opening matchup against Russell Wilson and the Denver Broncos, Carroll was asked just what that meant. It was a verbose response, and it’s something Carroll’s obviously thought a lot about.

“Yeah, it’s just the way I’ve learned to appreciate the position. I really learned to appreciate through the San Francisco system, way back when, when Coach [Bill] Walsh was there and what he did with his guys, Joe [Montana] and Steve [Young] and how he talked about it and how he expected them to play and what their role was in a football team’s approach. He designed his offenses; he’s the most brilliant guy to ever coach the game.

“He designed his offense to make it as easy as possible for the quarterbacks because he knew the position was so hard to play. And remember all the catch and run stuff and all the quick rhythm stuff that he was famous for, that was so the quarterback didn’t have to be carrying the load. He can get the ball out of his hands, working with his line and his guys and all that. That just has always resonated. That’s what West Coast is. West Coast is long lost from where it was, but that was all of Coach Walsh’s image of what that position and how it should function in terms of how a team plays football. They’ve featured a tremendous amount of short passing game. He was kind of the guy that started all that.

“So, I’m kind of a hoops guy. Maybe that’s why that reference comes out.”

Why it comes out is important in that new starting quarterback Geno Smith has seemed to be the perfect distillation of Carroll’s quarterback preferences.

Whoever wrote Geno Smith off, he ain’t writing back after big Seahawks win

Through the first four games of the 2022 season as the Seahawks’ post-Wilson starter, Smith has completed 102 of 132 passes for 1,037 yards, six touchdowns, and two interceptions. His completion rate of 77.3% is the second-highest for any quarterback in the first four games of a season in NFL history (behind only Tom Brady in 2007), and going back to last season when he was Wilson’s injury replacement for three starts, Smith has a four-game stretch from October through October in which he has the fourth-highest completion rate (78.2%) inany four-game stretch in league annals.

This would lead you to believe that Smith is nothing more than a Captain Checkdown, but that’s not the case. His 7.9 yards per attempt average has him tied with Atlanta’s Marcus Mariota for fourth-best in the NFL, and he’s completed seven of 13 passes of 20 or more air yards for 167 yards, three touchdowns, and one interception.

Through those first four weeks, Smith ranks second in DVOA (Football Outsiders’ opponent-adjusted per-play efficiency metric) for quarterbacks, behind only Tua Tagovailoa. He ranks third in DYAR, FO’s cumulative efficiency metric, behind only Patrick Mahomes and Justin Herbert. 

Not bad, and quite surprising, for a 2013 second-round pick who’s been more journeyman and backup than rockstar through his NFL career. Smith won the NFC’s Offensive Player of the Week award on Wednesday after he riddled the Detroit Lions with 23 completions in 30 attempts (76.7 percent) for 320 yards and two touchdowns with no interceptions and a 132.6 passer rating, while also rushing for 49 yards and a touchdown in Seattle’s 48-45 Week 4 victory over the Detroit Lions.

It wasn’t just the stats that stood out; it’s the ways in which Smith has taken control of this offense that has me thinking he’s more than a bridge quarterback between Wilson and whoever is available in free agency or the draft in 2023.

Secret Superstars for Week 4 of the 2022 NFL season

From Geno Smith to Jamaree Salyer to Talanoa Hufanga, here are the Secret Superstars for Week 4 of the 2022 NFL season.

There are all kinds of reasons that NFL players are underrated and unsung.

Perhaps they’re in systems that don’t best show their skills. Maybe they’re buried on a depth chart. Or, they’re in somebody’s doghouse, and their coaches can’t see their potential. Or, their efforts are relatively unnoticed among their more celebrated teammates. Sometimes, young players haven’t quite put it all together, but there are enough flashes to make you sit up and take notice, and when it does work, it’s all good.

Week 4 of the 2022 regular season featured players at just about every position who showed up and showed out despite their underrated statuses, and here at Touchdown Wire, it’s our job to point them out.

Here are the Secret Superstars for Week 4 of the 2022 NFL season.

Rookie left tackle Charles Cross’ crucial call clinched a win for Seahawks

Seattle Seahawks rookie left tackle Charles Cross made a crucial read to seal his team’s Scorigami win over the Detroit Lions.

The Detroit Lions came into their Week 4 game against the Seahawks ranking 24th in Football Outsiders’ Defensive Adjusted Line Yards metric, and they’d allowed 4.56 running back yards per carry on the young season, so it probably wasn’t a surprise that Seattle Seahawks running back Rashaad Penny gashed Aaron Glenn’s defense for 151 yards and two touchdowns on just 17 carries.

Penny’s second touchdown run, a 41-yarder with 2:14 left in the game, gave Seattle just enough points to survive their 48-45 Scorigami win (there had never been a 48-45 game in pro football history before). And it wasn’t just Penny beating up the Lions’ vulnerable defense. After the game, Penny made sure to credit rookie left tackle Charles Cross for the assist.

Cross, the Mississippi State alum, was selected ninth overall in the 2022 draft, and he was OT1 in our pre-draft list of offensive tackles. I paid more attention to Cross’ pass-blocking than his run-blocking — primarily because he had 719 pass-blocking snaps to 200 run-blocking snaps in his final collegiate season — but Cross’ college tape showed two things — he’s smart enough to deal with protection adjustments, and his athleticism will show up just about every time he’s asked to drive forward in the run game.

On the replay of Penny’s run, you can see Cross pull all the way over from left tackle to outside right tackle, and taking linebacker Chris Board out of the way as Penny matriculated the ball downfield. The Lions did indeed have an over-shifted front to the defensive left side, with five defenders from the center out, and as all Detroit defenders pinched inside, Cross got his thing going outside.

Not bad for a guy in his fourth regular-season game. In Cross and third-round rookie right tackle Abe Lucas (the most interesting person in Seattle), the Seahawks have more potential on their offensive line than they’ve had in a number of years.

Tariq Woolen turns INT of Jared Goff into Seattle pick-six

Tariq Woolen picks off Jared Goff and Seattle has another score

The belief the Detroit Lions had turned the corner is going in the wrong direction.

Dan Campbell’s enthusiasm had many believing the Lions were ready to menace.

The only thing they are doing this year is adding to the misery of their fans that has gone on for decades.

On Sunday, they were facing the Seattle Seahawks. In addition to making Geno Smith look like vintage Russell Wilson, Lions QB Jared Goff was throwing to the other team.

He found Tariq Woolen in the third quarter and the Seattle CB returned it 40 yards for a score.

After the PAT, the Seahawks had scored 31 points and had a 16-point lead in the third quarter.

Seahawks-Falcons game stopped in Seattle due to unlicensed drone

Both the Seattle Seahawks and Washington Huskies had their games stopped this weekend due to an unlicensed drone.

With 6:42 left in Sunday’s game between the Seahawks and Falcons at Seattle’s Lumen Field, play was stopped due to the reported presence of… an unlicensed drone flying around the field. Head official Tra Blake stopped play and told both teams to return to their sidelines.

As you can also see below, the Washington Huskies’ game against the Stanford Cardinal on Saturday night was stopped for the same reason.

Should Seattle be worried? As a local resident, I’m a bit concerned about going outside at all, though this could just be a local tech bro who cut his cable and is looking to get free views of his favorite teams with the cunning but nefarious use of illicit technology.

Or, maybe the University of Washington just let things get out of hand.

DK Metcalf with spectacular TD grab for Seahawks

DK Metcalf with a highlight-reel touchdown catch for Seattle

In a game that is under the radar — big time — the Atlanta Falcons were visiting the Seattle Seahawks in the Great Northwest on Sunday.

Not sure why, but the Seahawks could be tied for first place in the NFC West if they win.

DK Metcalf was doing his best to make that happen as he made this spectacular TD catch of a Geno Smith pass in the second quarter.

The play was good for 18 yards and numerous more retweets and likes on Twitter.

The Seahawks tried a rare four-running back formation against the 49ers

The 2022 Seattle Seahawks will try to manufacture offense by any means necessary, including the use of some exceedingly rare formations.

The Seattle Seahawks’ offense didn’t look that good in Sunday’s 27-7 loss to the San Francisco 49ers. But it did look decidedly different at times.

With 5:03 left in the first half, and with first-and-10 at the San Francisco 13-yard line, the Seahawks lined up in a four-running back set — basically pistol Wing-T — with rookie back Kenneth Walker taking the snap, DeeJay Dallas to his left, Travis Homer to his right, and Rashaad Penny behind him.

You’ll see stuff like this all the time at the high-school levels, and sometimes in college, but it is exceedingly rare for any NFL team to put four running backs on the field at the same time. Seattle’s personnel package had those four backs, with quarterback Geno Smith to the left outside, and receiver DK Metcalf to the right outside.

And with that, folks, you have 40 personnel. Which, as we said, you don’t see a lot.

And here’s what it looked like overhead:

The direct snap to Walker was good for a five-yard gain. Right guard Gabe Jackson and right tackle Abe Lucas pulled to the left, Homer and Penny flared out as quick pass options to either side, and it was up to Walker to decide what do do. Walker ran a play-action fake to Dallas, tried to run to his right, and made a nice quick bounce to his right off of that. From there, it was all on him to get whatever gain he could out of it.

How rare is this formation? Per Sports Info Solutions, there is no example of a four-back package of any kind in the NFL going back to 2016. So, Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll probably thought he was putting one over on his division rival.

“There is not enough information there yet to be really excited about it,” Carroll said on Monday of his “Wildcat” package. “We will continue to explore.”

And what would be the advantages here, besides the fact that we all know how much Carroll loves to have as many running backs on the field as possible?

“It’s just an additional way to utilize the offense,” he said. “You make the defense declare how they are going to play it quickly, with the quick substitution, and all of that. They have to figure it out, and you can see if there is anything there that you can take advantage of. You get a numbers advantage when you go to ‘Wildcat’ that helps you run the football if you are fortunate enough to get enough looks at it. It’s just another dimension of trying to be multiple.”

At least one high school coach found it easy to identify.

We don’t know where it’s going in the Seahawks’ case, but as the team needs to do just about anything possible to manufacture offense, we imagine we’ll see different offshoots of their “Wildcat” concepts as the season goes along.

49ers quarterback Trey Lance officially out for rest of season with ankle injury

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Trey Lance has been officially ruled out for the rest of the 2022 season with an ankle injury.

The San Francisco 49ers did two things this offseason that could have backfired on them. But as it turns out, one of those things might save the other. In their 27-7 win over the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday, the 49ers lost starting quarterback Trey Lance for the remainder of the season with a fractured ankle.

The team made it official after the game.

The injury happened with 2:33 left in the first quarter. Lance ran to the right guard gap and went down awkwardly after a two-yard run. He was carted off the field.

Then, Jimmy Garoppolo, the now-backup quarterback who recently agreed to a restructured contract, came in and led the team pretty credibly, completing 13 of 21 passes for 154 yards and a touchdown. The 49ers will obviously miss Lance’s impressive upside, and they’ll be limited by Garoppolo’s low ceiling, but at least they’re not in quarterback disaster mode after Lance’s injury. Purgatory, perhaps.

Seahawks Mike Jackson returns blocked field goal 85 yards for TD

Special teams came up big for the Seattle Seahawks

The Seattle Seahawks must be having a letdown against San Francisco on Sunday.

Fresh from an emotional win over Russell Wilson and the Denver Broncos on MNF, Seattle’s offense has been flat against the 49ers.

Pete Carroll needed a big play and his special teams came up with one while trailing 20-0 in the third quarter.

Tariq Woolen broke through and blocked the Robbie Gould field-goal attempt.

Mike Jackson picked it up and ran 85 yards to get Seattle on the scoreboard.

Seahawks lose Jamal Adams for season with torn quad

Torn quad ends season for Seahawks’ Jamal Adams

The Seattle Seahawks are 1-0 but suffered a big loss in that victory over the Denver Broncos to start the NFL season.

Star safety Jamal Adams is headed for season-ending surgery to repair a torn quad.

Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reported the news and said Adams is still mulling over how, when and who will do the procedure.

Adams has yet to play a full season with Seattle since coming over from the New York Jets in a blockbuster trade.

Adams played in 12 games in 2020 and ’21 and now is done after 1 game in 2022.

Adams was officially played on IR later in the day.