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Who Has Edge In Seahawks’ QB Battle Now?

  • Justin Melo
  • August 15, 2022
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Seattle Seahawks quarterback Geno Smith impressed in their Week 1 preseason defeat to the Pittsburgh Steelers. Smith received the start and played the entire first half alongside various starters. Smith rebounded nicely after a slow start, ultimately finishing 10-of-15 with 101 passing yards. Smith led a field-goal drive and scored his lone touchdown of the night via a two-yard rushing score. It adds an additional layer to Seattle’s positional battle. 

Smith’s performance should keep him ahead of Drew Lock in Seattle’s ongoing quarterback battle for now, but the race remains closely contested.

Smith scored brownie points for his ability to lead a successful two-minute drive. Smith completed 3-of-5 passes for 36 yards during the nine-play, 61-yard two-minute drill and finished it by finding the end zone on his aforementioned two-yard scoring scramble. The Seahawks coaching staff is evaluating such situations. Smith passed the test with flying colors.

Neither quarterback particularly distanced himself from the other. Lock entered the contest in the second half and was effective while working against Pittsburgh’s deeper defensive reserves. Lock completed 10-of-15 passing attempts for 102 yards and two touchdowns. Lock went 10-of-12 with a preseason-leading passer rating of 141.0 when working from a clean pocket, per Pro Football Focus. Seattle’s passing offense looked more explosive with Lock under center.

It’s worth noting Lock made a significant error in a crucial situation, however. With the game tied 25-25 apiece late in the fourth quarter, Lock was presented with an opportunity to spearhead a game-winning drive. Sustaining a hit from the Steelers’ oncoming pressure, Lock fumbled on the first play of the drive. The turnover placed Pittsburgh on Seattle’s 43-yard line. Steelers rookie quarterback Kenny Pickett scored the game-winning touchdown on the ensuing drive. Smith did a better job taking care of the football throughout his sample size.

Lock’s standout showing may further complicate matters, even if his turnover set him back, but Smith remains in the driver’s seat. Smith entered training camp as the favorite and has been a steady performer. Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll continues to claim the Seahawks have an even score card at quarterback.

“As it turned out, for both guys that was a good outing because they had a lot of pressure on them to have to get things done,” Carroll said during his post-game press conference.

Smith’s existing relationship with offensive coordinator Shane Waldron continues to aid him and hinder Lock. Smith is entering his fourth season in Seattle and his second under Waldron, whereas Lock is still building chemistry with Waldron and his new cast of offensive weapons. Lock has quickly gotten up to speed, but Smith showed no signs of slowing down against the Steelers.

Whichever quarterback wins the job could benefit from an opportunity to pepper D.K. Metcalf and Tyler Lockett with targets. Seattle’s offense is expected to remain a run-heavy one with the likes of rookie offensive starters Charles Cross and Kenneth Walker III paying immediate dividends, but Seattle’s receiving weapons could place these quarterbacks in the best spots of their careers.

The Smith-Lock showdown will write another chapter this Thursday night in Seattle’s primetime home contest against the Chicago Bears. Should both Lock and Smith put forward similar performances, Carroll will continue to encounter difficulty in naming a starter. This battle remains relatively open-ended with Smith as the slight favorite.

Written By

Justin Melo