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Sports Illustrated
Sports Illustrated
Gilberto Manzano

It’s Time to Stop Doubting Geno Smith and Jared Goff

The Seahawks were unexpectedly punched in the mouth by the Rams in Week 1, leading to many overreactions about Geno Smith and Seattle’s talented offense.

Perhaps the Seahawks were feeling themselves a little too much in the season-opening loss after surprising many last year by making the postseason, and being declared by the football pundits as the winners of the Russell Wilson trade.

But what Smith and the Seahawks did offensively last year was no fluke, evident by their thrilling 37–31 road overtime victory against the Lions on Sunday. You don’t accidentally score that many points and outpace one of the best offenses in the league.

Smith topped Goff in their Week 2 matchup, throwing for 328 yards and two touchdowns.

Lon Horwedel/USA TODAY Sports

The Seahawks won the Week 2 shootout, but Lions quarterback Jared Goff also won’t be taking a nosedive. These two teams combined for 93 points when they met last year in one of the most entertaining games of 2022. At this point, the league should find a way to schedule these two teams to play each other annually, because Smith and Goff aren’t going anywhere as well-above-average quarterbacks.

The football public should be rooting for these two teams to meet again in the postseason, which is certainly a possibility with Seattle and Detroit having many playmakers on both sides of the football. The Seahawks, however, still need to work on their poor run defense, and the Lions’ secondary had a handful of blunders in the second half Sunday.

Perhaps these fast offenses with 1–1 records can’t compete with the 49ers, Cowboys and Eagles in the NFC, but they’ll be in the mix thanks to Goff and Smith. That’s something not many weren’t expecting last season. Others are still having a hard time accepting it after two games this season.

Goff finished 28-of-35 for 323 yards, three touchdowns and one interception, a pick-six. Smith finished 32-of-41 for 328 yards and two touchdowns, including the game-winning, six-yard pass to wide receiver Tyler Lockett.

The version of Goff, who had many highs and lows with the Rams, is no longer playing in the NFL. This Goff is still operating one of the best offenses in the league, which he had under Sean McVay in Los Angeles, but he’s now consistently playing at a high level and expanding the playbook for offensive coordinator Ben Johnson.

Goff passed for three touchdowns against the Seahawks. But he also threw a crucial pick-six in the fourth quarter of the overtime loss.

Lon Horwedel/USA TODAY Sports

Yes, Goff’s pick-six in the fourth quarter hurt the Lions. He’s not a perfect quarterback, although it briefly seemed that way with how well he played in the first half. (After Goff’s second touchdown pass of the day, he had completed 11 of his first 12 passes for 141 yards.)

Goff will still endure low moments, but they have now become a rarity—he had not thrown an interception in 10 consecutive games before he threw the pass behind Jahmyr Gibbs that was intercepted by Tre Brown.

Obviously, Goff can still have a few bad games this season, but that was not the case against the Seahawks. He quickly brushed off the turnover and orchestrated a 10-play, 75-yard scoring drive, which ended with a four-yard touchdown pass to Josh Reynolds to trim the deficit 31–28 late in the fourth quarter. Goff went 12-of-15 for 180 yards in the first half, and might have had more than 250 yards if Amon-Ra St. Brown and Gibbs didn’t drop potential big-play throws in the final minutes of the second quarter.

Overreactions can get absurd early in an NFL season, but Smith and Goff aren’t new to playing in entertaining high-scoring affairs. It’s time to stop doubting these two quality quarterbacks in the NFC. 

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