If we took a poll before the season, not many would have predicted Seattle making the playoffs. When Seattle sent Russell Wilson to the Denver Broncos, the Seahawks being a contender didn’t seem likely. Yet, Week 1’s emotional win against Russell quietly validated a team that felt slighted by Russell looking for greener pastures. After losing the next two games, it was Week 4’s victory in the Motor City that gave Seattle the tiebreaker for the NFC’s 7th seed.
Key to the Seahawks’ ability to even be in contention was the play of NFL journeyman Geno Smith. The 39th overall pick in 2013, Geno’s career was marred by struggles and injuries – including tearing his ACL in 2016. From there, he’d sign back to back 1 year deals before signing with the Seahawks in 2019.
Although Geno impressed filling in for Russell in 2021, it was not a foregone conclusion that the team would give him the keys. Seattle could have decided to tank for someone in the draft or just not viewed Geno as a viable option. But Geno would make good on Seattle’s faith. 2022 saw the 9th year pro put up career marks, landing in the top 10 in passing yards (4282, 8th), passing attempts (572, 8th), completions (399, 6th), and passing touchdowns (30, 4th).
Rank:— Sports ON Tap Seattle (@SONTSeattle) December 7, 2022
Games w/ multiple Pass TD 10 1st
Games w/ 100 Pass Rating 9 1st
Games w/ 70%+ comp pct 8 1st
Seahawks have the MVP / Comeback Player of the Year..
& it’s QB Geno Smith pic.twitter.com/nf4Wi2cbtZ
The Post Season
As the 7th seed, Seattle drew NFC West rival and division winner – the San Francisco 49ers. Seattle dropped both games to the Niners in the regular season after sweeping the Bay Area team in 2021. Facing 2022’s Mr. Irrelevant in his first playoff start, there was hope that Seattle could pull off an upset. But the Niners, who will be visiting Philadelphia in the NFC Championship game, proved too much for the little-engine-that-could.
The Seahawks are in great shape in terms of this upcoming offseason. They have the 8th most cap space and have the 5th and 20th pick in 2023 draft. Of their free agents, only five seem pertinent. Geno and Drew, the two QBs on the roster. Linebacker Cody Barton – the team’s second leading tackler. Defensive tackle Poona Ford – the team’s third leader in tackles for loss. And safety Ryan Neal – the team’s third leader in passes defensed. All three defensive free agents are 27 years old or younger.
Obviously, Geno will be cheap. And coming off a playoff run it’d be hard to imagine the Seahawks would go elsewhere at QB. They could have Drew Lock back if they’d like to or let him walk.
One of the frontrunners for Rookie of the Year, Kenneth Walker III, turned in a 1,000 yard season on the ground. Star receiver DK Metcalf is coming off career-highs in receptions and targets going into year 5 at 25 years old. And Mr. Consistent, Tyler Lockett is only entering his prime after registering his fourth consecutive season of 1,000+ receiving yards. If this team can get right defensively, the future could be bright and sunny in rainy Seattle.