It's time to start putting some respect on Geno Smith's game.
The Seattle Seahawks quarterback played on fire in Sunday's 48-45 win over the Detroit Lions. Smith led a Seahawks offense that didn't punt on nine possessions while gobbling up 555 yards and 27 first downs. Seattle averaged 8.8 yards per play Sunday.
"Geno played some spectacular football," coach Pete Carroll said, via the team's official website. "Spectacular football. Not just the throwing and the catching, but the command of the game and running the whole show. He did an incredible job, and he ran the ball, too, for 50 yards or something. Fantastic day, I don't know how you could do a whole lot more, play a whole lot better than that."
Smith played near flawless football, completing 23 of 30 passes (76.7%) for 320 yards and two touchdowns with no turnovers for a 132.6 passer rating while averaging 10.7 yards per attempt. Smith also kicked in seven rushes for 49 yards and a score.
"(Shoot), he's been on fire all year," said receiver DK Metcalf, who had 149 yards on seven catches. "He keeps building, keeps getting better week by week, and our chemistry keeps growing, and we're finally building an identity for ourselves."
Through four games, Smith leads the NFL with a 77.3 completion percentage, while throwing for 1,037 yards (10th-most entering Monday night) with six TDs and two interceptions. His 108.0 passer rating sits third in the NFL, and his QBR (72.2) is sixth. Smith is the only QB with a 70-plus completion percentage and more than 1,000 yards passing through four weeks (before MNF).
Those stats not enough to believe Geno has been cooking? How about some Next Gen Stats?
Smith's 10.0 completion percentage over expected is the highest among all QBs who've made at least two starts. And his 0.16 EPA per drop back ranks fourth among starting QBs, behind only Tua Tagovailoa, Patrick Mahomes and Josh Allen.
Yes, Sunday, he picked apart a woeful Lions defense that is on a historically bad pace. But beyond just finding open receivers, Smith is getting the Seahawks into the right plays and making key conversions on third downs to move the chains (Seattle went 9-of-12 on third downs Sunday).
Smith earned 300-plus yards passing in back-to-back weeks for the first time in his career. But he isn't buying that he's hit any sort of ceiling yet.
"I can play better," he said. "I have not exceeded my expectations. I can play a lot better."
Now, if only the Seahawks' defense could also improve.