When quarterback Geno Smith joined the Seahawks in 2020, his fourth team in four years, he had logged two starts since 2015. Three seasons later, he's starting to get attention as one of the primary reasons for Seattle's surprising position atop the NFC West.
Asked if there's a quarterback Smith's delayed breakout year reminds him of ahead of New York's Week 8 tilt against Seattle, Giants defensive coordinator Wink Martindale identified a Hall of Famer.
"I'll give you the first name, Kurt Warner," Martindale said Thursday, via the team's official transcript. "I don't know if they'll make a movie with Geno, but as a football fan and respect for the game, I really respect what he's done with his game. Besides playing against him, it's fun to watch the success that he's had."
Warner, who spent time in the Arena Football League and NFL Europe before emerging as a two-time Most Valuable Player and Super Bowl Champion with the Rams, saw his storybook career made into the 2021 film, American Underdog.
Tinseltown may not come calling for Smith just yet, but the second QB off the board in the 2013 draft has certainly rewarded the Seahawks for tabbing him as an opening-day starter for the first time since 2014.
He leads the league with a 73.5 completion percentage -- just 0.9 off the pace of Drew Brees' 2018 NFL record -- and is ranked seventh in the league in passing yards with 1,712. His 11 touchdown passes through seven games already sits just two shy of his career high.
The 32-year-old is playing the best ball of his career, continuing to match what he put on tape when he completed 65 of 95 passes for 702 yards, five TDs and one interception during a three-game relief stint for Wilson last season.
Smith's matchup with the Giants on Sunday will pit two of the NFL's most surprising teams against each other. While Seattle leads the NFC West at 4-3, New York has rattled off four victories in a row and possesses the league's second-best mark with a 6-1 record.
The responsibility falls to Martindale's fifth-ranked scoring defense to ensure the continued narrative of resurgence belongs to New York rather than Smith's Seahawks come Monday morning.
"I think he's a really good person, and I just love to see the success that he's having," Martindale said about Smith. "I just don't want him to have any on Sunday."