RENTON, Wash. (AP)Coming off perhaps his worst performance of the season, Geno Smith decided he’s been a little too greedy of late.
As in too many risky throws by the Seattle Seahawks quarterback.
”I think I’ve been too aggressive as of late and so I’ve got to kind of get back to what I was doing early on, which was just taking what they give me and allowing us to have a complementary football team, and we all play together and not feel like we’re just trying to push the envelope or trying to push our limits and see what we can do,” Smith said on Tuesday. ”Because we know what we can do, but we got to stay on schedule.”
It’s a fine balance Smith is trying to navigate right now while the Seahawks are struggling in multiple areas ahead of Thursday night’s matchup against San Francisco. Seattle’s defense has become a sieve and unable to stop opponents from running the ball.
At the same time, injuries have left Seattle’s run game ineffective, putting even more of the offensive load on Smith’s right arm.
The results have been mixed. In last Sunday’s loss to the Panthers, Smith threw two interceptions for the first time this season and on both occasions forced throws into dangerous situations that he’s avoided most of the season.
He still threw three TDs in the 30-24 loss, but his completion rate was also a season-low 58.3% after four straight games where it was 69% or higher.
Smith said there’s no specific reason as to why he feels he’s been more aggressive other than last week when the Seahawks fell behind 17-0 and spent the final three quarters trying to rally.
”No specific reason. Just playing to win. And obviously we were down early in that game, and part of that was my mistake early on,” said Smith, who was intercepted on the first offensive play for Seattle.
”So when you are trying to get back into a game you don’t want to throw check-downs and feel like you’re giving up. You’re trying to make a big play or get things going and get some momentum.
”For me again, I just got to go back to what I was doing, which I haven’t really changed much, but I have been a little more aggressive than usual. I just got to be a little smarter.”
Smith’s first interception against the Panthers came when he tried to force a pass to Tyler Lockett in coverage. The second happened on a play Smith believed the Panthers had jumped offside. No flag was thrown and a risky pass was picked off and led to more points for Carolina.
”Unfortunately, it didn’t work out. It was a really devastating play for us for that to happen,” Seattle coach Pete Carroll said.
And the task won’t get easier this week for Smith with a visit from San Francisco. Smith completed 80% of his passes when the teams met in September, but the 24 completions went for only 197 yards. He was also intercepted once and sacked twice.
It was after that game that Carroll made note of needing to take any restrictions off what Seattle could do offensively, and following that declaration Smith saw his season take off.
Now the challenge is rediscovering that form before Seattle’s playoff hopes slip any further.
”It really should just be me out there playing and doing the right thing, every single play,” Smith said. ”It really comes down to that.”
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