Geno Smith helps Seattle Seahawks spoil Russell Wilson’s return

SEATTLE — Several mins after the general whistle of the Seattle Seahawks’ season-opening victory Monday night time, Geno Smith walked off the sphere together with his palms raised to the sky and what remained of the house crowd chanting his title.

So a lot for Russell Wilson getting the hero’s welcome in his return to Lumen Field six months after his business to the Denver Broncos. It used to be Smith who were given the loudest ovation and the disappointed victory over the quarterback he used to again up.

Making his first opening day get started since 2014 with the New York Jets, Smith threw a couple of first-half landing passes and have shyed away from pricey errors. Add to {that a} stellar defensive effort and a neglected Denver box objective within the ultimate seconds and it proved to be sufficient for the Seahawks of their 17-16 win over the Broncos, who have been 6.5-point favorites.

“They wrote me off,” Smith instructed ESPN’s Lisa Salters postgame. “I ain’t write back, though.”

Smith’s 8 seasons used to be the longest stretch between Week 1 begins by means of an NFL quarterback since 1971, consistent with the Elias Sports Bureau. In between, he has suffered a damaged jaw by the use of a locker room sucker punch that price him his beginning process with the Jets and a torn ACL sooner than backing up 3 of essentially the most sturdy quarterbacks in NFL historical past in Eli Manning, Philip Rivers and Wilson.

After an up-and-down summer time wherein he held off Drew Lock to win Seattle’s quarterback struggle, Smith appeared the a part of an NFL starter Monday night time — specifically all through his just about flawless get started. He finished his first 13 makes an attempt and completed the primary 1/2 17-of-18 for 164 yards and two touchdowns.

According to ESPN Stats & Information analysis, Smith’s 94% of entirety fee tied Matt Hasselbeck (Week 11 of 2010) for the most efficient by means of a Seahawks quarterback in any 1/2 since 2000 (minimal of 15 makes an attempt).

“How about Geno?” Seattle trainer Pete Carroll mentioned postgame. “I mean … 17-for-18 in the first half. Who does that? Guys just don’t do that … Geno played tonight like he has been playing the whole time we’ve been practicing. That’s what he has been looking like. He didn’t look any different than what he has looked like in practice.

“That’s why we had the realization in him, and that’s the reason why he used to be ready to win the process and move in the market on Monday Night Football and win the soccer recreation.”

While Seahawks fans booed Wilson loudly and relentlessly, they celebrated Smith’s big plays with chants of “Geno, Geno” — just like last season, when Smith replaced an injured Wilson during an October loss to the Los Angeles Rams and promptly led a touchdown drive.

On Monday night, there were plenty of big plays to celebrate.

On Seattle’s opening drive, Smith avoided a sack and floated a ball to a wide-open Will Dissly for a 38-yard touchdown. His second scoring pass — a 25-yarder to fellow tight end Colby Parkinson — came on a perfect throw up the seam. Smith made plays with his legs too, like his 14-yard scramble run at the end of the third quarter and a designed quarterback sweep to convert on third-and-2 on the next play. The latter run prompted Carroll to emphatically shoot his arm forward to signal first down.

Smith finished 23-of-28 passing for 195 yards and no turnovers. He lost the ball on one of his two sacks, but left tackle Charles Cross recovered it. Smith also added 14 yards on six carries.

“He made extra performs together with his legs than I anticipated him to this night,” Carroll said. “He took off, and I used to be so mad at him the time he used to be operating up the sidelines and were given smoked on their sidelines. What’s he doing? Get down. I were given over it … Just discovering Diss at the first landing go, escaping the push, slipping up beneath and dumping the ball for a very simple landing. Gorgeous play by means of him. He had every other ones, as smartly. You can see.

“I don’t know if you guys were doubting or everybody thinks that we were making stuff up. We weren’t. This is what he looks like. Obviously, he just did it again. Anyway, you can think whatever you want.”

Smith subsidized up Wilson the previous 3 seasons and went 1-2 remaining yr whilst Wilson used to be sidelined together with his finger damage. The two shared a heat change sooner than and after the sport.

“Just a lot of love,” Smith mentioned. “I got a lot of respect and love for Russell. Being here with him for three years, I learned a lot, got to know him really well, got to understand why he is the man that he is, the way that he is and what makes him special. Russell will always be my brother. I love him to death, and I just wish him the best.”

Seattle’s offensive struggles all through its scoreless 2d 1/2 gave Wilson a possibility to tug off every other overdue comeback, one thing he did such a lot of instances in his 10 seasons right here. The Seahawks’ first 3 possessions ended in a fumble and two punts. Their fourth and ultimate ownership used to be a kneel-down after Denver took the ball out of Wilson’s arms and neglected the sphere objective take a look at from 64 yards out that might have received the sport.

“We have to be better in the second half,” Smith mentioned. “That’s all I was thinking about, honestly. I felt like in the second half — obviously their defense, give credit to their defense. They stood up and played well, but we’ve got to finish games better. It’s great to get a win. Our defense went out there and did what they had to do, but we could have put up more points and given ourselves an even more cushion to have a better shot in that game.”

The Seahawks, broadly projected to complete remaining within the NFC West, have been the one workforce within the department to win in Week 1.

Smith shot down the speculation of feeling in my opinion validated by means of the victory.

Carroll used to be requested how satisfying it should be for Smith given the entirety he has long past thru in his profession.

“I would think very much so,” Carroll mentioned. “I’m saying it and I don’t care if anybody believes this: He’s the best he’s ever been. Because of the four years of being in the system and being loved up and taken care of and looked after — and he did his part, in reverse, to always be there for us — he’s ready. He’s ready for this moment … He was so poised and calm in this game. It was just fun playing with him.

“We have been speaking as the sport is happening, and he’s having amusing and giggling and taking part in it. The second got here to him, and he used to be in a position for it. That’s a actually stunning representation. It’s an ideal tale. I feel it is a nice tale.”

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