Seahawks Facing ‘Fascinating’ QB Situation, NFL Coordinator Blasts Russell Wilson

Geno Smith Seahawks

Getty Seahawks QB Geno Smith greets Broncos QB Russell Wilson.

Heavy’s football mailbag series continues on Friday, October 7 — hosted by Heavy NFL insider Matt Lombardo — to answer questions about your favorite team(s).

Four weeks into the 2022 NFL season and this is a league with more parity than ever.

While the Philadelphia Eagles and Buffalo Bills currently appear to be on a Super Bowl collision course, the AFC South is a .500 division, only the Kansas City Chiefs have a winning record in the AFC West. In the NFC, even the Green Bay Packers were taken to the brink by rookie quarterback Bailey Zappe, and Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers look vulnerable.

As always, the NFL looks as wide-open as Davante Adams on a double move.

Davante Adams Talks Derek Carr & Aaron Rodgers in Exclusive Interview &More | The Matt Lombardo ShowWelcome to the first episode of The Matt Lombardo Show presented by Heavy Sports. This week Matt is joined by Super Bowl Champion and All-Pro Wide Receiver Davante Adams. They talk about how his Las Vegas Raiders began to turn a corner starting with a captains meeting, playing with Aaron Rodgers and Derek Carr, who…2022-10-06T04:00:09Z

Seattle Seahawks

Q: Can Geno Smith keep this up and lead Seattle to the playoffs?

Geno Smith’s late-career renaissance, at age 31, is one of the more fascinating stories across the NFL through the first four weeks of the 2022 season.

Smith has the Seattle Seahawks off to a 2-2 start, in a division that is currently .500, but how Seattle has gotten there has really changed the narrative not just around Smith but head coach Pete Carroll and a scheme that had stalled out in Russell Wilson’s Emerald City twilight.

Here’s a look at Smith’s start by the numbers:

Among quarterbacks with qualifying attempts, Smith is sixth in yards per attempt (7.1) which is a measure viewed most accurately by evaluators inside the league to determine a quarterback’s success.

Smith’s 108.0 passer rating trails only Tua Tagovailoa, and someone named Patrick Mahomes.

Meanwhile, entering Week 5, Smith was fourth in completed air yards on passes that traveled past the line of scrimmage (648).

“Geno Smith, by the way, is currently PFF’s top-graded quarterback,” NFL reporter Doug Kyed wrote on October 5. “He could be playing his way into a contract extension with the Seahawks as Russell Wilson’s replacement.”

There’s something that feels sustainable about Smith’s fast start, and according to Tankathon, Seattle’s remaining opponents have just a .481 winning percentage, just the 21st toughest slate in the league.

While the San Francisco 49ers look like the most complete team in the NFC West currently, they have been besieged by injuries. In an NFC that features, maybe two “complete” teams; the Eagles and the Packers, Smith certainly seems to have what it takes to lead the Seahawks back to the postseason. What a story that would be.

Denver Broncos

Q: What the heck happened to Russell Wilson against the Colts?

Denver Broncos quarterback Russell Wilson didn’t look like an NFL quarterback against the Indianapolis Colts, in a 12-9 overtime loss to kick off Week 5. Maybe we shouldn’t be surprised.

“He’s been looking like this for over a year,” an NFL offensive coordinator told Heavy.

Against the Colts, Wilson completed just 53.8% of his passes for 274 yards with a pair of interceptions.

Wilson missed a wide-open K.J. Hamler in the end zone on a decisive 4th down call to end the game in overtime. The 33-year-old missed wide-open receivers all night. Made several throws to no one in particular. Seemed to casually play pitch-and-catch with Colts cornerback Stephon Gilmore, who effectively fair caught the ball in the middle of the field.

“He kept trying me, so I made him pay,” Gilmore said on the Amazon Prime postgame show.

Wilson certainly looks like a quarterback whose best days are behind him.

The Broncos fully guaranteed $161 million of Wilson’s $242.5 million extension signed prior to the 2022 season. It’s impossible to fathom Denver not having buyer’s remorse.

Los Angeles Rams

Q: Are the Rams shopping for wide receiver help? Could Kenny Golladay be a fit, if Odell Beckham signs elsewhere?

Odell Beckham Jr. has always felt like the most likely addition for the Los Angeles Rams, even though he likely won’t be fully healthy until the stretch run.

However, from multiple league conversations, it does not seem as though the Rams or general manager Les Snead are actively shopping the receiver market.

“I haven’t heard a thing about them looking for receiver help,” a league source told Heavy. “But, in my opinion, they absolutely should be.”

While Kenny Golladay could certainly benefit from a change of scenery, catching just 2 more passes this season than the average reader of this story, there would certainly be logistical hurdles to the Rams acquiring him — if they even see potential in Sean McVay’s scheme.

Golladay is due $27.5 million over the next two seasons, and if the Giants traded the under-performing wide receiver this season, would likely need to pay the bulk of his remaining salary. Giants general manager Joe Schoen has been steadfast in avoiding pushing financial obligations into next season. Likewise, trading Golladay in 2023 would create $18 million in new cap space, while triggering a $6.8 million dead money charge.

Beckham Jr. has certainly been in the Rams’ sights, but even as the offense continues to underperform with quarterback Matthew Stafford, it doesn’t sound as though any move at wide receiver is imminent.

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