The Seattle Seahawks (2-1) are looking to keep the momentum going following their 37-27 win over Carolina Panthers in Week 3, and will head to the Meadowlands to take on the New York Giants (1-2) on Monday Night Football.
Not only is the Seahawks’ first primetime matchup of the season, but it marks quarterback Geno Smith‘s first start at MetLife Stadium since 2016, during which he tore his ACL. Smith’s four-year tenure with the New York Jets was tumultuous at best, and his former teammate, Leonard Williams, who now plays for the Giants, sent a message to the veteran ahead of their Week 4 matchup.
Williams, the Jets’ first-round pick from the 2015 NFL draft, reflected back to that fateful day during his rookie year, when Smith was sucker-punched in the face by his own teammate, IK Enemkpali, over a $600 debt. The hit fractured Smith’s jaw in two places and caused the quarterback to miss several weeks. In the interim, then-back up Ryan Fitzpatrick took over as the starter, and ultimately kept the job.
After bouncing around the league, Smith has finally found his home in the NFL. “It’s awesome to see,” Williams told The New York Post of the quarterback, who signed a three-year $75 million contract with the Seahawks after being the NFL’s Comeback Player of the Year.
“Because when I first came in the league he was the starting quarterback for the Jets, and it was a crazy eye-opener for me to see he got punched by a linebacker in the locker room and I was just like a rookie seeing this and was just like, ‘Whoa.’
“Since that moment, he kind of got his opportunity taken away from him and he was trying to climb back. It’s really cool to see him in a system that’s working well for him. Especially at the quarterback position, it doesn’t happen often. I feel like he just kept his head down, kept grinding. You can tell he just seems more comfortable and confident out there.”
Pete Carroll Is Not Worried About Geno Smith’s Return to the Meadowlands
Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll, who previously spent four seasons as the Jets defensive coordinator and one year as their head coach in 1994, is not worried about Smith’s nerves getting the best of him in his return to MetLife Stadium.
“We’ve already started that talk,” said Carroll, per the Seahawks’ website. “He’s fine. He’ll be fine about it, it’s a long ways back. He probably doesn’t have as much of a thought about it as I do.”
“He’s so routine now about how he prepares, and his expectations on what it takes to prepare well, that it kind of overrides the issues,” Carroll said. “I’m always on him and watching him and wanting to see that he’s balanced and on track. There’s not much critique in there. He’s doing it. He knows how to do this as well as anybody, he’s been through it all.”
As for Smith, he’s not overthinking it. “I’m excited to go on the road, another opportunity for us as a team,” he said. “Monday night game, primetime game, can’t wait. Just another opportunity for us to go out there and prove ourselves against another good defense.”
The Seahawks are Undefeated at MetLife Stadium
Not only is MetLife Stadium where the Seahawks won Super Bowl XLVIII, but the franchise is undefeated (5-0) when they play in the Meadowlands. There’s another stat that bodes well in Seattle’s favor, the fact that Giants quarterback Daniel Jones is 0-6 on Monday Night Football.
In primetime games in general, Jones has gone 1-11, per CBS Sports.