To say that the Seattle Seahawks are in unfamiliar territory right now would be an understatement. The Seahawks will be playing a regular-season game without Russell Wilson for the first time since 2011. Instead, Seattle will turn to journeyman backup Geno Smith.
Smith and the Seahawks travel to Pittsburgh to take on the Steelers on Sunday Night Football. The Seahawks are 4.5-point underdogs, according to the NFL betting lines from BetMGM.
Will the Seahawks be able to overcome the loss of their team leader, or will Wilson’s absence be too much for Seattle to overcome? Read on to find out how the Seahawks might fare against Pittsburgh in Week 6.
The Spotlight Is on Geno Smith
The last time Geno Smith started a game was in 2017 when he was the quarterback for the New York Giants. However, Smith did get some playing time after Wilson got hurt on Sunday, and he performed better than the box score might indicate. Smith led the Seahawks on a 98-yard drive that ended with a DK Metcalf touchdown.
Later on, he drove the Seahawks down the field again to set them up for a successful field goal. However, on Smith’s final drive of the night, he threw an interception after his target, Tyler Lockett, fell on the route. Nevertheless, Smith didn’t look overmatched or rusty on Sunday, which is a good sign for the Seahawks heading into Week 6.
Seattle May Lean On the Run Game Against Pittsburgh
Geno Smith will go up against a Pittsburgh pass defense ranked 19th in the NFL in yards-per-game. However, the Steelers are faring much better against the run, giving up just over 100 yards per game, which is the 9th best mark in the NFL.
The big question is whether Seahawks coach Pete Carroll will let Geno Smith open up the passing game or if he’ll try to hide Smith behind the Seattle rushing attack. The Seahawks were without starting RB Chris Carson on Sunday, but Carroll has indicated he may be back for Week 6.
While Seattle might be inclined to learn on the run and ask Geno Smith to be nothing more than a game manager, that would be playing right into the strength of Mike Tomlin’s defense. Seattle might find more offensive success if the Seahawks show some confidence in Geno Smith and his elite receivers.
Evaluating the Seattle Seahawks Scoring Potential Against Pittsburgh
Pete Carroll hasn’t coached a meaningful game without Russell Wilson in over nine years, so there’s little precedent for this situation. That’s why it’s helpful to look at the over/under for this game. The game total is just 42.5, the lowest of any Week 6 matchup. Oddsmakers don’t expect Geno Smith to light it up on Sunday.
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