The New Orleans Saints cannot afford to allow Geno Smith to have a "career game" on Monday night to fall back to .500.
Geno Smith is a talented quarterback who possesses the physical talent you need in an NFL starter. He's 6-3, 221-pounds, relatively strong-armed, and has 43 game starts in the NFL. In two games subbing for Wilson, Smith has connected on 33/39 passes, 340 yards, a pair of touchdowns and one interception with a 92.2 quarterback rating.
Smith, 31, was highly-touted as a first-round talent from West Virginia. Unfortunately for Geno, he waited in the 2013 NFL Draft green room to be selected as the Jets' 2nd round (39th overall) pick. He went from a starter to Ryan Fitzpatrick's backup and unceremoniously left the Jets after the 2016 season.
Smith became a journeyman with backup duties with the Giants (2017), Chargers (2018), and the Seahawks since 2019.
Three weeks ago, Russell Wilson -like Drew Brees - suffered a finger injury from the LA Rams' defensive tackle, Aaron Donald. Geno Smith was inserted into the contest and mounted a comeback for the Seahawks, completing 10/17 for 131 yards, one touchdown, and an interception. In Pittsburgh, Smith started and rallied Seattle to tie the game with 2 seconds on the clock.
Geno Smith would fumble trying to avoid a sack, and the Steelers won the game. Smith finished the evening 23/32, 209 yards, one touchdown, no interceptions, and a costly fumble. He did have several dropped passes by Seahawk receivers which could have turned the game to their favor, but Smith stood tall and took the heat for the loss.
His connection with New Orleans isn't new. Smith led a 26-20 upset of a mistake-prone Saints team in 2013.
He can shine, and New Orleans shouldn't take the strong-armed QB lightly on Monday night. He poses a problem in the passing game and with his legs.
At the moment in the NFC South, New Orleans (3-2) must continue winning to keep pace with the Tampa Bay Bucs (6-1) who are on top of the division. QB Matt Ryan and Atlanta had a big win over the Dolphins as time expired to get to .500 on the season. The Panthers are faltering to a record of 3-4 and new questions about Sam Darnold being the team's quarterback.
The weather could be a problem for the Saints and Seahawks with bomb cyclones projected to hit the Seattle area before game time.
Seattle will host New Orleans on Monday Night Football in the 15th meeting of the two organizations. The Saints lead the series 8-6 and have won four of the last five meetings, including the last two contests.