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Drew Lock and Geno Smith shine in Seattle Seahawks 2022 preseason debut

Vincent Frank

A lot has been made about the Seattle Seahawks’ quarterback competition between Drew Lock and holdover Geno Smith.

It’s not that either has looked the part of a franchise guy during their careers. Rather, it’s all about replacing franchise legend Russell Wilson who was dealt to the Denver Broncos in a blockbuster trade this past spring.

With Seattle over the past two seasons, the 31-year-old Smith got the call to start Saturday’s preseason opener against the Pittsburgh Steelers for head coach Pete Carroll. Lock then took over in the second half and played the rest of the way. It really is a battle in the Pacific Northwest.

The good news for an otherwise pedestrian Seahawks team is that both Lock and Smith excelled during their time on the field against Pittsburgh’s reserves.

After struggling in Seattle’s first two possessions, Smith picked it up big time. He led the Seahawks on scores in two of his final three drives to conclude the first half, completing 7-of-10 passes in the process. Smith also scored Seattle’s lone touchdown before intermission on a two-yard run.

Smith showed familiarity with offensive coordinator Shane Waldron’s system. It’s one of the reasons he’s considered the favorite to be Seattle’s Week 1 starting quarterback against Wilson and the Denver Broncos.

For his part, Lock performed even better than his counterpart in his Seahawks debut. He led Seattle on two long touchdown-scoring drives to pull this game even against Pittsburgh. Both drives culminated in scoring strikes from the former second-round pick from Missouri.

Most of Lock’s passes were of the short or intermediate varieties. But he also displayed a nice amount of comfort level after coming over from Seattle in the Wilson blockbuster. That’s all Pete Carroll and Co. can hope for at this point in his career in the Pacific Northwest after a 32-25 loss to Pittsburgh.

Related: Seattle Seahawks QB situation in post-Russell Wilson era

Geno Smith, Drew Lock competition heating up

drew lock, geno smith
Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Amid previous reports of interest in Baker Mayfield and Jimmy Garoppolo, Seattle’s brass remained steadfast in its stance that these two would compete for the starting gig. What we saw Saturday evening in Pittsburgh shows us why.

As for the competition with two preseason games remaining, it’s been clear that Smith has the advantage.

“He’s still doing it. He played well, too. He was really solid. He really started well. Had a couple great drives right off the bat. In the second half, we weren’t quite as clean with the stuff we were doing. A little raggedy at the line of scrimmage and it showed. But he had a really good start.”

Pete Carroll on Geno Smith earlier in training camp

With that said, Carroll is also playing it close to the vest. “He was really comfortable and poised,” Carroll said of Lock after a scrimmage earlier in the summer.

Right now, Seattle is likely the fourth-best team in the NFC West heading into the regular season. It is ways behind the defending Super Bowl champion Los Angeles Rams and the reigning NFC runner-up San Francisco 49ers. Most believe that the Arizona Cardinals are closer to Los Angeles and San Francisco than Seattle.

This could play a role in the Seahawks’ final decision heading into Week 1. Lock is only 25 years old and displayed some flashes during his three seasons with Denver.

Six years older than his counterpart, Smith has been nothing more than a journeyman since he entered the league back in 2013. If upside is the name of the game, Lock might very well surprise the masses and earn the starting job.