With reports today that Baker Mayfield is expected to be named the Week 1 starting quarterback for the Carolina Panthers, just one quarterback competition remains: Geno Smith vs. Drew Lock in Seattle. Lock was to start tonight's preseason game vs. Chicago but is out with COVID, meaning Smith could win the gig almost by default if he plays well vs. the Bears. SportsLine offers updated odds on the Seattle QB competition.
Smith was always considered the favorite because he's familiar with offensive coordinator Shane Waldron's schemes. Smith played in seven games for the Seahawks last year and started three in place of the injured Russell Wilson, going 1-2. Smith had an overall rating of 103.0, which actually would have ranked sixth in the league, just behind Wilson (103.1).
The veteran Smith started the preseason opener in Pittsburgh and was sharp, going 10 of 15 for 101 yards and a rushing touchdown. Lock, acquired in the Wilson trade from Denver, was 11 of 15 with 102 yards and two scores, but fumbled away a ball that led to Pittsburgh's winning touchdown. Turnovers have been Lock's biggest issue since entering the NFL as a second-round pick in 2019 by the Broncos.
Coaches generally don't like to play their starters in the third and final preseason game (Seattle visits Dallas next Friday), so Lock's chances of winning the job could be over if Smith shines against the Bears. Lock may not even be healthy in time for the Cowboys game.
He apparently was so sick with COVID that he "barely made it off the practice field," Tuesday, according to Coach Pete Carroll. The Seahawks gave Lock all the first-team reps that day in preparation for his start tonight and he struggled mightily.
"He was dragging," Carroll said Wednesday. "We were going to do post-practice work but [decided] no, let's get him out of here. It hit him. He's had it before already. He's done all of the work to get prepped for it. It just so happens that it got him again."
Smith could play a lot against Chicago because the only other active quarterback is third-stringer Jacob Eason. Smith has not won a starting job since 2015, when he was set to be the Jets' starter for a third straight year until a teammate punched him in the face in training camp. That broke Smith's jaw and forced then-Jets coach Todd Bowles to hand the starting job to Ryan Fitzpatrick.
Via SportsLine oddsmakers: Who will be the Seahawks' Week 1 starting QB?
- Geno Smith -270
- Drew Lock +190
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