Seattle Seahawks QB Geno Smith: Forgettable Finish vs. San Francisco 49ers Doesn’t Erase Special Season

Seattle Seahawks QB Geno Smith: Forgettable Finish vs. San Francisco 49ers Doesn’t Erase Special Season

During the first 30 minutes of Saturday afternoon’s NFC Wild Card game against the San Francisco 49ers at Levi’s Stadium, Seattle Seahawks quarterback Geno Smith looked like he was going to lead his team to an improbable upset on the road.

But over the final two quarters, Seattle fell apart, thanks in part to a defensive explosion and costly turnovers by Smith. After holding a 17-16 halftime lead, the Seahawks (9-9) were outscored 25-6 in the second half, ultimately seeing their season end with a 41-23 loss, their third loss of the season against the 49ers (14-4).

Smith had a solid statistical performance, completing 25 of 35 for 253 yards and two touchdowns — but made a pair of big mistakes in the second half, throwing an interception and going deep into 49ers’ territory.

Against a San Francisco team that has now won nine straight, Smith needed to be at his best … and he just wasn’t when Seattle needed him most.

But that shouldn’t overshadow the incredible season Smith put together.

After spending the last six years as a backup and being forced to earn the starting job in training camp, Smith (like the Seahawks) had few outside expectations entering the campaign.

And yet, it didn’t seem to matter.

From the moment Smith beat former Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson in the season opener and claimed he wasn’t writing to the doubters, the 32-year-old seemed poised to prove this ninth pro season would be unlike any other… and by all accounts, it was.

Smith led the NFL in completion percentage at 69.8 percent while ranking eighth in attempts. He was one of four quarterbacks in the entire league to throw at least 30 touchdowns and total 4,282 passing yards, good for eighth most.

When the Seahawks played a pair of playoff elimination games to close out the regular season, Smith showed no fear and made big throws when needed. He was the fiery leader Seattle wants under center and backed it up with a 10-year ball, statistically.

All the way from throwing a touchdown pass right into star receiver DK Metcalf’s bucket in the first half, it’s been a special year for Smith … and the mistakes made over the last 30 minutes do little to tarnish that .

Smith, an upcoming free agent, is expected to return to Seattle next year, almost certainly with a much larger contract — which more accurately reflects the level of play he achieved this campaign, as opposed to the stable image remaining on the field at Levi’s Stadium.

And while it wasn’t the playoff debut Smith wanted or needed to have, it was only right that he had the chance to cap off a magical season under the spotlight.

You can follow Daniel Flick on Twitter @DFlickDraft

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