Geno Smith vs. Drew Lock: Which Seahawks QB Takes the Lead? – Sports Illustrated

Based on his comments, Seattle Seahawks coach Pete Carroll might be leaning toward Drew Lock as his starting quarterback in Week 1 during the regular season. He acts, however, like a coach who's planning on keeping Geno Smith at the helm.
Saturday's 32-25 preseason loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers at Acrisure Stadium had its highs and lows for both passers. Take for instance Smith's 2-yard touchdown run just before halftime to make it 17-10. Or how about Lock’s 17-yard touchdown pass to running back DeeJay Dallas to tie the game at 25 in the fourth quarter?
The problem is, in our judgment, neither passer separated himself in the race for QB1. Carroll's words say he sees it that way. Both quarterbacks likely do as well. And with the season rapidly approaching, that’s a sign of concern for the offense looking to start fresh following the Russell Wilson era.  
“As it turned out, for both guys that was a good outing because they had a lot of pressure on them to have to get things done,’’ Carroll said. “We’re coming from behind and drives to go ahead and all that kind of stuff. I’m anxious to see how it looks when we break it down."
How do we think it looked?
Smith started the game and played in five series. Three drives ended in punts, one ended with a 33-yard field goal from Jason Myers, and one ended with Smith finding the end zone with his legs.
Sprinkled in-between were throws that made Smith look competent. On his final drive, Smith delivered a near-perfect 21-yard strike to rookie receiver Cade Johnson. Two plays later, Geno powered his way in for the score.
“We had some opportunities there to extend some drives,” said Smith, who finished 10 of 15 passing for 101 yards. “We didn’t start out great on third downs, but we started to pick it up. I feel like we got a lot to learn from.”
Lock’s overall performance mirrored Smith's – a few big plays followed by a bit of regression. The former Broncos starter connected with rookie receiver Bo Melton for a 39-yard reception to kick off his night. That would lead to a nine-play, 73-yard scoring drive, capped off by a 3-yard touchdown pass to receiver Dareke Young.
The two biggest flaws in Lock’s outing came on third down and the final drive. Seattle finished 2 of 4 on third down conversions. Following a turnover on downs from Pittsburgh, Lock had the chance to take the lead.
The Steelers collapsed Lock’s pocket, leading to a fumble caused by a sack, thus giving the ball back to Pittsburgh. Steelers rookie quarterback Kenny Pickett would finish a five-play, 43-yard drive with a 24-yard touchdown pass to receiver Tyler Vaughns.
“I could’ve handled that better,” said Lock, who finished 11 of 15 for 102 yards and two TDs. “[I] could’ve flipped the [protection], could’ve played it hot. As a quarterback, you’re always able to fix those things. I’ll just take it on the chest that I could have done better there.”
Lock, who enters a contract year with Seattle, has the youthful presence and potential upside compared to a 31-year-old Smith. But Smith has Carroll’s respect, something needed to own the starting job.
Carroll was pleased, to a degree. Yet Saturday’s action isn’t enough for him to yet name a starter against Denver on Sept. 12. The clock, however, is ticking.
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