Why Geno Smith’s impending start against the Broncos is historic – Field Gulls

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Barring something dramatic, Geno Smith will be the starting quarterback for the Seattle Seahawks on Monday against the Denver Broncos. It’s the first time that Smith has been a Week 1 starter since the 2014 season, when he was with the New York Jets and entering his second year in the NFL.
It’s not every day you have a quarterback — really any position in sports — go eight years in between (presumptive) full-time roles as a starter. In fact, according to Elias Sports Bureau this is the longest gap between Week 1 starts since 1971.
Here was Geno Smith on how he’s a different QB now compared to his early days with the Jets. h/t to @bcondotta on the stat about Smith’s historically long gap between Week 1 starts. pic.twitter.com/CznzEazci4
There have only been three other instances of an eight-year gap between Week 1 starts. Those three quarterbacks are:
Another way to frame this is that in modern NFL history — we’re talking post-1970 merger with the AFL — there hasn’t been a Geno Smith equivalent in terms of gaps this long between starting jobs. A whopping 86 quarterbacks have had more starts than Smith since 2015, including Matt Hasselbeck, Devlin Hodges, and Bryce Petty. If you want to isolate to pass attempts, Smith has thrown fewer passes since losing his full-time starting job than Robert Griffin III, Tom Savage, Johnny Manziel, and 83 other QBs.
We have discussed to death the circumstances in which Smith got the job, how likely (or unlikely) it is for Smith to significantly improve upon his lackluster play with the New York Jets, but it’s no small deal that he has stayed in the NFL this long and managed to be a QB1 again. Now it’s up to him to make the most of a truly historic second chance.
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