The fact that Geno Smith is having a breakout season eight years after he last got a chance to be a starter isn't a surprise to him—he has always believed in his ability—but the Seahawks quarterback has changed what plenty of other people thought about his viability as a starting quarterback.
Over the course of eight games this season, Smith hasn't just shown himself to be a serviceable starter or a game manager or whatever other euphemism one might use for mediocre; he has proven himself to be one of the NFL's best quarterbacks.
And after helping lead the first-place Seahawks to a 4-1 record in October, Smith has been named the NFC Offensive Player of the Month.
"He's the real deal," Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said. "This is the real, there's no mystery he's going to run out of gas or something. It's not like that. He knows exactly what he's doing and he shows you week in and week out, throw after throw after throw. There's nothing for us to hold him but in the highest of expectations really. What a thrilling story for the kid. He just hung in there so tough and outlasted it, and now he's enjoying all the fun of it."
Over the course of five games last month, Smith completed 69.4 percent of his passes for 1,207 yards, nine touchdowns, one interception—and there's a good case to be made that there was an uncalled pass interference on that play—and a passer rating of 111.7. Smith also rushed for 143 yards and a touchdown on 25 carries, averaging 5.7 yard per rush.
For the season, Smith leads the NFL in completion percentage (72.7), ranks third in the league and first in the NFC in passer rating (107.2), and is tied for the NFC lead with 13 touchdown passes. The first Seahawk to be named player of the month since Russell Wilson in 2020, Smith is also the second-ranked quarterback in the NFL behind Josh Allen by Pro Football Focus.
"Almost every throw has a chance," Carroll said when asked about Smith's accuracy. "He's had very few throws that he's had to throw away, that he threw poorly, or threw into challenged areas. There have been a couple, maybe three, four, or five in eight games. I don't remember that kind of accuracy. Honestly, I don't remember seeing guys that sharp, but he has done it."
This is the first time in Smith's career he has earned Player of the Month honors. Earlier this season he was named NFC Offensive Player of the Week for his play in Seattle's Week 4 win over the Lions.
Marshawn Lynch goes "International Beast Mode" in advance of the Seahawks' trip to Germany to face the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on November 13. Take a look at some behind-the-scenes photos from his tour through Munich. Watch the full series here.