Geno Smith vs. The G.O.A.T.

Geno Smith vs. The G.O.A.T.
Video geno smith vs tom brady

Sunday’s game in Munich, Germany, between the Seattle Seahawks and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers features two quarterbacks who some would argue couldn’t be more different.

On the “home” team sideline, we’ll have Tom Brady, who is widely considered the Greatest Of All Time at the quarterback position. On the “visitor” sideline, we’ll have Geno Smith, who is was widely considered a career backup before winning Seattle’s quarterback competition in training camp this year.

To illustrate how different these two players are …

Heading into Sunday’s game, Brady has over one hundred thousand career passing yards (regular + postseason). Geno Smith needs 884 yards to get to 10,000.

Over the course of his career, Geno Smith has started 43 regular season games. Tom Brady has started 47 playoff games (and another 325 regular season games on top of that).

For context …

After Brady ripped the hearts out of Rams fans last weekend (aka did the 12s a solid by dropping the Rams’ chances of making the playoffs to 15% while increasing Seattle’s chances to 84%), the league sent out a tweet:

Putting that another way, “Nothing personal; just Brady doing Brady things.”

Bottom line: Heading into the 2022 season, if you asked 100 people who they’d rather have as the quarterback of their team, Tom Brady’s name would have spilled out of somewhere between 99 and 100 of their mouths.

Even with 13 years, 2 months, and 7 days of difference between the 2 quarterbacks and their respective birthdates.

The G.O.A.T. is Just. That. Good. Great.

Or is he?

What if I were to tell you that Geno Smith might be the better quarterback – or, at the very least, a super comparable quarterback? And I don’t just mean today, I mean since Geno entered the league.

Hyperbole? Sure.

Sacrilege? Absolutely!

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But I do have some sound(ish) rationale to support that outlandish position.

Head-to-Head Matchups

Geno Smith has faced a Tom Brady-led team on 4 separate occasions and has a 1-3 record to show for it. Which sounds bad, and is bad … but it comes with a couple of caveats.

Caveat No. 1:

The first two games took place during Geno’s rookie season (2013).

The New England Patriots were 12-4 that year, won the AFC East by 4 games (over the New York Jets and Miami Dolphins, both of whom finished 8-8), and made it all the way to the AFC Championship Game where they lost to the Denver Broncos (who then got their ass whupped by the Seahawks in the Super Bowl).

Geno and the Jets were 1-1 against the Patriots that year.

The Patriots won the first game (by 3) after Geno threw interceptions on 3 of the Jets’ final 4 possessions.

The Jets won the second game … by 3 … in overtime … after a controversial call that (rightly) negated a missed field goal.

Geno’s stat lines in those two games:

  • 15 of 35 (42.9%) for 214 yards (6.1 YPA) with 0 TDs, 3 INTs, and a QBR of 20.8
  • 17 of 33 (51.5%) for 233 yards (7.1 YPA) with 1 TD, 1 INT, and a QBR of 65.4

Brady’s stat lines:

  • 19 of 39 (48.7%) for 185 yards (4.7 YPA) with 1 TD, 0 INTs, and a QBR of 33.6
  • 22 of 46 (47.8%) for 228 yards (5 YPA) with 0 TDs, 1 INT, and a QBR of 39.4

Their combined stat lines:

  • Geno: 32 of 68 (47.1%) for 447 yards (6.6 YPA) with 1 TD, 4 INTs, and a passer rating of 49.08
  • Brady: 41 of 85 (48.2%) for 413 yards (4.9 YPA) with 1 TD, 1 INT, and a passer rating of 61.54

We can quibble over the details, but that seems like a dead heat to me – especially since both teams scored (and allowed) the same number of points against each other that year.

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Caveat No. 2:

The Jets were 4-12 in Geno’s second season (2014).

The Patriots were 12-4 (again), won the AFC East (again), advanced to the AFC Championship Game (again) and then … ended the Seahawks’ hopes of becoming “the NFL’s next dynasty”.

The Patriots swept the Jets that year … by a total of 3 points.

The first game required a blocked field goal on the game’s final play to secure the Patriots’ 27-25 victory.

A missed field goal told the story of the second game as well with Vince Wilfork tipping Nick Folk’s 52-yard attempt with just over 5 minutes to play. The Jets never got the ball back and lost by 1.

Geno’s stat lines in those two games:

  • 20 of 34 (58.8%) for 226 yards (6.6 YPA) with 1 TD, 0 INTs, and a QBR of 69.9
  • 17 of 27 (63%) for 210 yards (7.8 YPA) with 1 TD, 1 INT, and a QBR of 42.2

Brady’s stat lines:

  • 20 of 37 (54.1%) for 261 yards (7.1 YPA) with 3 TDs, 0 INTs, and a QBR of 75.1
  • 23 of 35 (65.7%) for 182 yards (5.2 YPA) with 1 TD, 1 INT, and a QBR of 43.0

Their combined stat lines:

  • Geno: 37 of 61 (60.7%) for 436 yards (7.1 YPA) with 2 TDs, 1 INT, and a passer rating of 86.51
  • Brady: 43 of 72 (59.7%) for 443 yards (6.2 YPA) with 4 TDs, 1 INT, and a passer rating of 90.22

Again, this seems like a dead heat to me.

Fast forward to 2022

Heading into Week 10, Tom Brady has the 2nd-most passing yards in the league. Which is impressive … and makes a ton of sense since he has 38 more attempts than anyone else in the league, and 20 more completions.

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Geno, meanwhile, leads the league in completion percentage, is 3rd in quarterback rating, 4th in QBR, and 5th in touchdown passes (tied with Tua Tagovailoa).

Their overall stat lines look like this:

  • Geno: 207 of 283 (73.1%) for 2,199 yards (7.8 YPA) with 15 TDs, 4 INTs, a QBR of 68.1, and a passer rating of 107.2
  • Brady: 260 of 398 (65.3%) for 2,547 yards (6.4 YPA) with 10 TDs, 1 INT, a QBR of 51.5, and a passer rating of 90.5

Not exactly a dead heat. Right?

It gets better.

With the absolute best statistic there is …

Heading into the 2022 season, Tom Brady’s team was expected to win the division title in the NFC South. Geno Smith’s team was expected to be among the worst in the league with a better chance of securing a top-5 pick than winning a division title.

After 9 games, Tom Brady’s team is 4-5; Geno’s team is 6-3.

Final Thought(s)

Geno has a chance to do two things this season that Tom Brady has never done:

One. The G.O.A.T. has never finished a season with a completion percentage in the 70s. His career high is 68.9% and that was way back in 2007.

With his completion percentage currently sitting at 72.3, Geno has some room to play with that one.

Two. The G.O.A.T. has never won a regular season game in Germany. To be fair, neither has Geno … or any other NFL quarterback since the dawn of time.

But, after the Seahawks CRUSH the Buccaneers on Sunday, Geno will be the only NFL quarterback with a regular season win in Germany.

And Brady will probably never get another chance.