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SEAHAWKS @ STEELERS

Having been selected to be this week's Sunday Night Football, we should see a great game against two potential playoff candidates. First, read this article and find out what you should be careful about before you put money on the line, and later in the article, you will find this week's pick of the game.

BETTING RESOURCES

  • Matchup: NFC & AFC
  • Expert Picks: Legal Sports Betting
  • Venue: Heinz Field
  • Location: Pittsburgh, PA
  • Date: October 17, 2021
  • Time: 8:20 pm
  • TV: NBC
  • Bet: BetMGM | 888 | Borgata

BETTING ODDS

  • Money-Line: Seattle Seahawks +170, Pittsburgh Steelers -200
  • Total: Over/Under 42.5

Geno Smith History

Geno Smith will make his first start since 2017 on Sunday night when he fills in for an injured Russell Wilson and leads the Seattle Seahawks against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field. It will only be his second since 2014.

So it’s no wonder that when the 31-year-old Smith was asked this week how he’s grown as a quarterback from his early days to his ninth NFL season, he mentioned how he’s more patient now.

Geno Smith’s career with the New York Jets was derailed in the most unusual way. He was about to enter his third season as their starter in the summer of 2015 when he was punched by a teammate during a locker room altercation. It broke Smith’s jaw and cost him his starting job, as the Jets stuck with Ryan Fitzpatrick who showed Fitzmagic levels when Smith returned two months later.

The next bad break came in October 2016, when Smith took over for an ineffective Fitzpatrick, only to tear his ACL in his first start since 2014.

“It was awesome for me,” Smith said of his time in New York. “Any time you get adversity, it’s a chance for you to really show what you’re about and to respond. At the time, looking back on it, in that moment, was I totally aware of that? Probably not, but as you go on and you just grow, you just see how those things can help you and shape you to be better. I think that’s what it did.”

It appeared Smith would get another extended look as a starter with the New York Giants in 2017. He took over late in the year when the team benched Manning, ending his streak of 210 consecutive starts. But the Giants pulled the plug after one game and went back to Manning, an abrupt and curious move that reeked of behind-the-scenes politics.

Smith spent 2018 with the Chargers before signing with Seattle in 2019, adding Rivers and Wilson to the list of ironmen he’s backed up. Rivers’ streak of 240 consecutive regular-season starts is the second-longest among quarterbacks in NFL history, behind Brett Favre (297), Manning is third on that list, and Wilson sixth (149).

Geno Smith has made 31 starts since entering the NFL, but only two of those have come since 2014. Before he took over for Wilson last week, Smith’s playing time with the Seahawks had been mop-up duty, most notably a nice showing late in a blowout win over the Jets in 2020. With Wilson playing virtually every snap, Smith was best known in Seattle for his heroics as the Seahawks’ caller when the team ends in overtime.

Geno Smith proves he still has it

That changed when he relieved Wilson in the fourth quarter against the Rams. Smith gave the Seahawks life when he threw a touchdown pass to wide receiver D.K. Metcalf, capping a 98-yard drive on which he went 5-for-5. Seattle’s hopes were dashed when Smith was intercepted late in the fourth quarter on a throw to receiver Tyler Lockett, who collided with a defender and fell down.

The way Smith played last week — plus his early-round talent and 31 career starts — gives some legitimacy to the confidence coach Pete Carroll and his teammates have shown. No Russell Wilson for the Steelers, but that doesn’t mean they’re taking the Seahawks’ Geno Smith lightly. Pittsburgh coach Mike Tomlin stressed that Seattle can still run the same offense with him. The Steelers’ defense looked better a week ago against the Broncos, in part because the offense sustained drives, but they have to replicate that again this week and make Smith uncomfortable by generating a stronger pass rush than they’ve managed in recent weeks.

Plays of the game

The Seahawks will be going into a hostile environment with Geno Smith at quarterback instead of Russell Wilson. Although Smith knows Pittsburgh well from his days in the Backyard Brawl, he hasn’t faced this Steelers’ defense in Heinz Field. The Steelers also got Najee Harris and the running game going last week and Seattle can’t stop that. The ‘Hawks also can’t cover either Diontae Johnson or Chase Claypool. Seattle has allowed 450 total yards 4 weeks in a row and against Steelers, there is potential for the streak to continue. So with a low spread and low total, I will go for Steelers -4.5 and Over 42.5 Points as this week’s Plays of the game.

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