Geno Smith came out firing, and looking like the Geno Smith of old Monday night in Seattle.
The former Mountaineer quarterback was impressive in the first half of the Seattle Seahawks (1-0) regular season opening contest against the Denver Broncos (0-1) on Monday Night Football.
Smith completed all but one of his first-half passes, and led a pair of touchdown-scoring drives in the first two quarters.
Smith and Seattle’s offense cooled after halftime, but Denver never took the lead.
A pair of Denver turnovers near the goal line and a missed 64-yard field goal at the end of the game secured a 17-16 victory for Smtih and Seattle.
“A complete team win today. A complete team win,” Smith told ESPN’s Lisa Salters immediately after the game. “It’s just another day. God is so good. It’s just another day in my blessed life.”
Smith, a 2013 second-round draft pick, was making his first Week One start since 2014.
The all-time leading passer in West Virginia history completed 17 of 18 passes for 164 yards and two touchdowns in the first half.
His first touchdown pass came on Seattle’s opening drive. Smith alertly stepped up in the pocket, and found a wide-open receiver downfield who ran the rest of the way for six points.
With the game tied in the second quarter, Smith once again marched the Seahawks into Broncos territory. He then looked off the secondary, and lofted a touchdown pass to Colby Parkinson to put Seattle back out in front, 17-10.
Both touchdown passes were met with thunderous cheers from the home Seattle fans.
“I love those fans, thank you Seattle,” Smith said.
Seattle did not score in the second half.
Smith finished the game completing 23 of 28 passes for 195 yards, two touchdowns and zero interceptions. He fumbled once, but the ball was immediately recovered by Seattle. Smith was also sacked twice after halftime.
His 119.5 passer rating was better than all but one of the four games he played in last season. It’s also the fourth-best single-game passer rating of his career.
“They wrote me off, and I ain’t write back, though,” Smith said of his detractors, and those who didn’t believe he could still be a starting quarterback in the league.
Smith and the Seahawks will travel to San Francisco to take on the 49ers in Week 2 at 4:05 p.m. ET on Sunday, Sept 18.