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Seahawks QB Geno Smith: Pivotal Week 17 game vs. Jets not about revenge 

Geno Smith could dash the New York Jets' postseason dreams by leading the Seattle Seahawks to a road win over his former club.

But the quarterback insists Sunday's bout isn't about revenge.

"Not anything for me," Smith said Thursday when asked if the game provided extra motivation. "I really just feel like the importance of it is we need a win so we can get into the playoffs. Obviously, there will be some speculation, some talk about that. It comes with the territory. It's to be expected. I got a lot of love for the Jets, the organization, and a lot of people that are still there that were there when I got drafted. So for me, and this team, it's business as usual, another week to prepare and a tough challenge for us to go out there and try to get this win. We need it."

Gang Green selected Smith in the second round of the 2013 NFL Draft. The QB showed flashes early in his career, but it all went up in flames. Entering a pivotal third season, a locker-room altercation with teammate IK Enemkpali left the QB with a broken jaw. It allowed Ryan Fitzpatrick to run away with the starting gig. Smith would start just one more game for the Jets before bouncing around the NFL until landing in Seattle in 2019.

Smith downplayed his journey, as he has all season, electing to focus more on the present.

"I think that was an amazing time for me to grow and to become even more of a selfless individual," he said. "Obviously, we have our own goals, and the way things transpired wasn't in my plans or what I thought would happen, but it happened, and so you kind of take the approach you can't cry over spilled milk. Also being a great teammate to the guys around me, not letting that hinder me from helping them succeed in any way that I can. That kind of became my career for a while, just being a great teammate and trying to help guys get better and doing whatever it took to help the team win outside of playing."

The 32-year-old has made the most of his career revival in Seattle. After beating out Drew Lock for the starting job in camp, Smith leads the NFL with a 70.7 completion percentage. The only QBs with a higher completion percentage than Smith in a season in which they had 25-plus pass TDs are Drew Brees (three times) and Aaron Rodgers (2020 MVP season). Geno, who earned a Pro Bowl selection last week, has been the main reason the Seahawks remain alive for a playoff bid.

Like Smith, Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll also faces his former franchise Sunday; the Jets fired him after just one 6-10 season back in 1994.

"Really, we're kind of going as partners in crime in that we were both there and it didn't quite work out right at the end," Carroll said on Wednesday. "So, we're just sharing the experience a little bit."

Sunday's Jets-Seahawks matchup is massive for both clubs. Gang Green would be eliminated with a loss. Seattle would be eliminated with a loss and a Commanders win or a loss and wins by Detroit and Green Bay. The victor's postseason hopes will remain afloat into Week 18.

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