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Seahawks stun Eagles with 92-yard game-winning drive in final minutes

Lock throws 29-yard TD pass to Smith-Njigba with 28 seconds to play for the capper

By TIM BOOTH, AP Sports Writer
Published: December 18, 2023, 9:28pm
10 Photos
Seattle wide receiver Jaxon Smith-Njigba (11) makes a 29-yard touchdown catch in front of Philadelphia cornerback James Bradberry (24) in the final seconds of the fourth quarter Monday to cap the Seahawks&rsquo; 92-yard game-winning drive.
Seattle wide receiver Jaxon Smith-Njigba (11) makes a 29-yard touchdown catch in front of Philadelphia cornerback James Bradberry (24) in the final seconds of the fourth quarter Monday to cap the Seahawks’ 92-yard game-winning drive. (Lindsey Wasson/Associated Press) Photo Gallery

SEATTLE — Amid the flood of emotions that continued long after he walked off the field a winner, Drew Lock paused briefly to reflect.

Rare is the chance to have a moment like what the Seattle Seahawks’ backup quarterback experienced on Monday night.

“I think it was just the over-the-top of feeling of you don’t get very many moments, you don’t very many opportunities in this league,” Lock said. “And with every opportunity you get, you need to be as ready as you can be.”

Lock threw a 29-yard touchdown pass to Jaxon Smith-Njigba with 28 seconds left to cap a 92-yard drive, and the Seahawks stunned the Philadelphia Eagles 20-17, ending a four-game skid and getting back into NFC playoff contention.

Seattle (7-7) rallied behind Lock, who moved the team the length of the field for its longest touchdown drive this season and found the Seahawks’ rookie first-round pick for the biggest catch of his young career.

On third-and-10, Smith-Njigba beat James Bradberry off the line and Lock’s throw was perfect to cap an unlikely comeback from an early 10-0 deficit. Lock, who made his second straight start in place of the injured Geno Smith, connected with DK Metcalf three times on the decisive drive, including much-needed chunk plays of 18 and 34 yards.

Seattle moved into a logjam with four teams currently at .500 that are battling for the NFC’s last two playoff spots, while Philadelphia (10-4) lost its third straight and wasted a chance to move a game ahead of Dallas in the NFC East. The defending NFC champion Eagles have already secured a playoff spot.

Philadelphia had one last opportunity, but Julian Love made his second interception of the fourth quarter, picking off Jalen Hurts’ deep pass intended for A.J. Brown and just getting his feet down inbounds.

“I was watching (Brown) that entire play. I was in the post, I saw a double move, I just took off. I saw the ball floating and I must be living right because I got my feet in, thankfully,” Love said.

Love also picked off Hurts in the end zone on a deep shot for Quez Watkins with 8:08 remaining to prevent the Eagles from extending their 17-13 lead.

Lock’s touchdown pass to Smith-Njigba was a play Seattle ran earlier in the game, and Lock knew if he got single coverage again, the throw was headed to the rookie.

“Sure enough, they gave us one-on-one. It was kind of the perfect look,” said Lock, who finished 22 of 33 for 208 yards.

It was the second game-winning touchdown in the fourth quarter for Smith-Njigba, who had one against Cleveland. And it looked awfully familiar to a catch he made for Ohio State in the Rose Bowl against Utah.

“Definitely kind of similar. Same kind of corner. I’ve been making catches like that for a long time,” Smith-Njigba said.

Lock was also the lead blocker on Kenneth Walker III’s 23-yard touchdown run in the third quarter that pulled Seattle even at 10-10. Walker finished with 86 yards rushing.

Hurts, who was questionable to play with an illness, had a difficult night. He had 13 carries for 82 yards and two touchdowns, but he was just 17 of 31 passing for 143 yards with the two picks.

Hurts was unable to practice after getting sick on Saturday. He flew separately from his teammates on a private jet to Seattle and it wasn’t clear he would play until the list of inactive players was announced 90 minutes before kickoff.

Hurts didn’t look like he felt great, but for the first three quarters he played well enough. He capped a pair of long scoring drives with touchdown runs of 3 yards and 1 yard. Hurts now has 14 rushing touchdowns, tied with Cam Newton in 2011 for the most by a quarterback in a season.

“I liked the opportunity to to go out there and execute regardless what the circumstances is and I didn’t do a good job with that,” Hurts said. “I didn’t lead good enough. I didn’t do a good enough job in any circumstance.”

STARTING LOCK

Smith remained sidelined by a groin injury, although he was active for the game and warmed up on his own a couple hours before kickoff. Seattle coach Pete Carroll said the decision to start Lock was made about 90 minutes before the game.

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Lock didn’t put up big numbers, but he avoided major mistakes and was great on the final drive, when he completed 5 of 10 passes and accounted for all 92 yards.

“It’s a memory you’re never going to lose. He’s going to hold on to this Monday night forever,” Carroll said. “He earned it, he deserved it. He played up to the great moments in the game and came through.”

UP NEXT

Seahawks are at Tennessee on Sunday.

————

SEAHAWKS 20, EAGLES 17

Philadelphia 7 3 7 0—17

Seattle 0 3 7 10—20

First Quarter

Phi—Hurts 3 run (Elliott kick), 6:31. Drive: 16 plays, 75 yards, 8:29. Key Plays: B.Scott kick return to Philadelphia 25; Hurts 13 run; Hurts 18 pass to Goedert on 3rd-and-9; Hurts 11 pass to A.Brown on 3rd-and-6; Gainwell 4 run on 3rd-and-3. Philadelphia 7, Seattle 0.

Second Quarter

Phi—FG Elliott 27, 6:20. Drive: 16 plays, 63 yards, 8:26. Key Plays: Hurts 2 run on 3rd-and-1; Hurts 10 pass to A.Brown; Swift 11 run; Hurts 2 run on 3rd-and-6; Hurts 6 pass to J.Jones on 4th-and-4. Philadelphia 10, Seattle 0.

Sea—FG Myers 26, 1:42. Drive: 13 plays, 67 yards, 4:38. Key Plays: Walker 1 run on 3rd-and-1; Walker 13 run; Lock 13 pass to Smith-Njigba on 3rd-and-10; Lock 3 pass to Smith-Njigba on 3rd-and-7. Philadelphia 10, Seattle 3.

Third Quarter

Sea—Walker 23 run (Myers kick), 10:05. Drive: 10 plays, 75 yards, 4:55. Key Play: Lock 15 pass to Walker. Philadelphia 10, Seattle 10.

Phi—Hurts 1 run (Elliott kick), 4:43. Drive: 13 plays, 75 yards, 5:22. Key Plays: Swift 3 run on 3rd-and-1; Hurts 13 run; Hurts 11 pass to A.Brown on 3rd-and-9; Hurts 10 pass to Goedert; Hurts 17 pass to D.Smith on 3rd-and-3. Philadelphia 17, Seattle 10.

Fourth Quarter

Sea—FG Myers 43, 10:00. Drive: 11 plays, 45 yards, 6:26. Key Plays: Walker 13 run; Lock 12 pass to Metcalf. Philadelphia 17, Seattle 13.

Sea—Smith-Njigba 29 pass from Lock (Myers kick), :28. Drive: 10 plays, 92 yards, 1:24. Key Plays: Lock 18 pass to Metcalf; Lock 34 pass to Metcalf on 3rd-and-10. Seattle 20, Philadelphia 17.

A—68,758.

Phi Sea

FIRST DOWNS 23 16

Rushing 13 7

Passing 9 7

Penalty 1 2

THIRD DOWN EFF 9-16 6-14

FOURTH DOWN EFF 1-1 0-0

TOTAL NET YARDS 321 297

Total Plays 69 59

Avg Gain 4.7 5.0

NET YARDS RUSHING 178 100

Rushes 38 24

Avg per rush 4.684 4.167

NET YARDS PASSING 143 197

Sacked-Yds lost 0-0 2-11

Gross-Yds passing 143 208

Completed-Att. 17-31 22-33

Had Intercepted 2 0

Yards-Pass Play 4.613 5.629

KICKOFFS-EndZone-TB 4-4-4 5-4-4

PUNTS-Avg. 5-49.6 5-56.0

Punts blocked 0 0

FGs-PATs blocked 0-0 0-0

TOTAL RETURN YARDAGE 43 7

Punt Returns 3-30 2-7

Kickoff Returns 1-13 0-0

Interceptions 0-0 2-0

PENALTIES-Yds 5-40 5-35

FUMBLES-Lost 0-0 0-0

TIME OF POSSESSION 32:58 27:02

INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS

RUSHING—Philadelphia, Hurts 13-82, Swift 18-74, Gainwell 6-21, Goedert 1-1. Seattle, Walker 19-86, Charbonnet 4-16, Lock 1-(minus 2).

PASSING—Philadelphia, Hurts 17-31-2-143. Seattle, Lock 22-33-0-208.

RECEIVING—Philadelphia, A.Brown 5-56, D.Smith 5-50, Goedert 4-30, Swift 2-1, Jones 1-6. Seattle, Metcalf 5-78, Smith-Njigba 4-48, Walker 3-26, Lockett 3-21, Fant 3-16, Dissly 2-9, Parkinson 1-6, Bobo 1-4.

PUNT RETURNS—Philadelphia, Covey 3-30. Seattle, Dallas 2-7.

KICKOFF RETURNS—Philadelphia, B.Scott 1-13. Seattle, None.

TACKLES-ASSISTS-SACKS—Philadelphia, Morrow 5-3-0, S.Brown 4-2-0, Blankenship 3-2-0, Bradberry 3-2-0, Ringo 3-0-0, Williams 3-0-0, Byard 2-3-0, N.Smith 2-1-0, Davis 2-0-0, Reddick 2-0-0, Roby 2-0-0, Leonard 1-3-0, Ricks 1-1-0, Carter 1-0-1, Cox 1-0-1, Graham 1-0-0, Sweat 1-0-0. Seattle, Wagner 8-3-0, Diggs 6-1-0, Love 5-3-0, Williams 5-0-0, Brooks 4-3-0, T.Brown 4-2-0, Jackson 4-0-0, Burns 3-1-0, Taylor 2-0-0, C.Young 2-0-0, Edwards 1-1-0, Jones 1-1-0, Mafe 1-0-0, Ja.Reed 0-2-0, Woolen 0-1-0.

INTERCEPTIONS—Philadelphia, None. Seattle, Love 2-0.

MISSED FIELD GOALS—None.

OFFICIALS—Referee Clay Martin, Ump James Carter, HL Jerod Phillips, LJ Greg Bradley, FJ Alonzo Ramsey, SJ Dave Hawkshaw, BJ Greg Wilson, Replay Brian Matoren.

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