Smith’s Big Throws Sets up Walk-off FG Against Commanders
SEATTLE (AP) — Given the opportunity for some more heroics in the closing minutes of the fourth quarter, Geno Smith was nearly flawless.
Not once, but twice, as he helped the Seahawks to a victory that kept them atop the NFC West.
Smith led a pair of scoring drives late in the fourth quarter, the second leading to Jason Myers' 43-yard field goal as time expired, and Seattle held off the Washington Commanders 29-26 on Sunday.
Smith and Washington QB Sam Howell traded big throws and touchdown passes in the closing minutes, but it was Smith who had the the final chance at the victory and came through.
It was the third time this season Smith has led a winning drive in the fourth quarter or overtime.
“I think it was a beautiful illustration of everybody did right down the stretch,” Seattle coach Pete Carroll said. “That's all we ever hope to do when we talk about finishing is everybody just keep doing stuff that's right and outlast them and have the chance to win even if it takes us to the last play of the game.”
Seattle (6-3) remained tied with San Francisco for the division lead, and it was an important rebound effort after Baltimore handed the Seahawks a 34-point setback last week, the second-worst loss of Carroll's tenure.
“Felt like we did a lot of uncharacteristic things in that last game,” Smith said. “It was important for us to kind of get back to who we are today and I felt like we did that.”
Smith was 31 of 47 for a career-high 369 yards and a pair of touchdowns. He hit Tyler Lockett for a 5-yard TD with 3:47 remaining, which appeared to be the decisive score at the time.
Smith completed 9 of 11 passes on Seattle’s final two possessions, and he connected with Kenneth Walker III on a 64-yard catch-and-run touchdown in the third quarter, the longest play from scrimmage this season for the Seahawks. Smith also didn’t turn the ball over for the first time since Week 4. Metcalf had seven catches for 98 yards and Lockett had eight catches for 92 yards.
“Geno did a great job of going through his reads, taking what the defense gave him, not trying to be too aggressive, but knowing when to take his shots,” Lockett said.
Along with the game-winner, Myers made field goals from 45 (twice), 42 and 33 yards. Myers has made 17 of his last 18 field-goal attempts after starting the season 3 of 6.
Howell and the Commanders did their part in trying to hand Seattle a second straight loss.
Howell pulled Washington even at 26-26 on a 35-yard touchdown pass to Dyami Brown with 52 seconds remaining. Smith took over and made a pair of big throws to DK Metcalf: a 17-yard strike on third-and-4 and a 27-yard pass to the Washington 25. Smith spiked the ball with 3 seconds left and Myers concluded his perfect day for Seattle.
“Not just five field goals but five field goals under pressure," Carroll said. “He made some pressure kicks today.”
Howell finished 29 of 44 for 312 yards and three touchdowns. He also threw a 51-yard TD pass to running back Brian Robinson Jr. on the fourth play of the game and hit Antonio Gibson for a 19-yard TD with 8 minutes left that tied the game at 19-all.
He was even better on Washington's final drive.
Howell converted a fourth-and-1 at the Seattle 43 with an 8-yard pass to Terry McLaurin. Three plays later, on third-and-10, Howell dropped a pass over the arms of defenders Jordyn Brooks and Devon Witherspoon and into the hands of Brown, who sprinted untouched for the tying score. It was Brown’s first touchdown of the season.
Robinson had six catches for 119 yards for Washington, which struggled to get a ground game going. The Commanders had just 68 yards on 14 carries.
“We made some plays down the stretch, but we've got to be better throughout the game to beat good teams like that,” Howell said.
Seattle edge rusher Boye Mafe recorded a sack in his seventh consecutive game, setting a franchise record. Mafe was tied with Michael Sinclair with sacks in six straight games, but Sinclair accomplished his mark across two seasons. Mafe got the sack early in the second half on a third-and-10 for Washington.
Defensive lineman Leonard Williams also picked up his first sack in his two games with the Seahawks when he corralled Howell in the first half.
Washington first-round pick Emmanuel Forbes Jr. was ejected for a helmet-to-helmet hit on Lockett in the first quarter.
Forbes hit Lockett as he attempted to catch a throw from Smith on a crossing route. Lockett was down on the field momentarily and was attended to by a trainer. Lockett walked off the field for further examination and was cleared to return to the game.
Forbes was the 16th overall pick in the draft out of Mississippi State. He was benched last month after struggling badly in his first few games.
Commanders: Host the New York Giants next Sunday.
Seahawks: At the Los Angeles Rams next Sunday.