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A Record For Tyler Lockett, Geno Smith's "Up And Down" Game & More On The Seahawks Offense's Week 14 Performance

It was a day of ups and downs for Geno Smith Seattle’s offense in a Week 14 loss to the Panthers.

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The first pass Geno Smith threw on Sunday was intercepted by Panthers cornerback Jaycee Horn and returned to the 13-yard line to set up a Carolina touchdown. The final pass Smith threw was a 24-yard touchdown to Marquise Goodwin. 

That start and finish for Smith help illustrated the type of day it was for Seattle's quarterback in a 30-24 loss to the Panthers. 

On one hand, Smith made some fantastic throws, including touchdowns to Goodwin, Tyler Lockett and DK Metcalf, but on the other hand, he wasn't as sharp as usual, completing a season-low 58.3 percent of his passes, and he was intercepted twice, leading to 10 Panthers point, though the second interception came on a play on which the Panthers appeared to have jumped offside, leading Smith to believe he had a free play to throw one up for grabs without worrying about the consequences. 

"I feel like I was up and down," Smith said. "I had some good plays, had some not so good plays. It's the NFL, nobody is perfect. I don't expect to come out here and be perfect, but I do have a standard, and I don't think I played to that standard quite today."

Smith came into the game leading the NFL in completion percentage and ranked second in passer rating, and had posted a passer rating of 80 or higher and completion percentage over 60 percent in every game this season, tied for the longest such streak to start a season in NFL history with Aaron Rodgers and Peyton Manning, both of whom accomplished that in MVP-winning season. That streak ended with Smith's 58.3-percent completion percentage, and overall he was just a little less sharp than he has been throughout this Pro-Bowl caliber season, even if there were still a lot of really good plays as well.  

"It gets marred because the first play he gives them the football, and that was not a good play," Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said when asked to assess Smith's performance. "It was one of his plays that he regrets the most. Tried a little too hard on the play. He could have put the ball in the flat really easily on the first play of the game. I mean, that's really the play… But he made a lot of great throws today. You know, he hit Tyler and those guys on the sidelines and Marquise. He made some fantastic plays today.

Smith tipped his hat to Horn for making a good play on the first interception. The second one looked like a play that should have been negated by an offside penalty, but Smith said ultimately it's on him to not make that throw if the flag didn't come out. 

"The reason we snapped the ball is because they jumped offsides," he said. "That's one where we have to learn from it. Can't make excuses. It happened. The reason I threw that ball in the traffic was because I felt like we had a free play, and it was an opportunity. If they intercepted, then obviously it comes back, and we get the five yards. That didn't happen. Maybe they didn't see it. So I can't make an excuse about it, and just have to learn from it."

One of the many positive plays for Smith was a second-quarter touchdown pass to Tyler Lockett, who made a great toe-tapping grab in the back of the end zone. That catch gave Lockett a touchdown reception in six straight games, breaking the franchise record of five previously held by Steve Largent (1984), Joey Galloway (1998) and Doug Baldwin (2015). 

"He has been amazing," Carroll said of Lockett, who before kickoff was recognized as the team's nominee for the Walter Payton NFL Man of The Year Award. "He just has. I don't even know what are all the accolades you can pull up for him that we haven't said? I don't know. He has been a great player and continues to be." 

Said Smith of Lockett's touchdown, "That was a heck of a catch. Any other guy you might be, like, 'Well, did he get his feet in or did he not?' But with Tyler you are just 100 percent sure he did. He's that good. He has done that over and over again. Six games with a touchdown shows his consistency. So we've got to keep getting him the rock, keep putting him in position to succeed, because he is a great player.

Another bright spot for Seattle's offense was the play of receiver Marquise Goodwin, who had a season-high and team-leading 95 yards on five catches, including his fourth touchdown of the year, matching a career-high. Goodwin helped set up Seattle's first touchdown with a 38-yard reception on third-and-5, and also had a 15-yard catch for another third-down conversion, as well as a touchdown on Seattle's final drive of the game. 

"Marquise has been great all year, and he was phenomenal today," Smith said. "He got us going. He is that third guy, kind of sometimes he plays the back, but he is so dynamic. He is a really good receiver. I'm just happy for him to be a part of this team and happy to have him because you can see how special he is out there. He is so tough, man. He makes all the plays that you wouldn't expect a guy with his size to make. He plays big. So really fortunate to be able to play with Marquise and look forward to just having more opportunities."

Check out some of the best action shots from Week 14 vs. the Carolina Panthers at Lumen Field on December 11, 2022. Game action photos are presented by Washington's Lottery.

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