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Jaxon-Smith Njigba Shines In Crucial Moment For Seahawks

Wide receiver Jaxon Smith-Njigba comes through when his number is called to help the Seahawks overcome the Philadelphia Eagles 20-17.


Jaxon Smith-Njigba is a rookie who is made for big time moments like the one he had in the Seahawks' 20-17 win over the Philadelphia Eagles on Monday night. 

With under two minutes to go in the fourth quarter, the Seahawks found themselves down by four and needing to go 92 yards for a touchdown to win the game. 

This was no tall task for Drew Lock and company who put together some Monday night magic to seal the win. 

On third-and-10, Lock found Smith-Njigba in the endzone for a go-ahead 29-yard touchdown with 28 seconds remaining.

If this situation sounds familiar to Seahawks fans, that's because it is. Earlier this season, Smith-Njigba scored the game-winning touchdown with just 38 seconds left on the clock vs. the Cleveland Browns in Week 8. In that game, the Seahawks also got the ball with under two minutes to play. Smith-Njigba is the only rookie since 1960 with two game-winning touchdown receptions in the final minute of the fourth quarter.

And if this situation also sounds familiar to college football fans, that's because it's reminiscent of one of Smith-Njigba's scores during his historic 2021 Rose Bowl game vs. the Utah Utes.

"Definitely kind of similar," Smith-Njigba said on the similarities in the catches. "I've been making catches like that for a long time so hopefully that continues to carry on." 

The rookie who has been making catches like for a long time, knew that if they had man coverage on that final play, the ball was coming to him. Lock said he turned around and told Smith-Njigba, "Hey, you're getting the ball if you get one on one here." 

"Shane came back to that call. We ran that call on the first third down, first drive," Lock said. "We didn't use the element of one-on-one go ball to Jax on that. We had man that first time. My plan going into it was we're going to work the concept side first, first third down I get this call. I'm breaking the huddle. Shane gives me the reminder in the headset, don't forget Jax is one on one if you got him. We already played that frontside. Who knows how they're going to play that concept that they've kind of seen and felt the same thing earlier in the game. Sure enough, they gave us one on one. Kind of a perfect look. We had an off corner, Jax kind of tempo'd it off the ball, hit the jets, put that thing in the back corner."

Following the game, head coach Pete Carroll said he caught glimpses of Smith-Njigba through all of the post-game celebrations. 

"I'm telling you, he was so chill," Carroll said. "He just made the catch of his NFL career. He was just as calm and poised. He's a great competitor. I'm serious about what I'm saying here. This guy, it was not too big a deal. It was like no big deal. 'Of course I made that catch.' He's been doing that his whole life. It's that kind of confidence and savvy that allows a guy to separate from other players. He's got that stuff in him. I was incredibly impressed with that." 

In his post-game press conference, Smith-Njigba donned a pair of sunglasses and was as cool, calm and collected as Carroll said. 

"I just try to control what I can control and come in to practice every day and catching every ball in the air and translate that to the game," he said. "My team trusts me to make those plays and it feels good for them to do that."

And while Smith-Njigba's catch put the Seahawks up 20-17, it shouldn't be missed that he couldn't have done that without the help of Lock who orchestrated a 10-play drive for 92 yards. 

"He's a competitor, he's a winner," Smith-Njigba said on Lock. "I'm super happy he got his opportunity and showed out. We all had big faith in him. In practice, he brings it everyday and he's a good quarterback."

Seahawks staff and players arrive at Lumen Field for their Week 15 prime-time matchup versus the Philadelphia Eagles on Monday Night Football.

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