DETROIT—It took all 11 players on the field, as well as the coaches designing and calling the plays, for the Seahawks to find the end zone for a game-winning touchdown score.
But it was only fitting that, with the game on the line, Geno Smith was throwing to Tyler Lockett for the deciding score in a thrilling 37-31 Seahawks victory over the Lions.
Seattle's two offensive captains were both great in Sunday's win at Ford Field, especially down the stretch, a development that shouldn't surprise anyone who has watched those two players. Thanks in no small part to the standout work done by tackles Jake Curhan and Stone Forsythe, who were playing in place of Seattle's two injured starters, Smith was outstanding throughout, leading his offense to a touchdown on the first possession of the game, and another on the final drive in overtime, with plenty of highlights mixed in. Smith finished the day 32 for 43 for 328 yards, two scores and a 116.3 passer rating, and connected with Lockett for two late-game scores that made a huge difference.
"Geno had a spectacular day," Carroll said. "It's the one crazy sack, but other than that, he had a spectacular day and leads us down the field in OT to win the game with some great throwing."
Smith was at his best in overtime, leading a 75-yard drive on which he completed six of seven passes for 69 yards, including the game winner to Lockett and two third-down conversions, one of which was a 16-yard laser to DK Metcalf on third-and-6.
Smith's overtime performance was hardly a surprise to his teammates, including those on defense who had a feeling that once Drew Lock won the coin toss, giving the Seahawks the ball to start overtime, they might not be on the field again.
"Extremely confident," linebacker Bobby Wagner said. "How poised he is, guys just knew he was going to make the right plays. We've got so many playmakers on offense, and he got into their hands, as well as making his own plays. It's just fun to watch him on this side."
Said cornerback Tre Brown, "When I saw that it was tails and we got the ball, I was like, 'Game over." When those guys lock in, I feel like they're the best in the NFL. (Smith) just made play after play after play… I didn't even put my helmet on when I saw that we got the ball, because I knew we were going to go out there and drive the ball."
Lockett, meanwhile, provided eight catches for 59 yards and two scores, including the game-winner in overtime that saw him end the game with a diving effort, reaching the ball to hit the pylon in the front corner of the end zone.
As impressive as his effort was on the game-winning catch, Lockett acknowledged that his coaches probably will use him as an example for what not to do in that situation for how he reached the ball out, risking a possible fumble, which, had it gone out of the end zone, would result in a turnover—picture Earl Thomas and Kam Chancellor forcing fumbles at the goal line.
"It's one of those things where they tell you not to reach, so previously I wasn't going to reach, because you never know how a guy is trying to tackle you. Sometimes a guy is trying to punch the ball out and stuff like that, and once I saw the way he was trying to tackle me, I knew I had a chance to reach for it, and luckily in was able to hold onto it, reach, hit the pylon, then the ball came out.
"The whole team teaches you not to. We literally watched on Thursday (video) about, 'Do not reach, this is why you don't reach,' so as soon as I did that, I was like, 'Yup, they're going to say he shouldn't have reached. It worked out, we ended up winning, but it's still one of those things where you still want to be mindful, because you know what's at stake if something bad happens."
Prior to catching the winner in overtime, Lockett had two more clutch catches in the fourth quarter, the first of which was a 12-yard catch on third-and-10 in the red zone that helped Seattle overcome a questionable intentional grounding call, and the second of which came two plays later when Smith floated a pass to Lockett, who was sprinting across the end zone and able to make an over-the-shoulder, toe-dragging catch before going out the back of the end zone.
"Tyler Lockett had a phenomenal day today and as always, we've been watching him, I just hope he can keep playing forever, because he continues to just make those spectacular plays, "Carroll said. "The catch on the back corner of the endzone, and then to get the pylon for the win, a walk-off win, that's just Tyler. What a phenomenal competitor and player and leader that he is for us, I'm so fired up for him."
Fellow receiver DK Metcalf, who came up big himself, including a 16-yard third-down conversion on the winning drive, summarized Lockett's day by saying, "Shit, that's big play Lock right there. I'm going to go and toot his horn, because every time we call that play, he always seems to make a spectacular, drag-his-feet catch, then when we called the play on third-and-2, the last play to win the game, I knew it was going to him and he was going in. It just speaks to the type of player he is, the type of preparation he puts in throughout the week. He studies his butt off to try to learn the DBs. That's just him, it's not surprising at all that he made those plays."
Check out some of the best action shots from Week 2 at Detroit at Ford Field on September 17, 2023. Game action photos are presented by Washington's Lottery.