MNF Magic: Seattle Locks Up Win on Last-Minute TD Pass

Dec 18, 2023; Seattle, Washington, USA; Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Jaxon Smith-Njigba (11) makes game-winning touchdown catch against Philadelphia Eagles cornerback James Bradberry (24) with 28 seconds remaining, at Lumen Field, Seattle. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 18, 2023; Seattle, Washington, USA; Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Jaxon Smith-Njigba (11) makes game-winning touchdown catch against Philadelphia Eagles cornerback James Bradberry (24) with 28 seconds remaining, at Lumen Field, Seattle. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Dramatic Monday Night Football finishes at Seattle’s Lumen Field are not unprecedented. And while not as controversial as Russell Wilson’s “Fail Mary” in 2012, this Monday's ending will be recalled fondly for years by Seattle fans if their team makes the postseason in 2023. 


Quarterback Drew Lock, in his second start in place of the injured Geno Smith, threw a 30-yard touchdown pass to rookie Jaxon Smith-Njigba, who made a fingertip grab in the end zone with 28 seconds left, to lift the Seahawks to a stunning 20-17 win over Philadelphia. 


The Eagles had one last chance to get the ball into range for a game-tying field goal, but Seattle’s Julian Love made an acrobatic interception of a Jalen Hurts pass along the sideline to douse Philadelphia’s hopes. It was Love’s second interception of the fourth quarter.


The win snaps a five-game skid for Seattle. Philadelphia drops its third straight. 


At the outset, the game looked like it would very much go the Eagles' way. Philadelphia stormed down on the field on the game’s opening drive with Hurts scoring on an 11-yard TD run. Questionable because of illness, Hurts controlled that opening drive, going 5-of-5 and making things happen when he decided to tuck the ball and run.


The two teams exchanged field goals, and the Eagles led at the half, 10-3.


Seattle evened things early in the third quarter when RB Kenneth Walker III cut back and weaved through an over-pursuing Eagles defense to tie the game, 10-10. 


On the ensuing drive, Hurts led the way, completing 6-of-7 passes. The Eagles converted three third downs, two on one pass each to A.J. Brown and Davonte Smith. Hurts and the Brotherly Shove finished off the march on a one-yard scrum, and Philly recaptured the advantage, 17-10. 


An exchange of punts closed out the third. Riding the punishing Walker, the Seahawks drove into Philly territory early in the fourth, settling for a Myers field goal to trim the deficit to 17-13.


The Seahawks defense was gouged for a number of big plays this season, but Love intercepted a deep throw from Hurts in the end zone to shut down an Eagles drive midway through the fourth. It was the quarterback’s 11th INT and 16th turnover of the season. 


After Seattle went three and out, the Eagles again drove to midfield. But on a key 3rd-and-7, the Seahawks defense forced a scrambling Hurts to throw incomplete, resulting in a Philadelphia punt.


Seattle took over at the 8-yard line with 1:52 remaining, needing a touchdown to win. By this point of the game, Seattle’s D.K. Metcalf, who came into tonight with a history of stellar games against the Eagles, was targeted just two times and caught one pass for eight yards. Now, the powerful wideout took over, catching two passes early in the drive, including a spectacular completion for a first down when, with one arm, he ripped the ball out of the hands of Philly corner James Bradbury.


But Metcalf wasn’t done. On 3rd-and-10 with just under a minute left, he hauled in a deep Lock floater between two defenders for a 36-yard gain. Two plays later Lock threw the game-winning dime to Smith-Njigba, who got behind Bradbury. Lock’s passing accounted for all 92 yards on that final drive. He finished 22-of-33 for 208 yards and the one TD pass. Hurts was limited to 143 yards passing and threw the two INTs.


For the Seahawks (7-7), the win saves their season, at least for the time being. Their schedule sets up nicely, with road games against two sub-.500 teams (Titans and Cardinals) and a home game against the suddenly dreadful Steelers.


Tonight’s loss is a gut punch for the Eagles, who failed to capitalize on the gift given them yesterday when Dallas lost. Both teams remain in first place, tied at 10-4, and the Eagles fall a game behind the rampaging 49ers for home-field advantage in the NFC.

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