The Big Plays: Seattle Seahawks fall short in 17-13 loss to Bengals

Oct 15, 2023, 1:00 PM | Updated: 2:05 pm

Seattle Seahawks Geno Smith...

Seattle Seahawks QB Geno Smith has his pass deflected by the Cincinnati Bengals on Oct. 15, 2023. (Dylan Buell/Getty Images)

(Dylan Buell/Getty Images)

The Seattle Seahawks’ defense gave the offense plenty of chances to win on Sunday. It was the Cincinnati Bengals’ defense, though, that shined when it was all said and done.

The Bengals made multiple stops in the red zone in the fourth quarter to seal a 17-13 win Sunday in Cincinnati in Week 6 NFL action. The Seahawks drop to 3-2, while Cincy improves to 3-3.

Bengals 17, Hawks 13: Reaction | Offense spoils D’s big day | Recap | Stats

Seattle was better on third down than Cincinnati, going 5 for 12 compared to the Bengals’ 3 for 11, but the Seahawks going 0 for 2 on fourth down looms large in the defeat. The Hawks lacked the finishing touch on offense in this one, gaining 381 yards on offense to 214 for Cincinnati but managing just one touchdown on the day. Something else making a big difference: two interceptions by the Bengals, while Seattle had one.

The Seahawks will return home to Lumen Field next week to play the Arizona Cardinals (1-4 entering Sunday), but before we look ahead, let’s break down the big plays with video highlights from this loss to Cincinnati.


• The Seahawks’ offense initially looked good coming off of extra rest from the bye week, reeling off an 11-play, 75-yard opening drive capped off by a 1-yard touchdown run by Kenneth Walker III.

Walker also had the longest gain of the series on a 15-yard pass from quarterback Geno Smith that took Seattle into Bengals territory.

• The Bengals answered with a similar scoring drive, taking 11 plays to go 69 yards. Like Seattle’s TD drive, Cincinnati’s took over six minutes off the clock. Quarterback Joe Burrow found Tyler Boyd on an 8-yard slant pass for the Bengals’ first touchdown.


• Cincinnati took a 14-7 lead, building off its defense getting a 3-and-out from Seattle by Burrow throwing his second TD of the day, a 3-yard pass to Andrei Iosivas.

Earlier in the drive, star Cincinnati wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase gained 31 yards on a pass from Burrow, which came on the final play of the first quarter.

• The Seahawks were to shake off two straight series ended by punt, turning to Jason Myers for a 55-yard field goal inside the final minute of the first half to make it a 14-10 game. It marked the 20th straight game for Myers with a field goal, which according to the team is a franchise record. Fitting the record would be set in October by someone with a name straight out of horror movie history.


• Cornerback Tre Brown made his name with big plays in college at Oklahoma, and he came up with another one to end the Bengals’ first drive out of halftime. He locked up Chase and turned around to pick off Burrow, making his second interception of the season.

• Unfortunately for the Seahawks, the offense wasn’t able to capitalize on Brown’s big play. Despite sizable gains on catches by DK Metcalf and Jake Bobo, Seattle was pushed back to a second-and-goal play from the 18, where a Smith pass intended for Jaxon Smith-Njigba was intercepted by the Bengals’ Mike Hilton to end the Seattle threat.

• The Seattle defense showed it has the offense’s back, forcing the Bengals into a punt after Dre’Mont Jones sacked Burrow for an 8-yard loss on third down.

The special teams chipped in, too, with Deejay Dallas bringing back the 50-yard punt to Cincinnati’s 43 with a 23-yard return.

• The Seahawks cut the Bengals’ lead to 14-13 on another Myers field goal, this time just a 23-yard chip shot. Undrafted rookie receiver Jake Bobo made a 20-yard catch for the biggest play of the drive (watch here), hanging onto the ball despite taking a massive hit that sent him to the injury tent to be evaluated for a possible concussion. Walker also made a nifty one-handed catch for an 8-yard gain early in the series.


• For the second time on the day, Seattle needed its defense to step up after the offense committed a turnover. A Smith pass intended for DK Metcalf ended up in no man’s land as Metcalf apparently didn’t go on his route where Smith thought he would, allowing Cincinnati’s Cam Taylor-Britt (playing on his birthday) to make a diving pick and return it 24 yards to the Seahawks’ 34.

And for the second time on the day, the Seattle defense did step up after the offense turned it over. Cincinnati had to settle for a 52-yard Evan McPherson field goal after its offense threw three straight incomplete passes following Taylor-Britt’s interception, keeping it a one-score game at 17-13.

• The defense kept the Bengals where they were, following up a Seahawks punt by forcing one by Cincinnati, and Seattle’s offense started storming down the field looking for the go-ahead score. The Seahawks got close with a 10-play, 50-yard drive that was highlighted by a 30-yard pass from Smith to Metcalf, but it was the Bengals who came up with the big plays when it mattered.

On first-and-goal from the 7, Trey Hendrickson got to Smith for a sack that put Seattle all the way back at the 19.

The Seahawks were able to get back up to the 6 for a fourth-and-goal play, but Smith was sacked again, this time by Sam Hubbard for a loss of eight and turnover on downs.

• Once again, the Seahawks’ defense answered the call to give the offense a chance to win it, forcing a 3-and-out to get Seattle the ball back at its own 40 after a Cincinnati punt.

Smith and company went right to work with 1:39 to go, with Tyler Lockett picking quite the time for the longest play of the game, a 36-yard catch to get Seattle down to the Bengals’ 11.

Unfortunately for the Seahawks, they fell short in the red zone once again, turning the ball over on downs for the second time in as many series to allow Cincinnati to escape with the win.

More on the Seattle Seahawks

• Bumpus: Wagner’s return to Seahawks has exceeded expectations
• How a Seahawks rookie benefits from O-line’s shuffling
• Salk: Why this Seahawks defense is different than we’ve seen in years
• Football 101: Close look at rookie standout Devon Witherspoon
• Huard on Seattle Seahawks: What stands out in each of three phases

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The Big Plays: Seattle Seahawks fall short in 17-13 loss to Bengals