What They Said: What happened on key play before Seahawks’ missed FG?

Nov 19, 2023, 6:05 PM | Updated: 6:28 pm

Seattle Seahawks...

Zach Charbonnet of the Seattle Seahawks is tackled vs the Los Angeles Rams on Nov. 19, 2023. (Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)

(Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)

The Seattle Seahawks had a shot to take a late lead Sunday in Los Angeles, but Jason Myers’ 55-yard field goal attempt went right and came up short, resulting in a 17-16 loss to the Rams.

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The Rams had gone ahead with just 1:31 to go on a field goal of their own. A late drive with a chance to win it was always going to get attention for the Seahawks, but that was especially the case due to the situation at quarterback.

Starter Geno Smith took a big hit late in the third quarter and missed nearly three full drives where the Seahawks did next to nothing offensively. Smith was deemed questionable to return with an elbow injury, but he was able to play the final drive.

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Smith quickly zipped a first-down pass to Tyler Lockett, and a few plays later found DK Metcalf over the middle of the field for a first down that put the Seahawks into field goal range.

What happened next, though, was interesting – and didn’t work out well for Seattle.

The Seahawks were out of timeouts, and rather than attempt a pass play with 24 seconds left to try and make it a shorter field goal, Seattle handed off to rookie running back Zach Charbonnet for a run that picked up just two yards.

Smith spiked the ball after that play to stop the clock, and soon after, Myers missed the 55-yarder.

“Jason’s been doing great. He just didn’t get a great hit on the ball this time,” head coach Pete Carroll said after the game. “But he’s exactly the right guy to win the game for us, obviously. We know that.”

The sequence before the kick with the short Charbonnet run came up when both Carroll and Smith spoke to reporters after the game.

“We didn’t quite handle that as well as we’d like to,” Carroll said. “But we got in field goal range. We got there and we had a shot. Jason’s kicked balls from that far before. We’d have loved to get a little bit closer, obviously. We weren’t.”

“You’re hoping you pop it, for sure,” he later added. “We didn’t do that as clean as we’d like.”

Smith said the decision to run the ball on that play was his due to an equipment issue.

“I guess there was an outage or something. No play came in my helmet, so I called the quickest play I could in that situation to try and maybe get a few more yards,” Smith said. “I called a run play, I thought we had a chance and it didn’t work out how we thought it would.”

In the NFL, play-callers directly call a play into the helmet of the quarterback. With no play coming in, Smith said he made the call for Charbonnet to run the ball.

“I thought we had a good chance,” he said when asked about the specific play call. “You guys will watch the film, I’m sure, and you’ll see what happened.”

Smith said that was the only play where the play call didn’t come into his helmet.

“It can happen on any time, but it does happen. Probably more often than you guys know about, but it does happen,” Smith said. “You’ve just got to try and make a call. That’s a situation where if you weren’t in (the 2-minute drill) you’d probably call a timeout or have more time to get to the sideline and get a play, but the clock is running and you’ve got to make a fast call, so that’s what I did.”

When Carroll was asked if the Seahawks could have instead spiked it after the Metcalf completion, leaving more time on the clock to run a pass play before a Myers field goal, he said, “There’s some choices in there. I agree with that. There’s choices.”

“We didn’t do it right,” Carroll later said. “We didn’t do that exactly the way we’d like to do that. It didn’t come out right.”

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What They Said: What happened on key play before Seahawks’ missed FG?