BRANDON GUSTAFSON

‘He deserved it’: Seahawks rally around Lock, who delivers epic game-winner

Dec 18, 2023, 10:39 PM

Seattle Seahawks Drew Lock...

Drew Lock of the Seattle Seahawks celebrates after defeating the Eagles on Dec. 18, 2023. (Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

(Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

Drew Lock’s first moment as a starting quarterback for the Seattle Seahawks didn’t go his or the team’s way as they fell to San Francisco last Sunday. His second start, though, is something Lock will remember for a long time.

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In a game that saw the Seahawks for the most part struggle, Lock shined late, leading the Seahawks on a 10-play, 92-yard touchdown drive to take a 20-17 lead with under 30 seconds left against the Philadelphia Eagles on Monday night.

“Beautiful football, just beautiful football,” head coach Pete Carroll said of Lock after the game. ” … We couldn’t have asked for more from him in that game tonight.”

Lock, a former second-round pick of the Denver Broncos, came to Seattle in the Russell Wilson trade last year and lost the starting quarterback competition to Geno Smith.

Lock saw no action last year, but in the span of the last eight days has received two straight starts while Smith deals with a groin injury.

Lock, like Smith, has been someone many appear to have given up on and even made the punchline of jokes about quarterbacks. But no one can take away what he did on Monday.

“Man, I’m so thrilled for the kid,” Carroll said. “… He’s gonna hold onto this Monday night forever. He earned it, he deserved it.”

Behind Lock’s game-winning Seattle Seahawks TD was Geno’s support

Lock’s last start before last week was Week 18 of 2021 while with Denver. He hadn’t played in a game his team won since Week 13 of that year, and he only threw seven passes that game.

“It’s been hard for him. Any guy that backs up and has the brain of a starter, the brain of a championship kid, it’s difficult as heck to have to wait,” Carroll said. ” … This week, he did the whole thing. It was amazing … He made the plays he needed to make to win the game.”

That sentiment was shared among Lock’s teammates, too.

“We rallied behind him and believed in him,” running back Kenneth Walker III said.

“I think he showed his character. He’s a great leader and he stepped up in a big-time game,” said veteran defensive lineman Leonard Williams, a midseason trade acquisition by Seattle. “And I think even before this game, you could tell when Geno went down and Drew stepped up, the whole team had his back and we didn’t skip a beat. Everyone was there to support him. He had the whole team’s support and he led appropriately.”

After Williams’ press conference ended, he walked up to a waiting Lock and gave him a big hug.

Lock, as you might imagine, was a very happy man after Monday’s big win.

“That was a lot of fun. It was more than fun. I can’t find the right word for it right now,” he said.

Lock will be the main story coming from this game given how he orchestrated a game-winning drive with under 2 minutes remaining and having just one timeout in his back pocket. But he gave a ton of credit to the defense, run game and offensive line for keeping the Seahawks in the game.

Immediately after the game ended, Lock was emotional in an ESPN interview. He shared what was going through his mind when the game ended.

“Thousands of things. We’d be here all night to talk about them all,” Lock said. “I think it was just the over-the-top feeling of you don’t get very many moments, opportunities in this league, and with every opportunity in this league, you need to be as ready as you can be because you don’t get a ton of them … I was emotional for myself, but I was emotional for the guys in that locker room. It’s been a rough couple of weeks and we needed a win … We did it as a team.”

Lock was hardly perfect on Monday, and he had barely over 100 passing yards before Seattle’s final drive. Lock missed a wide-open Tyler Lockett for a deep shot that likely would have been a touchdown, and that’s a play he pointed to when reflecting on his play.

“But the story’s not as cool, I guess, so I guess we’re glad we missed it,” Lock joked.

Lock found rookie receiver Jaxon Smith-Njigba on a go route for the game-winning score, and he said that they actually ran that same play earlier, but the ball went elsewhere. “JSN” got one-on-one coverage and made a great catch to ultimately win the game.

“Super happy he got his opportunity and showed out. We all had big faith in him,” Smith-Njigba said of Lock. “… He’s a good quarterback and I’m so happy he stepped in and got the job done today.”

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‘He deserved it’: Seahawks rally around Lock, who delivers epic game-winner