Seahawks rookie WR Smith-Njigba talks through game-winning TD

Dec 21, 2023, 2:00 PM

Seattle Seahawks Jaxon Smith-Njigba JSN...

Jaxon Smith-Njigba of the Seattle Seahawks catches a touchdown on Dec. 18, 2023. (Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

(Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

With the game on the line, the Seattle Seahawks leaned on a rookie. And boy did it work out.

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The Seahawks trailed for nearly all of Monday night’s game against the Philadelphia Eagles, but Seattle took the lead late when backup quarterback Drew Lock found rookie receiver Jaxon Smith-Njigba for a 29-yard go-ahead touchdown with just 28 seconds remaining.

It was Smith-Njigba’s second game-winning touchdown of the year, the other coming in October against Cleveland. Both his game-winning scores came with less than a minute left in the game.

Smith-Njigba, commonly referred to as “JSN,” joined former Seahawks players Michael Bumpus and Dave Wyman during Seattle Sports’ “The Huddle” on Thursday to talk about his latest heroics for the Seahawks.

“I knew I was gonna get the football, but you don’t know because it is football and a lot of things can happen. I think I’m gonna get the football every play, right?” the rookie first-round pick said.

That play specifically was designed for him in a certain situation.

After the game, Lock told reporters that they ran that same play earlier, but he went to a different receiver. When the Seahawks called that play again, Lock went to Smith-Njigba because of the coverage the Eagles were playing.

‘That was a play where it’s designed if we see man-to-man coverage, we’re gonna take that shot with me,” Smith-Njigba said on Thursday. “”And as I go out there, Drew, he (told me) like, ‘Hey, remember, man-to-man, it’s going up to you.'”

And that’s exactly what happened, and Smith-Njigba made a great over-the-shoulder catch, just nabbing the ball with his fingertips and getting full possession and both feet in bounds.

During training camp, Smith-Njigba told reporters that he likes those kinds of catches where he has to track the ball a long ways because of the challenge it presents.

“I think I said something like the best moment, the best feeling is when you see the ball and you don’t know if you’re gonna catch it, you reach out and it falls in your hands,” he said on Thursday. “Just that anxiety, I guess, all that stuff that plays into it, it feels good. Just a relief, you know? It’s an amazing feeling and yeah, that catch, that was definitely one of those feelings”

JSN’s rookie season started slow, due in part to him recovering from wrist surgery at the tail end of training camp. But he’s carved out a nice role in Seattle’s offense and now has caugth 53 passes for 541 yards and three touchdowns, two of which were game-winners.

“I feel like you’re seeing a young rookie receiver just trying to grow and growing each week,” he said. “Each week I try to be on Tyler Lockett’s hip and be on DK (Metcalf’s) hip and learn. I feel like the best players adjust and develop to be good and to do the things where they know they’re going to win and be successful … I’m just trying to grow each week, each game and play faster and faster and just be there for my team.”

Catch The Huddle every Thursday during Seahawks season from 12 to 2 p.m. on Seattle Sports. 

More on the Seattle Seahawks

• K.J. Wright on Jamal Adams being home and not on Seahawks sideline
• Huard: Why Seahawks’ Woolen, Bryant are in ‘sophomore slumps’
• Should Adams play again this year for Seahawks? Wyman weighs in
• Wyman: Williams and Jackson were ‘unsung heroes’ for Seahawks
• Bumpus: How Seahawks limited explosive plays vs Eagles
• Huard: Grading Drew Lock’s play in Seahawks’ win over Eagles

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