SEATTLE SEAHAWKS

The Big Plays: Geno’s turn — late TD lifts Seahawks over Titans 20-17

Dec 24, 2023, 1:08 PM | Updated: 1:59 pm

Seattle Seahawks Geno Smith...

Seattle Seahawks QB Geno Smith looks to pass against Tennessee on Dec. 24, 2023. (Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

(Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

On Monday night, Geno Smith watched Drew Lock lead the Seattle Seahawks to victory with a big touchdown in the final minutes. On Sunday afternoon, Smith delivered a win for the Hawks himself.

Seattle Seahawks 20, Tennessee Titans 17: Reaction | Recap | Stats

In his return after missing two games with a groin injury, Smith led the Seahawks on a pair of touchdown drives in the fourth quarter, including one that ended with less than a minute to go, to lift Seattle to a 20-17 win on the road over the Tennessee Titans.

Seattle gets back over .500 on the season at 8-7 thanks to the win, and moves into playoff position in the NFC with just two weeks to go in the regular season.

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Here is a breakdown of the biggest plays from Sunday’s game, including video highlights.

FIRST QUARTER

• There wasn’t much in terms of highlights in a scoreless opening frame in Nashville, but the Titans did get a big sack that almost resulted in points. Seahawks quarterback Geno Smith narrowly avoided taking a safety on third-and-11 when he was brought down just in front of Seattle’s own goal line by Denico Autry and Terrell Edmunds, forcing the Hawks to punt for the second time in as many drives.

SECOND QUARTER

• Tennessee got on the board first thanks to Derrick Henry. Now, it should be no surprise that the Titans’ star running back got them in the end zone, but the manner in which he did so was not what anybody was expecting. After taking a handoff from Ryan Tannehill, Henry rolled to his right and tossed the ball to a wide open Chigoziem Okonkwo for a 12-yard TD pass, giving the Titans a 7-0 lead.

By the way, it turns out Henry is a pretty efficient passer in addition to a ferocious runner.

• The Seahawks chipped away at Tennessee’s lead with a 28-yard field goal by Jason Myers, which was set up after a nifty catch-and-run by DK Metcalf where he hurdled a would-be tackler on his way to a 26-yard gain.

Though the Myers kick made it a 7-3 game, the Titans hit a field goal of their own before halftime to take a 10-3 advantage into the break.

THIRD QUARTER

• Seattle picked up its second field goal of the day, this time a 27-yarder by Myers, to conclude a 10-play, 46-yard drive that took just over five minutes off the clock. Running back Kenneth Walker III and wide receivers Jaxon Smith-Njigba and Tyler Lockett all has gains of double-digit yardage in the series to help the Seahawks cut Tennessee’s lead to 10-6.

FOURTH QUARTER

• For the first time all day, the Seahawks moved into the lead. Smith led Seattle on an impressive 96-yard scoring drive, eventually hitting Metcalf in the back corner of the end zone for an 11-yard TD. DK showed off some fancy footwork on the difficult haul, and the officials needed to take a closer look before confirming the score, which made it a 13-10 Hawks advantage.

• Fresh off Metcalf’s go-ahead TD, legendary Seahawks linebacker Bobby Wagner tuned up Tannehill for a eye-opening sack.

• Unfortunately for Seattle, the Wagner sack didn’t stop the Titans from taking back the lead. Tennessee went 75 yards on 15 plays, chewing up almost 9 minutes before Henry plunged in for a 2-yard TD that pushed the Titans ahead 17-13 with just 3:21 to go. The touchdown was huge for Tennessee as it put the score out of reach for a Seahawks field goal to overtake the lead or tie the score.

• Even with a field goal off the table, the Seahawks were given the opportunity to win on a late drive in clutch time for a second time in less than a week. Whereas Drew Lock led Seattle over Philadelphia last Monday, this time it was the returning Smith who was handed the ball with the game on the line, and he came through just like his backup had six days prior.

To get Seattle going, rookie Smith-Njigba hauled in a huge 18-yard pass over the middle from Smith to get the Hawks in Tennessee territory just inside 2 minutes to go.

A pass interference flag on the Titans moved Seattle up 22 yards, but the Titans were all over a Zach Charbonnet run for a 3-yard loss, setting up a gigantic third-and-goal from the 5. That’s when Smith delivered the final blow, throwing to big tight end Colby Parkinson for a touchdown with just 57 seconds left on the clock, making it 20-17 Seattle.

• The Titans got one last chance, but the Seahawks twice sacked Tannehill on Tennessee’s final drive, and the clock ran out after a completed pass to end the game.

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