Seahawks vs. Jets score, takeaways: Geno Smith helps end former team's playoff hopes, keeps Seattle alive

In one of Week 17's most consequential games, the Seattle Seahawks defeated the Jets 23-6, officially ending New York's playoff hopes. Meanwhile, the win keeps Seattle's playoff hopes alive heading into Week 18.

The Seahawks started the game with a bang, with Kenneth Walker III ripping off a 60-yard run against one of the NFL's best defenses and then Geno Smith following it up by finding tight end Colby Parkinson for a touchdown. Walker finished with 133 yards on the ground, while No. 2 back DeeJay Dallas added 43 yards on seven carries and led the Seahawks with 55 receiving yards on his three catches. 

Smith threw his second touchdown pass to his other tight end, rookie Tyler Mabry, who found the end zone on his first NFL catch. Going against the team that drafted him in the second round back in 2013, Smith completed 18-of-29 passes for 182 yards and those two scores, while also leading three field goal drives. 

Picking up his eighth victory of the season with Seattle allowed him to match the number of victories he recorded during his rookie season in New York. Smith lasted just 14 more games as New York's starter, though, and had bounced around the league as a backup for the last few years before being named the starter in Seattle this season. Now, he surprisingly has his team on the verge of a potential postseason berth of its own.

New York, meanwhile, had turned to Mike White to invigorate its offense after it struggled with Zach Wilson at the helm. But White was out of rhythm for pretty much the entire game, going just 22 of 44 for 240 yards, two interceptions and a lost fumble. 

New York ran the ball fairly well (particularly in the first half), but it ultimately didn't matter. Mistakes -- three turnovers and a missed field goal, plus a couple penalties -- and the lack of a passing game just kept the Jets from making the contest competitive. Their failure to win also meant that the longest active playoff drought in the NFL continues for another year. New York has not made the playoffs since 2010. Seattle, on the other hand, has a chance to return there in the first year of the post-Russell Wilson era. 

Why the Seahawks won

They made a few explosive plays and capitalized on a couple of red-zone opportunities, while their defense kept Mike White off balance and out of rhythm for the entire afternoon. Walker's 60-yard run and DeeJay Dallas' big catch-and-run on a flip pass from Geno Smith each set up red-zone possessions, and the Seahawks turned them both into touchdowns. They fell short other times, but the Jets didn't get any red-zone touchdowns, so that was ultimately enough to secure the win for Seattle. Plus, Quandre Diggs and Mike Jackson each picked off White, and their secondary made it difficult for him to find windows throughout the game.

Why the Jets lost

Their offense couldn't get anything going. New York actually ran the ball well in the first half (5.8 yards per carry), but White failed to find a connection with any of his receivers and finished the game just TK of TK for TK yards and two picks. He also lost a fumble. By the time the game was out of reach, only Tyler Conklin had more than 24 receiving yards, and Braxton Berrios was the team's second-leading receiver. And all this against a defense that had not exactly been all that stingy throughout this season.

Turning point

The Seahawks opened the game with a very quick touchdown drive. It took them just three plays and 1:35 to go 73 yards and find their way into the end zone. The Jets looked like they were quickly marching down the field on their opening possession as well. Mike White found Ty Conklin for a 17-yard pass, Ty Johnson broke off a 17-yard run ... and then on third-and-7 from the Seattle 33-yard line, White did this:

Under pressure, White made a bad decision to force the ball into coverage, and he paid the price for it. The Jets never really challenged the Seahawks much after that, even if the game remained somewhat close for a while longer. 

Highlight play

It's tough to choose just one, so we're going with two. First, Walker took the game's opening snap and ripped off a 60-yard run, making one cut to burst through the line of scrimmage and nearly take it all the way to the house. The drive ended with a touchdown pass to Colby Parkinson.

Later, Geno Smith was under pressure, stepped up and through the pocket looking to scramble, but at the last moment, option flipped the ball to DeeJay Dallas, who then broke through the secondary and created a big play. The drive ended with a touchdown pass to Tyler Mabry. 

What's next

With the Giants having won on Sunday, the Seahawks still need some help in order to make the playoffs. They close the season by hosting the division-rival Rams (5-11), and will be paying attention to the Lions-Packers game, as the Seahawks need a Lions victory to have a chance at capturing the No. 7 seed in the NFC.

The Jets have been eliminated from postseason contention. They play the Dolphins (8-8) next week, and can deal a similar blow to their division rivals' playoff chances. Their postseason hopes dashed, the Jets will likely turn their offseason attention to figuring out the quarterback situation so they don't waste an explosive crop of skill-position players and an elite defense for another year.

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The Jets are out of the playoffs. They take on the Dolphins next week and can play spoiler. 

The Seahawks are still alive, but need the Lions to beat the Packers in order to have a shot.

January 2, 2023, 12:05 AM

It's fourth-and-6 at the two-minute warning. I guess the Seahawks will kick a field goal? Or maybe they go for it on fourth-and-6 so they can try to kneel out the clock. They're up three scores anyway.

January 2, 2023, 12:01 AM

Welp. That'll probably do it for the Jets. The likely win keeps the Seahawks' playoff chances alive for another week, while a loss eliminates the Jets from contention.

January 1, 2023, 11:55 PM

Really nice grab by Corey Davis with his left hand while he was going to the ground. Pass was way behind him.

January 1, 2023, 11:52 PM

Field goal makes it 23-6 and the Jets need three scores in 5:41 to save their playoff hopes alive.

January 1, 2023, 11:50 PM

Looked like he was trying to throw a bubble screen instead of handing it off to Walker, then tried to stop himself and dropped the ball, which turned it into a fumble. Weird play.

January 1, 2023, 11:48 PM

Geno what in the world...

January 1, 2023, 11:47 PM

And Mike White throws his second pick of the game. It has not been a good day for him. This time, it's Mike Jackson on the takeaway.

January 1, 2023, 11:44 PM

Geno and Metcalf ALMOST connected over the top of Sauce Gardner. Perfect throw over incredibly tight coverage. DK just dropped it, really. 

January 1, 2023, 11:41 PM

The Jets freely giving away an opportunity to score, on fourth-and-2, seems like a very bad idea. They might not even get two more full possessions the way this game has gone. And they need to score twice.

January 1, 2023, 11:37 PM

White almost threw another pick trying to thread the needle into coverage. He's just been off and out of rhythm for pretty much the entire game.

January 1, 2023, 11:36 PM

And now the Seahawks miss a field goal. Keeps it a two-score game. This half has gone: Missed FG, FG, Punt, Missed FG.

January 1, 2023, 11:34 PM

Sauce Gardner was PLASTERED all over Noah Fant on that fade up the right sideline. Crowd wants a flag but it looks like good coverage.

January 1, 2023, 11:30 PM

DeeJay Dallas is making some nice contributions with limited opportunity. Now up to 38 yards on 5 carries and 50 yards on 2 catches. 

January 1, 2023, 11:29 PM

Geno overthrew his man by several yards there trying to make a play on the move. Nice job to escape from pressure but almost got picked by missing with the throw over the top.

January 1, 2023, 11:24 PM

Jets gotta change SOMETHING on offense here. This Seahawks defense hasn't been particularly good this year and they just can't move the ball consistently right now.

January 1, 2023, 11:20 PM

This is a horrendous decision to punt. It's fourth-and-1 from the 40-yard line! Awful stuff from Pete Carroll.

January 1, 2023, 11:16 PM

Back-to-back short yardage stops after a 9-yard play on first dow and suddenly the Seahawks have a fourth-down decision just over midfield.

January 1, 2023, 11:15 PM

Yikes. Really bad drive from the Jets ends rather quickly and the Seahawks will have a chance to make this a three-score game.

January 1, 2023, 11:10 PM

The Seahawks connect on their field goal on their first drive of the second half, and now it's 20-6. Could have been 17-9 if the Jets had made theirs, so we had a six-point swing on the two kicks.

January 1, 2023, 11:06 PM

That's a twist on the new-age QB sneak from the Seahawks. Not only did they have the tight end motion in behind Geno for the push, but Geno also tried to jump over the line, like you would near the end zone.

January 1, 2023, 11:01 PM

Kenneth Walker is up well over 100 yards on the ground now. A lot of it obviously came on the 60-yard jaunt on the opening drive.

January 1, 2023, 11:00 PM

Even bigger missed opportunity for the Jets, with Greg Zuerlein hooking a 57-yard field goal attempt to the left and giving Seattle good field position to try to extend the lead here.

January 1, 2023, 10:54 PM

Huge third-down conversion from White to Tyler Conklin and it's an explosive play as well. Missed opportunity for Seattle's defense to get off the field. Worth noting the absence of Jordyn Brooks as Conklin makes a play over the middle.

January 1, 2023, 10:51 PM

Jets get the ball to start the second half. Let's see if they can cut into this lead.

January 1, 2023, 10:47 PM

Welp, Jets got lucky that time ran out.

January 1, 2023, 10:34 PM

Well, if the Seahawks keep taking penalties, I might have to eat my words.

January 1, 2023, 10:32 PM

The Jets might just want to kneel it out here. The likelihood of a score in this situation seems a lot lower than the potential for a very damaging play. They're not particularly close to field-goal range and have no timeouts left now.

January 1, 2023, 10:30 PM

Pinning the Jets inside their own 1-yard line likely removes any chance of a scoring drive here barring a huge play, but the Seahawks might have a chance to get the ball back if they can force an incomplete pass at some point. Tariq Woolen almost got them on the board himself, but was just a bit too late for a pick-six opportunity.

January 1, 2023, 10:26 PM

Jordyn Brooks has already been ruled OUT for the game with that knee injury. The quickness with which that happened seems ominous. 

January 1, 2023, 10:22 PM
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