The Seattle Seahawks (4-3) are all alone in first place in the NFC West after defeating the Los Angeles Chargers (4-3) by a score of 37-23 at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California. Geno Smith overcame an early interception to throw a pair of touchdowns to Marquise Goodwin, while rookie running back sensation Kenneth Walker III took off for 168 yards rushing and two touchdowns of his own. Meanwhile, the Seahawks defense largely held firm against Justin Herbert and company, shutting down the Chargers rushing attack (not that they’re good at that) and limiting the big plays down the field.
Unfortunately, there were several key injuries to both teams. On the Seahawks side, special teams captain Nick Bellore and right guard Phil Haynes both left with concussions, while superstar receiver DK Metcalf was carted off with a knee injury. The Chargers lost cornerback JC Jackson to a knee injury, and receiver Mike Williams left with an ankle injury.
This was Seattle’s first win at SoFi Stadium and thanks to the 49ers’ loss to the Chiefs, the Seahawks are a full game ahead of San Francisco and 0.5 game ahead of the idle Los Angeles Rams.
This was a drive of two Kenneths. Seahawks rookie Kenneth Walker got a big run on the game’s third play, but Geno Smith threw a pass that was intercepted by Kenneth Murray on the next snap. It looked like Tyler Lockett was interfered with by Asante Samuel Jr but no call was made. The Chargers failed to take advantage and were stuffed on 3rd and 4th and 1 on running plays with Austin Ekeler.
Pass interference was the theme of the next drive. JC Jackson got flagged for fouling DK Metcalf, then Metcalf was called for OPI on Jackson, and then Bryce Callahan interfered Tyler Lockett on 3rd and 13. Geno Smith converted two 3rd down passes to Marquise Goodwin, of which the latter was a 3rd and 15 touchdown! 7-0 Seahawks.
Faced with 3rd and 8, Justin Herbert fired a pass down the middle and Ryan Neal jumped the route and picked off the pass! Finally someone other than Tariq Woolen gets a pick.
Seattle capitalized with a couple of DeeJay Dallas runs, then a roughing the passer penalty, and a 12-yard touchdown by rookie sensation Kenneth Walker III. 14-0 Seahawks.
Another possession? Another turnover! Darrell Taylor with the strip-sack of Herbert and the recovery! And the runback to the Chargers 19!
Seattle could only manage a field goal, which Jason Myers converted from 46. Two plays prior, DK Metcalf suffered a knee injury on a pass intended for him along the sidelines, and he was carted off. 17-0 Seahawks.
The Chargers answered back with an 8-play, 75-yard drive capped off by an 8-yard scoring run by Austin Ekeler. Overhanging on that series was news that DK Metcalf was ruled out for the game after being carted off with a knee injury. 17-7 Seahawks.
From bad to worse, Dee Eskridge fumbled a pitch back to him and it resulted in a turnover by the Seahawks. He also took a shot to the head from Khalil Mack in the scramble. Mack recovered the ball. The Chargers capitalized with a touchdown to Mike Williams on a crosser, with Tariq Woolen getting beaten in coverage. 17-14 Seahawks.
Both teams exchanged punts for the first time all game, to at least slow down the chaos of all the turnovers and scoring drives. When Seattle got the ball back, Geno went to work and engineered a 7-play, 73-yard beaut that ended in another TD to Marquise Goodwin. JC Jackson unfortunately went down on this play, so it’s bad enough he was beaten on a touchdown but he had a non-contact injury. 24-14 Seahawks at halftime.
The Chargers got zippo to start the 2nd half, but they did pin the Seahawks inside their own 10. Geno Smith converted a series of clutch throws to Tyler Lockett, as the team went on a 17-play, 77-yard drive that took off 10 minutes of game clock. Unfortunately a field goal was all they could muster after Smith was sacked by Morgan Fox. Jason Myers was money again. 27-14 Seahawks.
After a clutch 3rd down pass breakup by Quandre Diggs on former Seahawks TE Gerald Everett, the punt by JK Scott backed Seattle up at their own 2-yard line. Kenneth Walker III was tackled in the end zone for a safety. WELP. 27-16 Seahawks.
The Seahawks defense stepped up with a terrific three-and-out that included Myles Adams batting a ball right back into Justin Herbert’s hands for a big loss. Better field position meant a shorter drive for the Seahawks, who got a grown man 12-yard run by Kenneth Walker and a pass interference on Derwin James. Geno Smith was lucky not to be picked by Asante Samuel Jr, but he wasn’t! Jason Myers hit from 50 to extend the lead. 30-16 Seahawks.
In desperation mode, the Chargers were in four down territory and nearly got picked off by Michael Jackson. Seattle still forced a turnover on downs after Herbert’s pass to Mike Williams was short of the marker on 4th and 14. Williams’ leg twisted awkwardly and was injured on the play, adding to a day of carnage at SoFi Stadium.
On the next snap, Kenneth Walker III put this one on ice. A 74-yard romp to the house. 37-16 Seahawks.
In what was pretty much garbage time, Austin Ekeler scored his second touchdown of the game on a Herbert pass on 4th and goal. Coby Bryant thought he had an interception but Uchenna Nwosu was offside. That was the final score. 37-23 Seahawks FINAL.
1st Quarter: Marquise Goodwin 20-yard touchdown pass from Geno Smith - SEA 7, LAC 0
1st Quarter: Kenneth Walker III 12-yard touchdown rush - SEA 14, LAC 0
1st Quarter: Jason Myers 46-yard field goal - SEA 17, LAC 0
2nd Quarter: Austin Ekeler 8-yard touchdown rush - SEA 17, LAC 7
2nd Quarter: Mike Williams 13-yard touchdown pass from Justin Herbert - SEA 17, LAC 14
2nd Quarter: Marquise Goodwin 23-yard touchdown pass from Geno Smith - SEA 24, LAC 14
3rd Quarter: Jason Myers 34-yard field goal - SEA 27, LAC 14
4th Quarter: Kenneth Walker tackled in end zone for safety - SEA 27, LAC 16
4th Quarter: Jason Myers 50-yard field goal - SEA 30, LAC 16
4th Quarter: Kenneth Walker III 74-yard touchdown rush - SEA 37, LAC 16
4th Quarter: Austin Ekeler 1-yard touchdown pass from Justin Herbert - SEA 37, LAC 23
Seahawks Injury Report
DK Metcalf left the game in the 1st quarter with a knee injury and did not return.
Nick Bellore left the game in the 3rd quarter after suffering a concussion on the opening 2nd half kickoff return.
Phil Haynes left the game in the 3rd quarter with a concussion.
Uchenna Nwosu had some sort of leg injury in the 4th quarter but he walked off under his own power. He returned to the game.
Next Week’s Opponent
The Seahawks return home for a showdown with the surprising New York Giants (6-1) on Sunday, Oct. 30 at 1:25 PM PT on FOX.