Geno Smith threw two first-half touchdowns, Kenneth Walker III rushed for 133 yards and the Seattle Seahawks kept their postseason hopes alive with a 23-6 victory Sunday that knocked the New York Jets out of playoff contention.
Seattle (8-8) snapped a three-game losing streak and made sure its Week 18 matchup against the Los Angeles Rams was meaningful. The Seahawks must win and hope for a Green Bay loss or tie against Detroit to make the postseason.
Meanwhile, New York’s playoff hopes ended with a thud after their fifth straight loss and extended the longest active playoff drought in the NFL to a franchise-record 12 seasons. The Jets (7-9) last reached the postseason in 2011 and will finish with a losing record for the seventh straight season.
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Smith’s numbers weren’t flashy, but he did enough to improve to 3-0 this season against his previous teams. Smith went 18 of 29 for 183 yards and added the Jets, the team he started his career with, to the list of victories against former bosses that already included wins over the Chargers and Giants.
Smith was especially good in the first half, throwing 12-yard touchdowns to Colby Parkinson on the game’s first possession and 7-yard touchdowns to Tyler Mabry early in the second quarter. Mabry’s touchdown was the first catch of his career.
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Smith also connected on big 29-yard passes to Noah Fant and a 41-yard catch-and-run to DeeJay Dallas, where Smith returned the pass to escape the pressure. The shot to Fant led to one of Jason Myers’ three field goals and the smart move to Dallas led to Mabry’s touchdown, both in the first half.
The running game helped, especially with Tyler Lockett playing limited with a broken bone in his left hand and DK Metcalf holding on for a catch for 3 yards. Walker had the second-best game of his rookie season, including a 60-yard run on the game’s first play and Seattle’s 198 rushing yards were the third-most this season.
Mike White returned at quarterback for the Jets after missing two games with broken ribs, but offensive success was fleeting for the Jets. White was 23 of 46 for 240 yards. He also threw two interceptions, including a sloppy throw on New York’s first possession that was picked off by Seattle safety Quandre Diggs.
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New York was especially bad in the second half, as they managed just six first downs, four of them on their final drive, and went three and out on three straight possessions. White was sacked four times, and the Jets failed to execute an offensive play inside the Seattle 20-yard line the entire game.
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Greg Zuerlein hit a pair of 44-yard field goals for New York.