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Seahawks Secure Spot in Playoff Getting a Valuable Chance

Seattle Seahawks WR DK Metcalf (Photo: John McCoy)

Geno Smith, Pete Carroll, and the Seattle Seahawks have clinched a playoff berth, a scenario that seemed improbable after the departure of Russell Wilson.

This became reality on Sunday night when the Detroit Lions defeated the Green Bay Packers 20-16 at Lambeau Field. Earlier in the day, Seattle kept their playoff hopes alive by edging the Los Angeles Rams 19-16 in overtime, needing a Lions victory to secure the NFC’s seventh seed.

“We’ve faced challenges and taken hits, but we’ve always bounced back. The resilience has been there throughout,” Carroll remarked on KING-TV in Washington Sunday night. “It’s been a rewarding year, and I’m thrilled we have the chance to do something special.”

The Seahawks (9-8) will travel to Santa Clara to face the No. 2-seeded San Francisco 49ers (13-4) in the wild-card round on Saturday.

Seattle lost twice to their division rivals this season—27-7 in Week 2 and 21-13 in Week 15. The 49ers, riding a 10-game winning streak, open as 10-point favorites according to Caesars Sportsbook.

“They’re formidable. They’ve won 10 or 11 in a row and will be flying high,” Carroll acknowledged. “To accomplish something special, you have to beat top teams. So, let’s start with these guys and get this going.”

Seattle made significant moves in March, trading Wilson and releasing linebacker Bobby Wagner, setting the stage for what was expected to be a rebuilding season.

Seattle Seahawks (Photo: Christopher Hanewinckel)

Projected to win 5.5 games and finish last in the NFC West, the Seahawks exceeded expectations.

Geno Smith, primarily a backup over seven seasons, delivered a Pro Bowl performance after winning the starting role over Drew Lock. Additionally, a standout rookie class made substantial contributions.

“We were praised early on for surpassing expectations, but we weren’t satisfied,” Carroll reflected. “It’s been tough, challenging; we haven’t achieved as we wanted. But here we are now, ready to go. We’ll be a tough opponent.”

Smith threw two interceptions on Sunday and narrowly avoided a third, but he threw a crucial touchdown pass and engineered the game-winning drive in overtime.

He positioned the Seahawks for a potential game-winning kick at the end of regulation, though Jason Myers’ 46-yard attempt was off-target, leading to overtime.

With Seattle securing a playoff spot, Smith earned an additional $1 million in incentives, maxing out the $3.5 million available on his one-year contract with a base value of $3.5 million.

He also broke three single-season franchise records previously held by Wilson: completions (399), passing yards (4,282), and completion rate (69.8%).

This marks Seattle’s 10th playoff appearance in 13 seasons under Carroll and general manager John Schneider.

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