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Seahawks fumble chance in overtime, fall to Pittsburgh 23-20

UPDATED: Sun., Oct. 17, 2021

Seattle Seahawks quarterback Geno Smith (7) fumbles as Pittsburgh Steelers outside linebacker T.J. Watt (90) tackles him during overtime of an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 17, 2021, in Pittsburgh. The Steelers won 23-20 in overtime. Steelers linebacker Devin Bush recovered the fumble and the Steelers kicked a field goal to win.   (Associated Press)
Seattle Seahawks quarterback Geno Smith (7) fumbles as Pittsburgh Steelers outside linebacker T.J. Watt (90) tackles him during overtime of an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 17, 2021, in Pittsburgh. The Steelers won 23-20 in overtime. Steelers linebacker Devin Bush recovered the fumble and the Steelers kicked a field goal to win.  (Associated Press)
By Bob Condotta Seattle Times

Associated Press Pittsburgh kicker Brian Boswell kicks a field goal during overtime against Seattle.

PITTSBURGH — In seconds, it turned from the potential of one of the more improbable wins in recent Seattle history to what felt like a sadly inevitable loss.

The Seattle defense had played its best game of the season and the offense had recovered from a shaky beginning to show a balance it hadn’t this year with Geno Smith showing the kind of poise in the clutch the team lauded all week as a reason it had kept him for three years to back up Russell Wilson.

And then in a flash the ball and the game were gone and the 2021 season thrown into further disarray.

On first down from their own 15-yard line on Seattle’s second possession of overtime, Smith fumbled as he tried to escape pressure.

T.J. Watt forced the fumble, and Devin Bush got the recovery at the 16 with 4:15 left.

Three plays later, Chris Boswell hit a 37-yard field goal to give the Steelers a 23-20 win with 2:50 left in overtime.

Seattle fell to 2-4 with what was its second overtime loss of the season and in last place in the NFC West, four games behind leader Arizona and three behind the Los Angeles Rams.

The stunning defeat spoiled a gutty comeback from a 14-0 halftime deficit that had Seattle looking dead in the water.

For 30 minutes, every fear about life without Russell Wilson seemed to be coming true.

Seattle couldn’t move the ball, held to just 9 yards on 10 plays in the second quarter — all of which were called passes — while the defense appeared to be getting beaten down after a solid start, resulting in a two-touchdown deficit at halftime.

But then the Seahawks decided to give Smith some help.

Seattle had 175 yards in the third quarter, with 110 coming on the ground — more than the Seahawks had rushed for in four of five games this year.

Alex Collins had 79 yards in the third quarter alone and finished with 101 in becoming the first Seahawk to rush for 100 yards since Chris Carson on Dec. 15, 2019, at Carolina.

But just when Seattle’s offense seemed as it if could carry them to victory, it all came crashing down.

Not that Seattle didn’t have earlier chances to help salt the game away.

Seattle had a golden opportunity to take the lead when it was ruled Ben Roethlisberger fumbled while attempting to bring back a pump fake, giving the Seahawks the ball at the Steelers’ 35 with 11:32 left.

But Seattle couldn’t move it and had to punt.

Then, Jamal Adams dropped an interception that might have been a pick-six later in the fourth quarter on a possession that ended with a Pittsburgh field goal and a 20-17 lead with 1:30 left.

That came after a scary incident when the game was delayed for roughly 10 minutes in the fourth quarter when Seahawks second-year defensive end Darrell Taylor was injured with 3:10 to play when he made a tackle on a 3-yard run by Najee Harris. As Taylor helped make the tackle, he was hit from behind by Steelers guard Trai Turner.

After making the tackle, Taylor rolled over on the ground on his back and then lay there as he was attended to by trainers.

Taylor was eventually strapped to a stretcher and taken off the field on a cart as players from both teams surrounded him on the field in support.

On the next play, a second and 15 from the 46, Adams dropped a potential interception right off his chest.

The Steelers got 12 yards back on the next play setting up Boswell’s 52-yard attempt that was good with 1:30 left, putting the Steelers back up 20-17.

But Smith then led a Wilson-esque drive to tie it.

From the 25, Smith first hit Will Dissly for 7 yards.

DeeJay Dallas then picked up 6.

A pass for 7 to Dallas was followed by a timeout with 52 seconds remaining.

Another pass to Dallas picked up 2 yards.

But Smith then hit DK Metcalf on the sideline for 11 yards to the Steelers 42 with 22 seconds remaining.

A pass to Dallas then took the ball to the 34 with 18 seconds left. Dallas fumbled at the end of the play, but the ball fortuitously bounced right back in his hands.

A pass to Metcalf took it to the 28.

But Metcalf dropped the ball, and it fell behind him where Freddie Swain fell on it at the 26.

With no time outs left the Seahawks had to hurry to spike the ball and Smith appeared to get it off with one second left.

Then more chaos ensued as officials stopped the clock to review the Metcalf reception.

After the play was upheld, Smith got the spike to stop the clock with two seconds left bringing on Jason Myers.

Myers, who had missed two of four attempts coming into the game, calmly hit it from 43 to tie it at 20 as time ran out.

Smith was 6 of 6 on the drive, other than the spike, for 46 yards.

If only OT had gone as well.

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