Tyler Lockett reels in redemption TD as Seahawks beat Giants 27-13
Oct. 30, 2022 Updated Sun., Oct. 30, 2022 at 8:23 p.m.
After maybe the most humiliating moment of an eight-year career that has already stamped him as one of the greatest Seahawks ever, Tyler Lockett took a seat on the bench, where he was approached by coach Pete Carroll.
“I told him he’s the best receiver I’ve ever seen,” Carroll said of his message to Lockett after Lockett dropped a pass for a certain touchdown in the third quarter of Sunday’s showdown with the New York Giants. “You’re going to do something; I can’t wait. You’re going to score twice. I know something is going to happen right here. Anyway, it’s no prophecy. It’s just loving the kid up because he is who he is – an amazing player.”
In that moment, Lockett felt like anything but the best receiver that Carroll has ever been around – he also lost a fumble at the Seattle 3-yard line that led to a Giants touchdown in the second quarter.
But he admitted later they were words he needed to hear.
“I didn’t really know if he was telling me the truth, or if he just wanted me to forget about the catch,” Lockett said. “It really did mean a lot to me when he said that. It’s kind of like what (receivers coach) Sanjay (Lal) says, if we have a bad day, and DK (Metcalf) was doing it today, too, he’ll ask ‘what did you eat for breakfast,’ because it just mentally takes you out of what’s going on and makes you think about something else. So, when Pete did that it kind of did that to me a little bit.”
Then Lockett went out and proved Carroll was a man of his word, catching a 33-yard touchdown pass from Geno Smith that put Seattle ahead for good in an eventual 27-13 win over the Giants.
The TD came with 9:24 to play in the game – 8:18 of game time, and five actual plays, after his drop.
The drop came on a third down from the Giants 33 with the game tied at 10. Seattle got a 51-yard Jason Myers field goal out of it to take a 13-10 lead, but then watched the Giants tie the score at 13 on a Graham Gano field goal with 11:17 to play.
And with what had been a dominating defensive performance suddenly at risk of being wasted by the offense’s struggles – and specifically, Lockett’s two mistakes – Seattle took over at its own 25-yard line. And in five plays – all Smith completions – drove for the winning score.
A pass of 11 to Metcalf – gamely shrugging off a knee injury suffered last week to start – got Seattle rolling. Passes of 6 to Marquise Goodwin and then 12 to Lockett got Seattle in Giants territory. Another of 13 to Metcalf got Seattle to the New York 33.
There, the Seahawks called a play to get Lockett in man coverage on Adoree Jackson – the same Giants corner who had forced and recovered his earlier fumble.
The play called for Lockett to execute a double move, starting and then stopping his route quickly, then turning and sprinting down the sideline. Jackson bit on the fake, and Lockett broke wide open.
“We kind of saw on film opportunities that we could take advantage of against Adoree and so luckily we had a chance to be able to do that and we were able to score,” said Lockett.
Smith said the play was the same as the previous play, the 13-yard completion to Metcalf.
“We had just called that play right before, and I threw it to DK on the out, and (offensive coordinator) Shane (Waldron) did a great job of getting right back to it,” Smith said. “Tyler, I was giving him a different route. Tyler noticed that the DB was signaling, he was squatting, so he signaled me one of our double moves, so I gave it to him. He went out there, he made a great play, got the guy to sit down, stuttered his feet and then went by him.”
Said Carroll: “Of course he’s going to make a double move and score a touchdown. Of course he’s going to come back. I told him I think you’re going to get two. Before it happened I just had a feeling he was going to do something and sure enough he runs just a great double move and gets in the end zone just to let you know who he is again. Everybody is going to make a mistake sometime.”
Lockett was far from the only hero. Smith was again spectacular, hanging tough in the face of a constant Giants rush to throw two TDs with no interceptions.
A defense that has improved far more quickly the last three weeks than maybe anyone other than Carroll and themselves could have thought held a Giants team averaging 173.4 rushing yards per game to just 78 on 28 carries while also sacking New York QB Daniel Jones five times.
And the special teams had its biggest impact of the season, forcing two fumbles on punt returns that led to 10 points.
When it was over, the Seahawks had won their third in a row – and this time against a Giants team that came in at 6-1, the second-best record in the NFL – to improve to 5-3 and stay a game ahead of the pack in the NFC West.
But for all else that happened, the defining moment will be Lockett’s eight-minute turn from potential goat to hero. Lockett has battled injuries the past two weeks, a hamstring throughout and an oblique suffered Thursday, and has barely practiced.
But while he was officially listed as questionable for the game, Carroll said there was never a doubt.
“He never wavered,” Carroll said. “He was going to play.”
And if Lockett looked forlorn on the bench after his drop, what he wasn’t was alone. Aside from Carroll, player after player approached to tell him another chance surely loomed.
“When I dropped the pass, it was kind of one of those things where I couldn’t believe I had just done that,” Lockett said. “So it was kind of frustrating. But I just had to breathe a little bit. I had a lot of teammates behind me, talking to me. … I just had to breathe, man. That was the biggest thing.”
One of those was longtime friend Quandre Diggs, the two becoming close while training together for the 2015 draft.
“It’s rare that we see that from him,” Diggs said. “We all make a play where everyone is like, ‘wow, I can’t believe he did that.’ He came back and he got it back. That’s just who he is; he’s a resilient dude.”
And in some ways, Lockett said maybe the drop and what happened next made it all that much sweeter.
“It was just one of those things where you need to be able to fight through adversity,” said Lockett. “Sometimes you don’t like the story of how things happen, but if we ever knew what the outcome was going to be, we would be willing to go through that story. I just was able to go through that today.”
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