SEATTLE (AP) — Geno Smith threw a 9-yard touchdown pass to Jaxon Smith-Njigba with 38 seconds left, and the Seattle Seahawks rallied for a 24-20 win over the Cleveland Browns after blowing an early 14-point lead on Sunday.
After struggling for long stretches against the best defense in the NFL, Smith was sensational on Seattle’s final drive. He connected on 4 of 5 passes, the last of which was a quick screen to Smith-Njigba. The rookie first-round pick used a terrific block from DK Metcalf on the perimeter to sneak down the sideline and score the second touchdown of his career.
Seattle (5-2) gave itself a chance by intercepting Cleveland quarterback P.J. Walker near midfield with 1:57 remaining.
On third-and-3 at the Browns 41, Walker tried to throw a quick slant to Amari Cooper. The throw deflected off the helmet of blitzing safety Jamal Adams and flew nearly 20 yards downfield, where it fell into the arms of Julian Love.
Seattle took possession at its 43 and Smith needed five plays to find the end zone.
Smith finished 23 of 37 for 254 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions. Smith’s first pick came at the end of the first half with Seattle in position to get points, and he also took a sack from Myles Garrett midway through the fourth quarter that knocked Seattle out of field goal range while trailing 20-17.
Wide receiver Jake Bobo rushed for a 3-yard touchdown and Smith threw a 12-yard touchdown to Tyler Lockett as Seattle took a 14-0 lead less than 10 minutes into the game. Then the Seahawks’ offense came to a stop for most of the final three quarters.
Walker was 15 of 31 for 248 yards and threw an 18-yard touchdown pass to David Njoku in the first quarter. Most of Walker’s success through the air came on screen passes and the Browns (4-3) leaned heavily on a three-man run game.
Kareem Hunt, Pierre Strong Jr. and Jerome Ford combined for 137 yards on 33 carries. Hunt scored on a 1-yard TD run in the second quarter, but the Browns settled for field goals of 25 and 27 yards from Dustin Hopkins in the third quarter when drives stalled after moving inside the Seattle 10.