Seahawks rookie running back shines in blowout win over Chargers
Rookie Kenneth Walker III rushed for 168 yards and two touchdowns, Marquise Goodwin caught a pair of scores, and the Seattle Seahawks jumped out to a 17-point first-quarter lead before defeating the Los Angeles Chargers 37-23 on Sunday.
Geno Smith completed 20 of 27 passes for 210 yards and two touchdowns, his fifth multi-TD game of the season. Jason Myers added three field goals for the Seahawks (4-3), who have won three of four and took a half-game lead in the NFC West.
Seattle led 17-0 late in the first quarter, its largest lead after 15 minutes since a win over New Orleans in Week 13 of 2013. It was the Seahawks' largest road lead at the end of the first since 2000.
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It was the third straight week the Chargers (4-3) fell behind by double digits in the first quarter. They rallied against Cleveland and Denver, but were unable to pull it off this time and had a three-game winning streak snapped. LA now trails Kansas City by one game in the AFC West.
Justin Herbert was 33 of 51 for 293 yards with two touchdowns and an interception, marking the second time in his career he has thrown at least 50 passes in consecutive games. Austin Ekeler had 127 scrimmage yards (96 receiving, 31 rushing) and a pair of touchdowns, giving him eight over the last three games.
Mike Williams added seven receptions for 86 yards and a TD.
Walker took over as Seattle's starting running back after Rashaad Penny suffered a season-ending ankle injury two weeks ago. Five plays after Ryan Neal picked off Herbert, Walker went 12 yards off left guard to extend the Seahawks' lead to 14-0 with 4:17 remaining in the first quarter.
The second-round pick broke the game open in the fourth quarter with a 74-yard sprint down the right sideline to make it 37-16.
JC JACKSON, DK METCALF BOTH LEAVE SEAHAWKS-CHARGERS GAME WITH KNEE INJURIES
It was the first multi-TD game for Goodwin since 2018, when he was with the San Francisco 49ers. Goodwin, in his first season with the Seahawks, had six catches for 79 yards coming into the game but saw increased time after DK Metcalf was carted off with a knee injury in the first quarter and Tyler Lockett was limited with a strained hamstring.
Goodwin gave Seattle a 7-0 lead midway through the first quarter when he beat Asante Samuel Jr. in coverage and hauled in a 20-yard pass in the right corner of the end zone.
The Seahawks extended their lead to 24-14 with 1:40 remaining in the first half when Goodwin outjumped JC Jackson for a 23-yard score.
Los Angeles got within 17-14 with touchdowns on consecutive drives. Ekeler had a 7-yard run and Williams caught a 13-yard pass from Herbert to pull the Chargers within a field goal with 9:43 remaining in the second quarter.
The Chargers got their first safety since the end of the 2020 season when Sebastian Joseph-Day and Troy Reeder brought Walker down in the end zone early in the fourth to bring them within 27-16.
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Seahawks: LB Nick Bellore and OG Phil Haynes suffered concussions during the second half. … DT Poona Ford had a foot injury in the first quarter and did not return.
Chargers: CB JC Jackson suffered a knee injury on Goodwin's second touchdown. He was fitted with an air cast and carted off. … LB Chris Rumpf II sustained a hip/knee injury during the fourth quarter. … Williams went off with an ankle injury in the fourth quarter.
Seahawks: Host the New York Giants next Sunday.
Chargers: Have their bye next week, then travel to play Atlanta on Nov. 6.