DETROIT—There were so many big plays and big moments Pete Carroll could single out after his team’s thrilling overtime win over the Lions.
There was Tre Brown’s pick-six in the fourth quarter, which came one play after the corner recorded Seattle’s first sack of the season; there were several clutch catches by Tyler Lockett, including the game-winning in overtime that secured a 37-31 victory; there was Uchenna Nwosu’s forced fumble on the first play of the second half, a turnover that set up a touchdown; and there was a whole day full of great play by quarterback Geno Smith.
And yes, Carroll was appreciative of every player who had a hand in Seattle’s big Week 2 win, but the first two players he sought out in raucous postgame locker room were tackle Jake Curhan and Stone Forsythe, who were both playing in place of injured starters Abraham Lucas and Charles Cross.
“There are so many guys who did great stuff today in this game, and I’m starting with the tackles,” Carroll said. “There were a lot of people that wrote us off because they didn’t think Stone could get it done and Jake could get it done, but they did. They did a phenomenal job today. They held up their end of it, stepped up just like we ask guys to do, and came through in a huge way.”
As Carroll notes, plenty of people thought the injuries at tackle spelled doom for Seattle’s offense. After all, Forsythe was making his first career start at left tackle—he started one game on the right side last year—and Curhan was making his first start since the end of the 2021 season, and both were playing in an incredibly loud environment at Ford Field and facing a talented and aggressive pass rush led by Aidan Hutchinson, last year’s runner up for Defensive Rookie of the Year honors.
Yet in that tough setting, Curhan and Forsythe, along with the rest of the line, got the job done, protecting Smith as he threw for 328 yards and two scores. Smith was sacked only once, a sack late in regulation he said he shouldn’t have taken, and hit only once, and had plenty of time to operate on the game-winning drive while completion six of seven passes for 69-yards and the game-winning touchdown.
“The most exquisite part of that last drive was the past protection,” Carroll said. “It’s not just the tackles, but they were the guys that were on the stick today, and they came through in a huge way.”