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Jets eliminated from playoffs in stinker to Seahawks

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Jets Seahawks
Seattle Seahawks quarterback Geno Smith runs for a first down as New York Jets cornerback D.J. Reed (4) defends during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Jan. 1, 2023, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

SEATTLE (AP) — Geno Smith threw two first-half touchdowns, Kenneth Walker III rushed for 133 yards and the Seattle Seahawks kept alive their postseason hopes with a 23-6 win Sunday that eliminated the New York Jets from playoff contention.

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Seattle (8-8) snapped a three-game losing streak and ensured its Week 18 matchup against the Los Angeles Rams will be meaningful. The Seahawks must win and hope for a loss or tie by Green Bay against Detroit to reach the postseason.

Meanwhile, New York’s playoff hopes ended with a thud after its fifth straight loss and extended the longest active playoff drought in the NFL to a franchise-record 12 seasons. The Jets (7-9) last reached the postseason in 2011 and will finish with a losing record for the seventh straight season.

Smith’s numbers weren’t flashy, but he did enough to improve to 3-0 this season against his former teams. Smith finished 18 of 29 for 183 yards and added the Jets — the team with which he started his career — to the list of victories against former employers that already included wins over the Chargers and Giants.

Smith was especially good in the first half, throwing touchdowns of 12 yards to Colby Parkinson on the first possession of the game and 7 yards to Tyler Mabry early in the second quarter. Mabry’s touchdown was the first catch of his career.

Smith also hit big throws of 29 yards to Noah Fant and a 41-yard catch-and-run to DeeJay Dallas where Smith backhanded the pass scrambling away from pressure. The throw to Fant led to one of Jason Myers’ three field goals and the clever flick to Dallas led to Mabry’s touchdown, both coming in the first half.

The running game helped, especially with Tyler Lockett limited playing with a broken bone in his left hand and DK Metcalf held to one catch for 3 yards. Walker had the second-best game of his rookie season, including a 60-yard run on the first play of the game and Seattle’s 198 yards rushing was third-most this season.

Mike White returned at quarterback for the Jets after missing two games with fractured ribs but offensive success was fleeting for the Jets. White was 23 of 46 for 240 yards. He also threw two interceptions, including a careless throw on New York’s first possession that was picked off by Seattle safety Quandre Diggs.

New York was especially bad in the second half while picking up just six first downs — four of those on its final drive — and went three-and-out on three straight possessions. White was sacked four times and the Jets failed to run an offensive play inside Seattle’s 20 the entire game.

Greg Zuerlein hit a pair of 44-yard field goals for New York.

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For more on the Jets, visit AMNY.com