DETROIT -- Geno Smith shrugged off a bad mistake to lead a 75-yard drive in overtime, capping it with a touchdown pass to Tyler Lockett that gave the Seattle Seahawks a 37-31 win over the Detroit Lions at a raucous Ford Field on Sunday.
The Seahawks' victory avoided a 0-2 start and marked a swift turnaround from their blowout loss at home in the opener. To hear coach Pete Carroll and several of his players tell it, that bounce back began Wednesday.
With a fiery speech from Bobby Wagner.
With the music cut and the entire team gathered around him before practice, the veteran middle linebacker and defensive co-captain delivered a pep talk that was laced with F-bombs and centered around the idea of putting their lousy performance in Week 1 behind them.
"Until Bobby said something, I had not had the impact that I wanted to Monday and Tuesday to get to Wednesday, and then Bobby called them up on Wednesday and just hit 'em right between the eyes," Carroll said postgame. "We just flipped instantly. I mean, from the time he talked to them ... it was over and done with and we were onto this game. Which is what we're supposed to do on Wednesday. I just didn't get it done. He got it done for us ...
"That was a pivotal moment for us. For sure it was. They all heard him and listened and did exactly what he asked them to do. That's leadership."
Wagner's message proved relevant to Smith, who was mostly brilliant save for his final play of regulation.
The Seahawks had built a 10-point lead in the fourth quarter after a pick-six from cornerback Tre Brown before the Lions answered with a touchdown drive that cut Seattle's lead to 31-28. With Seattle facing a third-and-18 from its own 20 just ahead of the two-minute warning, Smith scrambled to avoid pressure -- and kept scrambling until he took a sack for a loss of 17 yards.
Smith said he was wary of throwing the ball away too early, thereby stopping the clock and leaving too much time for Detroit.
"In hindsight," he said, "just throw the ball away."
After the Lions took over at midfield and kicked the tying field goal to send the game to overtime, Seattle won the toss to give Smith an immediate chance at redemption. He completed 6 of 7 passes for 69 yards on the winning drive, capping it with his second TD pass of the day to Lockett.
"Geno's always an adversity killer," receiver DK Metcalf said. "He's always had his head on straight, he's always motivated to go out there and make a big play. That's just him. I'm not surprised at all at what he did."
The Seahawks were 4.5-point underdogs Sunday, playing with backups at both tackle spots and facing a Lions team that was well-rested and riding high coming off their season-opening road win over the defending champion Kansas City Chiefs. Seattle also had to contend with the ear-splitting noise at Ford Field in what was billed as the biggest Lions game in years.
Despite that, left tackle Stone Forsythe and right tackle Jake Curhan -- playing because of injuries to Charles Cross and Abe Lucas -- held up better than anyone could have expected. The only official quarterback hit Smith took was on his sack.
"I think they may have silenced some people," Smith said of Forsythe and Curhan, both third-year players.
Smith finished 32-of-41 for 328 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions. The Seahawks got two rushing touchdowns from Kenneth Walker III and gained 393 yards, finding their rhythm on offense after hitting a wall in the second half of their 30-13 loss to the Los Angeles Rams in Week 1.
"We needed this badly," Carroll said. "We know what happened last week."
It was also a bounce back performance by Seattle's defense, which couldn't get off the field or get any pressure on Matthew Stafford in the opener. The Seahawks forced three turnovers Sunday, stopped the Lions twice on fourth down and recorded a pair of sacks on Jared Goff.
"It felt good to get the win," Wagner said. "That would have been a terrible plane ride home if we didn't close that out, but we fought hard. We knew it was going to be a gritty team, we knew they was going to come in and fight until the end, which they did. But we outlasted them, so we're happy about that."
Seattle re-signed the 33-year-old Wagner to a one-year, $5.5 million deal in March. It marked a reunion with arguably the best defensive player in franchise history as well as a reconciliation after his messy exit a year earlier.
Wagner finished with 11 tackles Sunday.
"I don't know what the impact was," he said of his Wednesday speech. "Sometimes, when you have a young team, you've got to go through the learning process of letting the good and the bad go because you can't bring that into next week ... It was just as simple as that, to not be down on ourselves that we weren't able to close that game out or start the season how we wanted to, because we have a long season."
Brown redeemed himself from his own rough outing in the opener. With rookie Devon Witherspoon making his NFL debut and supplanting him in the starting lineup, Brown came off the bench when Riq Woolen suffered a chest injury in the second quarter that kept him out for the remainder of the game. Brown had a sack in addition to his pick-six.
Carroll said Woolen is sore but should be OK.
Brown, who has considered Wagner a mentor, called his message "powerful."
"He brought the team up and was like, 'Hey, whatever happened last week, that's last week,'" Brown said. "He's the leader that everybody gets behind because he's seen it all -- the good, the bad, the behind-the-scenes ... So we get behind him. It was a really good week, and you saw that on the field."