The Seattle Seahawks have lost back-to-back games following a four-game win streak to tumble from NFC West leaders to out of playoff position.
"Reality is that we're going from the hunter to the hunted," Smith said after the game. "People want to play us. As a young team, we've got to learn to be able to go out there and win those games. That's our next step in the evolution as a really young team. We got to understand the moment, capture the moments, take advantage. I feel like we had plenty of opportunities to go out there and win that game, finish it late, and we just didn't get it done."
Smith surged into the MVP talk during the Seahawks' win streak as he led a young roster not expected to compete for a postseason bid this season into playoff position. The QB's 72.8 completion percentage is tops in the NFL, and his 107.9 passer rating is second behind Tua Tagovailoa (115.7) in 2022.
But miscues hurt Seattle on Sunday. Smith threw an interception on a miscommunication and had a fumbled exchange with rookie running back Kenneth Walker, killing a promising drive. The QB also admitted he could have made a couple of better throws late against the Raiders that might have helped avoid overtime.
"When I was in college, a coach told me about the difference between a finger pointer and a thumb pointer," Smith said. "I've always vowed to be a thumb pointer. I'm going to look at myself hard in the mirror, watch this film, see where I can get better and help this team win games."
The Seahawks defense has been the biggest culprit in the two-game losing skid, getting run over by both the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Raiders.
Pete Carroll's D has lived by forcing turnovers -- Seattle ranks fourth in the NFL with 19 takeaways. But when those plays dry up, they've been gashed, sitting 30th in yards allowed (388.7 YPG) and 28th in points allowed (25.5). Since Week 9, Seattle is allowing 188.7 rush yards per game, the most in the NFL.
"We have to fix it," safety Quandre Diggs said Sunday. "Everybody's going to expose it if we don't fix it. We fixed it for a little bit. It showed its head again. At the end of the day, if we don't stop the run, we're not going to be able to do anything."