Seahawks

Overreaction Monday: DK Metcalf is already a top 5 WR in the NFL

Seahawks

The Seahawks a 4-0 for the first time since their Super Bowl-winning season in 2013. Such a hot start calls for some equally sizzling takes. Below are a number of opinions about the Seahawks, and I went through to decide whether each was an overreaction or not.

Thanks to those who submitted their takes on Twitter for this new weekly article series.

Overreaction? Yes.

If anything, the Seahawks poor start defensively has only amplified Russell Wilson’s case for MVP. Seattle has needed him to put up points all the way to the bitter end of each game so far. It’s evident that without Wilson, the Seahawks would be a middle-of-the-road team at best. That’s the definition of “most valuable” when you consider Seattle’s 4-0 start. Wilson is on pace to shatter his own franchise records, and he could challenge Peyton Manning’s NFL record of 55 touchdown passes in a season.

As for Seattle’s ceiling as a whole, the team entered the season as a legit Super Bowl contender and that hasn’t changed. For all of the flaws of the Seahawks defense, the unit has come up with big plays in every game this season: the fourth down stops in Atlanta, the goal-line stand against the Patriots, the clutch takeaways against the Cowboys and then keeping Miami out of the end zone until the final minutes of the game. Things should continue to tighten up on defense to where it’s not a total liability. Add in a knack for making clutch plays and you have a group that makes Seattle’s Super Bowl dreams very much alive.

 

Besides, look around the NFL, how many defenses are actually playing well? There aren’t many in a year where the league has seen record scoring numbers.

Overreaction? No.

You need to add nuance to this conversation. Reed, while paid handsomely at $11.5 million per year, is still just the 17th-highest paid 4-3 defensive tackle in football. However, it’s fair to say he hasn’t lived up to that billing. Reed has just one sack and two quarterback hits through four games, and he doesn’t appear to have regained his 2018. The Seahawks were banking on that when they gave Reed the lucrative two-year deal this offseason.

He’s the Seahawks sixth-highest paid player, and he hasn’t performed anywhere close to that level yet.

Overreaction? No.

Fans have understandably been clamoring for DeeJay Dallas to get playing time all season. Dallas had a fantastic training camp, and it was a bit odd that he was a healthy inactive for the first two weeks. It wasn’t until Week 4 when Seattle finally gave him a few touches. Dallas carried the ball twice for eight yards and caught two passes for 15 yards.

According to Brian Nemhauser, Dallas evaded three tackles against the Dolphins. Travis Homer has evaded just one all season. I’m all for leaning on guys you trust, and the Seahawks clearly trust Homer, but Dallas has far more upside, both as a runner and as a pass catcher.

Overreaction? No.

This is the greatest offense in Seahawks history by a wide margin. Seattle is on pace for 568 points this season, which would easily be a new franchise record. Wilson, Tyler Lockett and DK Metcalf are also on pace to shatter franchise records. The combination of talent and philosophy make this one of the most potent offenses in football right now.

Overreaction? No.

There are a lot of really talented wide receivers in the NFL, but the list of guys you can say are definitively better than DK Metcalf is dwindling. He doesn’t have the elite numbers in terms of volume of receptions, but his explosive-play ability is just as good as anyone. Through four games, Metcalf leads the NFL in receiving yards (403) and ranks third in receiving touchdowns (3).

Metcalf has also been remarkably durable in the early going of his career, which will only add to his case in this conversation if that trend continues.

The best way to put it is this: Most people wouldn’t have Metcalf in their top five. They’d have a combination of Julio Jones, DeAndre Hopkins, Davante Adams, Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, Tyreek Hill, Michael Thomas and Amari Cooper. And it would be hard to argue with any of those lists. But if you were adamant that Metcalf belonged in the top five, I’m not sure anyone could give you a good reason why you’re wrong.

 

There simply aren’t many guys who are capable of being as physically dominant as Metcalf. Cleaning up the drops will be Metcalf’s biggest hurdle.

Overreaction? No.

What’s funny is that Pete Carroll and Brian Schottenheimer have downplayed the magnitude of the Seahawks philosophy shift this season. Each coach commonly uses the boilerplate of “we’re always looking for ways to improve and get better.” And yet, until this season, that search has never led to a pass-first identity on offense.

Regardless, Carroll and Co. deserve immense credit for finally embracing the reality that Russell Wilson will be the primary reason why the Seahawks win football games and to not take full advantage of his ability would be doing a disservice to the entire franchise. Between a pass heavy approach in neutral situations and a couple of fourth-down gambles, Seattle’s added aggressiveness has been obvious.

I’ll take this one step further: If the Seahawks continue this trajectory and win the NFC West, Carroll should win the NFL’s Coach of the Year award. John Harbaugh won it in 2019 for similar reasons after tweaking Baltimore’s offense so that it was tailormade for Lamar Jackson.

Overreaction? Yes.

Sunday’s win against the Dolphins is one that you accept, move forward and never look back. It wasn’t necessarily pretty, but you can’t take those game for granted. Miami is better than advertised and any win for a West Coast team playing in the early window should be appreciated.

I suppose this take used the “if” caveat, but to even suggest that’s how the Seahawks will play moving forward is probably a bit unfair. Many looked at the Dolphins game as a potential trap game. Well, trap avoided.

It should be good vibes only for Seahawks fans after that win.

Overreaction? Yes, but just barely.

David Moore and Freddie Swain have made the most of every opportunity this season. Moore’s body control in the end zone has been tremendous, and his two touchdowns have been in clutch moments. Swain has been equally impressive, catching 5-of-6 targets for 83 yards and a touchdown.

Those two have earned their playing time. So when you throw in Will Dissly and Greg Olsen and consider the target-dominance of DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett, how much of the pie is left to go around?

The reason why I say this is an overreaction is that you can never have too many playmakers. If Phillip Dorsett catches one pass a game but it’s a 30-yarder, that will be a boost. If Josh Gordon gets reinstated and has a pair of clutch third-down conversions a game, that will be a boost. That’s before you consider any potential injuries to the aforementioned players.

I do think this is a fantastic take, though, because it’s obvious that the Seahawks offense is doing just fine without those two.

 

Overreaction? Yes.

The trio of Bryan Mone, Poona Ford and Jarran Reed is more than serviceable. Seattle has been excellent against the run already, and I’m not sure why another defensive tackle would have such an immense impact on the defense’s ceiling. Edge rush remains a far greater need.

Overreaction? No.

Outside of Seattle’s philosophy shift on offense, the drastic improvement to the offensive line has been the primary catalyst for the Seahawks dominance on that side of the football. Not only has the entire group played well, but Seattle is utilizing a healthy rotation to keep guys fresh. The Seahawks have never (at least not in recent memory) had the luxury of that kind of depth before. Guys like Jamarco Jones, Cedric Ogbuehi and Jordan Simmons are just as important as the starting five. This is a storyline that can’t be overstated.

Mike Iupati is playing better than he did a year ago. Damien Lewis is the real deal. Brandon Shell is outplaying expectations. Ethan Pocic is proving to be a late-bloomer and could be a long-term option at center. Duane Brown is still Duane Brown and, most importantly, he’s healthy.

Overreaction? No.

I don’t think it’s a coincidence that the Seahawks secondary has struggled as Seattle’s blitz rate has increased. Jamal Adams is a fantastic pass rusher, but when he doesn’t get home, that leaves a hole in the back end of the defense. It’s worth it for Seattle to pick its spots wisely for when to send Adams after the quarterback.

Chris Simms mentioned last week that five-man rushes are killing the Seahawks defense. And that makes sense, too. The goal of blitzing is to bring more guys than an opponent can block. But if a five-man rush is properly diagnosed pre-snap, then an offensive line can take care of that quite easily.

Adams also has to improve in coverage himself. He’s admitted to that.

Regardless, Adams is a unique player that the Seahawks haven’t had in years past. It makes sense that it would take some getting used to in terms of finding balance between utilizing Adams’ pass rush ability and making sure the secondary isn’t completely susceptible by doing so. There’s enough proven talent in the secondary to give hope that things should improve as the season goes along.