D.K. Metcalf made the largest blunder of the NFL season so far during the first quarter against Dallas.
The second-year wideout had burned Dallas cornerback Trevon Diggs for a 63-yard touchdown, or so he thought. Metcalf appeared to slow down just short of the endzone and Diggs sprinted to punch the ball out of the Seahawks hands and through the end zone for a touchback.
"That's such a hard lesson for him to have a guy knock the ball out of his hands," said head coach Pete Carroll after the game. "Just an exquisite play. Throw, catch, protection, everything was gorgeous and then we give them the football. Just a terrible play for us to have to endure."
While the play sent Twitter ablaze, and rightfully so, Metcalf's teammates had a different reaction.
“Things like that happen,” said Tyler Lockett.
After the touchback, quarterback Russell Wilson made sure to catch up with Metcalf on the sideline before the next drive.
"I talked to him afterwards" said the MVP front-runner. "I told him 'Listen, you're going to have to make a play down the road so get back in, get focused again. Let's revamp. Things happen.'
"There's no excuse for it. He knows that. He wants to be the best in the world... Good thing about him is that he's never going to do it again and he'll be ready for the next opportunity."
Much of the Seattle sideline felt the play would be a learning moment for not just Metcalf, but also the entire team.
"We’ll talk about it, that’s a learning experience for each and every person, as a receiver, whoever touches the ball," added Lockett. "That’s something we can all kind of think about and just be reminded that it’s not over and the refs blow the whistle."
Pete Carroll added that he coaches his players to "celebrate in the paint" rather than on the green.
"It's a terrible play. It really is because he's got a touchdown. Just gotta finish it off and he started celebrating too early. We celebrate in the paint is what we talk about. It's something we talk about all the time, so it really hurt that we weren't able to execute there."
But Seattle wasn't going to let one minor gaffe derail the game.
Dallas would take a late one-point lead off a field goal in the fourth quarter, but then the Cowboys needed to kick the ball off to the dangerous Seahawks offense.
With the game on the line, Wilson found Metcalf for a game-winning 29-yard touchdown, giving the second-year wideout redemption.
Carroll never had a doubt.
“I was really happy that he was able to score that last touchdown to be able to give us that game winner," said Carroll.
"The fact that he came back? Of course he did. He's such a great competitor. He's not going to let something like that hold him down. He [was] pissed just like everybody else but he bounced right back and then there he was available for the game-winner and made the play."
Wilson always says "separation is in the preparation,” and that held true Sunday. The Seahawks QB practiced throughout the summer with Metcalf, strengthening their bond on and off the field.
"For me, he's like a little brother to me," explained Wilson. "We're so close and so to me, you know I told him like 'Listen, [when] there's another opportunity, when it comes your way you gotta make a play.' Just speaking life into it just knowing something great's going to happen. Sure enough he makes the game-winning touchdown... It worked out for us."
Wilson relied on that preparation with Metcalf, and his trust proved to be stronger than one mental mistake.
Metcalf learned the hard way and responded accordingly so he could leave CenturyLink Field with his Seahawks 3-0. He may wear a pacifier mouthguard, getting the ball from Metcalf should not be like taking candy from a baby and from now on, it won't be.