Seahawks

Tyler Lockett could be ultimate X-Factor in Seahawks-Rams NFC Wild Card Game

Seahawks

The Seattle Seahawks are less than 24 hours away from a battle in the Wild Card Round with the Los Angeles Rams.

Seattle isn’t sure which quarterback Los Angeles will turn to on Saturday, regular-starter Jared Goff, who is coming off surgery for a dislocated thumb 11 days ago, or newcomer John Wolford, who before last week had never taken an NFL regular-season snap.

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Both scenarios are on the table for Wild Card Weekend, but according to NBC Sports’ Mike Florio, this isn’t the main storyline heading into the NFC foes’ rubber match at Lumen Field.

“The big question there is DK Metcalf vs. Jalen Ramsey,” Florio discussed with Peter King on Pro Football Talk. “Because we know Ramsey can handle Metcalf. I think it’s incumbent on Brian Schottenheimer, the offensive coordinator, Peter, to come with as many creative ways as possible to get the ball in Metcalf’s hands, to move him around as much as possible, to avoid Jalen Ramsey where possible and to ultimately ensure that Metcalf’s great skills can be utilized, not running without the ball in his hands, but running with the ball in his hands.”

 

Metcalf’s production took a dip vs. the Rams shutdown corner in the two regular-season matchups. In Week 10, the All-Pro wideout was limited to just two catches for 28 yards on four targets as the Rams took a 23-16 victory.

Metcalf moved around more in Week 16, catching six passes for 59 yards on 8 targets as Seattle prevailed 20-9 over Los Angeles.

The Seahawks phenom failed to find the end zone in either meeting, despite amassing 83 catches, 1,303 yards and 10 touchdown catches for Seattle during the regular season. His 15.7 yards per catch rank third among receivers with at least 1,000 receiving yards this season.

While it seems likely that Metcalf will be matched up with Ramsey once more, as Peter King notes, you can’t ignore what Tyler Lockett brings to the table. The six-year pro has eight receptions for 110 yards in the Week 10 and Week 16 matchups.  “I’m not all that concerned about touches for DK Metcalf, obviously you want to get it in his hands at least 8 or 10 times in the game, that’s what you want to do,” King said. “But I would also make this point, watch how Tyler Lockett has played in this 100-reception season, and watch as the season goes on, when things get desperate, who’s Russell Wilson looking for? And I’m not saying last week was necessarily a desperado week because it wasn’t. But when he had to win a game, what is he doing?

He’s looking for the little sliver of a window to get the ball to Tyler Lockett, because he won’t drop it, he’ll dive around. He has become every bit of Doug Baldwin for this Seattle offense.

- Peter King on Tyler Lockett

King continued, “I think the solution in this game is the secondary receiver and it seems crazy to talk about Tyler Lockett as a secondary receiver, but I think Tyler Lockett is going to be the key solution for Russell Wilson in this game.”

The Rams will look to stymie Wilson’s mighty weapons, but it will be difficult to contain both Metcalf and Lockett. The Seahawks are banking on the dynamic duo to produce as NFC three-seed Seattle sets its sights on a deep playoff run, starting with a win at Lumen Field on Saturday over the sixth-seeded Rams.