PHILADELPHIA -- It’s hard not to gush about DK Metcalf following his monster playoff debut. Metcalf carried the Seattle Seahawks to a 17-9 win over the Philadelphia Eagles with seven catches for 160 yards and a touchdown.
The 160 yards set an NFL playoff record for a rookie and a Seahawks franchise record for any wide receiver.
But for all of the notable postgame quotes regarding Metcalf, Marshawn Lynch may have put it best.
“That he a big ass dude who can move like that,” Lynch said in regards to what impresses him most about Metcalf.
Metcalf’s touchdown was a 53-yarder in the third quarter. He made a full extension grab on a deep ball from Wilson and tumbled to the ground as a result of his momentum. But no Eagles player touched him, and so Metcalf popped up and lunged across the goal line.
Metcalf also had a pair of explosive plays that resulted in clutch third down conversions.
He saved his best for last, though, hauling in a 36-yard pass on 3rd-and-10 in the final minutes of the fourth quarter to put the game on ice. The Eagles were in Cover 0 – meaning there was no help in coverage over the top – and brought the house on a blitz. Metcalf burned his man and made a leaping grab.
NBC’s broadcast showed K.J. Wright cheesing on the sideline following the game-clinching play.
“He looked like Calvin Johnson out there,” Wright said.
There was certainly a Megatron-esque dominance to Metcalf’s performance. What’s crazy is that it could have been even bigger. Metcalf toasted Jalen Mills down the right sideline in the second half, but Wilson overshot him due to heavy pressure from the Eagles pass rush.
The common thread in the Seahawks locker room is that nobody is surprised by Metcalf’s continued success. He posted 58 receptions for 900 yards and seven touchdowns in the regular season. Prior to the Eagles game, he caught six passes for 81 yards and a score against the 49ers in Week 17.
“Some people hit the rookie wall,” Wilson said. “There’s no such thing for him. He’s stayed the course. He’s getting stronger. He’s like American Pharoah out there, he gets stronger as the race goes on.”
I’m not sure what the football equivalent is to horse racing’s triple crown, but it is notable that Metcalf doesn’t appear to be wearing down at all.
It makes sense why the Seahawks have done nothing but rave about the receiver since they drafted him in the second round of the 2019 NFL Draft.
“He did some stuff that it’s hard to imagine anyone else doing,” Pete Carroll said postgame. “His confidence is really there. He knows he can play this game at this level. He wants to be in the middle of it all.”
What’s equally as impressive as Metcalf’s physical ability is the rookie’s mental approach to the game. He speaks like a seasoned vet, and everyone raves about his work ethic. Carroll noted that Metcalf regularly stays late at the VMAC in order to study the game plan. Wilson explained that Metcalf knows an opponent’s coverages and tendencies as well as any of Seattle’s receivers.
And as Metcalf made evident postgame, his team-first attitude is why his teammates have no problem hyping him up to a degree uncommon for most NFL rookies. Metcalf continually mentioned being “blessed” to be in this opportunity with the Seahawks. When asked how much fun he had in Philadelphia on Sunday night, he mentioned the nerves that come with the win or go home reality of the playoffs.
“It was fun, but it was scary at the same time,” Metcalf said. “The way this season has been going and with this team, I didn’t want this to be our last time playing football (together). I’m just having fun out there with this team.”