Jim Schwartz meant it as a compliment but DK Metcalf didn’t take it that way.
And then Metcalf took it out on the Eagles.
Before the Seahawks dispatched the Eagles 23-17 on Monday Night Football, the Eagles’ defensive coordinator had a brief chat with the Seahawks’ superstar receiver, telling him he’s the closing thing he’s seen to Calvin Johnson, whom he coached in Detroit. That’s high praise. And then after the game, he complimented Metcalf again, saying he’s not quite at Megatron’s level yet but he’s on his way.
Schwartz meant it as a compliment both times.
But that didn’t matter.
Either something got lost in translation or Metcalf was simply happy to use it as motivation. Either way, it got him going on Monday night.
“[Schwartz] came up to me and kind of made me mad that he was like I was in Detroit with Megatron but you’re not there yet,” Metcalf said. “In my mind, I’m not trying to be Megatron, I’m trying to be me. I had a little chip on my shoulder the whole game.”
You won’t like Metcalf when he’s angry.
Even with Pro Bowler Darius Slay following him all night, Metcalf still had a career night, going off for 10 catches for 177 yards. The Eagles were lucky he dropped a touchdown pass in the end zone.
Metcalf’s 177-yard game is the fourth-best receiving game against the Eagles since Schwartz became the defensive coordinator and is tied for the 11th-best against them all-time.
On Monday night, 77 percent of Russell Wilson’s passing yards went to Metcalf, who beat Slay for every 50-50 ball all night.
In three career games against the Eagles, Metcalf has 20 catches for 372 yards and a touchdown. It’s bad enough when Metcalf is torturing Eagles fans from hundreds of miles away but it’s even worse when he’s doing it at the Linc.
Because, as you might remember, the Eagles could have drafted Metcalf and they did not. Instead, last year, they drafted J.J. Arcega-Whiteside in the second round (No. 57) and Metcalf went seven picks later.
To put it very mildly: That has not worked out.
“It’s kinda like coming home,” Metcalf said on Monday night. “A place that had a chance to draft me but, you know, they didn’t so I gotta make them pay.”
This is torture for Eagles fans.
The Eagles drafted a player they thought would be able to win 50-50 balls in the NFL and they took the wrong one. While Metcalf has grown into a superstar, JJAW has been a complete disaster. Arcega-Whiteside is on the COVID-19 list now, but he was a healthy scratch before that. So one guy is on his way to being an All-Pro and the other guy can’t get on the field.
On Monday night, Metcalf had 177 receiving yards. To put that into perspective, for his career, JJAW has 214. So over a season and a half into their careers, Metcalf has more receiving yards against the Eagles than JJAW has for them.
Of course, it’s not Arcega-Whiteside’s fault the Eagles chose him over Metcalf, but it is the Eagles’ fault. Because they simply missed on this one. They let one of the biggest, strongest, fastest, most talented receivers in the NFL slip through their fingers. They weren’t the only team that didn’t draft Metcalf. But it feels like it hurts them more.
And it seems like every time they face him, Metcalf is determined to make them pay.
“Two years in a row I’ve had two big games here,” Metcalf said. “God works in mysterious ways.”
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