Seahawks MVP for wildcard week: DK Metcalf, the record-setter

PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA - JANUARY 05: D.K. Metcalf #14 of the Seattle Seahawks. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA - JANUARY 05: D.K. Metcalf #14 of the Seattle Seahawks. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images) /

The Seahawks got big contributions from several key players, make no mistake. But there’s no doubt DK Metcalf was the man in their playoff win.

So another week, another boring Seahawks game, right? Sorry, I just couldn’t resist. We all know the Hawks are incapable of providing anything as remotely staid and placid as an easy win. Well, as Maximus asked his fans, “Are you not entertained?” Another line from Gladiator is less remembered but equally appropriate tonight. That would be, “At my signal, unleash hell!” That’s exactly what Seattle did to Philadelphia, as DK Metcalf rained hell on their secondary to help his team to victory.

To be accurate, he was far from the only player Seattle unleashed on the Eagles. Just as much as Metcalf attacked their defense, it was Jadeveon Clowney who rained hell on the Eagles offense. His stat line wasn’t terrific – five tackles and one sack – but he absolutely destroyed Philadelphia’s game plan. The Hawks only managed 28 sacks this year. Yet today, they recorded seven. That was almost entirely due to the Eagles double and even triple-teaming Clowney in their sad attempt to keep him out of their backfield. Clowney was amazing.

I can’t skip over Marshawn Lynch, either. Yeah, I hear you. Seven yards on six carries? Why even mention him, right? No true 12 thinks that; I just inserted that for the random non-believer. Lynch gave the 12s another taste of Beastmode as he spun out of one tackle and powered into the end zone for Seattle’s first touchdown. With barely over a minute left in the first half, this gave the Seahawks a lead they would never surrender. Lynch also had a huge 20-yard reception on Seattle’s first possession of the second half. That set up one of Mr. Metcalf’s more amazing plays.

You knew I’d get back to Metcalf eventually. Lynch’s run put the ball at the Hawks 48-yard line. A run by Travis Homer lost a yard. All the better to set up Russell Wilson for his spectacular bomb to Metcalf. The rookie – remember, he’s a rookie – channeled his inner Doug Baldwin and split two defenders. He also channeled his inner Tyler Lockett and got behind them. Wilson put the ball on Metcalf’s fingertips, and…well, just relive it here, thanks to Samuel Gold of The Athletic:

dark. Next. SEA...HAWKS. It's never easy.

This was just one of Metcalf’s seven catches in the game. His 160 yards receiving is the new playoff record for a rookie. Not bad for a second-round pick, right? Metcalf started the season with a lot of promise. If you’ll recall, he hauled in four passes for 89 yards. After his excellent camp, I cautioned 12s to not expect the rookie to be a savior. You may now proceed with those expectations. All hail DK Metcalf, the Seahawks wildcard MVP.