Seattle Seahawks wide receiver DK Metcalf is a big man, as we all know. That is important to note as we go through the rest of this article. Because while the Seahawks were able to come from behind and snatch a victory from the Cleveland Browns in Week 8, Seattle wouldn't have been able to win without DK Metcalf doing two things on one relatively simple play.
Prior to the play, quarterback Geno Smith tried at times to force the ball to Metcalf during the game. Metcalf caught just 5 passes for 67 yards but he was targeted 14 times. Before we go blaming Metcalf for dropping a bunch of passes, though, the fact is very few of the passes that were incomplete (or worse) toward his direction were his fault that the ball wasn't caught.
One pass from Smith directed at Metcalf ended up being an interception. Some might have viewed this as a great defensive play by Browns cornerback Martin Emerson, but it wasn't truly a fantastic play. Smith never took his eyes off of Metcalf so the pass was a fairly easy read for Emerson. He jumped in front of Metcalf and took the pass.
DK Metcalf finds a way to help the Seahawks win in Week 8 that doesn't involve him catching a pass
Could Metcalf have done anything to prevent the pick? Unlikely. He would have had to know where Emerson was on the football field in relation to where Metcalf was and Emerson was behind Metcalf when he started sprinting to the ball.
But the point of this piece isn't to talk about a bad Geno Smith interception but rather how DK Metcalf helped win the game for Seattle. After an interception by Seahawks safety Julian Love got the ball back for Seattle and Seattle started to drive down the field with under 2 minutes left, Smith worked the ball to Tyler Lockett and then to Metcalf. Metcalf's catch picked up a first down at the Cleveland 41.
The Seahawks reached the Cleveland 9-yard line with 38 seconds and Seattle faced a second-and-five. The next play was easy enough, but had not worked wonders for Seattle in 2023. Smith would throw a swing pass to rookie Jaxon Smith-Njigba and then see what happens. Metcalf was lined up on the same side of the play.
Smith dropped back, threw the pass to Smith-Njigba, and JSN began to run around the end. This is when DK Metcalf had a brilliant block. Two things needed to happen for JSN to keep running. One was that Metcalf would have to make sure his defender wasn't able to turn toward JSN to tackle him. The other was that when the cornerback did start to turn, Metcalf couldn't keep blocking with his hands and be called for a holding penalty.
As JSN sprinted around where Metcalf was, Metcalf was locked up with his defender and as JSN began to pass where they were, Metcalf let go just in time to not be called for holding. By this time, JSN was by Metcalf and the Browns corner so the corner had no chance to catch JSN. Seattle took the lead on the play and Cleveland had no real chance to catch up.
Some Browns fans seemed to think the play should have been called for holding, but there was no hold. DK Metcalf let go just when he needed to and he didn't stop the Cleveland anymore than a good block is designed to do. There has also been a lot of criticism lately about DK Metcalf's many penalties - and his attitude toward them - but in Week 8, Seattle doesn't take the lead late in the game without Metcalf doing something perfectly unselfishly.