DK Metcalf has come under fire for poor decisions on the field. Yeah, I'm one of those who has called him out for this. I'm thrilled to say Metcalf already took a big step forward versus the Browns. I expect he'll take another against the Ravens.
It's funny how so many people have such a polarized view of things; not funny ha-ha, more like funny in a sad, deplorable way. The recent criticism of DK Metcalf is a sterling example. Just days ago, I wrote that Metcalf commits far too many penalties and that he needs to keep himself in check.
Metcalf said that he wouldn't change how he plays, as if committing stupid penalties somehow equates to aggressive football. As I pointed out, when you commit 11 more completely avoidable penalties - like unnecessary roughness - than Doug Baldwin and Marshawn Lynch combined, you aren't playing aggressive ball. You're letting your opponents play you.
To some, that criticism somehow turns into comments like "Fickle fans, DK is awesome." Um...okay, buddy. Apparently, this fan hasn't matured to the level of a pre-K student. Even they understand that if they're asked to correct a behavior, that doesn't mean they're no longer wanted at all. On the flip side, some 12s want Metcalf to be traded, as if he's incapable of correcting his mistakes. Somehow, they forgot that changing the way he plays isn't entirely his decision. And no, an article that examines possible trade partners doesn't endorse a trade. People are discussing it, so it would be foolish not to write about it.
Seattle Seahawks saw Metcalf take a huge step forward last week
The good news is that after he missed the game against the Cardinals - the first of his career - DK Metcalf seemed to come back with a different mindset against the Browns. He was targeted 14 times, yet only made five catches. One was 43 yards, but his other four receptions only netted 24 yards. On some of those balls, Geno Smith was off-target. On others, the Browns defenders denied Metcalf the ball. We've seen number 14 meltdown far too often in situations like this. Cue the unsportsmanlike conduct penalty, right?
But no, not this time. This time, DK Metcalf kept his head in the game. He didn't toss some puny 185 cornerback to the ground just because he could. Okay, Denzel Ward is 190, but you get the point. Metcalf made great play, after great play, after great play, after great play on the Seahawks game-winning drive. Yes, as in literally four straight key plays. The key block he made to spring Jaxon Smith-Njigba for the winning score is quite likely etched in everyone's mind. The previous plays, perhaps not as much. But they were every bit as big for Seattle.
On second and three at the 50 with under two minutes in the game, Metcalf picked up nine yards to get the ball into Browns territory. On the very next play, Smith hit Noah Fant for what would have been another ten or eleven yards. Except that DK Metcalf threw a critical block that allowed Fant to cut inside for a 27-yard gain. Next play, Metcalf was in the end zone, but Smith underthrew the ball. This time Metcalf had to play defense to keep Denzel Ward from picking the pass off. On the next play, JSN took the ball into the endzone and the Seahawks took the win.
That drive had DK Metcalf's hands all over it. And not for shoving a defender to the turf three seconds after the play. Metcalf didn't just play football. He played smart and aggressive football. He dictated the outcome of each of those four plays, not the Browns. I think he learned that aggressive play doesn't mean drawing penalties. It means forcing the other side to bend to your will. Metcalf certainly did that versus the Browns, and I expect him to do more of the same against the Ravens.