After a disappointing performance against a lukewarm Cincinnati Bengals team last week, the Seattle Seahawks had the bounce-back game they needed to continue putting heat on division leaders, the 49ers. There were many storylines heading into the game, adding to the pressure to perform at the standard the team has set this year.
One of the more prominent focuses was on Geno Smith, who had one of the worst games of his Seattle tenure in Week 6. Turnovers were a big part of his forgettable performance; unfortunately, it continued to be this week.
Then there was the loss of DK Metcalf, who was announced to miss the game on Saturday. As the biggest game-changing players on the offense outside of ol' reliable Tyler Lockett, Metcalf's absence meant that the rookies would need to step up big time, which wasn't expected to be as easy as it looked given who they were playing.
Unlike last week, the positives and negatives seemed to equal out. Although some substantial improvements need to be made, the Seahawks got a solid win in their first divisional matchup of the season, inevitably bringing an excellent morale boost heading into another potentially tricky matchup next week.
No DK Metcalf? No problem!
It's never good when a starting receiver is downgraded to out with rib and hip injuries the morning of the game, especially when that player is DK Metcalf. As one of Smith's most go-to weapons, there was concern about the players needed to fill the void he would leave on the field.
Fortunately, any worry was put to rest quickly once the offense hit the grass.
Jake Bobo came alive on the first drive for the Seahawks, catching a deep pass for 31 yards on 3rd and 11, getting them out in a more comfortable position on the field. He continued with that momentum in the second quarter, scoring an 18-yard touchdown to put Seattle back in the lead minutes before halftime.
By the end of the day, Bobo recorded career highs in receptions (4), yards (61), and longest reception (31 yards). It was an impressive performance for the rookie, not just because of his inexperience but also because of the circumstances and the likely immense pressure to fill in for Metcalf.
But Bobo wasn't alone in his efforts. Fellow first-year receiver Jaxon Smith-Njigba also set career highs on Sunday afternoon, recording four receptions for 63 yards and a touchdown. He scored the first points of the game with an outstanding 28-yard touchdown in the first quarter.
It was Smith-Njigba's first time in the endzone in his short career, and he hopes to make it a repeated effort the rest of the season.
Smith continued to utilize him throughout the game, proving exactly why the Seahawks wanted to draft him in the first place. Both rookies brought the energy needed and helped fans forget that Metcalf wasn't active, an unexpected feat for the inexperienced duo.