We all owe D.K. Metcalf an apology

NFL Playoffs, Seattle Seahawks

Thought of as an overhyped player coming out of Ole Miss, D.K. Metcalf just had the finest game of his NFL career when the Seattle Seahawks needed him most.

In the final game of Wild Card Weekend between the Seattle Seahawks and the Philadelphia Eagles, both depleted offenses needed somebody to step up in crunch time. Though a few players on both sides rose to the occasion, nobody had a bigger game on Sunday night than Seahawks wide receiver D.K. Metcalf. He was sensational in his postseason debut.

In college, Metcalf played in the same Ole Miss offense with Tennessee Titans wide receiver A.J. Brown. Despite both being second-round picks out of the SEC, Ole Miss somehow found a way to not go bowling during their last season in Oxford. Metcalf looked like a tremendous physical specimen coming out of Ole Miss, but his route tree was highly criticized. But he didn’t care.

Metcalf put together a fantastic rookie season for Seattle. He had 58 catches for 900 yards and seven touchdowns, often as Russell Wilson’s No. 1 receiving option in a depleted aerial attack. It was a great regular season for him in the Pacific Northwest, but one where Brown outshined him down in Nashville. Yet, in their first playoff games, Metcalf outperformed his former teammate.

Metcalf had seven catches for 160 yards and a touchdown, including a long of 53 yards. His 36-yard reception from Wilson on a third-and-10 call sealed the deal for Seattle to advance to the NFC Divisional Round, beating the Eagles in Philadelphia, 17-9. Those 160 yards were the most by a rookie making his NFL playoff debut in league history. What a terrific performance by Metcalf.

When Metcalf was coming out of Ole Miss, many people thought he was a sure-fire first-round pick at wide receiver. But when he slid in the draft, it seemed that many NFL front offices questioned if his physical, vertical receiving game was going to translate to the professional level. Fortunately, he found a team and a quarterback who believed in him and he absolutely delivered.

So as the Seahawks get ready for another tough road date in the postseason against the Green Bay Packers, Seattle can feel confident about the play it got out of its rookie wide receiver. The stage was not too big for him and he thrived in moments when a sputtering Seattle offense needed to lean on him the most. Green Bay is a tough matchup, but so is Metcalf at wide receiver.

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