With Seahawks record in reach, DK Metcalf sets sights on NFL record
After sliding to the final pick of the second round in the 2019 NFL Draft, all Seahawks receiver DK Metcalf has done is produce and prove doubters wrong.
In his first NFL season, Metcalf caught 56 passes for 900 yards and seven touchdowns. In his first career playoff game, he set an NFL rookie record with 160 receiving yards against the Philadelphia Eagles. To say he’s taken built off that success is an understatement.
Now in his second season, Metcalf is the Seahawks’ leading receiver, as he leads Seattle in receiving yards (1,282) as well as touchdowns (10). He’s also second on the team in receptions with 80, trailing Tyler Lockett’s 88. He also earned his first Pro Bowl nod.
The 1,282 receiving yards is a big deal, too, as Metcalf now needs just six yards to break Steve Largent’s franchise record of 1,287 yards he set in 1985, set 12 years before the 23-year-old star receiver was born.
“Just to be able to break a record that’s been standing for so long is just a blessing to be able to be in this position and (it’s) an amazing opportunity I have in front of me,” Metcalf told reporters Thursday afternoon when asked about the record.
Largent owns nearly every Seahawks record when it comes to receiving, as the Hall of Famer has the most receptions (819), touchdowns (100) and receiving yards (13,089) in team history.
Great receivers like Bobby Engram and Doug Baldwin have surpassed Largent when it comes to receptions in a single season or touchdowns in one year, but when it comes to yards, Largent is king. Of the 10 best seasons in terms of receiving yards in Seahawks history, Largent had five of them, including the top spot he set in 1985. That top mark will almost certainly fall on Sunday, and it very well could come on Metcalf’s first catch of the game.
As Metcalf noted, setting a new franchise record is a blessing, but it’s also a goal he has had in mind as he aims towards even greater heights.
“I kind of looked at the record last year and saw how far I was towards the end of the season, so I knew it was going to be on the agenda this year to break it,” Metcalf said. “I’ve got to start small, start with Largent’s record and then hopefully move on up to Calvin’s record.”
Calvin would be Calvin “Megatron” Johnson, who starred with the Detroit Lions from 2007 to 2015. Johnson ended his career with 731 catches for 11,619 yards and 83 touchdowns, and his best year came in 2012. In that season, Johnson caught 122 passes for an NFL record-1,964 yards. This came one season after Johnson caught 96 passes for 1.681 yards and 16 touchdowns.
Metcalf has no shot at coming close to that record in 2020, but based on how his career has started, it seems like a bad idea to say he has no chance of breaking that record in the future.
Other Metcalf presser notes
• Metcalf was on a playoff team in 2019 as a rookie, but the Seahawks were a Wild Card team, not division champions. That changed in Week 16 when the Seahawks beat the Los Angeles Rams 20-9, securing Seattle’s first NFC West crown since 2015. Metcalf is happy with the division title, but his eyes are glued on something greater.
“Won but not done. We all set (out) to have bigger goals,” he said. “A division title is great and all, but we have our eyes set on a Super Bowl, so we’ve got to take it one game at a time and finish out the season strong and carry our momentum into the playoffs.”
• After the Seahawks’ offense started 2020 on fire, passing the ball up and down the field, the offense hit a bit of a bump in the road. Some defenses have started to do a better job at stopping Seattle’s deep passing attack, but other than a 17-12 loss to the New York Giants in Week 13, the Seahawks have won five of their last six games despite scoring 28 points or more just twice in that span after scoring that many points in seven of their first eight games.
That loss to the Giants saw New York play defense with two safeties playing deep, and though Seattle was unable to make adjustments in that game, the offense has been better against those looks of late. Metcalf says teams will have an even harder time defending the Seahawks now.
“It’s just going to be interesting to see how teams are going to stop us because if you play two-high (safeties) we’re going to run the ball and if you try to load the box we’re going to throw it over your head,” he said. “So they can pick their poison.”