There was a lot of talk leading up to the Seahawks-Eagles game about DK Metcalf. For starters, Philadelphia chose to draft J.J. Arcega-Whiteside over the all-world receiver in 2019. Then Metcalf indicated on social media that he thought the Eagles should start Jalen Hurts over Carson Wentz. After the Seahawks beat the Eagles 23-17 in Week 12, that perceived snub was front of mind.
The ESPN announcers mentioned it during the broadcast as Metcalf gashed the Philadelphia Eagles’ defense for 177 yards on 10 catches. He set a new career-high in receiving yards, breaking his 160-yard performance in Philly from last year’s wild-card playoff game.
After the game, Metcalf told reporters that playing in Philadelphia could have been home but since it’s not then “I’ve got to make them pay.” The Seattle Seahawks stud went on to share an anecdote where Eagles defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz came up to him and said: “I was in Detroit with Megatron [Calvin Johnson], you’re not there yet.” Those ill-advised words motivated Metcalf to no end.
“To God be the glory for everything,” Metcalf told reporters. “I actually prayed earlier today that He would do this for me and it came to pass. Thank you to God, my teammates, the coaching staff, and the o-line for blocking their butts off today.”
It’s no secret Metcalf has made a point to haunt the dreams of all those who doubted him. He has the names of the teams that passed on him committed to memory as well as written down on poster board on his locker. The 6-foot-4, 229-pound freak specimen now leads the entire NFL in receiving yards (1,039). Metcalf has 1,939 yards and 16 touchdowns in his first two seasons.
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Darius Slay Suffers ‘Worst Day’ as Professional
The Eagles shelled out a lot of money — and draft picks (third-rounder, fifth-rounder) to make Darius Slay their shutdown cornerback, mainly for matchups like this one. He was lined up in man coverage virtually all night versus Metcalf and did little to stop the Seahawks’ top receiving threat.
The three-time Pro Bowl cornerback put up a fight — he never truly got beat except when he fell half a step behind on Metcalf’s big 52-yard gainer — but the fact that his man totaled 177 yards on 10 catches didn’t sit well with Slay. He called it his “worst game” and admitted he “let the team down” by losing every 50/50 ball.
“I let the team down. I told the defense, that game was on me. I would say this is by far the worst game I have ever played in the league,” Slay told reporters. “I truly lost every 50/50 ball. I was probably O-for. I have never been that, but I say props to him, he played his ass off today, and I have to get better.”
Slay continued: “I put that game on me because I was supposed to do my job and shut him down. Like I said, he was making every catch possible, every 50/50 one. That is why he had no yards after catch because I am right there. He just made more plays than I did and I take real big ownership because I feel like I am one of the best in the game and I will continue to take my ownership. He got the best of me today.”
When a reporter followed up by asking if Slay had lobbied his coaches for help in covering Metcalf, he looked downright offended and replied in turn.
“Nah, hell no,” Slay said. “What kind of question is that? I don’t need help. Next question.”
What Happened to Jalen Hurts?
The biggest storyline heading into “Monday Night Football” was a reported increased role for Jalen Hurts at quarterback. No longer would the Eagles relegate their second-round pick to predictable read-option plays.
Well, Doug Pederson never got the memo on that one as Hurts ran just three total offensive plays with one negated due to a false start penalty. Hurts threw one completion for six yards and handed it off to Miles Sanders. Same old, same old.
After the game, Pederson chalked it up to a matter of situational football. The official explanation from the head coach was “it just wasn’t in the cards tonight.” Meanwhile, Carson Wentz finished 25-of-45 for 215 yards with two touchdowns and one interception while getting sacked six times.
“The plan was to use him when we could,” Pederson told reporters. “The way the game started, we just didn’t have many opportunities, too many three and outs. I don’t think we got a first down until the second quarter. We just didn’t. We failed to execute. It just wasn’t in the cards, I guess, so to speak, early in the football game.”