Seattle Seahawks wide receiver DK Metcalf saw nary an oblong pigskin flutter his way during the first half of Monday night's 17-15 loss to the Washington Football Team. The big-play receiver earned just one catch on four targets for 13 yards on a woeful night.
Coach Pete Carroll credited the Washington defense for bracketing Metcalf and not allowing the wideout freedom to roam.
"It's not because we weren't trying and looking to him and trying to get that ball to him," Carroll said, via the team's official transcript. "He's involved in all of the calls, but sometimes the coverage gets in the way of it, and you have to go other places and make the right decision there. At this point, I can't tell you that we overlooked him in this situation. They did a nice job at times, but he's certainly part of everything that we're calling."
Certainly, the defense played a role in Metcalf's poor output, as did the fact that the Seahawks offense ran just 18 plays in the first half and went three-and-out six times in the game.
But it's not as though Seattle was facing the Legion of Boom in a Washington D that entered the game ranked 28th in the NFL against the pass. Surely, Ron Rivera's club did no different than they would against the likes of Davante Adams, DeAndre Hopkins, Cooper Kupp, Stefon Diggs, Justin Jefferson or any other top receiver in the NFL. Those players still get the ball, even if defenses know it's coming.
Seattle's inability to generate anything positive toward Metcalf is an operational malfunction. It's a glitch Russell Wilson knows he needs to correct if there is any chance of Seattle turning the season around after sinking to 3-8.
"Yeah, I think obviously we need to get DK the football," Wilson said. We actually called several plays for him. He had actually a sweet deep cross that he was going to be wide open for, maybe even a touchdown. ... That was unfortunate because that was after the big play to Tyler [Lockett] and then here comes DK on a big play hopefully. Yeah I think so. That was the same one. That was gonna be a cool play. Then we called some other stuff for him and they doubled him. We called two plays and they doubled him on those. That was the third quarter. Had some other things.
"He's one of the best football players in the world. You gotta get him the football, gotta find ways to do it, gotta move him around some more maybe. We're gonna study it and see what we can do. He made the clutch second or third down. I forget what it was on the left sideline. Big play that was huge because it gave us a chance to keep going. If anybody loves him, I love him. We know that he's a big factor for us and we need to utilize him as much as possible."
Metcalf's lone reception came with 1:06 remaining in the game.
While Monday was a low, the struggles aren't new. The Seahawks haven't been able to keep Metcalf involved for the past month. After Monday night, Metcalf has fewer than 45 receiving yards in four consecutive games. The last time he bested the mark, in Week 7, 84 of his 96 yards came on one catch against New Orleans.
If Wilson and Seattle truly believe Metcalf is "one of the best football players in the world," he needs to be involved. Either it's flowery words toward the wideout that belie the truth, or it's malfeasance not to utilize said talent.