As the Seattle Seahawks prepare for their playoff showdown at the San Francisco 49ers on Super Wild Card weekend, they will undoubtedly be keeping a sharp eye on their offense.
Seattle secured the No. 7 seed in the NFC playoffs after beating the Los Angeles Rams 19-16 in overtime on Sunday, with the help of the Detroit Lions beating the Green Bay Packers later Sunday night in the final game of the NFL regular season.
While Sunday’s efforts may not have been their best offensive output, Seattle is moving on to the postseason due to their ability to make the plays when most needed.
Quarterback Geno Smith had an unsteady performance, throwing two interceptions to Rams cornerback Jalen Ramsey. Yet, he threw a 36-yard touchdown pass to receiver Tyler Lockett early in the third quarter, putting Seattle in position to win. Smith finished 19 of 31 for 214 yards, while rookie Ken Walker III rushed for 114 yards for Seattle.
“This win is an important win for everybody on our team,” said Seahawks coach Pete Carroll. “We put everything we had into it. We treated this game as the biggest game we could ever play, and if we get a chance, we’ll do that next week too.”
One name conspicuous by its absence from Sunday’s list of standout stars for the Seahawks is wide receiver DK Metcalf. Despite struggling to make an impact during Seattle’s regular-season finale, the 25-year-old led the Seahawks with eight targets. He was the intended target on each of Smith’s interceptions, but Metcalf also tallied a 23-yard reception to help set up a game-tying touchdown early in the third quarter. Ultimately, the Ole Miss product logged three receptions on eight targets for 40 yards against Los Angeles.
Though he was able to post the second 1,000-yard season of his four-year career, Metcalf only cracked the century mark in receiving yards in two games this season, one of which came in the Seahawks’ victory over the Rams on Dec. 4 in the first meeting between the two division rivals in 2022. Still, he finished the year with more than respectable numbers; having caught 90 passes for 1,048 yards and six touchdowns. Metcalf and the team agreed to terms on a three-year, $72 million extension in the offseason with $58.2 million guaranteed and a $30 million signing bonus. The deal made him one of the top-10 highest paid receivers in the NFL and assured that he will remain in the Seattle fold for the foreseeable future.
While Metcalf failed to catch a touchdown pass in any of Seattle’s final four games, the wideout is still the team’s top option at the position. His speed and strength continue to make him their best big-play option. The continued production of Lockett, along with the emergence of Walker give Seattle a formidable trio of weapons for Smith heading into the postseason.
In the process, it may make the Seahawks a potential sleeper in the NFC.
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