INDIANAPOLIS — For 52 offensive plays inside Lucas Oil Stadium, DK Metcalf kept his cool.
The outlier, though, occurred with 11:22 left in the second quarter Sunday — when Russell Wilson found crossing tight end Gerald Everett for a 9-yard score. As the Seahawks celebrated their second consecutive touchdown, and a 14-3 lead over Indianapolis, Metcalf was flagged for a 15-yard taunting penalty.
“Emotions got hot,” the 6-foot-4, 235-pound wide receiver said with a smile.
After not being targeted in the first half of the Seahawks’ season-opening 28-16 victory, the third-year Seattle player could have gotten even hotter.
Instead, according to Seahawks coach Pete Carroll, “his mentality was great. Even though he got the taunting penalty — he was stirring it up and he got caught — he was totally clear and poised about it, and it just didn’t work out quite the way he had planned. But he did a good job of hanging and coming back and making some big plays in the second half.”
The biggest of which materialized through offseason throwing sessions with Wilson in San Diego.
With 6:46 left in the fourth quarter and the Seahawks protecting a tenuous 21-10 lead, Wilson took a shotgun snap, pump-faked and unleashed a laser that Metcalf snagged down the seam for a 15-yard score. The statuesque 23-year-old took turns hugging his offensive linemen and shaking hands like a businessman closing a contract.
Metcalf, Carroll and Wilson each used the word “perfect” to describe the strike.
“The touchdown to DK … it was perfect,” Wilson said. “We spent probably an hour and a half one day on just seam routes, spending time together early in the morning in San Diego. It literally came to life.
“That’s the best part, when you get to spend that much time with stuff and visualize and watch it on the film, critiquing what I could have done different or what that guy could have done different. ‘Hey, what if I do this like this?’ And then it shows up. That’s the mastery we want to get to with the thought process and the play. It showed up tonight.”
It showed up entirely in the second half, when Metcalf recorded four catches for 60 yards and the game-sealing score. (He wiggled free for a 30-yard completion on the same drive as well.)
But the touchdown’s materialization was actually several months in the making.
“I think the details of that route and that play and the thought process and the angle of it … it was to perfection,” Wilson repeated. “It was a teach tape one — just to know what he’s seeing, what I’m seeing, the whole thing coming together. It’s a beautiful puzzle, and you have to be able to put it all together.”
Of course, the pieces were there long before first-year offensive coordinator Shane Waldron set foot in Seattle. Across the past two regular seasons, Wilson and Metcalf connected for 141 catches, 2,203 yards, 15.6 yards per completion and 17 touchdowns.
But Wilson appeared to put everything together Sunday — even if Metcalf wasn’t immediately involved. Specifically, the Seahawks’ 10th-year quarterback completed 18 of 23 passes for 254 yards and four touchdowns — two of which went to ever-reliable wide receiver Tyler Lockett. In all, Wilson located seven different receivers in the victory.
It also was an emphasis to get the football to his most physically dominant offensive option.
“We’re always trying to include DK. He’s such a great player,” Wilson said. “… In the second half they were trying different ways to stop us and we were trying to get him the ball and let him do his thing. That touchdown he caught was a beautiful thing.”
But beauty, of course, is in the eye of the beholder — and Metcalf’s entire ensemble might not qualify. After the game, he modeled a multi-colored shirt-and-shorts combo — a jagged assault of sharp angles and squiggly lines. It was meant as an homage to Michael Jordan, who originated the outfit roughly three decades earlier.
As for his hair? That was dyed an intentionally icy blue, a metaphor he’s trying to maintain for the foreseeable future.
“So, there’s going to be highs and lows to a season,” Metcalf explained, on the heels of an undeniable high. “Just stay cool-headed.”