Game-changing plays are starting to become routine for DK Metcalf.
The Seahawks’ second-year star receiver made what will certainly go down as the play of the year for Seattle on Sunday night when he sprinted the length of the field to chase down Arizona safety Budda Baker for a touchdown-saving tackle at the Seahawks’ 8-yard line.
Metcalf reached a top speed of 22.64 mph and traveled 114.8 yards to make the tackle, according to NFL’s Next Gen Stats.
Baker, the former University of Washington star from Bellevue, intercepted a floated pass from Russell Wilson near the goal line and appeared to have an easy pick-six as he ran up the Arizona sideline.
But Baker appeared shocked when he glanced over his right shoulder near the Seattle 25-yard line and saw Metcalf closing in. Metcalf caught up and tackled Baker at the 8.
Pete Carroll called it “the play of the century,” according to NBC’s Michele Tafoya.
“One of the best football plays I’ve ever seen,” Carroll added in his postgame videoconference call. “It was an inspiring play. … I’ve never seen one quite like that.”
Cardinals coach Kliff Kingsbury thought Baker had a pick-six “until that huge stallion of a human came galloping out of nowhere. DK Metcalf is an absolute freak.”
After Metcalf’s tackle, Seattle’s defense stopped Arizona on fourth down — meaning Metcalf did indeed save seven points.
The Seahawks led 27-17 at halftime.
After Arizona erased a 10-point lead in the final five minutes, Metcalf and the Seahawks appeared to have the game won in overtime. Wilson connected with Metcalf for a 48-yard catch-and-run touchdown up the left sideline, and Metcalf celebrated behind the end zone as if he’d scored the walkoff touchdown.
Except, the play was negated because of a holding call on Seattle receiver David Moore near the line of scrimmage. On the next play, Wilson was intercepted near midfield, and Arizona won the game, 37-34, six plays later on a Zane Gonzalez field goal.
For the second year in a row in Arizona, Metcalf was largely shut down by Arizona’s Patrick Peterson. The veteran cornerback shadowed Metcalf on 42 of the receiver’s 49 routes Sunday night, according to Next Gen Stats. Metcalf finished with two receptions (on five targets) for 23 yards, and Peterson intercepted one Wilson pass intended for Metcalf in the end zone.
Metcalf became an internet sensation during the 2019 NFL combine when a shirtless picture of him circulated, showing off his chiseled physique. Not to be forgotten was the 4.33-second 40-yard dash Metcalf ran at the combine, which is almost unheard of for someone of his stature (6 feet 3 and 229 pounds).
Metcalf’s hustle Sunday was a bit of redemption for his show-boating fumble against Dallas earlier this season, when he casually jogged toward the end zone at the end of a long reception — only to have the ball knocked out of his hands at the 1-yard line. The ball bounced out of the end zone, resulting in a turnover.
Metcalf made up for that with the game-winning touchdown pass from Wilson with 1:47 left in the 38-31 victory over the Cowboys.
Two weeks ago, Metcalf had two fourth-down catches in the Seahawks’ final drive against Minnesota, including the winning touchdown with 15 seconds left.