It appeared as if DK Metcalf might have added injury to insult when he hobbled off the field in the fourth quarter of the 33-30 overtime defeat Sunday against the Tennessee Titans.
But according to Seahawks coach Pete Carroll, the third-year receiver did not suffer any significant injury in the game.
“I saw DK — he said he felt fine,” Carroll said when he spoke to media members Monday afternoon. “That’s all I know so far. We don’t have him on the (injury) report at this point.”
Carroll said after the game that Metcalf “banged his knee, or something like that.” But Carroll’s statement Monday indicates whatever happened with Metcalf apparently will not linger.
The “banged” knee came on what was one of Metcalf’s rougher days with the Seahawks.
He was called for three penalties, two on one play.
That play was the first of the fourth quarter, when Metcalf got called for offensive pass interference and holding. The Titans accepted the pass interference to negate a 2-yard reception, making it first-and-20. The penalty didn’t hurt Seattle as three plays later, Russell Wilson hit Freddie Swain for a 68-yard touchdown.
His other penalty in the second quarter also was declined by the Titans.
Still, the penalties — as well as a moment when Metcalf got into some jawing with Titans defenders — are things Metcalf is going to have to clean up, Carroll said Monday. Metcalf was called for a taunting penalty against the Colts in the regular-season opener.
“He was trying really hard early, and it was happening in both games where he’s really trying to set the tempo and try to find the competitive makeup of the game, and he needed to calm down a little bit,” Carroll said. “He was trying too hard. But he was really working hard. I mean really working hard and sometimes it goes too far.“
Metcalf had six receptions for 53 yards Sunday, but none for longer than 16.
Wilson went to Metcalf three times in the fourth quarter and overtime but connected only once for a 7-yard gain on third-and-eight, after which Seattle eventually punted following a penalty on Damien Lewis. It was after that play that Metcalf limped off the field.
Did Wilson need to take check downs?
Wilson was hardly anywhere near the top of the “to-blame” list for the meltdown Sunday as he completed 22 of 31 passes for 343 yards and two touchdowns with a 128.8 passer rating, the second best of his career in a game Seattle lost (the only one better coming in a 33-31 defeat against the Rams in 2018).
But Carroll did mildly question Monday if Wilson would have been better off making more conservative choices when Seattle got the ball in overtime at its own 13. At that point, the Seahawks needed only a field goal to win the game.
On the first play, Wilson threw an incomplete pass about 30 yards down the left sideline to Tyler Lockett. On the second, he overthrew Metcalf on a play where the timing appeared off, and on the third he was sacked at the 1-yard line. The field position after the punt put the Titans in easy reach of a field goal to win it.
“The last sequence, he was very aggressive with the shots we took,” Carroll said. “And as we look back, we would say, ‘OK, let’s dump the ball off, you know, because we didn’t convert on them.’ But he had been successful being really aggressive in the game, and you know he was trying to just keep going, keep pushing it. But I wish he would have been able to keep us moving with a couple check downs late in the game, and the overtime in particular. But we were playing with confidence, we were going after it. And he tried to take advantage of it.”
Wilson had hit on three passes of 51 yards or longer in the game, two to Lockett, who had eight receptions for 178 yards.
But after a 68-yard touchdown to Swain on the first possession of the fourth quarter, the offense crumbled.
On the next two possessions, Wilson was 2 for 4 for 10 yards as the Seahawks went three-and-out on each as the Titans rallied to tie the game. He was 0 for 2 in overtime.
Spacing needed to be better on Henry runs
Had the Seahawks held Derrick Henry to 122 yards on 34 carries, Carroll would have been more than happy. That averages out to 3.5 yards per attempt for a player who last year averaged 5.4 in rushing for 2,027 yards.
Unfortunately for Seattle, Henry broke one run in the fourth quarter for a 60-yard touchdown that got the Titans right back in the game and meant that Henry ended up rushing for 182 yards on 35 carries (5.2 per attempt).
To Carroll, that indicated that Seattle’s plan against Henry was largely sound. Henry had 75 yards on 22 carries in the first three quarters.
Henry’s big run came on a play when Jamal Adams blitzed, leaving cornerback Tre Flowers with a tackle attempt at the line of scrimmage and little other help. Henry broke that tackle and then stiff-armed safety Quandre Diggs a few yards later down the sideline and was gone.
Carroll said if anything changed late it was how Seattle’s defenders were spaced.
“We were in the spots,” Carroll said. “Spacing changed a little bit. Derrick changed it a little bit by coming downhill at us. I think once we took a look at the film it was just a matter of fitting it up consistently play after play after play and just hanging in there and outlasting it. … Playing the running game is always about spacing, and we needed to do a little bit better job there.”