RENTON — DK Metcalf watches the film. He knows the precise challenge facing the Seahawks defense when Davante Adams and the Las Vegas Raiders visit Lumen Field on Sunday afternoon.

“I just admire his game,” the Seahawks star receiver said of Adams. “His route-running is so crisp. He’s always open.”

The Raiders (3-7) will play in Seattle for the first time since 2014, in a game that will feature two of the NFL’s most dangerous wide receivers in Metcalf and Adams — and a third, in teammate Tyler Lockett, whom Metcalf called the most underrated receiver in the league.

Metcalf, now in his fourth NFL season, counts as something of an authority on the subject of great receivers, in part because he’s firmly established himself as one but also because he’s long studied the game’s best at the position.

Calvin Johnson and Julio Jones have been his favorites to study over the years. Randy Moss and Terrell Owens, too.


“[Those] are guys I watch constantly,” Metcalf said. “In [looking for] what separated them and how they ran routes. What it boiled down to was their attitude on game day. When their number was called, they always made the play.”

In his quest to elevate himself into that rare company, Metcalf has also studied Adams, now in his first season with the Raiders after eight seasons playing with Aaron Rodgers in Green Bay.

The Raiders made a massive investment to bring Adams to Las Vegas, trading first- and second-round picks to the Packers and then making Adams the highest-paid receiver in NFL history with a five-year, $141.25 million contract.

In Las Vegas, Adams was reunited with his college quarterback, Derek Carr. After a slow start to the season, Adams has been virtually unstoppable the past three weeks, with 26 receptions (on a whopping 44 targets) for 413 yards and five touchdowns.

Last Sunday in Denver, Adams caught the game-winning touchdown on a 35-yard pass from Carr to give the Raiders a 22-16 walkoff victory over Russell Wilson and the Broncos in overtime. Adams ran such a precise route on the play that he turned around the Denver cornerback in the middle of the field and left himself wide open to walk into the end zone.

“The last play doesn’t happen if he doesn’t set it up the right way and really get the corner leaning [the wrong way] to go across the field,” Raiders coach Josh McDaniels told reporters. “He can play the game within the game, which really just takes you to another level.”


And that’s the level Metcalf is striving to reach.

Metcalf said Adams’ releases at the line of scrimmage are what truly separate him for other receivers.

“You don’t know which direction he’s going within the first two steps of his route,” Metcalf said. “He’s just so savvy.”

Adams, listed at 6-foot-1 and 215 pounds, has had success against the Seahawks in recent matchups. Most notably, he posted eight catches for 160 yards and two TDs for the Packers in their 28-23 playoff victory over the Seahawks in Green Bay at the end of the 2019 season.

He will, no doubt, pose a new challenge for Seattle’s young defensive backs, Tariq Woolen, Coby Bryant and Mike Jackson.

“He’s an incredible player,” Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said. “He’s so gifted and such a great competitor where he seizes the moments all the time — the catches, the opportunities, the big plays. Just look what he did last week. It was just classic and an incredible route that he ran, and the concept to get open.

“But he just came through again, and you can see why if he’s on your team and he leaves, you’re going to have a space that is hard to fill. … He’s a great player. He’s the top guy we have seen.”