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DK Metcalf’s impressive rookie season continues with record-breaking performance vs Eagles

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Wild Card Round - Seattle Seahawks v Philadelphia Eagles Photo by Steven Ryan/Getty Images

It was quickly made apparent that DK Metcalf slipped a ridiculous amount in the 2019 NFL Draft, lasting until the 64th selection. The rookie went for 89 yards in his first career game, hauling in catches in areas of the field he wasn’t expected to succeed in. This came after a training camp and preseason that had his teammates and coaches gushing over him.

Metcalf only continued to progress and impress as the season went along. In mid-December, he joined an illustrious group of names before his 22nd birthday:

By the end of the season, he had put together the best rookie season among Seahawk wide receivers in the Pete Carroll era, and ranked second in catches and yards and third in touchdowns among rookie receivers in franchise history. It was with that fine form and record-setting pace Metcalf entered the playoffs, and in his first career postseason game, the rookie delivered.

In a 17-9 victory, Metcalf posted career highs in catches (seven) and yards (160). Metcalf’s 160 receiving yards are both the most by a rookie in the NFL history, and the most by a Seattle receiver in franchise history. It was a transcendent performance by a transcendent player.

Metcalf’s touchdown—the way in which he got back up and rumbled over the goal line—is just the latest example of the physical marvel being an incredibly intelligent player.

Whether it’s mitigating for his lack of agility with head fakes, using superior positioning to win on comebacks, or having the intelligence to get back up in that situation, Metcalf continues to display excellent awareness.

The touchdown Metcalf scored Sunday against the Eagles was one dagger, but he delivered the final blow with a superb, leaping 36-yard grab on 3rd and 10.

Metcalf’s low point as a rookie came in Week 4: One catch on four targets, while the other three passes fell harmlessly to the end zone turf as he was unable to use his superior size to win contested catches. That wasn’t the case on his wild card-clinching catch, with Metcalf soaring over a defender to haul it in; that’s now touchdowns in weeks 15 and 17, plus a game-sealing reception in the playoffs he has caught above the rim.

Metcalf’s final catch of the night encapsulated what’s so exciting about his rookie season. He just continues to progress, whether it’s developing a larger route tree, catching passes on both sides of the field, or beginning to display a strength in areas that were previously a weakness.

It’s just the start for Metcalf, but the Seahawks’ super rookie is already setting records.