1. Can you say D.K. Metcalf versus everybody? Or, at least, D.K. versus the Philadelphia Eagles secondary.
Yes, D.K. Metcalf is coming back to the Linc in Week 12. We know that you’ve all tried to erase the Wild Card Game out of your memory, but this one, scheduled for a few days after Thanksgiving features the guy that a lot of the Eagles fan base wanted (Metcalf) versus the guy Philly selected (J.J. Arcega-Whiteside).
The former was light years ahead of the latter in Year 1, and to some Philly’s decision to pass on Metcalf and take “JJAW” is still one of those decisions we’re still trying to understand.
The concerns about D.K.’s route running were overblown. Even if he isn’t as clean a route runner as you’d like to see, he can still make contested catches and outrun most corners downfield. The man ran a 4.33 forty-yard dash. He put up 27 bench reps, and he showcased a 40.5-inch vertical. Oh, and by the way, he’s also six-foot-four and tips the scales at 229 pounds.
He’s a flat out monster on the field and was top five among rookies in receiving yards and touchdowns this year. Opponents will need to be worried if the route running is crisper in his sophomore campaign, especially the Eagles.
When you look at the Eagles’ secondary, this matchup creates questions. If Slay is going to cover the other team’s top receiving target every week, you would think he would probably take on Tyler Lockett. That creates questions about who the Eagles attack Metcalf with.
Regardless of who wins the job to start the season, they are going to have to use someone who matches D.K. physically. Avonte Maddox is out of the question as he’s just five-foot-nine. Sidney Jones has decent measurables but hasn’t been able to do much as a pro before a few big plays at the end of the 2019 season.
It’s uncertain that he’ll be able to carry that over into a full 16-game season and make those types of plays on a week-to-week basis. Trevor Williams poses an interesting matchup, but he has to prove that he can return to his pre-injury form. Then, there’s Rasul Douglas. He has the size, but the difference in speed between him and D.K. is massive.
You could make the case that Darius Slay could take Metcalf and Nickell Robey-Coleman could take Tyler Lockett since Lockett lines up in the slot most of the time. As good as Robey-Coleman is though, you have to think there’s a good chance that the Eagles may want to place Slay on Lockett. Either way, Seattle added Phillip Dorsett which adds another problem on the outside. D.K. Metcalf’s presence poses plenty of problems for any secondary, and it’ll be interesting to see how Jim Schwartz gameplans for this matchup. You want to circle this one and set a few reminders on the calendar.