DK Metcalf posts career high in receiving yards as Seattle Seahawks soar in Philadelphia

There’s something about Russell Wilson playing in prime time. And there’s something about DK Metcalf playing in Philadelphia.

The Wilson-to-Metcalf combination — plus another strong performance from the Seattle Seahawks’ resurgent defense — was enough for a 23-17 victory over the Philadelphia Eagles on Monday at Lincoln Financial Field.

Metcalf caught 10 passes for a career-high 177 yards while doing most of his damage against All-Pro cornerback Darius Slay. That topped his 160-yard performance at the same stadium in January, when he set an NFL rookie postseason record in Seattle’s wild-card win over the Eagles.

“It’s kind of like coming home,” Metcalf said. “A place that had a chance to draft me but didn’t, so I’ve got to make them pay.”

Monday’s victory gave Seattle (8-3) a one-game lead over the Los Angeles Rams in the NFC West, and it gave the Seahawks seven consecutive wins over Philadelphia (including playoffs) dating to 2011.

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It also continued Wilson’s dominance under the lights. He is 29-8-1 in prime-time games (defined as starting at 7 p.m. ET or later) for a .776 winning percentage. According to ESPN Stats & Information research, that’s the best by any starting quarterback since 1950 with at least 20 starts. Steve Young (23-7, .767) is second.

Wilson improved to 10-2 on Monday Night Football, good for an .833 winning percentage that is also best in MNF history.

Wilson completed 22 of 31 attempts for 230 yards, one touchdown and no turnovers. It was his second straight game without an interception or lost fumble after he committed 10 turnovers in Weeks 7 through 10, the most in any four-game stretch of his career.

Wilson connected with wide receiver David Moore on a goal-line fade for his touchdown. Chris Carson scored Seattle’s other touchdown on a 16-yard run. He carried eight times for 41 yards in his return from a foot injury that sidelined him for four games. Carlos Hyde led Seahawks running backs with 15 carries (for 22 yards) as they relied more on their run game for the second straight week after leaning heavily on Wilson in the first nine games.

The Seahawks’ defense, which was being gashed at a historic rate in the first half of the season, turned in its second consecutive strong performance. It forced three-and-outs on the Eagles’ first five possessions, sacked Carson Wentz six times, intercepted him once and held Philadelphia to nine points until a late Hail Mary. It marked only the second time this season that a team began a game with five straight three-and-outs, according to research by ESPN Stats & Information.

The Seahawks’ pass rush win rate of 62% Monday was their highest in a game this season. Their 22 sacks since Week 8 are three more than any other team has recorded in that span.

Seahawks coach Pete Carroll was kicking himself postgame for Seattle’s two failed attempts on fourth-and-2 early in the game, saying that he didn’t like how he handled the timing of those decisions. He was otherwise pleased with how Seattle didn’t commit a turnover on offense and continued its turnaround on defense.

“It was great to see our guys play like that and play consistently,” he said. “Again, like last week, a lot of corrections, a lot of things, fixes during the game, a lot of great communication. We’ve taken a real nice step forward, and I’m hoping we can just keep building on it.”

Metcalf sealed Seattle’s win by recovering the onside kick after Wentz’s Hail Mary touchdown to Richard Rodgers.

Metcalf has a league-leading 1,039 receiving yards through 11 games. According to ESPN Stats & Information research, that makes him the fastest player in Seahawks history to top 1,000 receiving yards in a season. He also has the fifth-most yards by a first- or second-year player through 11 games in the past 30 seasons. With 1,939 career receiving yards, Metcalf is 88 away from passing Joey Galloway for the most through two seasons in franchise history.

Metcalf accounted for 77% of the Seahawks’ 230 receiving yards Monday, the third-highest such percentage in the past five seasons. According to NFL Next Gen Stats, Metcalf lined up against Slay on 26 of his 27 routes. When Slay was the nearest defender, Metcalf caught seven of 10 targets for 141 yards. The 141 yards are the second most by a receiver against a single defender this season.

Slay said he might have played the worst game of his career Monday.

The Eagles were one of eight teams to select a wide receiver in last year’s draft before Seattle chose Metcalf with the final pick of the second round. Metcalf found another source of motivation Monday, when Eagles defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz approached him and said, according to Metcalf, “I was in Detroit with Megatron, but you’re not there yet.”

“In my mind, I’m not trying to be Megatron,” Metcalf said. “I’m trying to be me. So I had a little chip on my shoulder the whole game.”

Schwartz’s side of the story was that he was complimenting Metcalf by saying that Metcalf is the closest thing Schwartz has seen to Calvin Johnson.

“He poked the bear, and then Slay had to go out there and end up having to deal with that bear,” said Seahawks safety Quandre Diggs, who was teammates with Slay in Detroit. “So, hey, Slay needs to blame his D-coordinator for that.”

Carroll compared the motivation Metcalf drew from the comment to the way Chicago Bulls legend Michael Jordan used to respond to a perceived slight.

“Michael always found a reason,” Carroll told 710 ESPN Seattle on Tuesday. “Guys that have that mentality are always on the alert for — give me something to juice me up and let me at you. So that was a classic example of that.”

Seahawks All-Pro linebacker Bobby Wagner finished with five tackles to push him past 100 for the ninth time in as many NFL seasons. According to research by ESPN Stats & Info, Wagner is tied with Keith Brooking for the second-most consecutive seasons with 100 tackles in the past 20 years. London Fletcher has the most, with 13.

“We’re looking at a Hall of Fame football player,” Carroll said of Wagner. “We’re so accustomed to the way he plays and [these] tremendously consistent numbers he continues to add up, and we maybe don’t realize how great a player he is and how hard it is to do what he’s doing. That’s just an all-timer. … Shoot, we’ve got five games left to play, so he’s going to have a ton this year.”

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