DK Metcalf showcased his unfathomable athleticism during the Seattle Seahawks Sunday Night Football matchup against the Arizona Cardinals.
After Seahawks QB Russell Wilson threw an interception in the red zone, Metcalf sprinted 114.8 yards at a maximum speed of 22.64 mph to thwart Cardinals safety Budda Baker's full-field pick-six.
Big names across the sports world — including Pete Carroll, Kliff Kingsbury, Steve Kerr, Skip Bayless, Johnny Manziel, and even Baker himself — reacted to Metcalf's ridiculous touchdown-saving play.
DK Metcalf is "an absolutely freak athlete," according to Arizona Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury, and the Seattle Seahawks wide receiver put his abilities on full display Sunday night.
Early in the second quarter of the Seahawks' road matchup against Kingsbury's squad, Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson threw an interception on first and goal into the arms of Cardinals strong safety Budda Baker. And even though the speedy defender had a considerable head start on most of the Seahawks squad, the 6-foot-4, 229-pound Metcalf sprinted 114.8 yards at a maximum speed of 22.64 mph — the second-fastest speed reached on a tackle by any player this season — to catch Baker and thwart his pick-six attempt.
—NFL (@NFL) October 26, 2020
Not only did Metcalf single-handedly prevent a full-field pick-six, but he also prevented his team from giving up an early lead. The Seattle defense took the field and held Arizona scoreless on the ensuing possession.
Without Metcalf's impressive hustle and astounding athleticism, the Seahawks would have fallen behind by a point. Instead, they were able to hold a 20-14 lead as they headed into the locker room for halftime. And even though the Cardinals eventually earned the 37-34 home win in overtime, it's safe to say the game wouldn't have been nearly as close down the stretch if not for Metcalf's Herculean efforts on the play.
After the game, both teams applauded the second-year wide receiver for his other-worldly athleticism and impressive hustle.
After the game, Seattle head coach Pete Carroll called his young wide receiver's effort "just remarkable."
"That was one of the best football plays I've ever seen," Carroll said. "He just used all that marvelous skill that he had and the will to go run the guy down. It was such an incredible play because of what happened afterward. The defense followed and rallied: got out of there in four downs."
"It was an inspiring play, and nobody could miss it," he added. "Everybody that was watching that play — whether you like football or not — you could see that was something extraordinary, and I've just never seen one quite like that."
The head coach on the other sideline was impressed with Metcalf's athleticism as well. He said he was confident Baker would score on the play, but then the 2019 second-round pick came into the picture.
"Until that huge stallion of a human came galloping out of nowhere," Kingsbury said, per the Seahawks website. "Phenomenal anticipation by [Baker]. DK Metcalf is an absolutely freak athlete, and what an effort play by him."
"High school coaches will be showing that one for years—just don't give up on a play," he added.
Wilson — an NFL MVP favorite at this point in the season — was seemingly awestruck by his teammate's abilities.
"It was one of the most remarkable plays I've ever seen," Wilson said postgame. "He just kept going, man. It was just unbelievable play by him, just the effort. I really respect him for that. That's what it takes, just a winning effort."
"He's one of the best players in the league, he's one of the most special guys I know, he's one of my best friends, and I really respect him," Wilson added. "Not just because of his effort on that particular play, but that's who he is, that's who he is, every day. He's consistent in that way, so that's what I love him for."
Fellow Seahawks receiver Tyler Lockett — who owned the night with 15 catches for 200 yards and three touchdowns — had nothing but praise for Metcalf and his "amazing play."
"Honestly, that was probably one of the best plays that we've had this year," Lockett said. "When you see how Budda caught the ball and how he was 15 yards in front of everybody almost, just the fact that [Metcalf] never gave up — he took off, he caught him, he stopped him, and not only that, but they didn't even score, not even a field goal ... That was a big-time play. That was a big-time play by a big-time player, and that was one of the best plays that you can see him make without him touching the ball."
Even Baker himself admitted that Metcalf "got me" after the game.
"I was running, and next thing you know, I see big 14 coming after me," Baker said. "He got me. That's the first time I've ever been hawked in my entire life."
He even broadcasted it on Twitter.
"DK HAWKED MY A--," he wrote.
—Budda Baker (@buddabaker32) October 26, 2020
Big names across the world of sports lauded Metcalf's incredible play as well.
Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr — who has presided over a dynasty in the Bay Area — called the chase-down tackle "one of the most incredible things I've ever seen in sports."
—Steve Kerr (@SteveKerr) October 26, 2020
Chad Johnson — AKA Ochocinco — wondered whether Metcalf's full-field sprint or Baker's interception was the more amazing feat. The consensus in the comments was that the Seahawks sophomore takes the cake.
—Chad Johnson (@ochocinco) October 26, 2020
Johnny Manziel, a 2014 first-round draft pick and former Cleveland Browns quarterback, was most impressed by Metcalf's effort.
—Johnny Manziel (@JManziel2) October 26, 2020
Former Seattle strong safety Kam Chancellor had nothing to add to the discourse but "Wow!" and lots of exclamation points following Metcalf's name.
—Kameron Chancellor (@KamChancellor) October 26, 2020
Former NFL safety and current ESPN analyst Ryan Clark was overtaken by Metcalf's speed, given his hulking stature.
—Ryan Clark (@Realrclark25) October 26, 2020
Fox Sports 1 commentator Skip Bayless guessed that the Seahawks star "has to be pound for pound the fastest man in the NFL."
—Skip Bayless (@RealSkipBayless) October 26, 2020
Bayless isn't too far off. Metcalf is the only player weighing in at more than 210 pounds to hit speeds greater than 22.5 miles per hour this season, per Next Gen Stats. His 22.64 mph burst while chasing down Baker is more than a full mile per hour faster than any speed Tennessee Titans running back Derrick Henry has reached on a run in 2020.
Metcalf will retake the field next week as Seattle heads back to the Emerald City to host the San Francisco 49ers. Whether he'll reach similar speeds remains to be seen, but he'll almost certainly continue to contribute in a major way for the NFC West-leading Seahawks.
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