DETROIT — After putting fear into the eyes of the Detroit secondary all day, DK Metcalf briefly launched a scare into the hearts of Seahawks fans.
Early in the fourth quarter of Sunday’s 48-45 win, Metcalf was carded off the field with no immediate explanation as to why.
While Metcalf did indeed have a, well, situation that needed addressing, it turned out to be stomach-churning only for Metcalf himself.
“I was hurting,” he said with a smile later. “I had a little tummy ache. Had to get it taken care of.”
Metcalf left the field after a Jason Myers field goal with the knowledge that he would probably be a few minutes before he’d be needed again. He said he intended to head to the locker room on his own, but head athletic trainer David Stricklin suggested the cart.
One reason is that the locker rooms in Detroit are about as far away from the sideline as any in the NFL.
“When I was on the cart I was thinking, ‘Yeah, it’s a good thing we have the cart,’” Metcalf said.
Asked if he tipped the driver, Metcalf laughed and said, “I didn’t bring my wallet.”
Metcalf said he’d prefer to jog, all things being equal, but “in that situation, I give myself a pass.”
Metcalf spent most of the rest of the game catching passes, a season-high seven for 149 yards, his third-highest regular-season total.
Several came against Lions cornerback Jeffrey Okudah, including a 54-yarder in the second quarter that set up a touchdown.
Okudah, the third overall pick of the 2020 draft out of Ohio State, earned praise for his play last week in helping the Lions hold Justin Jefferson to three catches for 14 yards.
That led to Metcalf being asked last week about Okudah and delivering a response that sounded like something of a slam, when Metcalf said, “There’s a safety over the top of him, so he’s really not locking people down. But he’s a good corner.”
Metcalf said Sunday he didn’t mean the comment as a criticism, but more as a commentary on the modern NFL.
“Lockdown corner in my mind is somebody who travels (meaning, covering a receiver one-on-one) the whole game with no safety help, like Stephon Gilmore, Jalen Ramsay, Darrelle Revis types, and I don’t think we have a lockdown corner in our game today strictly because of how offenses can push the ball downfield and how offenses can go fast and move different receivers in different spots,” Metcalf said.
Okudah said there were no hard feelings.
“I don’t necessarily know if there was a back-and-forth,” he said of whether the two did any talking on the field. “That’s obviously one of the top receivers in the league. And me being a competitor, obviously, you want to win the one-on-ones when those opportunities present themselves.”
Woolen gets a pick and the ball
A week after getting his first interception, Seahawks rookie cornerback Tariq Woolen nabbed his first pick six, stepping in front of a Jared Goff pass intended for tight end TJ Hockenson on the first play of the second half and returning it 40 yards for a touchdown that put the Seahawks ahead 31-15.
“Just a bad decision,” Goff said. “Late, late, bad decision.”
It’s possible he also might not have thought the 6-foot-4 Woolen, who ran a 4.26 40 at the NFL combine, would get there as quickly as he did.
“I just did my assignment,” Woolen said. “Just trusted my speed. I love crossing roads. I love to undercut them, so once I had the opportunity to undercut I went for the ball and there it is.”
Woolen said he likes crossing routes because, “I just feel like not too many guys can beat me in a race, and a crossing route, that’s basically what a crossing route is, is they want to race you across the field and if they beat you they are going to throw it. So I just feel like it’s a pretty simple route to cover.”
In the excitement of the score, Woolen dropped the ball in the end zone and began celebrating with teammates. Poona Ford made sure to scoop up the ball and hand it to Woolen to take to the sidelines.
As he talked to media, Woolen looked and couldn’t see the ball at his locker before being told by a staffer that the team had it.
Woolen smiled and let out a sigh.
“I was about to have a heart attack,” he said.
Timing error leads to third-down confusion
The Lions briefly thought they had the Seahawks stopped at the Detroit 36 late in the third quarter after a Geno Smith pass fell incomplete on third-and-16, and the field-goal team came on the field as the Ford Field crowd roared.
After a huddle, officials ruled that the play didn’t count because side judge Dave Hawkshaw had shut the play down after noticing an error with the game clock. On the play before, Smith was called for intentional grounding and the clock was not reset properly after officials had gathered to discuss the play and finally throw a flag on Smith.
“We fixed the game clock to where the clock was when the ball hits the ground on the grounding play,” referee Clay Martin told a pool reporter. “So essentially, that third down you’re referencing never happened because the side judge came and shut down prior to the snap. So, we never had, if you will, that third-down play because the side judge came running in and shut that down prior to fixing the game clock.”
Smith said players on the field heard the whistle — even if most watching thought the play was live — which was why he just threw the ball into the ground.
“Their defensive players stopped,” Smith said. “We all stopped.”
Detroit coach Dan Campbell said he didn’t hear the whistle, so he thought the play counted.
But he said he didn’t think it impacted the game.
“I’m not blaming it on them,” Campbell said. “They didn’t do that. We lost this game.”
- Seahawks linebacker Darryl Johnson left in the third quarter with a sprained ankle. Carroll did not mention any other injuries.
- The game was a “scorigami,” meaning a final score that had never before happened in the NFL. According to the Twitter user @NFL_Scorigami, it’s the 1,073rd single score in NFL history. “No way,” said Carroll. “We did it? Yeah, we wanted to come out exactly that way.”
- Carroll said kicker Jason Myers “had a baby five minutes before we got back to the locker room” after the game.