- Seattle Seahawks offensive coordinator Shane Waldron said the team needs to give receiver DK Metcalf more targets
- Metcalf only has eight catches since Russell Wilson returned from an injury
- Waldron all but admitted he and the Seahawks have failed Metcalf and Wilson
Things are only getting worse for the Seattle Seahawks. At 3-8, one of the NFC’s most consistent franchises in recent memory is rapidly facing the reality of missing the postseason for only the second time since 2012.
Over the season’s first two months, third-year receiver DK Metcalf tried being a bright spot, especially when perennial Pro Bowl quarterback Russell Wilson missed time with a finger injury. However, the Ole Miss product has essentially been a non-factor in recent weeks, and offensive coordinator Shane Waldron is willing to accept responsibility — and, perhaps unintentionally, admit that he and the coaching staff have failed their players.
Seahawks offensive coordinator Shane Waldron admitted the team needs to get DK Metcalf more targets
At this point in the season, we can separate Metcalf’s 2021 campaign into three different stages. He hauled in 25 catches for 383 yards and five touchdowns in the Seahawks’ first five games, a stretch where they went 2-3. Across a 17-game season, that is an 85-catch, 1,302-yard, 17-touchdown season. Not bad!
Of course, Wilson suffered a finger injury in Week 5, so Metcalf spent the next few games working with Geno Smith. In the three games Wilson missed, Metcalf had 14 catches for 197 yards and three scores. No issues there, aside from the Seahawks’ 1-2 record.
However, then you have the last three weeks, a span where Metcalf has eight catches, 70 yards, and no touchdowns. Seattle lost all three games and was outscored 57-28.
According to ESPN, Waldron took accountability for Metcalf’s reduced action following a Nov. 29 loss against the Washington Football Team. The Seahawks didn’t target him until the third quarter of a 17-15 loss; he finished with a 13-yard catch and four targets.
“We’ve got to get the guy the ball. We’re going to keep working to get that done, not making any excuses about different things that happen throughout the course of the game. It’s just something we have to get done.”Shane Waldron
Metcalf entered Week 13 with 47 catches, 650 yards, and eight touchdowns on the season. Although he still has an excellent opportunity to set a career-high in touchdowns after having 10 in 2020, he will need a strong final month to top 1,000 yards for the second straight year.
Waldron essentially admitted the Seahawks have failed Metcalf and Wilson
In fairness to Waldron, Metcalf had eight targets in each of his first two games following Wilson’s return. However, the four targets in Week 12 marked his lowest since Dec. 22, 2019, when Wilson only threw at him once in a 27-13 loss to the San Francisco 49ers.
One must wonder why the Seahawks wouldn’t target the 6-foot-4, 235-pound Metcalf more in a pivotal game. Any hopes Seattle had of keeping their playoff hopes alive effectively ended in a game where Seattle went 4-of-12 on third down and held the ball for less than 19 minutes.
The Seahawks hired Waldron to modernize an offense and, as the saying goes, let Russ cook. Instead, what Seattle has fielded, in part because of injuries and play-calling, is an offense averaging 19 points per game and remains a loss away from clinching its first losing season since 2011.
Seattle has only scored over 20 points three times since the calendar turned to October. One of those games occurred against the lowly Jaguars, by the way.
The Seahawks have spent the last month playing without any sense of offensive urgency, and that falls on Waldron. It’s also why Seattle’s loyal fans won’t get to cheer on their team in the postseason this January.
We might be seeing the last of the Metcalf and Wilson duo (at least, in Seattle)
Unfortunately for Metcalf, his days of snagging Wilson’s throws and using his size to frustrate defenders could be approaching its end. Wilson is a free agent after the end of the 2023 season and, considering the Seahawks’ current situation, could request a trade after the season.
If the Seahawks trade Wilson, it is not yet known what the team intends to do with Metcalf. He will be a free agent after next season and is eligible to sign an extension next offseason. However, one wouldn’t blame Metcalf if he wanted to hold off on re-signing until he knows the team’s long-term quarterback plan.
Wilson, for his part, is only focusing on the present and hoping he can rally the Seahawks into a miraculous finish. Getting Metcalf involved and ensuring the Ole Miss product can reach the end zone would go a long way in that pursuit.
If not, perhaps we should start preparing to see Metcalf and Wilson team up for touchdowns on the Las Vegas Raiders in 2023.