With the game on the line and the Seahawks needing a touchdown on fourth-and-goal, Russell Wilson back-peddled to buy time, then lofted a perfect pass to the end zone where one of the most reliable targets he has thrown to in his career, Tyler Lockett, was there to make the go-ahead touchdown catch.
Lockett's touchdown catch, which gave the Seahawks the lead for good in a 26-23 win over the 49ers, wasn't just a crucial play in the game, but it was a fitting capper to a great game and a spectacular season for the sixth-year receiver. The 4-yard touchdown was Lockett's 100th catch of the season, adding to his own franchise record he set earlier in the game, as well as his 10th touchdown, matching a career high. Lockett also finished the regular season with 1,054 yards, becoming the sixth player in franchise history to post back-to-back 1,000-yard receiving seasons.
And Lockett, who finished the game with 10 catches for 90 yards and two touchdowns, wasn't Seattle's only receiver to make history on Sunday. With three catches for 21 yards, second-year receiver DK Metcalf upped his season receiving total to 1,303 yards, breaking Steve Largent's 35-year-old team record.
Fittingly for two players who have been so equally important to the offense this season, Metcalf and Lockett set their respective records just a few plays apart on the same second-quarter drive, with Metcalf passing Largent with a pair of short catches, then with Lockett breaking the receptions record shared by Doug Baldwin and Bobby Engram with a 26-yard catch and run.
"It was a really fantastic day for our receiving crew," Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said. "For Tyler Lockett to have his numbers—he had to get seven for a record and he got 12 catches today. Had a fantastic day. Two great touchdown catches for us, just beautiful catches and just a beautiful season he had all throughout. And it's almost quietly, because he's just so consistently good, but he had a fantastic year and he's had a great year, and really proud for that. Also DK set a record today, too. DK set a record for yards, and whenever you're messing around with Steve Largent and a great one like that and you can eclipse some numbers, it's a fantastic accomplishment in his second year as a receiver. Really exciting. Two 1,000-yard guys in that room, too. Fantastic. Great seasons and they deserve all the credit for that."
As Carroll noted, having two 1,000-yard receivers in a season is a special feat in addition to the individual records, and Lockett and Metcalf are just the second duo to accomplish that in Seahawks history along with Joey Galloway and Brian Blades, who did it in 1995.
"That was awesome," said quarterback Russell Wilson. "They've both had great seasons, they've been unbelievable for us. Tyler getting 100 catches was really special today, and having the 100th one be the touchdown was really cool. He was great all day. DK has had an unbelievable year. He's just continued to build, continued to grow. The whole receiving crew has been special and it starts definitely with those two guys and how they've gone about the business every day."
Lockett called it a "humbling experience" to set a franchise record, particularly one that was held by a former teammate like Baldwin who helped Lockett develop as a receiver.
"Just to be able to be a part of that, to be able to be a part of history, it's an amazing feeling and an amazing accomplishment," he said. "But I don't want my life to be based off of records, I want my life to be based off of being able to let my light shine for God."
On seeing his teammate break a record held by an all-time great in just his second season, Lockett said. "I'm definitely happy for DK. He deserves it. He works his butt off each and every day. He does extra work. He came into the league and he's taken the lead by force. He's been doing a great job. Every single day you see the transition from his rookie year to us, a second year, and he's a phenomenal player, and I'm excited to see what his career is going to be like, I know the sky's the limit for him. Really, there is no limitations for him, and so for him just to be able to do that in his second year, you don't know what can possibly happen or what could take place. I'm thankful to be able to have him on our team."