‘Ridiculous’ Tyler Lockett Poised to Shatter Seahawks Record Books
As he does after each game regardless of outcome, Seahawks coach Pete Carroll stepped up to the podium and before taking questions from the media, shared his thoughts on Sunday’s 40-34 victory over the Buccaneers.
Among a variety of takeaways, Carroll spoke about the valuable lessons his young team learned grinding through overtime for the first time, quarterback Russell Wilson’s ability to orchestrate multiple game-winning drives, and Chris Carson’s big day against the No. 1 ranked run defense in the NFL.
But after overcoming a 14-point first half deficit, Carroll wasn’t about to skip over yet another impressive performance by receiver Tyler Lockett, who appears to have his sights set on rewriting the franchise record books this season.
“Tyler Lockett is ridiculous.” Carroll laughed. “13 catches today. A lot of tough things, and the variety of things that he did, the touchdown passes, too. But, just the amazing player that he is, and just continues to be marvelous to watch.”
At this stage, Carroll can’t be the only one who would like to prop his feet up in a recliner on the sideline and grab some popcorn while watching Lockett scorch opposing secondaries. No longer playing second fiddle to Doug Baldwin and making highlight reel grabs every week, he’s become must-see television as one of the NFL’s premier receivers.
Much of Lockett’s success derives from the unrivaled chemistry between him and Wilson, who have been torturing opposing defensive backs for several seasons. The duo deserves to be in the discussion among the NFL’s best, as they consistently make difficult completions look routine and connected on several challenging passes against Tampa Bay.
Trailing 21-13 with a little over eight minutes left in the third quarter, the Seahawks faced 2nd and goal from the Buccaneers two-yard line. Lockett lined up in the slot out of a trips left formation and ran a short corner route towards the back of the end zone.
Already throwing the ball as Lockett entered his break, Wilson managed to loft the ball just over the outstretched hands of cornerback Jamel Dean, who looked to have outstanding coverage on the play. It didn’t matter, as Lockett leaped up and snagged the pass to push the Seahawks within two points.
“I can’t even explain or describe it or whatever, other than to just kind of marvel and watch it and have fun watching these guys play the game.” Carroll said. “They are extraordinary players. And we’re so lucky that they have kind of grown up together.”
Coming off a tremendous 2018 campaign in which he established new career-highs for receptions (57), receiving yards (965), and touchdowns (10) in a run-oriented offense, Lockett has somehow been even better this season. Through nine games, he already has set a new personal best with 59 receptions and has 767 receiving yards and six touchdowns.
Those aren't just Pro Bowl-caliber numbers. Ranking fourth in the NFL in receptions and receiving yardage along with being tied for third in the league in touchdown receptions, he's playing like a surefire First-Team All-Pro selection.
If Lockett were to continue his current pace through a 16-game season, he’d finish with 105 receptions, 1,364 receiving yards, and 11 touchdowns. With those numbers, he’d eclipse Bobby Engram for the most receptions by a Seahawk in single season and surpass Hall of Famer Steve Largent for the most receiving yardage in a season.
While it may seem crazy after Lockett reeled in a single-game career high 13 receptions for 158 yards and two scores on Sunday, Wilson indicated there’s still room for the duo to “keep growing” moving forward. That's scary to think about considering Wilson absurdly posted a perfect 153.8 passer rating when targeting him last season.
“There’s some things in there we can keep trying to hit and keep making plays. I think Tyler has been special. He makes my job easy - he’s really, really good. He’s as good as it gets. So he just keeps showing up, keeps making play after play. There’s nothing that that man can’t do.”
With Seattle struggling defensively and giving up 54 points over the past two weeks to NFC South cellar dwellers, this isn't the 2013 or 2014 squad. Unlike the past, the team will have to rely on a passing attack spearheaded by Wilson and Lockett to continue winning games against an upcoming gauntlet featuring six teams with winning records to close out the regular season schedule.
But based on what we’ve seen thus far, the dynamic duo looks up to the task regardless of opponent, giving the Seahawks a fighting chance to keep momentum rolling despite their obvious flaws.