The Seattle Seahawks released starting guard D.J. Fluker after two seasons, the seven-year NFL veteran announced via Twitter on Sunday.

Fluker was due to make nearly $3.7million in the final season of a two-year, $6m contract he signed in March 2019.

The Seahawks found his possible replacement in this past weekend's NFL Draft after selecting LSU guard Damien Lewis in Friday's third round. 

"I was released by the Seahawks today," Fluker wrote. "I am not upset, or hurt. This is a business and one that I've been in for a while.

"I want to thank [general manager] John [Schneider] and [head coach] Pete [Carroll] for their very thoughtful calls. Stay safe, be kind and love y'all. Thank you, Seattle." 

Fluker started 23 regular-season games and three playoff contests over two seasons with Seattle and played a key part in the Seahawks finishing in the top five of the NFL in rushing yards per game in each of those campaigns.  

The 29-year-old broke into the league as a first-round draft pick of the then-San Diego Chargers in 2013 and has started 88 regular-season games over seven seasons with the Chargers, New York Giants and Seahawks.  

The first round of the 2020 NFL Draft returned some normalcy to the sports world, even if commissioner Roger Goodell's basement does not quite exude the same glitz as the Las Vegas Strip. 

With the coronavirus pandemic forcing the draft to be held remotely with NFL general managers, coaches and scouts isolated in their homes instead of inside team complexes, the virtual draft ran smoothly – and without much drama early on Thursday.

In what has been widely expected for weeks, and possibly months, the Cincinnati Bengals selected LSU Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Joe Burrow with the first overall pick.

Burrow led LSU to the national title last season, completing 76.3 percent of his passes for 5,671 yards and an FBS-single season record 60 touchdowns to just six interceptions. 

The second pick also went exactly like how many draft experts had predicted for weeks, with the Washington Redskins drafting Ohio State edge rusher Chase Young. 

Young led the FBS with 16.5 sacks and six forced fumbles in 2019, and was regarded to be the most talented player in the draft class – even ahead of Burrow. 

If not for Burrow's incredible 2019 season and because of Tua Tagovailoa's injury concerns, the latter may have challenged for the top spot in the 2020 draft. 

Tagovailoa became the second quarterback off the board when he was selected by the Miami Dolphins with the fifth pick.

One pick after Tagovailoa, the Los Angeles Chargers took Oregon QB Justin Herbert – just the third time since the 1970 merger three quarterbacks were chosen in the top six picks. 

Three teams that had selected quarterbacks in the first round of the last two drafts, used the 2020 draft to beef up their offensive lines to protect their young, franchise QBs. 

The New York Giants (Daniel Jones at six in 2019) picked Georgia tackle Andrew Thomas at fourth overall, the Cleveland Browns (Baker Mayfield at one in 2018) selected Alabama tackle Jedrick Wills Jr. with the 10th pick, and the New York Jets (Sam Darnold third in 2018) used the next pick to select Louisville tackle Mekhi Becton. 

After this run on tackles, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers took part in the first trade of the draft to insure their new – and aging – quarterback would also stay upright. They moved up one spot in a trade with the San Francisco 49ers to select Iowa tackle Tristan Wirfs at 13 to shore up the offensive line in front of Tom Brady. 

The next trade came 10 picks later as Brady's old team, New England Patriots, dealt pick 23 to the Chargers – who selected Oklahoma linebacker Kenneth Murray. The Patriots received a second and third-round pick from the Chargers and now have five of the first 100 picks of the 2020 draft and 13 overall. 

While it is possible New England could use one of those picks to draft Brady's replacement, the Green Bay Packers have chosen the heir apparent to 36-year-old Aaron Rodgers, trading up from 30th to 26th to select Utah State quarterback Jordan Love. 

The opening round concluded with the defending Super Bowl champions the Kansas City Chiefs selecting the first running back to bookend the first round with LSU picks, taking Clyde Edwards-Helaire – the 14th player drafted out of the SEC. 

Wide receiver is considered to be the deepest position in the draft, and six went in the first round – but none until 12, when Alabama's Henry Ruggs III became the first player ever selected by the Raiders in their new home of Las Vegas. 

While Las Vegas was not able to host the draft festivities this year, Goodell announced that the city has been awarded the 2022 draft, with the commissioner saying, "We think you deserve another shot".

 

First round selections:

1. Joe Burrow (Cincinnati Bengals)
2. Chase Young (Washington Redskins)
3. Jeff Okudah (Detroit Lions)
4. Andrew Thomas (New York Giants)
5. Tua Tagovailoa (Miami Dolphins)
6. Justin Herbert (Los Angeles Chargers)
7. Derrick Brown (Carolina Panthers)
8. Isaiah Simmons (Arizona Cardinals)
9. CJ Henderson (Jacksonville Jaguars)
10. Jedrick Wills Jr. (Cleveland Browns)
11. Mekhi Becton (New York Jets)
12. Henry Ruggs III (Las Vegas Raiders)
13. Tristan Wirfs (Tampa Bay Buccaneers)
14. Javon Kinlaw (San Francisco 49ers)
15. Jerry Jeudy (Denver Broncos)
16. A.J. Terrell (Atlanta Falcons)
17. CeeDee Lamb (Dallas Cowboys)
18. Austin Jackson (Miami Dolphins)
19. Damon Arnette (Las Vegas Raiders)
20. K'Lavon Chaisson (Jacksonville Jaguars)
21. Jalen Reagor (Philadelphia Eagles)
22. Justin Jefferson (Minnesota Vikings)
23. Kenneth Murray (Los Angeles Chargers)
24. Cesar Ruiz (New Orleans Saints)
25. Brandon Aiyuk (San Francisco 49ers)
26. Jordan Love (Green Bay Packers)
27. Jordyn Brooks (Seattle Seahawks)
28. Patrick Queen (Baltimore Ravens)
29. Isaiah Wilson (Tennessee Titans)
30. Noah Igbinoghene (Miami Dolphins)
31. Jeff Gladney (Minnesota Vikings)
32. Clyde Edwards-Helaire (Kansas City Chiefs)

Twenty years ago the New England Patriots did what was tantamount to robbery.

With the 199th pick in the 2000 NFL Draft, New England selected Tom Brady, quarterback from the University of Michigan.

The rest is history. Six Super Bowl wins, nine AFC titles. It was a draft pick that altered the entire NFL, and it was all the more remarkable because sixth-round selections usually face a fight just to make the team.

However, sometimes players, like Brady, slip through the cracks in the draft process and a late-round diamond can be unearthed.

On the 20th anniversary of Brady's selection, we look at some of the best late-round picks in recent memory.

 

JULIAN EDELMAN - SEVENTH ROUND, 2009

Turns out the Patriots are good at this drafting lark and Brady is not the only late-round gem they have found.

Bill Belichick went to Kent State in 2009 to work out their quarterback Edelman, who had never run routes or caught passes before.

Edelman's pure potential intrigued Belichick, though, and he proved a shrewd seventh-round selection, initially as a punt returner and later as a wideout.

Brady's favourite target in his last few years in New England was instrumental in their Super Bowl LIII win, being named the game's MVP after making 10 catches for 141 yards.

 

KAM CHANCELLOR - FIFTH ROUND, 2010

Chancellor changed positions three times in four years in college and the Seattle Seahawks had already drafted one safety in first-rounder Earl Thomas when they selected the bruising Virginia Tech defensive back in the fifth.

The two would go on to form the heart of the 'Legion of Boom', one of the greatest defensive backfields of all time and a key reason why Seattle made two Super Bowls in back-to-back seasons.

Chancellor only spent eight seasons in the league and retired at 30 due to a neck injury, but the tone-setter of that great Seattle D was voted to four Pro Bowls.

 

ANTONIO BROWN - SIXTH ROUND, 2010

Brown wears the number 84 because 8 x 4 = 32 and 32 teams ignored him until the Pittsburgh Steelers grabbed the former Central Michigan receiver with the 195th overall pick a decade ago.

The pre-draft reports suggested he was slow, lacked size, had character concerns and didn't play elite competition in college.

Brown has since amassed 11,263 receiving yards and 75 touchdowns and was arguably the NFL's best receiver of the 2010s.

He remains out of the league today, though, with those character concerns rearing their head and ending short spells with the Oakland Raiders and Patriots last season.

 

RICHARD SHERMAN - FIFTH ROUND, 2011

The year after selecting Thomas and Chancellor, Seattle drafted K.J. Wright in the fourth round and cornerback Sherman in the fifth in another impressive haul.

Sherman, who started life at Stanford as a wide receiver before converting to corner, was the 34th defensive back selected in 2011, which made him "livid" and provided a sizeable chip for his shoulder.

Since then? Just the five Pro Bowls, three first-team All-Pros, one Super Bowl ring (and another two appearances) and a spot on the NFL's All-Decade team of the 2010s.

 

GEORGE KITTLE - FIFTH ROUND, 2017

Do-it-all tight ends who are mismatch nightmares have been en vogue ever since Rob Gronkowski took the NFL by storm, and yet everyone passed on Kittle until the San Francisco 49ers wrote down his name for the 146th pick.

In his best season at Iowa, Kittle had 314 receiving yards. Last year he had his second straight 1,000-yard receiving season in the NFL having broken the record for tight ends with 1,377 yards in 2018.

Thanks to Kittle, Iowa tight ends are being taken more seriously too as T.J. Hockenson and Noah Fant were both drafted in the first round last year.

Former NFL quarterback Tarvaris Jackson died in a car accident at the age of 36 on Sunday in Alabama. 

NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported the news after being told by a spokesperson for Tennessee State, where Jackson served at the team's quarterbacks coach. 

Jackson played at Arkansas and Alabama State during his college career before being selected by the Minnesota Vikings in the second round of the 2006 NFL Draft. 

He played five seasons with the Vikings before signing with the Seattle Seahawks in 2011 and having the best season of his career with 3,091 passing yards and 14 touchdown throws. 

Jackson was traded to the Buffalo Bills the following year after the Seahawks drafted Russell Wilson, but he never appeared in a game for them before returning to Seattle in 2013 as Wilson's backup until his NFL career ended after the 2015 season. 

Jackson appeared in 59 NFL games, including 34 starts, and passed for 7,263 yards with 39 touchdowns and 35 interceptions. He was a member of the Seahawks' Super Bowl champion team in 2013. 

After his time in the NFL, Jackson joined Alabama State as a quality control coach and quarterbacks coach in 2018 before being hired by Tennessee State.

Wilson tweeted about his former teammate: "TJack... you will be missed. Praying for your family... Love you man."

Jadeveon Clowney may remain unsigned, but Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson has shown he is not unwanted.

The first overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft is yet to agree terms with any of the 32 franchises since free agency started last month.

Clowney spent last season with the Seahawks after being traded from the Houston Texans and though he only had three sacks - his lowest total since an injury-hit rookie year - the defensive end forced four fumbles and had two touchdowns via a fumble return and an interception.

The 27-year-old's inconsistent play might have dissuaded some teams, yet Wilson wants the Seahawks to bring him back to Seattle.

Asked if he could "talk some sense into Clowney" during an Instagram live video, Wilson said: "I need you, homie.

"Clowney come back. Don't leave me, don't Clowney, don't leave us. We need you, bro.

"Anyways, Clowney, I love playing with you, bro. Hopefully we get to do it some more - that's what the fans want."

A day after Tom Brady's exit from the New England Patriots was confirmed, a deal was struck to send the last quarterback to defeat him in a Super Bowl to pastures new.

Brady is expected to be announced as a Tampa Bay Buccaneer after deciding to end his 20-season association with the Patriots.

However, his change of scenery is far from the only transaction affecting the NFL landscape. Here, we wrap up the significant moves reported to have been agreed as the new league year began on Wednesday.

 

Nick Foles, who got the better of Brady in Super Bowl LII, is reportedly headed to the Chicago Bears after the Jacksonville Jaguars agreed to trade him in exchange for a fourth-round pick.

The Jags are parting with Foles just a year after signing the former Philadelphia Eagle to a four-year, $88million contract. He will now provide competition for Mitchell Trubisky, whose role as the Bears' starter is under threat after a disappointing 2019.

Foles' departure allows Gardner Minshew to step in as the starter in Jacksonville. Sixth-round pick Minshew outplayed Foles, who was limited to four games because of injury, last year and will now get the chance to prove he is the Jaguars' franchise quarterback.

Brady's last game as a Patriot came in a playoff defeat to the Tennessee Titans, who made the surprising decision to deal defensive lineman Jurrell Casey to the Denver Broncos in exchange for a seventh-round pick. Casey has at least five sacks in each of the last seven seasons.

The Detroit Lions were also involved in the trade market, acquiring safety Duron Harmon from the Patriots. Detroit agreed to a two-year deal with defensive linemen Danny Shelton. Both players have a connection with Lions head coach Matt Patricia from his time as New England's defensive coordinator.

Another former Patriot, center Ted Karras, is staying in the division, signing a one-year deal with the Miami Dolphins.

The New Orleans Saints are said to have agreed a deal to bring back safety Malcolm Jenkins after he was let go by the Eagles. Jenkins was drafted by the Saints in 2009 before leaving for the Eagles in 2014.

Their NFC South rivals the Carolina Panthers released safety Eric Reid, while the Atlanta Falcons inked edge rusher Dante Fowler to a three-year contract.

Leonard Floyd will fill the void Fowler's exit left for the Los Angeles Rams, who have re-signed guard Austin Blythe and veteran left tackle Andrew Whitworth.

Elsewhere in the NFC West, the Seattle Seahawks have brought back former first-round pick Bruce Irvin, the pass rusher who played a key role in their Super Bowl-winning 2013 season. Reigning NFC champions the San Francisco 49ers re-signed center Ben Garland to a one-year deal.

The Los Angeles Chargers may have missed out on Brady, but they have bolstered their defense with the signing of defensive tackle Linval Joseph. Cornerback Chris Harris also intends to sign with the Chargers.

Cornerback Eli Apple will play a part in the Raiders' first season in Las Vegas, while safety Sean Davis is headed to the Washington Redskins on a one-year deal.

Greg Olsen has joined the Seattle Seahawks on a one-year contract reportedly worth $7million.

Tight end Olsen was a free agent after being released by the Carolina Panthers and will now link up with quarterback Russell Wilson in a deal that has $5.5m in guarantees.

"The Seahawks are adding one of the NFL's most accomplished tight ends for the 2020 season," read the team's statement confirming the move.

Olsen, 34, spent nine seasons with the Panthers, having started his career with four seasons at the Chicago Bears, who selected him in the first round of the 2007 draft.

The veteran had three consecutive 1,000-yard receiving seasons between 2014 and 2016, becoming the first TE in NFL history to achieve the feat.

Injuries restricted him to 16 outings across the next two seasons before he managed just 597 yards and two touchdowns across 14 games in 2019 as the Panthers struggled to a 5-11 record with starting QB Cam Newton ruled out for most of the season.

Seattle, meanwhile, impressed with an 11-5 record before reaching the divisional round of the playoffs, where they fell to a 28-23 loss against the Green Bay Packers.

Olsen strengthens their TE options with Will Dissly coming off a ruptured Achilles tendon, while Ed Dickson has only started one game in the last two years, Luke Willson is an unrestricted free agent and Jacob Hollister is a restricted free agent.

Pete Carroll declared "it feels like 2012 all over again" and vowed this is just the start for a Seattle Seahawks team that came up short against the Green Bay Packers.

The Packers are headed to the NFC Championship game to face the San Francisco 49ers after winning a thrilling Divisional Round game 28-23 at Lambeau Field.

Leading 21-3 at the half, the well-oiled Packers had to hold off a resilient Seahawks, as head coach Carroll noted similarities with their 2012 season.

On that occasion, quarterback Russell Wilson was in his rookie campaign as the Seahawks came up short at the same stage to the Atlanta Falcons.

The following season, the Seahawks hammered the Denver Broncos to win Super Bowl XLVIII, and 12 months later were beaten on the biggest stage by the New England Patriots.

"This is the start, I think, of this team. It feels like 2012 all over again," head coach Carroll told reporters.

"This is so similar. There was not a guy on that sideline that we were connected to that thought we weren't going to win that football game, all the way until we didn't."

A contentious call at the two-minute warning saw the Packers awarded a first down, despite some replay angles suggesting Jimmy Graham was just short as he was tackled.

Carroll remonstrated with the sideline referee after the call was upheld but was philosophical when addressing it following the game.

"My guys just were telling me it was short, you know?" he added. "It looked short and had they called him short, then it would've been short. 

"It's the same thing last week: you call them a score, you let them score. They wouldn't overturn that one - I'm going back to the Niners game, I guess. That's how it goes."

Wilson was influential in the Seahawks' fightback, completing three straight touchdown drives.

"He did everything he could have done," Carroll said of Wilson's performance. "His courage and his toughness showed up and his resolve to find ways was all over the field, running and passing.

"The only way he can think is he's going to get it done and he's just going to make it happen. He's proven it so many times and he did it again."

Aaron Rodgers praised the "incredible" Davante Adams after the Green Bay Packers held off the Seattle Seahawks in the NFL playoffs on Sunday.

Adams had 160 receiving yards and scored two touchdowns in the 28-23 win that sent the Packers into the NFC Championship Game.

Rodgers, who was 16 of 27 for 243 yards and the two TDs, praised the wide receiver's performance.

"He had an unbelievable night. He carried us on offense," the Packers star told Fox Sports.

"His route-running ability was incredible.

"We came up with a timely stop because Russ [Wilson, Seahawks QB] and their offense was pretty tough.

"We started off the game the right way and we finished it the right way."

Green Bay, who set up their win by taking a 21-3 half-time lead, moved into a clash with the San Francisco 49ers at Levi's Stadium.

Rodgers paid tribute to the 49ers, who were 13-3 during the regular season before overcoming the Minnesota Vikings on Saturday.

"We're going to enjoy this one first," he said.

"I think it's super special, a little extra special to get the ball to Jimmy [Graham] there on the last third down because he was in Seattle for a few years, but we'll enjoy this one tonight and we'll get onto San Francisco.

"They're a great football team, they've had a fantastic year. I think these are the two best teams in the NFC and we have to go out there and get a win."

The Green Bay Packers held off the Seattle Seahawks 28-23 to reach the NFC Championship Game on Sunday.

The Packers set up their win in the first half at a cold Lambeau Field, taking a 21-3 lead that proved to be enough to advance to a meeting with the San Francisco 49ers in the NFL playoffs.

Davante Adams scored two touchdowns on the back of 160 receiving yards, while Aaron Jones rushed for 62.

Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers threw the two TD passes to Jones as he went 16 of 27 for 243 yards.

Russell Wilson (21 of 31 for 277 yards and a TD) and the Seahawks came to life in the second half, but it was too little, too late.

The Packers made their dominance count in the first half, with Jones scoring two second-quarter touchdowns.

But the first score came through Adams, who was found by a 20-yard Rodgers pass after an eight-play, 75-yard drive early in the encounter.

Jason Myers' 45-yard field goal put the Seahawks on the board, but the Packers were 21-3 up at half-time.

After two lengthy plays for 75 and 60 yards, Jones pushed over from close range to put Green Bay in control.

Seattle delivered a much-needed response through Marshawn Lynch early in the third quarter, only for Rodgers and Adams to combine again, a 40-yard TD pass restoring the Packers' 18-point lead.

Wilson's short TD pass to Tyler Lockett late in the third quarter brought the Seahawks back into the clash before Lynch bulldozed his way over from close range in the fourth to bring Seattle within five.

But that was as close as they got as Green Bay moved to within a win of Super Bowl LIV.

The Tennessee Titans will be hoping history repeats itself when they face the Baltimore Ravens after the San Francisco 49ers lock horns with the Minnesota Vikings in the NFL Divisional playoffs.

Mike Vrabel's Titans sensationally dethroned the New England Patriots with a 20-13 playoff victory last weekend and must defy the odds again to topple the Ravens.

All three postseason encounters between the Titans and the Ravens have been won by the road team, a record Tennessee will fancy their chances of maintaining after stunning the Patriots.

The 49ers host a Vikings side on a high after ending the New Orleans Saints' season, while the Kansas City Chiefs and Green Bay Packers have home advantage against the Houston Texans and Seattle Seahawks respectively.

We take a closer look at all the games using Stats Perform data.

 

SATURDAY (All times Eastern)

Vikings (10-6) at 49ers (13-3) 4:35pm

- The two sides will meet in the postseason for the sixth time and first time since the 1997 Divisional Round, with the 49ers holding a 4-1 advantage.

- Minnesota won a first road playoff game since 2004 with a 26-20 overtime victory over New Orleans last week. The Vikings had gone 2-12 in their previous 14 road playoff games dating back to 1988. 

- The 49ers have won at least one playoff game in 13 of their last 15 playoff appearances, most recently winning twice before losing to Seattle in the 2013 NFC Championship. 

 

Titans (9-7) at Ravens (14-2) 8:15pm

- The Ravens have twice won at the Titans in the postseason, 24-10 in the 2000 Divisional Round and 13-10 the same stage 12 years ago. The Titans won the other playoff game 20-17 in the Wild Card Round in 2003.

- Baltimore have had a takeaway in all 24 postseason games in franchise history, the fourth-longest streak in NFL playoff history (Dolphins: 31 from 1970-95, Redskins: 26 from 1983-present, Bears: 25 from 1933-90).

- Lamar Jackson set NFL records for carries (176) and rushing yards (1206) by a quarterback this season, while his 6.85 yards per carry was the highest in NFL history by a player in any position with at least 150 carries.

 

SUNDAY

Texans (10-6) at Chiefs (12-4) 3:05pm

- The only previous postseason game between the teams saw the Chiefs win 30-0 at Houston in a 2015 Wild Card Game, the largest margin of victory in franchise postseason history. 

- The Chiefs closed the regular season with a six-game winning streak; only the Ravens (12) won more games in a row ahead of the playoffs.

- Deshaun Watson completed 80 per cent of his passes (20-for-25), in the Wild Card defeat of the Buffalo Bills. That was the highest mark among starting quarterbacks last weekend, the top mark in Texans postseason history, and tied for second highest in any game in his career. 

 

Seahawks (11-5) at Packers (13-3) 6:40pm

- The Packers have won two of their three playoff clashes with Seattle, but the Seahawks came out on top in their most recent encounter 28-22 in the 2014 NFC Championship match.

- Seattle defeated the Philadelphia Eagles 17-9 last weekend, improving to 8-1 on the road this season. They have never won multiple road games in a single postseason and the last team to do so was the 2013 49ers. 

- Since 2010, only the Patriots (23) and Seahawks (16) have played more postseason games than the Packers (15). 

Carson Wentz says he was "so dang proud" of the Philadelphia Eagles' season and assured fans he would be "just fine" after a head injury in the playoff defeat to the Seattle Seahawks.

The Eagles lost Sunday's wild card game 17-9 at home to the Seahawks after quarterback Wentz was forced to exit in the first quarter, having taken a blow to the back of his helmet from Jadeveon Clowney.

Wentz had played the entire regular season for the first time since his rookie year, having suffered major injuries in 2017 and 2018 and missed Philadelphia's Super Bowl LII triumph.

Although his playoff debut ended on a sour note, the 27-year-old took to Instagram on Monday to send a message to fans, offering an update on his health while looking forward to the 2020 season.

"So dang proud of this team and how we battled and overcame so much this season," Wentz wrote. "Not the ending we envisioned but we will all grow and be stronger because of it!

"The fight and resiliency that this team displayed was so impressive. Love these guys!

"Also, appreciate the thoughts and prayers. I'm feeling good today and will be just fine! Head injuries are a scary thing so I appreciate everybody's thoughts and prayers.

"Hate not being out there to finish it out with my guys because of a play like that, but it's the unfortunate part of this game. It's all in God's plan, not mine! Trusting in him.

"Philly, year four was one fun ride. Appreciate the love and support - especially the real ones who were with us through the highs and lows.

"Onward to next year... big things comin', believe that!"

Seahawks defensive end Clowney speculated after the game he might receive death threats from "the worst fans in the world" in Philadelphia for the hit on Wentz, but he added there was no intent in the incident.

"I was just playing fast, and he turned like he was running the ball, so I was trying to get him down," Clowney said. "It was a bang-bang play.

"I don't intend to hurt anybody in this league, let me just put that out there. I've been down the injury road - it's not fun.

"That's a great player over there for their team and for their organisation. I hope he's okay. Like I said, I didn't intend to hurt him.

"I didn't even know he went out of the game until the next series. I thought it was just a small hit, but everybody was going crazy on the sidelines. I was just trying to finish the play, but it happened."

Rookie wide receiver DK Metcalf stole the show in the Seattle Seahawks' playoff win at the Philadelphia Eagles, earning plaudits from Russell Wilson, Pete Carroll and even LeBron James.

Metcalf had 160 receiving yards on seven receptions and connected with Wilson for the decisive touchdown in a 17-9 wild-card round win.

The 53-yard TD saw Metcalf go to ground in taking the catch before springing up to lunge into the endzone, securing an advantage the Seahawks protected with relative ease.

Quarterback Wilson was particularly effusive in his praise of the "special" 22-year-old, a second-round pick in 2019.

"DK was special tonight, and he's been special all year," Wilson told reporters. "He's one of the best rookies that's come out.

"He's got a nice little chip on his shoulder, too - I'm glad he's on our team, that's for sure, and he's on our team for a long time.

"I think the great thing about him, though, is that he's always been professional from day one. Nothing happens by accident.

"[It has been about his] his preparation, how he's prepared week in, week out - even since the offseason - all the extra work, all the early mornings, throwing at 5:20 in the morning in the summer. That's what greatness looks like."

Head coach Carroll added: "I think the night was stolen by DK. He did some stuff that it's hard to imagine anyone else doing."

And NBA great James took to Instagram to add his congratulations, posting on his story: "Congrats young [king]. Too fast, too strong."

The Seahawks move on to play the Green Bay Packers in the divisional round in the NFC.

Philadelphia Eagles head coach Doug Pederson believes the NFC wild-card clash with the Seattle Seahawks would have been a different if star quarterback Carson Wentz did not suffer a head injury.

Wentz exited in the first quarter after hurting his head and did not return as the Eagles lost 17-9 to the Seahawks in the NFL playoffs on Sunday.

The Eagles signal caller took a blow to the back of his helmet from Seahawks defensive end Jadeveon Clowney and was replaced by 40-year-old back-up Josh McCown.

McCown – making his postseason debut following 17 seasons in the league – went 18 of 24 for 174 yards as the Eagles failed to reach the divisional round in Philadelphia.

Asked whether the game would have been different if Wentz was healthy, Pederson told reporters: "It's hard to say but I'd say yes if he was healthy. With the game plan we had, I think so. But it's hard to speculate."

The Eagles were hoping Wentz could lead the team deep into the playoffs after the 27-year-old played the entire regular season for the first time since his rookie year.

Wentz had suffered major injuries in 2017 and 2018 as Nick Foles stepped up to guide the Eagles to Super Bowl LII glory – Sunday's playoff appearance his first since being drafted in 2016.

"I feel for him. I feel bad for him," Pederson said of Wentz. "I briefly saw him in the dressing room afterwards.

"I'm disappointed for him. I wanted this for him. A lot of his team-mates did, too. So did the team and organisation. He's been through a lot."

Th Eagles endured an injury-ravaged season, but star tight end Zach Ertz managed to suit up and face the Seahawks, despite two non-displaced rib fractures sustained in Week 16.

Ertz was rushed to hospital after finding blood in his urine, however, he took to the field two weeks later and was teary-eyed post-game.

"It's been tough. It's been real tough," Ertz told reporters. "It hurts. Been a lot of highs and lows. My faith just kept me through it, kept me grounded. There was a plan for me.

"I just wanted it to be black and white, honestly. I took the emotion out of it. I just prayed that I wanted it to be clear. I didn't want it to be a grey area where it was an emotional decision. When it was unanimous that I was good to play, I knew that there was a plan and a reason, and that's why I was able to go."

"I wanted to play for this city," Ertz added. "I take a lot of pride [in] playing for my team-mates."

The Seattle Seahawks moved past the injury-hit Philadelphia Eagles courtesy of a 17-9 win in the NFL playoffs on Sunday.

Seattle set up a clash against the Green Bay Packers in the divisional round after proving too good for the Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field.

The Eagles lost quarterback Carson Wentz in the first quarter due to a head injury and never got to their best to trouble the Seahawks in the NFC wild-card showdown.

Seahawks QB Russell Wilson went 18 of 30 for 325 yards and a touchdown, but it was Seattle's defense that dominated.

They managed seven sacks, including six of Wentz's replacement Josh McCown.

McCown went 18 of 24 for 174 yards, but Wentz's injury, which came after a blow to the back of his helmet from Jadeveon Clowney, hurt the Eagles' chances.

The Seahawks needed until late in the second quarter to score their first TD as Marshawn Lynch spun over from five yards.

Jake Elliott's three field goals were all the Eagles could manage, with his second bringing them back to a 10-6 deficit in the third quarter.

However, Wilson connected with DK Metcalf with a 53-yard touchdown pass and the Seahawks were untroubled from then.

Metcalf starred with 160 receiving yards on seven receptions.

Page 5 of 8
© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.