Stefon Diggs and Tyler Lockett faced off on MNF as two of the best deep threats in the NFL, and it didn't go particularly well for either one.
Two of the most dangerous deep threats in the NFL met for Monday Night Football as Tyler Lockett of the Seattle Seahawks faced off against Stefon Diggs of the Minnesota Vikings.
Things didn’t exactly pan out for the two receivers. Neither one even had a catch in the second half as the Seahawks ground their way to a key victory and a 10-2 record.
Ironically for a player renowned for being a great pass catcher, Stefon Diggs made his mark on the game early with a 27-yard rush, and this turned out to be his biggest play of the whole game.
Tyler Lockett was questionable heading into the contest due to a bout of flu that rocked Seattle earlier in the week, and his lack of involvement in the first half was notable.
Only receiving one target in the first half and zero catches, the Tulsa native trailed Diggs by all of his 52 total yards. It could have been a lot more as Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins missed a wide-open Diggs on a deep route in the dying moments of the second quarter.
The second half was where the wheels came off for the Vikings, as star running back Dalvin Cook headed for the locker room with a shoulder injury in the 3rd quarter.
Diggs also suffered a scare. He rolled his ankle but quickly returned to the field – only to drop his second straight pass.
Drawing a huge pass interference call in the 4th quarter, the Maryland native managed to influence the game with a deep route, but like his counterpart from Seattle, he also failed to record a catch in the second half.
Unfortunately for Tyler Lockett, the Seattle Seahawks opted to keep churning the clock, with running backs Chris Carson and Rashaad Penny dominating touches for most of the game. Lockett recorded a miserable stat line of zero yards and zero catches on just three targets.
It was the third straight game where Lockett failed to hit 30 yards. While a lot of this may be due to Seattle’s style of play, there is no question MVP candidate Russell Wilson would love to get him involved more.
Over the year, Diggs has not always seen many catches but has done severe damage with the targets that have come his way.
Coming into Monday’s game, the Vikings receiver had 880 yards receiving on just 46 catches. To put this in context, Lockett has only 831 yards on 63 catches.
There is no question that the injury struggles of Adam Thielen have been bittersweet for Diggs’ production this year. While the absence of the two-time Pro Bowler has made him a more likely target for Kirk Cousins, it has also made him easier to cover. The defense can either double-team him or assign their premier cornerback or safety to slow him down. This may have been the case on Monday against the Seahawks’ relatively stingy secondary.
If MNF was supposed to be the battle of the deep threats, it didn’t pan out as expected.
Tyler Lockett might have been struggling with the after-effects of flu, but it was extraordinary to see him practically invisible for most of the game.
Given that Stefon Diggs was also unable to catch a long pass, both players will still be tied at the top of the Next Gen Stats “deep reception rankings.”
Despite this (and the fact that Minnesota lost), there is no question that the often-frustrated Vikings receiver won this battle of the speedsters. After all, he did actually manage to catch a pass.
This article was edited by Josiah Wilmoth.
Last modified: January 22, 2020 11:41 PM UTC