December 1, 2011

Lynch carries Seahawks to victory

Seattle intercepts four passes
Associated Press
 
Ted Warren photo

Seattle Seahawks’ Marshawn Lynch runs in for a touchdown past Philadelphia Eagles’ Nate Allen in the first half of Thursday night’s game.
(Full-size photo)

SEATTLE — Marshawn Lynch loves the prime-time stage, even if he’s rarely given such a spotlight.

Seattle’s hard-charging running back bulled through Philadelphia for 148 yards and a pair of first-half touchdowns, David Hawthorne returned the third of Vince Young’s four interceptions 77 yards for a score, and the Seahawks rolled to a 31-14 victory Thursday night that only added to the Eagles’ miserable season.

Lynch ran into and escaped from a massive pileup for a 15-yard TD run in the first quarter, then made a quick cut and went back against the flow for a 40-yard scoring dash on the first play of the second quarter to give the Seahawks (5-7) a 14-0 lead.

Golden Tate’s 11-yard, toe-tapping touchdown grab along the back edge of the end zone in the third quarter pushed Seattle’s cushion to 17 over the Eagles (4-8).

But the Seahawks’ third victory in their last four games wasn’t secured until Hawthorne stepped in front of a swing pass intended for LeSean McCoy and raced untouched in the other direction with 4:24 left.

Making his third straight start in place of Michael Vick and his two broken ribs, Young couldn’t find the same magic he did in the 2006 Rose Bowl when he led Texas to an upset of Pete Carroll and USC.

Young’s first pass of the night was an awful interception thrown right to Seattle safety Kam Chancellor and nowhere near an Eagles receiver. Young was intercepted in the third quarter as well when a perfect pass deflected off the hands of Riley Cooper and into the hands of cornerback Brandon Browner. Both turnovers led to Seattle touchdowns.

Then came a pass for McCoy when Young clearly didn’t see Hawthorne, ruining the Eagles’ last chance to rally. For good measure, Young added one more interception in the final moments, giving him a career-high four picks.

Young finished 17 of 29 for 208 yards. McCoy got more chances than he did last Sunday against New England when he touched the ball just 14 times, a number that drew criticism from Eagles fans believing the leading rusher in the NFL deserved more opportunities.

McCoy finished with 84 yards on 17 carries and added another four catches for 49 yards. But he was upstaged by Lynch.

For the fourth time in five games, Lynch topped 100 yards — and the one time he didn’t, he finished with 88 yards in a victory over St. Louis. He had 90 yards by halftime on Thursday night, the most first-half yards rushing in his career. He averaged 6.7 yards per carry and almost immediately provided a spark the Seahawks needed on a short week.

And he did it while battling an upset stomach that occasionally forced him to the sideline.

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