September 23, 2012 in Sports

Lynch gives Seahawks an added boost

Danny O’Neil Seattle Times
 
Associated Press photo

Marshawn Lynch has rushed for triple figures in seven of his last 11 regular-season games.
(Full-size photo)

SEATTLE – Marshawn Lynch’s back.

That’s a statement, now, and no longer a question mark. He might have begun the season questionable because of back spasms, but after two games there is no doubt Seattle’s rushing game has picked up where it left off last year, which is with Lynch leaving footprints over opposing defenses.

“First and foremost, it’s the guy carrying the ball,” fullback Michael Robinson said. “When you’ve got a guy like that back there, you tend to have a running game whether you like it or not, you know what I mean?”

The Dallas Cowboys do. Lynch gained 100 of his 122 yards during the second half, making it more than a metaphor to say Seattle ran away with it. So while quarterback Russell Wilson might be the most intriguing figure for Seattle on Monday night against Green Bay, there isn’t anyone on this team more important than Lynch.

Coach Pete Carroll has wanted to run the ball since he arrived as Seattle’s coach, but it wasn’t really until halfway through last season the Seahawks began to do it effectively. That turnaround started with the guy who carried the ball embracing Seattle’s blocking scheme.

“What he showed me is that he had the courage to accept something new,” said Tom Cable, Seattle’s offensive line coach. “I say courage because it takes that to actually change your mindset and go to something different. It has worked for him – what that was before – for a long time.”

Lynch surpassed 1,000 yards rushing in both of his first two seasons in the league. He reached the Pro Bowl, but after Seattle acquired him in 2010, he started 18 regular-season games without surpassing 100 yards rushing.

And before Seattle played Dallas last year in Week 9, the running back came to Cable and asked for guidance in following the zone-blocking scheme.

“It’s a big deal to me that he was willing to do that,” Cable said.

Lynch didn’t change how he ran so much as where, and Sunday’s game was the seventh time in the past 11 regular-season games Lynch has run for at least 100 yards.

Monday’s game will feature teams with an enormous amount of crossover, whether it’s the fact Seattle general manager John Schneider came from Green Bay or that Seahawks backup quarterback Matt Flynn used to be a Packer.

Lynch gives Seattle the kind of franchise running back who has never become part of the Packers’ offensive equation.

“We were kind of hoping here when Marshawn was on the open market that we were going to get him,” said Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay’s quarterback. “Because he’s a big-time back and when you have a piece like that, you can build around him.”

After last week’s victory, Lynch is feeling Seattle’s rushing game building momentum.

“It’s going pretty good,” Lynch said. “But I think it will improve the further we go into the season.”

That has certainly been true the further Seattle has gone into games, the Seahawks wearing down opponents much the way they did behind Lynch last week against Dallas.


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