January 12, 2014 in Sports

Lynch’s return to form reverberates

By The Spokesman-Review
 
Associated Press photo

Running back Marshawn Lynch rushed for Seattle playoff-record 140 yards.
(Full-size photo)

SEATTLE – Marshawn Lynch’s local TV and radio spots for Beacon Plumbing aren’t just legendary, they’re good advice, too.

“Stop freakin’,” he counsels.

The $50,000 fine the NFL is holding in abeyance lest the Seattle Seahawks running back not fulfill his duty to speak to the media? Stop freakin’ over that. He stood up in front of his locker after Seattle’s 23-15 NFC playoff victory over the New Orleans Saints and offered up 76 words of analysis, which by his standards is a Beast Mode filibuster.

The highlights?

“I don’t run to get tackled,” he said, describing his lack of surprise that the Saints didn’t try hard to pull him down on his clinching 31-yard touchdown run.

And, asked a female reporter, what about the stiffarm he delivered to Keenan Lewis to get into the end zone?

“It’s just part of the game, sweetheart,” Lynch offered.

And his performance Saturday was a reminder to any Seahawks fan still freaking over the 45 yards he was held to in the teams’ meeting a month ago – or the fact he hadn’t topped 100 in his last six games.

Lynch’s 140 yards on 28 typically rough-and-rumbling runs set a Seahawks’ playoff record, and punished the Saints just enough after the return of explosive receiver Percy Harvin was short- circuited by a first-half concussion and quarterback Russell Wilson struggled through a sub-ordinary afternoon.

The seventh-year pro gouged the Saints for a couple of modest first-quarter runs, but it was his 15-yard touchdown burst up the middle on the third snap of the second quarter that staked Seattle to a 13-0 lead on a windy, rainy day that was going to make catch-up football a challenge.

He had two other runs of more than 10 yards before the spectacular finish, that 31-yard bounce outside made possible by superb seal blocks by Zach Miller and Jermaine Kearse. That play, said fullback Michael Robinson, was the same as Lynch’s famed 63-yard “Beast Quake” run against the Saints in the playoffs three years ago, only out of a different formation.

And like that run, it registered ground movement on three seismometers monitored by the Pacific Northwest Seismic Network.

Saints linebacker David Hawthorne came away from another beauty of a game by The Beast with the opinion that no one runs harder.

“Definitely not,” he said. “You would have to go to Adrian Peterson or something like that, but definitely not. He’s the total package. He can catch the ball out of the backfield, he can run by big guys and at the end of the day he’s a load to tackle.”


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