RENTON, Wash. – Marshawn Lynch sprinted down the right sideline untouched, into and out of the end zone.
But he wasn’t carrying a football. This wasn’t the latest in his league-leading 38 touchdowns rushing over the last four seasons. The Seahawks’ loss to the Dallas Cowboys wasn’t even going on.
The game was over. The three-time Pro Bowl running back, the NFL’s rushing leader since 2011, was running off the field into the tunnel at the south end of CenturyLink Field. He was the first player into Seattle’s locker room.
It was the most freely and consistently Lynch ran all Sunday.
The 30-23 defeat to Dallas was the 11th time since the Seahawks traded for Lynch in 2010 that they gave him 10 or fewer carries in a regular-season or postseason game. Seattle is now 2-9 in those games.
That includes 0-2 this season. Lynch had six carries in last month’s defeat at San Diego.
For all the explanation of and consternation over the defending Super Bowl champions (3-2) having as many losses in five games as they had in the first three months of last season – the less-productive pass rush, the injuries, the porous offensive line, the “Legion of Boom” secondary being more “Legion of Blah” – the inconsistency in adhering to the identity of Lynch’s power running is as telling as any.
He has the most carries (980), most yards rushing (4,418), most 100-yard rushing games (20), most touchdowns (45) and most TDs rushing (38) since 2011.
“Whenever we’re running the ball a lot, then we’re fine,” coach Pete Carroll said before the players’ day off Tuesday.
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