The running back position is the most precarious position in the NFL these days. Considering that this is now a passer’s league, running backs are rarely the focal point of the offense. There are still some teams, though, that feature a heavy running game strategy, and utilize a runningback that can take double-digit carries out of the backfield per game. One of those teams is the Seattle Seahawks, and their running back, Marshawn Lynch, might have just blown up the NFL again, for the second time in less than 5 years.
Seeing a particularly memorable touchdown run is rare – few happen that break for 5o-yards or more each season, and the number goes down year after year. So, it’s rare. Marshawn Lynch, often referred to as “Beast Mode”, is referred to by that nickname for a reason. You can see that reason below:
That was Marshawn Lynch, breaking 8 or 9 tackles to find the endzone on a 67-yard TD run during the 2010 NFC Wild Card playoff between the defending Super Bowl champions, the New Orleans Saints, and the Seahawks, who entered the playoffs with a 7-9 record; the first ever playoff team with a losing record. To date, that was Lynch’s longest TD run of his career, and the incident is was gave the Seahawks the point cushion to eventually go on to beat the Saints to move on to the next round of the playoffs. It has since been named the “Beast Quake” because CenturyLink field literally erupted, and the crowd noise, particularly during Lynch’s run, had registered on a nearby seismograph.
It’s rare to see a run like that, and there are few running backs other than Marshawn Lynch that can accomplish a feat like that. To do it once during a whole career is impressive; to do it twice in such a clutch scenario, is even more impressive.
Cut to last night; Marshawn Lynch’s 79-yard TD run, where he again breaks several tackles to find his way in to the endzone. See below:
The TD run above is now the longest run of his career. And it’s as good as the previous one. During last night’s dismantling of the NFC West leading Arizona Cardinals, the Seahawks could not be stopped, and Lynch’s score only furthered the lead out to 28-6 as the game began to wind down. What’s crazy about runs like these is that they turn actual football players in to fans, which is an amazingly rare thing. Just look at what some of the Seahawks players had to say about it after the game:
Pete Carroll: “I’ve never seen a better run than Marshawn’s run tonight.”
Russell Wilson: “If you love football, it’s got to be one of the best runs of all time.”
Michael Bennett: “That’s the best run I’ve ever seen.”
Lynch didn’t really elaborate about the run at all in his post-game interview. Lynch, who everyone knows isn’t crazy about the media, pretty much shrugged off all the media hype and compliments regarding the run.
This is a particularly odd season for Lynch, in that he most assuredly won’t be with the Seahawks next season. It’s insane to me that the Seahawks would willingly let go of one of the league’s best running backs, especially since the position is particularly fungible. The 28-year old has proven, for the most part, that his body can take the punishment brought on by his bruising running style. The funny thing about the run is that he actually wasn’t even guaranteed to play last night, and only entered in the second half of the second quarter due to a stomach ailment. And while this is a great indictment about how scary the Seahawks are going in to the playoffs, this is more about Lynch, and the further gushing about him by his teammates. Here’s Richard Sherman’s portion from the Seattle Times’ roundup of the team’s commentary:
“He’s really just showing the world that he’s a bad, bad, bad, bad, bad—continue to say bad— man,” suggested Seahawks All-Pro cornerback Richard Sherman.”And if he’s not in the race for MVP, it’s like what else do you have to do if that’s not an MVP run right there?”
That might be ambitious – Lynch being the MVP. Sherman and the rest of the team were just caught up in the moment. But so was everybody, because it’s not every day that you see a run like this.