Seahawks vs. Redskins: Marshawn Lynch Is Biggest X-Factor in Super Bowl Run

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistJanuary 6, 2013

LANDOVER, MD - JANUARY 06:   Marshawn Lynch #24 of the Seattle Seahawks is tackled by  Perry Riley #56 of the Washington Redskins in the second quarter of the NFC Wild Card Playoff Game at FedExField on January 6, 2013 in Landover, Maryland.  (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
Al Bello/Getty Images

If the Seattle Seahawks want to win the Super Bowl, they better stay in "Beast Mode."

The team will go as far in the playoffs as Marshawn Lynch can take them. It's a bit ironic considering the way quarterbacks are starting to take over the NFL.

Unlike Adrian Peterson, Lynch is surrounded by an all-around, very good football team. The Seahawks have a defense equally equipped to handle the run and pass and a passing game that is stable enough with Russell Wilson.

As mentioned on this site earlier, though, relying on Wilson solely to provide the spark offensively would be fatal to Seattle's Super Bowl hopes.

You can't put too much in the hands of a rookie quarterback. The Indianapolis Colts with Andrew Luck and Washington Redskins with Robert Griffin III illustrated that all too well in their Wild Card Round losses.

History simply doesn't favor rookie quarterbacks in the playoffs. Only four in the history of the NFL have managed to reach the Conference Title Game.

That's as far as they got, which is why it's even more imperative that Lynch continue to be the workhorse he's been all season.

The more he remains carrying the offensive burden, the more Wilson can remain the game manager. He's excelled at taking what defenses give him and avoiding mistakes.

In the 24-23 win over the New England Patriots, Wilson threw for 293 yards and three touchdowns. Lynch only ran for 41 yards.

That was one of the few times that Wilson needed to air it out in order to keep the Seahawks in a game. Seattle cannot afford to see if Wilson can do the same thing in the playoffs.

The rookie QB doesn't look to have the game right now to go toe-to-toe with Matt Ryan, Tom Brady or Peyton Manning in a shootout.

Wilson may very well reach that point sometime in his career. For right now, though, he should stick to what has brought him success.

In the 42-13 blowout of the San Francisco 49ers, Lynch ran for 111 yards on 26 carries to help set the tone offensively.

Seattle possessed the ball for almost 11 minutes more than San Francisco, which was a vast improvement from the loss to the 49ers a few months earlier.

Keeping the ball will tire the opposing defense down while simultaneously keeping the Seattle defense fresh.

Fatigue could prove fatal against offenses like the 49ers and Atlanta Falcons. San Francisco and Atlanta averaged 24.8 and 26.2 points a game, respectively, during the regular season.

Then, of course, there's the fact that Seattle would likely have to best either the Patriots or the Denver Broncos in the Super Bowl.

If Lynch can put in a performance like he did against the Redskins for the rest of the postseason, then Wilson will become the first rookie, starting quarterback to win a Super Bowl.