Lynch broke out for his first 100-yard rushing game since Week 10, capping off a brilliant performance with a 31-yard touchdown run to seal the deal for Seattle.
The touchdown was Lynch’s second score of the game and the fifth of his playoff career.
Here are five takeaways from Lynch’s NFC Divisional Round performance.
1. Lynch is in all-out “beast mode” when the playoffs roll around.
Lynch has proven to be an elite running back in the four seasons he has spent with Seattle, rushing for over 1,200 yards in each of the last three seasons.
However, it is the postseason in which Lynch truly shines.
In five career postseason games, Lynch has rushed for over 100 yards three separate times. He has rushed for 451 yards on 87 career playoff attempts, which is good for an average of 5.18 yards per carry.
To put it in perspective, Lynch’s career average in yards per carry is 4.2. When the playoffs roll around, he has an average of almost one full yard higher.
2. Lynch gives the Seahawks a great reputation.
When Lynch is on his game, it seems as if it is physically impossible for a defense to stop him.
Breaking tackles and bouncing off defenders on almost every carry, Lynch gives his team the identity of “fighter.”
The 215-pound running back doesn't go down easily, picking up many of his 140 yards Saturday after initial contact.
Lynch lives for the playoffs, and he will continue to grind it out until he brings his team to the top.
3. The Saints continue to fall victim to Beast Mode.
For the second time in three years, the New Orleans defense had no answer to the Seattle ground attack.
Marshawn Lynch made his name known around the sports world in a playoff game against the Saints in 2011.
Lynch got his nickname “Beast Mode” when he broke seven tackles on his way to a 67-yard touchdown run, a run that has been debated as the greatest carry of all time. The Seahawks stunned the favored Saints that day as Lynch totaled 131 yards on 19 carries.
This year, it was Lynch’s team that was favored going into the game.
The Seahawks did not let their fans down as Lynch compiled the greatest statistical playoff game of his career, carrying the ball 28 times for 140 yards on the day.
The Saints hoped to avenge that loss from three years ago, but Lynch reminded them why he earned his nickname.
4. Lynch makes Seattle a complete offense.
Second-year quarterback Russell Wilson has continued to shine in the league this year, avoiding any discussion of a sophomore slump. He has taken his team to the top of the NFC with a regular season record of 13-3.
However, it is the spread out ball distribution that makes this offense a major threat to opponents.
While Wilson attempted a total of 407 pass plays this season, he handed the ball off to Lynch 301 times.
Without a running back of Lynch’s caliber, it is hard to predict what Seattle’s record would be. An elite quarterback can perform wonders for a team, but without a mixed in running game, an offense is vulnerable.
That is not the case for this team, as Lynch continues to dominate on the ground.
5. Seattle is the place to see a football game.
CenturyLink Field in Seattle seems like the place to visit for football fans.
According to The Weather Channel, seismologists believe that fans at the stadium caused another earthquake Saturday.
It is believed that after Lynch’s fourth quarter 31-yard touchdown run, Seattle fans had the stadium shaking so roughly that an earthquake occurred.
After Lynch’s famous run against the Saints in 2011, fans caused what was believed to be a magnitude 1 or 2 earthquake.
Seismologists believe the earthquake caused on Saturday was greater than the one in 2011.
It is no wonder why opposing offenses have trouble hearing when on the field at CenturyLink.
With Lynch performing to his potential and a successful quarterback in Russell Wilson, there is no reason to doubt the Seattle Seahawks this season.
They are a true threat to any team, and Lynch has made them exciting to watch throughout the playoffs in his career.
* All statistical information courtesy of Pro Football Reference
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