In the wind and rain of the NFC Divisional Playoff game, the Seattle Seahawks ground out a 23-15 win over the New Orleans Saints. They secured the win even after the offense became bogged down in the second half which allowed the Saints back into the game. But late in the fourth quarter, Seattle sealed the win with a 31-yard touchdown run from Marshawn Lynch, punching their ticket to the NFC Championship game and one step closer to the Super Bowl.
Lynch had faced a stacked box all game long as New Orleans loaded up to stop the Seattle running game. Despite facing added defenders on the line of scrimmage, Lynch plodded his way to a huge day, setting a Seattle franchise record with 140 yards on 28 carries with both of the Seahawks’ touchdowns on the day. With the weather limiting what both teams could do in the passing game for most of the day, it was Lynch who responded and put the team on his back.
Despite Russell Wilson getting the majority of the attention with Seattle’s offense, Lynch is unquestionably the most important cog in their offense in this playoff run. His ability to churn out yardage (gaining 5.0 yards per carry against the Saints) helps to pace the Seattle offense, methodically moving down the field to finish drives with points. In the playoffs, that ability to sustain drives with the running game is so important to postseason success and will be the key for Seattle to continue their march to New York for the Super Bowl.
With the playoffs on the line, Marshawn Lynch stepped up and led the Seattle offense to a physical win. Will the Seahawks be able to continue to feed Beast Mode in the NFC Championship and punch their ticket to the Super Bowl next week?