RENTON, Washington (AP) — Marshawn Lynch's tremor-causing playoff touchdown run two years ago against the New Orleans Saints has been viewed millions of times on YouTube.
It will be hard for Lynch to ever top the stunning run during which he broke more than half a dozen tackles on his way to a 67-yard touchdown that induced enough frenzy inside the Seahawks' stadium that it registered as seismic activity.
Still, his best NFL playoff performance might have been in Seattle's wild-card victory over Washington on Sunday. Seattle needed all of Lynch's 132 yards rushing, and especially his 27-yard touchdown run midway through the fourth quarter, to dispatch the Redskins. His sidestep that left Washington cornerback DeAngelo Hall grasping at air allowed him to get to the outside on the touchdown run and was another sign of Lynch's shiftiness, which sometimes gets lost because of his brute power.
Lynch's performance on Sunday tied the franchise record for most yards rushing in a playoff game and bettered what he did against the Saints by one yard. He rushed for 99 yards in the second half and overcame a costly fumble at the Washington 1 on the first drive of the second half that could have shaken others.
Not Lynch. "You don't ever have to worry about his mindset," Seattle fullback Michael Robinson said after the game. "He got to the sideline, he was upset about it, and he just said, 'Give it to me again. Keep feeding me.'"
Lynch is coming off the finest regular season of his career, yet he ended up being overshadowed by the rise of new quarterback Russell Wilson. Lynch rushed for 1,590 yards in the regular season and was named to the Pro Bowl as a reserve behind Minnesota's Adrian Peterson. His yardage total was good for third in the NFL and he was one of just eight backs to post double digits in rushing touchdowns. According to STATS Inc., Lynch was fifth in the league with 639 of his yards coming after first contact and was third in the league in yards rushing in the fourth quarter with 354.
And he ran for all those yards despite taking most of the second half off in blowout victories late in the season against Buffalo and Arizona. Lynch had a combined 21 carries in those two games, but still rolled up 241 yards.
Lynch became the beneficiary of Seattle incorporating more of the zone-read run game into its offense in the second-half of the season. Sometimes he was the decoy who allowed Wilson to run untouched around the end. Other times, Lynch got the handoff and a head start while defensive linemen were figuring out if Wilson was keeping the ball.
"He has grown quite a bit, and in the last two years he has really owned it. It was a little sticky at first, and his consistency wasn't as sharp as it is now," Seattle coach Pete Carroll said. "He basically gets it right almost all of the time now. He trusts the reads, he trusts the principles and philosophy of the run game and he's been maxing out pretty much for a couple of years now."
The Seahawks visit the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday.