SEATTLE, Wash. -- In a game where the Seattle Seahawks beat the tar out of the Philadelphia Eagles to the tune of a 31-14 score and ran for 178 yards on 33 carries in the process, Marshawn Lynch's 15-yard touchdown run with 9:19 remaining in the first quarter may have been the definitive play. It typified the way Lynch has been running over the last month — as physically as any back in the NFL — and it's why he finished with 148 yards and two touchdowns on the ground.
Why he was chowing down on Skittles after the play -- especially when he had an upset stomach -- was a different story. Lynch has said that his mom used to feed him the candy in high school, and the tradition has continued to his day. Touchdown? Skittles. That's not something you normally see during an NFL game.
Running back Justin Forsett, Lynch's teammate going all the way back to their days together at Cal, said hypothesized after the game that Lynch may indeed derive some kind of mystical power from the candy, and that an endorsement deal would be the only fair gesture in return.
Good news, America -- according to Darren Rovell of CNBC, the Skittles people have offered Lynch a two-year supply of the candy and a custom dispenser for his locker as a gesture of gratitude for all the product placement.
Lynch had very few words before he bailed from the locker room, and that's his usual M.O. after a good game. "It was all about the offensive line," he said. "We managed the game, we came out victorious, everybody's happy, and now we're on to our break. Thank you!"
Michael Robinson, the fullback who blocked for so many of the plays that had the Eagles at sixes and sevens (formations in which the Seahawks had two backs and two tight ends just drove them nuts), was in the scrum for most of the event.
"Yeah — he disappeared," Robinson said. "I got smashed in the face — my nose started bleeding and everything. I don't know what happened. Next thing you know, I'm seeing blood, and I'm running to the sideline.
Center Max Unger wasn't aware that the play happened until he ehard the crowd. "No — I was pushing in there, and he just popped out, and I didn't even see him get in the end zone."
Quarterback Tarvaris Jackson: "I was carrying out my fake and I turned around and saw him just fighting for yards. So, I wanted to get downfield and see if I could get a block. He busted up out of there, and cut back inside, and got in the end zone. That's Marshawn. He always keeps his legs driving, and he fights for every yard. Every carry he gets, it's like his last carry. That's the type of guy you want behind you."
Left guard Robert Gallery: "It's one of those [plays] where you're blocking a guy, and you think he's down, and you turn around, and he's running to the end zone. Credit to him and the way he runs; he gives us a spark, and he doesn't need much up front to bust it."
For the Philadelphia Eagles, understandably, the remembrances were not quite as positive. "It looked like there were a lot of bodies around him," Eagles head coach Andy Reid said. "And obviously, nobody got a hold of him. He was able to squirt through. Our guys tried to jump on him, and nobody grabbed him. He was the key to their offense, and we didn't do a very good job of stopping him."
Defensive end Trent Cole was a bit more frank. "I was kind of disgusted with myself — I couldn't figure it out [how Lynch broke free]. I thought he was caught up in there, and all of a sudden, he popped out. When he popped out, I didn't know who had the ball. He3 was on his way to the end zone, and there was nothing we could do about it. We've got to wrap him up and get him down."
While Lynch was unavailable to talk about the play, head coach Pete Carroll didn't even see it. "I missed it. All of a sudden, he's out of the pack. I thought that he was done on that carry, so I was surprised as anybody, and I still haven't seen the replays, either. We've had a number of plays where our linemen are really pushing the pile and shoving and fighting to the last of the play, and that was one which was indicative of why you do that. If you keep fighting and scrambling to get another inch, stuff can happen. And that's exactly what happened on that play."
"The guy … he blows my mind every time we step on the field," Robinson said of Lynch. "We made a commitment to run the ball a few weeks ago, right before the Dallas game, and man … he's runnin' that thang. It's a combination of things — the offensive line understanding what he's looking at, and he's understanding what the offensive line is looking at. It's also just more reps — I'm not sure how the rep count would go, but it would probably be about what OTA's would be early in the season. It's coming together."
The 5-7 Seahawks may be out of the playoffs in a realistic sense, but they've taken the idea of finishing strong to heart. And nobody embodies that spirit more than Marshawn Lynch.
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