Two more Marshawn Lynch originals tonight in Arizona:
And this then after the game:
Instead of "yeah," instead of "no" -- his responses in previous postgame inteviews, Marshawn Lynch was holiday-spirit thankful tonight after truly running over the Cardinals.
Here's what it looked like just inside the doorway to the Seahawks' locker room at University of Phoenix Stadium.
It was brilliant. Lynch continues to mock the NFL's must-talk-to-the-media-after-games policy by technically talking -- but saying nothing.
His teammates had plenty to say about him. And not just about his running.
The only real concern in this latest domination by the Seahawks was normally near-automatic kicker Steven Hauschka missing three field goals.
Hauschka’s third miss temporarily kept Arizona in this virtual NFC West title game late in the third quarter Sunday night. Lynch, whose act the Seahawks are supposedly “tired of” (according to unsubstantiated national reports in October), playfully took off his green team beanie and put it atop Hauschka’s head. Then the running back patted his kicker on the back for encouragement. Both Seahawks smiled.
“It means a lot to have my teammates on my side like that,” Hauschka told me after tonight's game. “He understands.”
He also wows.
Sidelined for the game’s first two drives by nausea and dry heaves, Lynch cut right and cut left with the ball early in the fourth quarter. He bulled through four flailing Cardinals. He deftly, gracefully stayed inbounds. He crossed the goal line to cap his wowing, 79-yard run -- then twisted for an R-rated, grabbing, Nestea plunge.
One of Lynch’s most remarkable runs in his unique career was the most memorable of Seattle’s team-record 596 yards of offense. Russell Wilson threw two touchdown passes to tight end Luke Willson, then ran 5 yards with an outstanding TD run of his own. That plus another domination by the Seahawks’ top-ranked defense added up to a 35-6 steamrolling of Arizona that sets Seattle up for the NFC’s top seed in the playoffs.
“Words can’t describe that,” teammate Doug Baldwin (seven catches, 113 yards) said of Lynch’s run zig-zagging, bullish, yet graceful run.
“BeastMode II,” Richard Sherman (one interception) said, referring to the, bulldozing plow through New Orleans Saints in the 2010 playoffs at CenturyLink Field that set off seismic monitors around Seattle.
“I don’t know, that may be BeastMode I,” Sherman said. “He is a bad, bad, bad, bad, bad – continue to say ‘bad’ – man.”
It was so good, even LeBron James tweeted about it:
Lynch finished with 113 yards on 10 carries despite line coach Tom Cable – long a confidant of the fun-loving but media-averse running back – saying the notoriously queasy-before-games Lynch was “as sick as I’ve ever seen him. He was dry heaving in the first half.
“Then he comes back and does that?" Cable said, shaking his head in the tunnel outside the locker room, on his way to the team bus.