This time, “Beast Mode” had to wait through a delayed start.
Marshawn Lynch stood on the sideline for the first seven plays, as the Seahawks used backup Robert Turbin and even wide receiver Percy Harvin as their lone running back during the six-play, game-opening drive to a touchdown.
Coach Pete Carroll said last season’s 1,200-yard rusher had his back tighten between pregame warmups and kickoff. It took 10 or so minutes of stretching on the sidelines and riding a stationary bike near Seattle’s bench for Lynch to get loose again.
It was the first time since Nov. 4, 2012, against Minnesota that Lynch didn’t start a game for Seattle. The offense began in a four-wide receiver, no-backs formation that day. The only other time Lynch hadn’t started was one game in 2010 because of injury.
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Lynch stood on the sideline next to Carroll in full uniform with his helmet and gloves on until he entered on Seattle’s eighth play. His first run gained 17 yards.
He finished with 17 carries for 72 yards plus five catches for 45 yards, including a big, 30-yard catch and run after quarterback Russell Wilson scrambled around his own backfield.
Lynch ran inside for 1 yard for a first down at the Washington 5 midway through the fourth quarter — then asked out of the game. Turbin replaced him for one play. Then Lynch re-entered, ran into the right flat on second and goal from the 9, caught Russell Wilson’s throw and bulled through a defender for the touchdown that made it 24-10 Seahawks with just over 6 minutes remaining.
That caused many of the locals to head early for the exits of massive FedEx Field.
REGAL RYAN (AGAIN)
A game after Carroll called him Seattle’s most valuable player in the overtime win over Denver, punter Jon Ryan was boomin’ em again.
He single-footedly kept Washington backed up inside its own 15 for three consecutive drives spanning the third and fourth quarters. That helped keep the Seahawks ahead 17-10.
Ryan averaged 43.3 yards on his first six punts into the fourth quarter. But his true value were two punts downed inside the Washington 10 — including one downed at the 1-yard line by a sprinting Jermaine Kearse from Lakewood.
Then in the fourth quarter, with Seattle leading only 17-10, Ryan was the holder for what would have been a short field goal attempt by Ryan Hauschka. The punter got out of his kneeling position and ran off the left tackle for a first down instead.
Ryan said special-teams coach Brian Schneider put the play into the game plan on Wednesday because he saw a weakness in Washington’s field-goal defense of seven down linemen and four behind them.
“I lobbied all week for that play,” Ryan said. “I’ve been in Brian Schneider’s ear all week for him to call that.
“I was so excited when he did.”
SCHILLING FORCED INTO CENTER
Center Max Unger limped off with a foot injury on Seattle’s 12-play touchdown drive midway through the fourth quarter and did not return.
That meant the Seahawks and NFL debut at center for Bellevue’s Stephen Schilling. The former San Diego Chargers guard and University of Michigan tackle moved to center during training camp in August, and became the second-team center when Lemuel Jeanpierre went on injured reserve last month with a nerve issue in his neck.
Schilling played center last season for the Chargers’ scout team.
Carroll said he didn’t think Unger’s injury was serious.
Thelma Shifflett was scheduled to be at FedEx Monday. Her son is Garry Gilliam, the Seahawks’ undrafted rookie tackle from Penn State and Harrisburg, Pa., about two hours north of Washington.
She saw her big boy — all grown up at 306 pounds — enter in the first quarter as an extra tight end with starter Zach Miller out for a few weeks following ankle surgery. Gilliam was a tight end for his first three seasons at Penn State.
Shifflett raised Gilliam and his older brother with special needs, Victor, by herself in the crime-filled Hill neighborhood of Pennsylvania’s capital city. To give Garry a future she didn’t think she could provide as a single mother, Shifflett sent Garry away from the Hill, alone, when he was seven years old to Milton Hershey School, 90 minutes from home. The cost-free, prekindergarten-through-12th grade home and school is for children from families of low income. The 105-year-old establishment is named after the man who set aside a trust for its creation, the American chocolatier for whom the city where the school is located (Hershey, Pa.) is named.
For those children who make it through to graduation, Milton Hershey School guarantees college tuition.
Gilliam is only the second person to make it through Milton Hershey and through college to play in the NFL. Joe Senser graduated from Milton Hershey in 1974 and played for the Minnesota Vikings.
Last week, during the Seahawks’ bye, Gilliam returned to Milton Hershey 16 years after he first enrolled there. He talked to its students. He visited his former coaches and mentors and attended the Friday-night game of his former high-school team.
EXTRA POINTS: Rush end Bruce Irvin, who missed the previous game against Denver with a rib/oblique injury, was a factor early in pass rushing on Monday. And DE Cliff Avril kept speeding around Washington’s right tackles so much the home team went through three of them in the first half alone trying to block him. … No surprises with the Seahawks’ inactives: CB Tharold Simon (knee), RB Christine Michael (still can’t surpass Robert Turbin as the No. 2 runner), rookie LB Kevin Pierre-Louis, T Alvin Bailey (oblique), WR Kevin Norwood (hasn’t broken through a deep receiving corps or past fellow rookie Paul Richardson after his foot injury), TE Zach Miller (ankle surgery last week), DE Greg Scruggs (last man in DL rotation).