One Step Closer
In front of the 12th man, in weather that epitomized this time of year in the Pacific NorthWest, the Seattle Seahawks beat the New Orleans Saints for the second time in as many playoff games in the Pete Carroll era, to secure a spot in the NFC Championship game.
It wasn’t the most aesthetically pleasing of victories, but they all count the same at the end of the day.
On the backs of Marshawn Lynch and their league best defense, the Seahawks came out of the gate hot and put points up early and often. That trend would continue throughout the rest of the game, as the Saints really didn’t find their footing on offense until late in the third quarter.
Unfortunately for the Saints, too little far too late.
And the Game Ball Goes to…
No surprises here, Beast Mode stole the show. Lynch hit the ground running from the very first drive and much like in 2010, put the final nail in the Saints coffin. Seattle simply could not have asked for more from Lynch. He ran for 140 yards on the day and added another 3 yards through the air, for a total of 143 on the day.
Lynch also had two touchdowns; both were on the ground.
With all this being said, it should come as no surprise to anyone that Beast Mode had the highest grade of any of the Seahawks offensive players, on ProFootballFocus.
Lynch finished with a positive grade of 3.4, which put him a full 1.3 points ahead of the next best Seahawk, which happened to be his lead blocker Michael Robinson.
Most notably though for Lynch, he is now only two playoff games with 130 yards on the ground away from tying the record for the most playoff games with 130+ yards rushing. The record is currently held by former Denver Bronco, Terrell Davis.
Lynch may not have a chance at setting the record this season, but if all goes well he can certainly tie it.
If you read my post on the New Orleans Saints earlier this week, you’ll know just how important a role Kam Chancellor would play in shutting down Jimmy Graham. But hey, even I didn’t see him shutting down the league’s best tight end entirely.
Chancellor shut down Graham so effectively that the tight end only had one reception on the day for eight yards; he was thrown at five times.
And while the distinction of highest graded defensive player on the Seahawks belongs to Michael Bennett, who received a +7.2 grade, Chancellor’s 5.7 is nothing to scoff at. As a matter of fact, it’s the second highest grade on defense.
Individual achievements aside, this defense as a whole can take a lot of pride in their performance Saturday. They held a future hall of fame quarterback in Drew Brees to less than 50 yards in the first half, so yeah, they were on.