RENTON – One of the takeaways from Seattle’s game against Indianapolis: Marshawn Lynch carried the ball, he did so effectively, and cracked 100 yards for the first time this season. It was, in terms of total yards and yards per game, his best game of the season.
By halftime, Lynch had 11 carries for 76 yards. He averaged 6.9 yards per carry. But in the second half, Lynch carried the ball only six times for 26 yards. He carried the ball for 18 yards on the first play of the second half, then carried it two more times on the opening drive after halftime.
After that, he carried only three more times over the course of Seattle’s last four drives. He final stat line was 17 carries for 102 yards. So it begged the question: Did the Seahawks get away from the run (and Lynch) more than they would have liked in the second half?
“Not necessarily,” coach Pete Carroll said Monday. “We were just trying to advantage of the stuff we had going, and they had the football a little bit more than we wanted them to. We didn’t feel like that was the issue. We just needed to just convert on our plays and get us third-down wins. That’s always what happens. The third down-losses, kick the ball to the other team. So we needed to get to the next set of downs and it would’ve made a lot of difference.”
Carroll admitted he thought going into the game that Lynch might carry it more than his 19-carries-per-game average. (Lynch averaged just under 20 carries per game a year ago and 19 the season before that). It just didn’t work out that way in the second half.
“If he’s got to get the ball 30 times in a game,” Carroll said, “he’s ready to go. We’re not holding him back any. We’re just running the offense and playing the situations out. He’s doing really well, and he’s on it right now.”
Lynch has quietly put together another solid season, especially considering he rushed for only 43 yards and averaged 2.5 yards per carry in the season-opener at Carolina.
He’s on pace for 1,312 yards this season and is averaging 4.3 yards per carry. For comparison, he rushed for 1,590 yards last season, the best year of his career, and averaged 5.0 yards per carry.
And he has done it for most of the year behind an offensive line featuring three backups and missing two Pro Bowlers. The yards Lynch has picked up so far have come, in part, because of blocking, but many of them have also come almost solely because Lynch has picked them up with tough running or by making guys miss.