By Brady Henderson
It looked like a troubling sign for the Seahawks when their first seven rushes against New Orleans produced 19 yards, an average of just 2.7. Three of those runs went for either no gain or a loss.
“Body blows” is what fullback Michael Robinson called them, borrowing a term from the boxing lexicon to describe the rushes that produced only minimal gains but set up bigger ones. If Marshawn Lynch’s second touchdown run was the punch that sent the Saints to the deck, his first was the one that left them dazed.
The latter is the focus of this week’s edition of “Chalk Talk” with Brock Huard.
More coverage of Seattle’s divisional-round win over New Orleans at CenturyLink Field.
|• Recap | Stats | Photos | Postgame interviews||• O’Neil: What We Learned||• O’Neil: Another nail-biting finish for Seahawks||• Henderson: Harvin roughed up | Carroll’s take||• Henderson: Marshawn Lynch sets playoff record||• Stecker: Saints’ offense meets its match again||• O’Neil: Irvin, Graham square off during warmups|
The situation: The Seahawks led 6-0 early in the second quarter when they took over on New Orleans’ 24-yard line thanks to a fumble that defensive lineman Michael Bennett forced and recovered. On Seattle’s first play of the possession, receiver Percy Harvin gained 9 yards on a fly-sweep run to set up a second-and-1 from just inside the 15.
The play: Seattle sent three receivers to the left – Percy Harvin in the slot, Doug Baldwin and Golden Tate flanking him to the outside – with Russell Wilson in the shotgun and Lynch offset to his right. Lynch took the read-option handoff, bounced it off-tackle to the right and broke two tackles en route to the end zone.
The statement: “You know that he’s going to wear them down eventually,” Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman said of Lynch. “You know he’s running hard every play. I don’t know how many rushes he had – close to 30 – but he gets to wear you down.”