By Brady Henderson
Those sounds you heard Sunday night at CenturyLink Field – other than the thunder roaring overhead – were the sighs of relief from Seahawks fans whose concerns over their team’s rushing attack were being eased one Marshawn Lynch run at a time.
That poor rushing performance last week in the season opener looked more like an aberration after the Seahawks ran wild during their 29-3 win over the 49ers. And in a perfect illustration of how much Seattle expects from its running game, coach Pete Carroll didn’t seem all that satisfied after a night in which his team racked up 172 yards and two touchdowns on the ground.
“We want to run the football, we’re dedicated to running the ball, and we’re going to keep working until we really own it, and we don’t own the running game like we can. We’ll get better at it,” he said. “It was a good night yardage-wise, but not as clean as it could be.”
The Seahawks committed five offensive holding penalties, some of them wiping out runs that would have pushed their rushing total closer to 200 yards. Nevertheless, it was significant improvement from a week ago when Seattle finished with 70 yards rushing, its lowest total since December of 2011.
Some of their struggles against Carolina in the opener could be chalked up to the fact that they were facing one of the league’s better front sevens. Not only did the Seahawks improve their rushing total by more than 100 yards on Sunday, but they did it against what might be the best front seven in football and, oh yeah, their biggest rival.
“It feels good to go out there and do that versus a very, very great defense,” said right tackle Breno Giacomini.
Monster games against the 49ers have been the norm of late for Lynch. That might help explain the casualness with which he crossed the goal line on one of his three touchdowns Sunday night, pausing for a moment to look at a 49ers defender before walking into the end zone.
That actually came on a 7-yard reception in the fourth quarter, but by that point Lynch had already done plenty of damage on the ground. He finished with two rushing touchdowns and 98 yards on 28 carries, falling just short of his fourth straight 100-yard rushing performance against San Francisco.
Lynch had averaged 107 yards in Seattle’s last three games against the 49ers, which is no small feat when you consider that San Francisco has only allowed two other players to top 100 yards rushing over its last 54 games.
Quarterback Russell Wilson had 33 yards on 10 carries Sunday night while Lynch’s backup, Robert Turbin, had 31 yards on six carries.
Follow Brady Henderson on Twitter @BradyHenderson.