Dynamic duo: Lynch, Harvin spark Seahawks’ offense in opener
Bash and dash.
It’s not a nickname so much as a recipe. At least it was on a night in which Marshawn Lynch was every bit the bruiser Seattle remembered while Percy Harvin was as explosive as the Seahawks imagined.
Bash and dash. Except Thursday night against Green Bay, the dash preceded the bash as Harvin touched the ball three times in Seattle’s first seven plays while Lynch got it once. It didn’t set the tone so much as it posed a dilemma: guard against Harvin’s lateral speed or respect Lynch’s up-the-gut power?
Green Bay didn’t do either one of those things. At least not well enough as Seattle won 36-16, demonstrating a defense that remained as stingy as it was a year ago with an offense more than capable of holding its own.
Lynch rushed for 110 yards, scored two touchdowns and provided proof of all of coach Pete Carroll’s predictions about his running back’s readiness.
“He’s looked so good all the way through camp,” Carroll said. “He showed it tonight.”
Lynch was the stiff jab the Seahawks kept throwing straight into Green Bay’s kisser, the kind of blow that only gets more painful as the game goes along.
Harvin is the hook the opponent doesn’t see coming, the player who is as speedy as he is elusive and capable of stretching a defense from one sideline to another. He caught seven passes for 59 yards, rushed four times for 41 and mixed in 60 yards worth of kickoff returns.
The Seahawks rushed for more yards than the Packers passed for in the game, Harvin providing the afterburners.
“It’s what we’ve all been hoping for,” Carroll said of Harvin.
More coverage of the Seahawks’ Week-1 win over Green Bay
|• Recap | Stats | Photos | Interviews | Carroll Show||• O’Neil: What We Learned||• Henderson: Avril, Bennett supply the pressure||• Henderson: Packers steer clear of Sherman||• Stecker: Packers’ running game stumbles||• Moore: Seahawks looked unstoppable|
It’s what Seattle has been waiting for, too, after hip surgery took away most of Harvin’s debut season with the Seahawks. While Harvin did come back to contribute last year, most memorably with his touchdown return in the Super Bowl, Thursday night’s debut against Green Bay showed just how essential an ingredient he will be to this team.
“He is such a good football player,” Carroll said. “We had a ton of different ways to show how we’re fitting him together in the offense.”
And there are times that Harvin’s job was to command the defense’s attention. Like in the fourth quarter as Harvin came in motion toward the quarterback’s right and watched as virtually every member of the Packers’ defense followed him if not with their feet, then certainly their eyes.
It was a set-up, Russell Wilson turning back and throwing to his left to Lynch for a 14-yard gain that demonstrated the danger of focusing too much on one of Seattle’s offensive threats.
“That’s the beauty of this offense, man,” Harvin said. “Each of us can draw attention at any given time. This time, I was able to draw a few defenders so that definitely was a plus for us.”
Actually, it was more than that on Thursday. It was a lethal combination that added up to 36 points, the most Green Bay had given up in a regular-season opener since 1983.
Bash and dash. Or in this case, it was Harvin’s dash setting up Lynch’s bash.