Sports

Sidelines: Seahawks and Lynch shake up the NFL world - literally

Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch falls into the endzone after his earth-shaking 67-yard touchdown run late in the fourth quarter during Seattle
Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch falls into the endzone after his earth-shaking 67-yard touchdown run late in the fourth quarter during Seattle's 41-36 win over the New Orleans Saints Saturday at Qwest Field in the opening round of the NFL Playoffs.
— image credit: Photo by Ming Ming Su-Brown

I, as a Seattle Seahawks fan, was not going to apologize for anything. That’s what people around the country wanted me to do last week entering Saturday’s playoff game against the defending Super Bowl champion New Orleans Saints.

Sure, the ‘Hawks entered as the worst team in history to make the National Football League playoffs with a 7-9 regular-season record after winning the NFC West.

They were an unprecedented 10.5-point underdog at home and nobody, including you and I, picked them to beat the Saints. Their nine defeats came by an average of 21 points. Are you serious?

Even with all of that, I wasn’t about to apologize for the Seahawks making the playoffs. They did what they needed to do to get into the big dance.

But I never, in my wildest dreams, thought Seattle was going to win that game, despite being a former season-ticket holder (when they were actually affordable on a journalist’s salary).

And for those bandwagoners who were prancing around at work Monday morning saying things like, “I told you so” and “I knew they were going to pull off the upset” — please, get a life. Nobody saw this coming. Nobody.

I still can’t believe what I saw Saturday afternoon. I was ready to turn off the TV when the Saints took a quick 10-0 lead in the first quarter and head out with the wife, who had a pretty nice little Saturday planned. Home Depot, maybe Bed, Bath and Beyond. I don’t know.

Luckily, I held off the potential sofa/scented soap shopping long enough to see the Seahawks make a little history and earn a trip to Soldier Field to take on the Bears at 10 a.m. Sunday as one of four teams left in the NFC.

I not only got to see the Seahawks beat the defending Super Bowl champs, but I also got to see Marshawn Lynch’s Tecmo Bowl-esque, 67-yard touchdown run late in the fourth quarter of the 41-36 victory.

To call that the best touchdown run ever is not doing it justice. It was much more than that. “The Run” was literally an earth-shaking event in Seattle.

Some super smart guys at the Pacific Northwest Seismic Network say that Lynch’s 67-yard touchdown run was actually detected at a sensor that is just west of Qwest Field.

“We looked at the stations nearby and one station in particular just clearly showed the crowd roaring,” said John Vidale, director of the Pacific Northwest Seismic Network.

The game-clinching run was more than twice as long as any other run by a Seahawk in the team’s playoff history.

“You would probably feel it if you were standing outside the stadium,” Vidale said. “But it probably didn’t travel very far.”

Just how impressive was Lynch’s run? You or I can spew superlatives all day. But you or I never came close to playing or coaching in the NFL.

These guys did, which makes them extremely hard to impress.

Receiver Brandon Stokley: “Best I’ve ever seen, especially when we needed it. It was second and nine, and we needed a couple first downs there to run the clock out, and he just ran through the whole team. It was unbelievable. I was watching. I was hoping he’d just break through that first line and get the first down and he just kept going. And that’s kind of what he’s brought – he’s brought that mentality all year to us. One guy can’t bring that man down.”

Head coach Pete Carroll: “I don’t know, maybe I got it a little overrated there, but it was one of the greatest runs I ever saw. At the time when you needed it the most, it was just an incredible play. I’m sure that everybody will remember that run forever; for people who were at that game, it was one of those moments.”

So, just like last week, I don’t think the Seahawks have any chance of going into Soldier Field and winning to advance to the NFC Championship game, which Seattle could actually host if Green Bay beats Atlanta.

But I can’t wait for Sunday morning, hoping the Seahawks’ ride continues.

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