Take a bow, maligned offensive line, for a splendid job in launching Marshawn Lynch and Russell Wilson to season-best feats in teardown of the Cardinals.
So many superlatives. So short are our arms to grasp them all. Instead, let’s begin with the absurd: Coach Pete Carroll attempting to explain the digestive mysteries of RB Marshawn Lynch that kept him out of the starting lineup and first quarter of Sunday night’s nationally televised evisceration of the Arizona Cardinals in Glendale, AZ.
“He was sick — a stomach issue,” Carroll said. “He couldn’t get well.
“He was trying to throw up and he couldn’t throw up. I don’t know if he ever got to it. It was holding him back.”
Finally, the NFL learns there is a recipe for stopping the Beast. But the Cardinals needed the four-quarter recipe, not the one-quarter. He recovered sufficiently to blow figurative chunks over the team that once had the best record in the NFL.
Which now is making sick the NFL playoff field.
The statement made by his 113 yards in 10 carries during the 35-6 soul-crusher sent a message screaming around the football nation: The dreaded defense is now accompanied by an offense that can put up a club-record 596 yards on the road against a good defense while missing 40 percent of the starting offensive line, which included a fourth-stringer at center. And was without three tight ends and No. 2 receiver.
It’s one thing to batter poor Ryan Lindley, the Cards’ third-string QB. That, everyone knew would happen. It’s quite another to pour 21 fourth-quarter points down the throat of a defense known for its fourth-quarter heroics. And do it with backups.
The feats of Lynch and QB Russell Wilson were obvious and soon committed to NFL Films immortality. But we pause in the we-are-not-worthy prostrations to offer a salute to LT Alvin Bailey and C Patrick Lewis, the latter the center after Max Unger and Steve Schilling were injured, and Lemuel Jeanpierre was passed over, to start.
“That’s a lot of yards (267 rushing and a 7.9 average) against a really tough group,” Carroll said. “It happened with some extraordinary execution with the guys (assistant coach Tom Cable) had playing.”
Carroll hailed Bailey, Lewis and guards James Carpenter and J.R. Sweezy, both playing with injuries, for the freight train work in the rushing game, as well as the pass protection that permitted a single sack after giving up seven to Arizona in the previous meeting.
“Playing with a loud crowd, the young guys were able to communicate,” Carroll said. “I’m really happy for them. They were the difference against one of best defenses in the NFL.”
Wilson did his part perhaps better than in any game in his astonishing three-year career. In completing 20 of 31 for 339 yards, Wilson’s timing, accuracy and judgments were often impeccable, better than at any time this season. His runs were well-timed, his throws, especially medium routes in the middle, were effective, and his touch remarkable — particularly the three to TE Luke Willson, the only man left standing at his position after Cooper Helfet went down (ribs) and Tony Moeaki was inactive (shoulder).
After WR Jermaine Kearse went out with a hamstring strain defending on a kickoff return, Wilson turned three times to Willson, the Canadian national via Rice University who suddenly went national Sunday night in a big way. Twice for touchdowns (80 yards and 20 yards) and another for 39 yards, Wilson lofted balls that caught Willson in full stride behind defenders.
“Russell was just ridiculous tonight,” Carroll said. ” He was so good. The rushing yards, the third down conversions, the big-time throws, the plays to get out of trouble. It’s as good as you can get.”
And then there was Lynch. To paraphrase from basketball poet Darryl Dawkins, his tackle-breaking, DB-outrunning, sideline-dancing, stiffarm-sticking, crotch-grabbing spine-chiller supreme was 79 yards of football history. Beast Quake worthy.
“Never seen a better run,” said Carroll. “It reminded me of O.J. Simpson’s run against Ohio State (in the 1969 Rose Bowl). So much fun to watch.”
Asked Russell Wilson: “Can it get any better?”
He was speaking of Lynch’s run, but it also was a question Carroll asked of his players during the week following a 17-7 deconstruction of the 49ers.
“Last week was nice,” Carroll said of his query: “Can you do it again? There was a lot of stuff at stake.”
They did it. Better. In sweeping the Arizona and San Francisco series, the Seahawks won the four games by a combined 90-19. And now they meet Sunday at home the division team that beat them — the Rams, 28-26 winners in St. Louis Oct. 19.
Carroll will re-ask the question: Can you do it again?
Imagine if Lynch has a beastly urp before the game.
Man Beast Mode is ridiculous man!!!
— LeBron James (@KingJames) December 22, 2014