Marshawn Lynch’s most efficient run of the night didn’t come on the field.
The Seahawks’ workhorse running back showered, dressed and was out of the locker room Sunday at CenturyLink Field before any members of the media had a chance to ask him about his fourth straight game with more than 100 yards rushing and the fourth time in his career he has eclipsed the 1,000-yard mark – he now has 1,005.
It’s a not an atypical move for Lynch, who has shunned the spotlight and interview requests this season.
“He doesn’t even talk to me,” joked fullback Michael Robinson.
Instead, Lynch’s play – 124 yards and a touchdown on 27 carries in Seattle’s 28-7 victory over the New York Jets – and his teammates did the talking for him.
“For the whole football team, to see him get to 1,000 yards today is something everybody takes pride in,” coach Pete Carroll said. “When you’re a team that’s committed to the running game … it’s something that we’re proud of. He’s been tearing it up. He was busting his tail today.”
As a veteran running back in the NFL, Robinson knows what an accomplishment it is to reach 1,000 yards in a season. But to do it in just 10 games? Well, that’s special.
“That just doesn’t happen,” Robinson said of Lynch’s feat. “We force the run. That’s what we do. It’s hard to get a thousand yards in this league. I’m happy for Marshawn. He congratulated me, and I’m like, ‘No, congratulations to you.’ That’s just the kind of guy he is. He understands it takes all 11 guys to run the ball in this league.”
That much was evident after the 2011 season.
When the Seahawks reported for offseason conditioning last spring, the offensive linemen and Robinson found Gucci watches waiting in their lockers as a thank you for helping Lynch rush for more than 1,000 yards last season.
“He hooked us up, man,” offensive tackle Breno Giacommini said. “He takes care of us.”
Center Max Unger was wearing the watch after the game on Sunday.
“We have to get him something,” Unger said. “That guy makes so many yards on his own. He is an incredible football player. It shows week in and week out what he can do. We just try to block for him.”
Perhaps no play summed it up better than a run in the third quarter. Lynch was hit just 1 yard into the run. Another tackler came in to help. But when the play finally was blown dead, Lynch had dragged a handful of defenders almost 9 yards.
“That’s him in a nutshell,” Unger said. “You can’t ask for more out of a running back.”
And you won’t get more from a running back.
“There’s a lot of plays where he got hit right on the line of scrimmage, but he just kept battling and he turned it into a productive gain,” Carroll said.
Lynch is second in the NFL in rushing behind Minnesota’s Adrian Peterson, who rushed for 171 yards on Sunday to up his total to 1,128.
But the Seahawks will gladly keep the man nicknamed Beast Mode.
“He’s vital to our football team,” quarterback Russell Wilson said. “His ability to make people miss, his ability to run over people and just continue, when everybody is on him, just to continue to get four more yards on a 2-yard run, it’s just unbelievable. That’s what makes him the best running back in the National Football League.”
And despite the nickname for his hard running style, the legend of eating Skittles after touchdowns and his overall production, Lynch still remains overlooked by many in the league. His unwillingness to discuss his exploits might be a reason for it. But his teammates understand.
“Marshawn would rather speak with his actions and speak with his pads,” left tackle Russell Okung said. “And he tends to do that pretty well.”Ryan Divish: 253-597-8483 firstname.lastname@example.org @RyanDivish