By Rich Myhre Herald Writer
SEATTLE _ As always, Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch was a man of few words after Sunday’s NFC championship game at CenturyLink Field.
And, as always, Lynch turned in a punishing performance, particularly in the second half as Seattle’s offense finally getting untracked. The Seahawks outscored San Francisco 20-7 in the third and fourth quarters, and it was Lynch who provided the rugged rushing yards in their 23-17 comeback victory over the visiting 49ers.
Even San Francisco coach Jim Harbaugh was impressed, calling Lynch “a great football player.”
Highlighting Lynch’s afternoon was a Beast-like touchdown run of 40 yards early in the third quarter. Taking a handoff up the middle, he got a big downfield block from offensive tackle Alvin Bailey, cut to the right sideline, and then won a footrace with two defenders coming from the left and a third closing from behind to reach the end zone just inside the right pylon.
“That was huge,” said Seattle center Max Unger. “That’s what Marshawn does, though. … He’s a stud. You can’t say enough good stuff about Marshawn.”
“He’s electrifying,” agreed Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson. “It all starts with the offensive line and tight ends, and the receivers blocking down the field, but his ability to make people miss and accelerate into the end zone, I think people underestimate his speed.”
That play was part of a big second half for Lynch, who had 76 yards on 10 carries after halftime. He finished with 109 yards, which was all but 6 yards of Seattle’s total on the ground.
“Marshawn Lynch did a phenomenal job of running the ball,” said Seattle wide receiver Golden Tate.
Seattle’s first-half rushing total — Lynch had 33 yards and quarterback Russell Wilson had 3 — “was frustrating,” conceded Seattle coach Pete Carroll. “We did want to run it. So we came out in the second half … to make sure that we could start to put our runs out there.
“(Lynch) really gave us some great plays,” Carroll said. “Of course, the big one was the one, but we felt his consistency was really important for us to come back in the third quarter.”