SEATTLE — Health-wise, Marshawn Lynch was less than his best on Thursday night.
But when it came to getting tough yards and making big plays, the Seattle Seahawks running back was too much to handle for the visiting Philadelphia Eagles.
Lynch, who was battling a stomach illness — he appeared to be vomiting on the sideline late in the game — churned for 148 yards on 22 carries with two highlight-film touchdown runs in Seattle’s 31-14 victory over the Eagles at CenturyLink Field.
His yardage total was a season single-game high and only 5 yards short of his career one-game best. Also, Lynch has now scored a touchdown in eight straight games in which he has played (he sat out the Cleveland game on Oct. 23 with back spasms).
“It’s unbelievable, man,” said Seahawks fullback Michael Robinson, Lynch’s lead blocker for much of the game. “The guy blows my mind every time we step on the field. We made a commitment to run the ball a few weeks ago and … he’s doing an awesome job.
“He is,” Robinson added, “one of the elite backs in this league.”
Lynch’s first touchdown run was maybe the most remarkable play of the game. In the opening quarter Seattle had a first-and-goal from just inside the 15-yard line (following a false start penalty) when Lynch took a handoff and completely disappeared into the middle of the line. A few seconds passed before Lynch suddenly burst from a pile of Seahawks and Eagles, and raced the remaining yards to the end zone.
“He ran to my side and I could feel him still churning his legs behind me,” said Seattle tight end Zach Miller. “So I just stayed on my guy and tried to drive him through the pile, and then out busted Marshawn.”
“He just popped out,” said Seattle center Max Unger. “That was unbelievable. You don’t see that very often. … That’s Marshawn for you right there.”
Lynch scored again on the first play of the second period. On a first-and-10 from the Philadephia 40, Lynch started left and then cut back to his right where a huge hole had opened. Getting a key block from tight end Cameron Morrah at the corner, Lynch sprinted to the right sideline and won a footrace to the end zone, capping his longest scoring run of the season.
“A big man like that running that fast, the league better watch out,” Robinson said.
Even Seattle’s defensive players were impressed.
“Just watching on the sidelines, I felt sorry for the defensive guys out there playing against him because he was running hard, powerful,” said Seahawks safety Kam Chancellor. “He doesn’t come down from one tackle. (He’s) breaking tackles and you can’t ask for more from a back.”
Lynch hurriedly dressed after the game and paused only a few seconds to talk with reporters while pulling on his jacket.
“The offensive line played a hell of game,” Lynch said. “Tarvaris did a hell of a job managing the game. We came out victorious. Everybody’s happy. And now we’re on to our break (the Seahawks have 11 days before their next game). Thank you.”
Lynch has now run for more than 100 yards in four of his last five games (135 vs. Dallas on Nov. 6, 109 vs. Baltimore on Nov. 13, 88 vs. St. Louis on Nov. 20 and 111 vs. Washington last Sunday). Thursday’s game was his first with more than one touchdown this season.
“The (offensive) linemen have been doing a great job of getting him holes to run through and (Lynch) has been doing a great job of finding them,” said Seahawks quarterback Tarvaris Jackson. “Marshawn has been making it happen.
“He always keeps his legs driving, he fights for every yard, and every carry he gets is like his last carry. And that’s the kind of guy you want behind you,” Jackson said.
Seahawks coach Pete Carroll confirmed after the game that Lynch was bothered by a stomach problem.
“He wasn’t feeling right,” Carroll said. “I don’t know what it was. He was kind of sick to his stomach.
“I don’t know what they did for him, but he came around OK. … Marshawn was just a monster again. The attitude that he gives our whole football team really is infectious.”
“(Being sick) worked for him because he played a heck of game,” added Miller with a smile.
And in another locker room a few paces away, Eagles coach Andy Reid acknowledged that Lynch seemed to swing the game to Seattle.
“He was the key to their offense,” he said. “And we didn’t do a very good job of stopping him.”
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