SEATTLE – The Raiders hadn’t seen a running back like Seattle’s Marshawn Lynch all season. It’s hard to replicate the physical rushing style the Oakland native calls “beast mode,” but the Raiders planned to defend him with numbers like a pack of hyenas attacking a lion.
It worked at times but, in several key moments, the beast broke free. Lynch had 143 yards of total offense and two touchdowns in the Raiders’ 30-24 loss to the Seahawks and was the only effective weapon in Seattle’s arsenal.
“The guy is built low to the ground and he can get in and out of cuts,” Raiders safety Charles Woodson said. “One tackler is not going to get him down, you’ve got to gang tackle him. So, he’s one of the best in the league and they don’t call him Beast Mode for nothing’.”
He lived up to the moniker in the first quarter. Lynch was slowed just three yards from pay dirt, but the veteran kept churning and eventually pushed the Raiders beyond the goal line for the Seahawks’ first touchdown.
“There were a couple of guys on him early and we had a chance to get him down,” Woodson said. “Then he got help from his guys. We didn’t have enough guys to the ball, so that’s something the coaches will harp on this week. When you’re dealing with a tough back like that, you need people to the ball.”
The Raiders corralled quarterback Russell Wilson well. He was out of sync, struggled with throws downfield and finished with a 63.9 passer rating.
Lynch, however, was Wilson’s safety net. The veteran back also had 76 yards receiving, including a 39-yard jaunt following a Raiders penalty that gave Seattle a free first down.
He averaged just 3.2 yards per carry but churned out tough ones when it mattered most, and kept Seattle moving when the offense became stagnant.
Compare that to Darren McFadden’s effort. The Raiders’ feature back struggled against a tough Seahawks run defense and recorded just 20 yards on 13 carries. He was better in the passing game, with 47 yards on four receptions.
“Early on the game they beat us to the punch,” interim head coach Tony Sparano said. “Yards on the ground were hard to come by.”