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Marshawn Lynch Resurrects His Career — And This Blog

Marshawn Lynch???

Of course Jabari Greer missed the tackle

No, not Marshawn Lynch! It just can’t be!

Along with being the most entertaining game of the weekend, Saturday’s early game between the Saints and the 7-9 Seahawks was also largely inexplicable.

A 10-point home underdog scores a season-high 41 on the defending champions; Matt Hasselbeck throws four touchdowns against a defense that had allowed the fewest aerial TDs in the leagues; John Carlson doubles his touchdown total from the season; Brandon Stokley becomes a deep threat; Jabari Greer misses at least seven tackles; Roman Harper gets embarrassed all day; DeShawn Wynn actually touches the ball on a two-point conversion attempt for some reason.

But it was Marshawn’s play, which I’m sure will become simply known as “The Run” in the Pacific Northwest, that was the most inexplicable.

If it was almost any other running back, I would be marveling at the athleticism, the determination, the power. But all of that is overshadowed by the player who pulled it off, because, frankly, Marshawn Lynch had been horrendous

Forget the arrests, a 2009 suspension for violating the league’s personal conduct policy, the accusation that he stole $20 from someone at a TGI Friday’s, the annoyingly cocky label of “Beast Mode,” which he named his style of play, Lynch’s play has spoken for itself lately. And it spoke with the volume of a mute.

Lynch enjoyed a solid rookie season (1,115 rushing yards, seven touchdowns) and then plateaued in 2008 (1,036 rushing yards, nine touchdowns). Since the start of the ’09 season, Lynch has been one of, if not the worst running back in the NFL. His 3.68 yards-per-carry average over the past two years is the lowest among backs who have at least 320 carries, barely worse than LaDainian Tomlinson and Cadillac Williams. He hadn’t run for more than 90 yards since week 16 of the 2008 season and finished seven games this year with fewer than 50 rushing yards. He lacked that “Beast Mode” mentality and usually just fell on first contact.

He has been horrendous. And then this.

At least eight missed tackles and a vicious stiff arm on Super Bowl XLIV darling, Tracy Porter, turned a short gain into a 67-yard playoff clincher. It had the athleticism, the determination and the power. Just like that, Lynch’s forgettable recent seasons have been forgotten. No matter what he does next year, you can guarantee that tape will be whipped out when Lynch becomes a free agent in 2012. And it will make him a great deal of money that he probably won’t deserve.

I can’t deny the greatness of that scamper to glory. But the biggest problem I have with it is that it leaves us with situations like these:

Earl Campbell. Jim Brown. John Riggins. Marcus Allen. Marshawn Lynch. Which of these does not belong?

For now, it’s a trick question as I’ve heard one or more of those first four names mentioned in the same sentence as Lynch in the past 24 hours.

He has been horrendous and now Marshawn Lynch is historic. I don’t think that’s a world I can live in.

Matt Hasselbeck had to be just as surprised as the rest of us

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