The Seahawks got 167 combined yards from Marshawn Lynch, a record-tying five field goals from Steven Hauschka and contributions from countless others in a 22-17 upset victory over the Ravens on Sunday.
Marshawn Lynch might have put the finishing touches on the Seahawks’ stunning upset of the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday, but it all started with a conversation the coaching staff had with Michael Robinson on Monday.
“They told me Monday, they said, ‘Mike, you’re on 52 (Ravens’ Pro Bowl linebacker Ray Lewis). He’s going to be yours all game,’ ” Robinson, the team’s fullback, offered after the now 3-6 Seahawks slapped the 6-3 Ravens with a 22-17 loss before a near-delirious crowd of 66,522 at CenturyLink Field.
With the lead-blocking Robinson paving a lot of the way, Lynch ran for 109 yards against a Ravens’ defense that entered the game ranked second in the NFL and allowing an average of 86.8 rushing yards. And Lynch saved his best for last, touching the ball seven consecutive times as the Seahawks first burned the clock and then let it run out on their improbable victory.
With the Seahawks’ holding that 22-17 lead, and after Tarvaris Jackson threaded a third-and-5 pass between defenders to wide receiver Golden Tate for a 24-yard gain to the Seahawks’ 49-yard line, the offense leaned on Lynch. He gained 4 yards and then 1, before his extra effort on third-and-5 gained 8 yards after Lynch took a short pass from Jackson. With the clock running, so was Lynch – as he went for 2, 8, 7 and finally 5 yards to produce two more first downs.
This victory to kick off the second half of the season was not a two-man show, or even a 22-man show as the Seahawks lost six players during the game: right guard John Moffitt to a knee injury; wide receivers Sidney Rice and Dou Baldwin and strong safety Kam Chancellor to concussions; and defensive lineman Anthony Hargrove and safety Atari Bigby to hamstring injuries.
This victory also came despite the Seahawks being flagged 13 times for 100 yards in penalties – both season highs for a team that has been battling penalty problems since the preseason.
But the Seahawks overcame it all – the loss of key players, the rash of penalties and the heavily favored Ravens – by playing their best all-around game of the season.
Steve Hauschka tied the franchise record by kicking five field goals and his mates on special teams set up two of them by forcing (Robinson and rookie Malcolm Smith) and then recovering (Ben Obomanu and Bigby) fumbles on kickoffs to give the Seahawks the ball at the Ravens’ 19- and 18-yard lines.
The defense set up a third when middle linebacker David Hawthorne intercepted a Joe Flacco pass that was tipped by fellow linebacker K.J. Wright and returned it 34 yards to the Ravens’ 4.
Those efforts allowed the Seahawks to a lead (19-7) into the locker room at the half for the first time this season and then stretch it to 22-7.
But it was Lynch who was there when needed, repeatedly and especially at the end.
He scored the Seahawks’ only touchdown, on a 1-yard run in the first quarter. It was his fifth consecutive game with a TD, the first time a Seahawk has done that since Shaun Alexander in 2005. He cracked the 100-yard rushing barrier for the second week in a row, making him the first Seahawk to do that since Julius Jones in 2008.
Lynch also was the first player out of the locker room, and unavailable for comment. But that was OK, too, because his teammates were more than happy to speak of him – if not for him – after he compiled 167 combined yards rushing and receiving.
“I’ve said it before, ‘The man walks aggressively,’ ” Robinson said. “I mean, everything about him is moving forward, being aggressive and trying to gain yardage. You’ve got to love that. All he was talking about in the middle of that last drive was somebody get him some Skittles.
“That’s the way the guy is. He’s a fun guy. I love blocking for the guy.”
One of Lynch’s final touches provided a highlight-reel move to elude Lewis.
“He made a great play,” Jackson said. “He made it look like he was out there in the backyard playing against some of his cousins or something.”
But he wasn’t. Lynch did his damage against one of the best, most-respected and, at times, even-feared defenses in the NFL.