Wednesday, July 9, 2014
Seahawks' top plays: The Beast Quake
By Terry Blount
This is last of three nominations for the most memorable play in team history. In the previous two days we featured Steve Largent's bone-jarring revenge hit on the Denver Broncos safety Mike Harden in 1988 and Richard Sherman's Immaculate Deflection in the NFC Championship Game against the San Francisco 49ers.
Please vote for your choice as the Seattle Seahawks' most memorable play.
Score: Seahawks 41, Saints 36
Date: Jan. 8, 2011 Site: CenturyLink Field
This was the play that shook the earth, literally, and is widely regarded as one of the best touchdown runs in NFL history. It helped the Seahawks upset the favored New Orleans Saints in the playoff game.
The Seahawks had a second-and-10 at their 33-yard line with 3:38 to play, leading 34-30. Quarterback Matt Hasselbeck handed off to Marshawn Lynch on a power running play up the middle.
It appeared Lynch would be stopped for a 2-yard gain when he was face-to-face with New Orleans linebacker Scott Shanle. Not even close.
Lynch bounced off Shanle and three other would-be tacklers near the line of scrimmage. It was only the beginning.
Lynch headed downfield and continued bouncing off Saints defenders like a pinball. He pushed New Orleans defensive back Tracy Porter off him like Porter was rag doll.
Lynch broke eight tackles on his way to the score before diving backward into the end zone.
"Best run I've ever seen in my life," said Seahawks left tackle Russell Okung, one of the men up front that day for Seattle. "It was very exhilarating. I kind of stopped and watched at one point, just in awe. I was amazed."
The sellout crowd erupted, jumping up and down in a sea of noise. The reaction to the play registered as a seismic event around the stadium. Lynch is known for his relentless, physical running style, which led to the term Beast Mode. This moment became the Beast Quake.
Lynch, who grew up in a rough part of Oakland, California, saw the play as symbolic of his life.
"Growing up being where I'm from, a lot of people don't see the light," Lynch said in an "E:60" interview. "I didn't see the light in that play. I went forward, ran into some trouble, being on food stamps, living in the projects. Running headfirst into linebackers.
"I started to play football, things opened up for me a little bit. Breaking a couple more tackles. Going to jail, getting into trouble, comin' out of that.