This time, Marshawn Lynch isn’t here just to avoid getting fined.
It had been more than a year since Lynch played in an NFL game, but he showed Sunday he still can make an impact. Lynch rushed for 34 yards on 12 carries and scored a touchdown during the Seattle Seahawks’ narrow 26-21 loss to the San Francisco 49ers.
His touchdown came on a one-yard plunge that evoked plenty of reactions from armchair quarterbacks on social media about what coach Pete Carroll should have done in the final seconds of Super Bowl XLIX.
It wasn’t all touchdowns and Skittles for Lynch, though. Earlier in the game, he got stuffed by 49ers defensive end Nick Bosa on fourth and inches.
Although Lynch’s impact was limited, the return of “Beast Mode” to CenturyLink Field was a positive development for the Seahawks even if they missed their chance to win the NFC West by mere millimeters.
The Seahawks signed the 33-year-old running back Monday following a string of season-ending injuries to Seattle’s running corps of C.J. Prosise (broken arm), Chris Carson (hip) and Rashad Penny (knee). Lynch, a fan favorite, hadn’t played since October 2018 and hadn’t played for Seattle since 2015.
The Seahawks further got the band back together by signing Robert Turbin, who once backed up Lynch.
Over six seasons in Seattle, Lynch had 6,347 yards rushing and 57 touchdowns during the regular season. He also had 937 yards rushing with nine touchdowns over 11 playoff games, which included a Super Bowl victory (2013).
If he’d had one more carry for a single yard, he might have delivered the Seahawks their second consecutive Super Bowl title. Carroll’s play call to pass the ball from the one-yard line against the Patriots lives on in infamy.
Late in Sunday night’s game, it appeared Carroll would get a chance at redemption with another big game on the line.
Trailing 26-21, Seattle drove to San Francisco’s one with 23 seconds left. But amid confusion about whether Lynch should check in, the Seahawks were called for a delay of game that moved them back to the six.
Lynch, who had run onto the field, had to turn right around and come off.
Quarterback Russell Wilson threw incomplete on two passes before finding Jacob Hollister on fourth down, but the tight end was stopped inches from the goal line, sealing the 49ers’ victory.
After the game, Lynch told reporters: “It felt good. But at the end of the day we play to win.”