super bowl

Can Marshawn Lynch Achieve ‘Predator Mode’ at Super Bowl XLIX?

Everyone knows about beast mode, #beastmode and the man behind it, Marshawn Lynch. We’ve seen his festivus feats of strength against multiple opponents (Saints 2012, Cardinals 2014 and Packers 2015); but has Marshawn Lynch given his best performance yet? Not likely. I believe there’s about to be a whole lot of Skittles devoured on Super Bowl Sunday and ‘Beast mode‘ is about to become ‘Predator mode.’

After all the fluff is gone and the “media” lets the teams truly focus on the big game, it’s Seattle vs. New England for football’s biggest prize. There are so many angles to cover in this game and the one man that can really decide if the Seahawks have it all this weekend is the Predator himself. When Lynch has his game going, he’s virtually unstoppable. His unforgiving force propels him further than most uber athletic human beings are allowed. What looks like a 2 yard gain or even a stop at the line of scrimmage can turn into a 10-13 yard trench by sheer determination.

There are a handful of backs that have that ability but no one really impacts the game like Lynch does. He doesn’t usually break open for 70 yards to pay dirt because somehow, some way that last fluke happens and he is pushed out of bounds. But, what Lynch DOES do is immeasurable pain to opposing teams defense play after play. He is a workhorse and if the right crack in the armor happens, its game over for the Patriots.

Marshawn isn’t perfect and the media sure has pointed that out this week. He grabs his junk, he doesn’t say much and he wears his own hats. Sounds like a guy to me? His wallet will be a lot lighter before the big game even happens; but he can thank the No Fun League for that. The man that ravages as a beast on the field is about to to take all you know about him and unleash ‘Predator Mode’.

We all remember the famous Predator movies; the dreadlocks, the spooky awesome mask and the heat vision. Marshawn is capable of his biggest game at the Super Bowl and the lack of true star receivers only helps his cause. Last year, there was an arsenal at Russell Wilson’s disposal and every target was a weapon. Percy Harvin and Golden Tate were the deep threats and this year it’s a committee approach. The one constant has been the man I am now calling The Predator.

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If you can’t stop him, if you can’t contain him there is little chance the game will end up positive for the Patriots. New England’s run defense this year ranked a decent 9th. They allowed 1669 yards from scrimmage and allowed 104.3 yards per game . When Lynch rushes for 85 yards or more, the Seahawks are 8-1 including playoffs and he has amassed 11 TD’s in that span, 2 of those games against top 10 defenses. Usually around the 90-100 yard mark is when the big game play happens and by then the the run defense has been broken apart. The Patriots pass D ranked 17th and allowed 3837 yards and 24 TD’s. Even Revis Island isn’t perfect all the time.

Russell Wilson will surely test NE’s DB’s at some point and he isn’t exactly a stranger to interceptions. But, knowing the air game will see it’s fair share on Sunday, that leaves Lynch to feast on the weak. Beast mode will be a thing of the past after the Seahawks claim their second Lombardi trophy in as many years and the Predator will be born. Despite his quirkiness, vulgarity and occasional self imposed vocal strikes, Marshawn Lynch is the most dangerous running back in the NFL.

Whatever the Seahawks decide to do in the offseason is their choice and up and coming power back Christine Michael may be the successor to Lynch’s throne. However, what the Seahawks would lose is a game breaker, a true game breaker that is unpredictable on the field. He has weaknesses and faults like any player does but at the end of the day he’s just a goofy guy that eats skittles and drags defenses all over the field.

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Marshawn Lynch is the Predator, he will destroy you.

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Safety with numbers

There are moments in sports that transcend reality; what happened at Super Bowl XLVIII was beyond reality. Literally, from the opening snap of the game, the Denver Broncos were not only playing catchup but they were left scratching their heads all night. The Seattle Seahawks did it right, they played their game. They scored a safety and a whole lot more.

Lost in all the fanfare and the bright lights of the Super Bowl was a storyline that probably doesn’t get enough credit: the Seahawks were the underdog. What goes with the underdog status is the background story that is all too familiar in the Northwest sports scene. No matter how much success, how many awards or how many wins the Seahawks piled up, they were still an underdog.

Its such a striking name to have. Having everyone view you as essentially, the loser, and you haven’t even played the game yet. How many wins will it take to earn the respect of being the better team? Do you have to win it all before you get the respect you deserve? Tough call; the New England Patriots didn’t have to deal with the critics the way the Seahawks have had to. Once Tom Brady ushered in his era of dominance, and so early too, he was a winner and anything the Patriots accomplished was added to that success.

The Hawks had been to the Super Bowl only 8 seasons prior and were a threat that year too! But they weren’t favored to win. They were the underdog. Having a rushing leader in Shaun Alexander that season gave Seattle a legitimate shot at winning the big game that year. The Seahawks would lose to the Steelers and to this day it is still questioned on if the referees cost the Hawks the title.

When you live in British Columbia or Washington State or the surrounding areas, you have dealt with the rest of North America calling you less than worthy. The Seahawks in this case, have had success in a lot of ways and lay claim to a few Hall of Famers. One would think this would give some legitimacy to their franchise. How about making 2 Super Bowls in 8 years? Nope, still isn’t good enough. Sure, the Hawks have been contenders for many years, had some rough patches as well, but they are basically viewed as the team that still just isn’t at that elite level. Statistically, they deserve a lot more credit than they are getting but no one that matters is giving it to them.

If you cheer for the Vancouver Canucks, its a story all too familiar. So many years of dominance in the Northwest Division, awards, star players coming up through the ranks, and a few Stanley Cup appearances to their name. All of that, and they are still viewed as a team that doesn’t deserve to be a favorite. They aren’t the sexy Chicago Blackhawks or Pittsburgh Penguins. There is no credit where its due. Will winning a title change all that? Hopefully it will. The Canucks deserve to be thought of as elite and not just another team that didn’t win. Maybe not this season though.

Now that the Seahawks can call themselves Super Bowl Champions, maybe the rest of the NFL will finally see what us locals have seen for a long time: a team that deserves to be called Champion. There are no Tom Brady’s or Peyton Manning’s. No Jerry Rice Ok he did have a quick stint there, but lets not dwell on that. This is a team that was built from the ground up and bought into a family mentallity, not just a team. This is a team that had a defense that had less holes in it than a bowling ball.

The Seattle Seahawks are now part of an exclusive club and nothing can change that. No controversy to stain their win, no bad calls or non calls that could have cost the Denver Broncos the game. The Hawks just flat out annihilated the Broncos and they made it look easy. They made it look like just another game, just another opponent. They are now for real and will be taken seriously. It took a win to do it but they won’t be called underdog anymore.

It all started with a Safety. It started with Pete Carroll putting together a family. It started with the Seattle Seahawks not listening to the haters and showing them why they should be taken seriously.

Congratulations Seattle Seahawks! You are our heroes

Cover photo courtesy of yahoo.com