Sunday - Feb 17, 2019

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Beast Mode

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Underdogs by almost 11 points and suddenly famous for being the only NFL team in history to make the playoffs with a losing record, most believed Seattle’s season would conclude on Saturday in their humble abode of Qwest Field. Seriously, how can the winners of the laughing stock of the NFL this season – the NFC West – stand any chance against the high-powered offense of the defending Super Bowl champion New Orleans Saints? That would be absolutely asinine!

Veterans Matt Hasselbeck and Marshawn Lynch had no plans to bow down to the champs. Instead, the Seattle Seahawks sent the New Orleans Saints back to the bayou by completing one of the biggest playoff upsets in NFL history. Seattle scored 41 points against the Saints defense, their highest total of the season. With uncertainty regarding Hasselbeck’s health throughout the week, few expected the Seattle quarterback to light up New Orleans for four touchdowns, including three in the first half alone. Sorry Charlie (Whitehurst), Hasselbeck has still got the starting gig in the Pacific Northwest. Despite a career performance from their quarterback, Seattle’s defense struggled to slow down Drew Brees and the Saints who battled back to a four-point deficit at 34-30 in the fourth quarter.

With their Cinderella story looking to hit an early ending, “The Beast” took over. Lynch was a late addition to the team after being the odd man out in Buffalo this season. After impressive back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons in 2007 and 2008, Lynch’s numbers sharply declined over the next two seasons. Lynch ignored his recent struggles and transformed into his self-proclaimed “Beast Mode” late in the fourth quarter to seal Seattle’s win over New Orleans. In order to keep the clock running, coach Pete Carroll predictably called a series of running plays. After running for no gain on 1st-and 10, Lynch rushed forward with unrelenting force as he broke several tackles, stiff-armed and literally shoved New Orleans’ defenders to the side for a 67-yard touchdown run. Lynch’s heroic
rush, the longest of his career, will undoubtedly be regarded as one of the NFL’s greatest playoff runs as Seattle secured the upset. Lynch and Carroll embraced as the running back was handed the game ball for his incredible play.

With the Green Bay Packers holding on to defeat the Philadelphia Eagles, Seattle will once again be the underdogs against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field this Sunday. Although Chicago will certainly be the favorite, one cannot ignore the fact that the Seahawks defeated the Bears 23-20 at Solder Field during Week 6 with six sacks on Jay Cutler. Guess who’s laughing now?

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