It was a play that symbolized a season.
The Eagles had Marshawn Lynch stuffed once. They had him stuffed twice. They had him stuffed three times. The play seemed over. The play was over.
I thought he was done on that carry, Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said.
The Eagles defense did, too.
With the game scoreless and the Seahawks facing a 1st-and-goal from the Eagles 15-yard-line, Lynch got a handoff and immediately ran into a massive wall of Eagles tacklers.
Or ... would-be tacklers.
Lynch kept moving his feet. Kept trying to penetrate. Almost went down at one point but stayed on his feet. Kept moving. Just kept pushing forward until he heard the whistle.
There was no whistle. Only a 15-yard touchdown on a play in which at least seven Eagles had a chance to tackle him.
If you keep fighting and you keep scrambling to get another inch, stuff can happen, Carroll said. And thats exactly what happened on that play.
The Seahawks went on to win 31-14 Thursday night, and that play more than any other speaks for what this Eagles season is all about.
Stand around and wait for somebody else to make the play.
Not a good way to play football.
I was kind of disgusted myself, defensive end Trent Cole said. I couldnt figure it out myself. I thought he was caught up in there. And all of a sudden he popped up. I didnt even know who had the ball. He popped out of that big pile on his way to the end zone. Nothing you can do about it man. Weve got to wrap him and get him down.
Linebacker Jamar Chaney appeared to have the best chance of wrapping up Lynch. But the Eagles bounced off Lynch like they were trying to tackle Bo Jackson in Tecmo Bowl.
I had him, but I still had a blocker on me, Chaney said. Youve just got to keep going to the whistle. You cant expect them to blow the whistle.
Lynchs TD run set the tone for both teams on Thursday night. One team battled for 60 minutes, the other team didnt. One team kept pushing forward, the other team couldnt. One team refused to be stopped. The other? They got hammered again.
Lynchs brilliant TD run, in which he emerged from that wall of would-be tacklers and pranced into the end zone, got him started on a huge day. He added a 40-yard TD run in the second quarter and finished with 22 carries for 148 yards, the second-biggest game of his career. Lynch ran for 153 yards against the Bengals in 2007, while he was still with the Bills.
Just watching on the sidelines, I felt sorry for the defensive guys out there playing against him, Seahawks safety Kim Chancellor said. He doesnt come down from one tackle. Breaking tackles you cant ask for more from a back. Powerful.
He sure was powerful on that 15-yard touchdown run. Everybody in CenturyLink Stadium thought the play was over, but Lynch didnt quit.
Head coach Andy Reid should make his defense watch that play 1,000 times Friday. Its a heck of a lesson what true determination can accomplish on a football field.
It looked like there were a lot of bodies around him and obviously nobody got a hold of him, Reid said. He was able to squirt through. Our guys tried to jump on him and obviously nobody grabbed him. If you have a lot of bodies around a guy then, we have to get him down. Everybodys got to make that team effort to do that. ... And we didnt do a very good job of stopping him.
How can the Eagles simply let an opposing running back run right through the defense without so much as putting up a fight?
Thats Marshawn, Seahawks quarterback Tarvaris Jackson said. He always keeps his legs driving. He fights for every yard. Every carry he gets its like his last carry. He fights for every yard and it shows. Thats the type of guy you want behind you.
Lynch joined Michael Turner, Frank Gore, Fred Jackson and Matt Forte as the fifth running back to rush for 100 or more yards against the Eagles this year.
For the record, thats more 100-yard rushers than the Eagles allowed in two seasons under former defensive coordinator Sean McDermott.
Man, unbelievable, Seahawks fullback Michael Robinson said, The guy blows my mind every time we step on the field. We made a commitment to run the ball a few weeks ago I think right before the Dallas game and hes doing the right things. Hes doing an awesome job.
Lynchs 148 yards are most against the Eagles in five years, since the Redskins Ladell Betts ran for 171 in Week 14 of the 2006 season in a game the Eagles actually won at FedEx Field.
Its also the most yards by a Seattle running back since Shaun Alexander had 201 against the Packers in Week 12 of 2006.
He fights for every yard incredibly hard and it makes us all want to play for him that much harder, center Max Unger said. When you see effort like that from Marshawn, you cant help yourself but just give it all when you see somebody doing something like that.E-mail Reuben Frank at email@example.com
CSNPhilly.com's Andy Schwartz contributed to this story.