HomecolumnInside the Top 10 Plays of 2014: #2 - Beast Mode (&...

Inside the Top 10 Plays of 2014: #2 – Beast Mode (& Friends) 79-Yard Seahawks TD Run

Marshawn Lynch rips off amazing run vs Arizona with help of extraordinary wide receiver blocking…

*Tis the time of year for Top 10 football rundowns, but here at FBF, we aimed to provide you with something more profound than the typical ranking.

While the dazzling result may be what grabs our focus, there’s often an underlying factor that paved the way for the extraordinary – the catalyst that set everything in motion.

We’re unveiling the Top 10 plays from the previous NFL season, placing a greater emphasis on the subtle elements that contributed to the creation of those memorable moments.


The response is a definite “no.” I didn’t intentionally schedule the release of the Marshawn Lynch segment on this countdown to align with his appearance on Conan last night – the one where he took a dive into a pool of Skittles and shared some colorful anecdotes.

Now and then, odd coincidences just happen in this peculiar world. If you’re interested, here’s that Conan clip…

When it comes to the football aspect, Marshawn Lynch’s 79-yard touchdown run against the Arizona Cardinals last December is the kind of play that appeals to football enthusiasts across team loyalties.

It’s the type of play you can watch on repeat simply to savor the artistry of football.

This one never loses its appeal. “Beast Mode” not only met but exceeded expectations with this astonishing run, resembling more of a highlight from a high school game than an NFL one.

However, if you only focus on “Beast Mode,” you might miss a significant portion of the football artistry at play.

That’s where we step in to provide some insight. Beyond Lynch’s extraordinary physical effort, there was also a display of brilliance in reading the game against an overly aggressive Arizona defensive front.

Additionally, the pivotal initial block by the diminutive Seahawks wide receiver, Paul Richardson, against a heavily stacked defensive formation and the exceptional downfield hustle by Seattle wide receiver Ricardo Lockette were crucial elements.

Despite all the physical chaos and broken tackles, this play can be broken down into three fundamental components:

  1. Richardson executed a superb block against the descending safety, which led to the formation of an 8-man defensive lineup aimed at thwarting Lynch. This block, while never a certainty when it involves a smaller wide receiver pitted against a physically imposing strong safety, was pivotal. Without it, the play would have been stifled due to excessive congestion at the initial point of attack.
  2. Lynch exhibited impeccable decision-making with his cutback read,particularly in response to a blitz from the weakside linebacker. The adage “Live by the blitz, die by the blitz” has always held true for teams that rely heavily on pressure tactics to halt their opponents. In 2014, Arizona was a team that thrived on employing intricate blitz schemes. However, this specific blitz proved to be their undoing, significantly contributing to the Seahawks’ opportunity for this substantial gain.

    With one side of the formation overloaded by a descending safety aligned to Seattle’s running strength, Lynch senses the pressure emanating from the opposite direction. Swiftly, he darts back towards the naturally forming gap. This showcases a masterful level of play recognition. Lynch’s vision, in this instance, is exemplary. Yet, he also demonstrates the rapid directional change required to navigate the cutback lane and veer towards the outer edge – a top-tier attribute often overshadowed by the “Beast Mode” power image.

  3. Ricardo Lockette’s downfield blocking effort was nothing short of extraordinary. At first glance, it might seem like Lynch bulldozed a tackler downfield, reminiscent of his iconic run against the Saints years ago. While Lynch certainly shakes off the tackler with impressive balance and a stiff-arm move, a significant portion of the force that sends the would-be tackler to the ground comes from Lockette’s determined push.
    Subsequently, Ricardo effectively seals off another nearby potential tackler, guiding him out of bounds. He then sprints towards the end zone, ensuring there’s no last-minute attempt to prevent Lynch from scoring. Lynch’s contribution was commendable, but Lockette’s efforts were equally exceptional.
Aditya Rana
Aditya Rana
Aditya is a student currently pursuing his Bachelors degree in Business Studies. He is a writing enthusiast who enjoys creating unique contents, especially about the sports industry.


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