By: Derek Havens
In New England’s week 6 match up against the Seattle Seahawks, their ability to stop running back Marshawn Lynch may be the key to victory; however, that is easier said than done. The Seahawks tailback has been dominant at times in his career and can take over games. Here are a few thoughts to keep in mind for Sunday. –
– Lynch has rushed for 508 yards on 113 carries this season, adding 2 touchdowns on the ground. He ranks third in NFL rushing totals through five weeks. He has only fumbled once this season, but struggled with ball security early on in his career.
Brandon Spikes and the rest of the Patriots defense hopes to contain one of the NFL’s best running backs in Marshawn Lynch. (FILE:USPresswire)
– Even though Lynch is a threat rushing, he is also valuable in the passing game. As a three down running back, the 26-year-old can be on the field for any situation. While Seattle does not catch a ton of passes, he is very efficient and maximizes each oppurtunity. Through five games this season, he has caught eight passes for 59 yards.
– When Patriots defensive captain Vince Wilfork was asked about Marshawn Lynch on Thursday, he spoke highly of him.
“The guy can go anywhere. Sometimes, he doesn’t even need a block,” Wilfork said. “He breaks a lot, a lot of tackles — A lot of tackles. He’s been running hard ever since we were facing him at Buffalo. He’s just a tough, tough back. He’s strong. A physical runner. He’s quick. Shifty. He’s well put together.”
– Not only is Seattle’s star tailback averaging an impressive 4.8 yards-per-carry this season, Lynch leads the league in yards after contact with 229 yards. While I would not say he is a breakaway runner by any means, he has exceptional burst and hits the hole with a tremendous amount of force.
– Brandon Spikes and the Patriots linebackers will play a large role containing Lynch Sunday afternoon. If the defensive line can control the line of scrimmage, the linebackers should have the opportunities to make tackles for short or no gains. The team has done a pretty good job so far tackling this season, but you won’t be able to arm tackle Lynch. Defenders will need to stay disciplined and wrap up to ensure the Seahawks tailback won’t explode to the second level.
The Patriots ability to contain Lynch will undoubtedly be one of the keys to the game. While these statistics may make that out to be a tough task, it is not impossible. Bill Belichick has always done a great job of taking away what opposing teams do best and the unit played incredibly well last week.
While the defense has struggled at times this season, they have done a pretty good job against opposing running backs. The Pats have held Chris Johnson to 4 yards, C.J. Spiller to 33 yards, Fred Jackson to 29 yards and Willis McGahee to 51 yards. New England has the eighth-best run defense in the league, holding opponents to only 82.2 yards per game on the ground.
Hopefully, the defense can continue to build off their recent performances and continue to make strides. I believe the Pats do enough to contain Lynch, resulting in another New England victory.
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