On the 1st Play of Christmas... We analyze Marshawn Lynch's (college: California) manly run, Beast Quake.
On January 8, 2011 - The Seattle Seahawks were hosting the New Orleans Saints in the NFC Wild Card round of the playoffs. In a high scoring game, Seattle had built a 4 point lead in the 4th Quarter. After several punts, Seattle got the ball with 4:20 left in the game. On the first play of the drive, Lynch was stuffed for no gain. The Seahawks faced a 2nd and 10 at their own 33 yard line, protecting a 4-point lead with 3:38 remaining.
The Seahawks called "17 Power", a power run, for the first time in the game. Seattle lined up in an I formation, New Orleans lined up in a 2–5 "under" front with strong safety Roman Harper crowding the line of scrimmage, putting eight defenders near the box. Hasselbeck motioned wide receiver Ben Obomanu from the right to the left. At the snap, Seattle right guard Mike Gibson also pulled to the left.
Seattle had called zone runs for most of the game, but this call required man-on-man blocking. Carlson was assigned to block New Orleans linebacker Jo-Lonn Dunbar, while left tackle Russell Okung was assigned to defensive end Will Smith and Obomanu was assigned to Harper. Left guard Tyler Polumbus and center Chris Spencer were assigned to team up on defensive tackle Remi Ayodele and, ideally, push past him to block weak-side linebacker Scott Shanle. Robinson would push ahead and block New Orleans middle linebacker Jonathan Vilma, and Gibson would be free to lead Lynch and clean up any unblocked defenders. Meanwhile, on the right side of the formation, right tackle Sean Locklear would try to cut off defensive tackle Sedrick Ellis, and defensive end Alex Brown would be left unblocked on the outside.
As the play actually developed, Lynch recalled, "So I see the guard coming around, and in my head, I'm thinking, backside A gap. But for some reason, it carried me to the front side." Instead of rushing behind Gibson, Lynch rushed between Gibson and Robinson, finding an unblocked Shanle at the line of scrimmage. If Shanle had completed the tackle here, he would have limited Lynch to a 2-yard gain.
Instead, Lynch bounced away from Shanle's tackle. Downfield, Spencer was blocking Darren Sharper, who grabbed at Lynch's feet. Saints cornerback Jabari Greer's tackle slid off of Lynch. Lynch angled toward the right sideline, pursued by Tracy Porter, and shoved Porter to the ground with a stiff arm. Brown lunged for Lynch's heels but fell short. Ahead, Polumbus blocked Harper, who also missed Lynch. Lynch dove backwards into the endzone, with his right arm holding the ball aloft and his left hand grabbing his crotch, for the touchdown.
The Saints struck back with a touchdown, but could not convert the 2-point conversion, or another score, and ended up losing , 41-36.
It was later determined that crowd activity and noise was so great, specifically during Marshawn Lynch's game-clinching touchdown run, that a nearby seismic monitoring station registered a small tremor located at Qwest Field.