The Washington Post

Seahawks offensive player to watch: RB Marshawn Lynch

Marshawn Lynch rushed for 1,590 yards and 11 touchdowns. (Elaine Thompson/Associated Press)

How he beats you: The third-leading rusher in the NFL, Lynch ran for 1,590 yards, averaging 5.0 yards a carry, and 11 touchdowns this season. Lynch sets the pace for the Seahawks offense, in the same way that the Redskins set up their own play-action passing attack with Alfred Morris. At 5-foot-11, 215 pounds, Lynch has both size and speed, which makes him hard to stop.

“He can do it all,” Redskins coach Mike Shanahan said. “He can make you miss in space. He has the speed, he has the toughness. He’s got the running skills to make you miss at the line of scrimmage and the open field. He’s a back that I’ve admired a lot of years.”

How to stop him: Containing Lynch will be the key to success, the Redskins believe. But it won’t be easy. Defensive end Jarvis Jenkins says that Lynch is “one of the hardest runners we’ve played,” and describes him as a taller Ray Rice. The key will be flying to the ball, filling gaps and gang tackling.

“He’s a balanced back and he can bounce off tackles easy,” Jenkins said. “You let him get in the secondary, and he’ll really cause problems. … You have to wrap up on him.”

The Redskins will try to limit Lynch’s impact and force quarterback Russell Wilson to make plays, then hope is they can continue to force turnovers as they have during their seven-game win streak.

Mike Jones covers the Washington Redskins for The Washington Post. When not writing about a Redskins development of some kind – which is rare – he can be found screaming and cheering at one of his kids’ softball, baseball, soccer or basketball games.



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Mike Jones · January 3, 2013