There’s Marshawn Lynch Beast Mode, and then there’s this collective Raiders Beast Mode touchdown.
The Rams almost stopped Marshawn at the three-yard line early in the first quarter. But that’s when his offensive line joined in and gave the veteran running back a colossal shove to the end zone. Every Rams player joined the pile, but Lynch stuck his arms just enough to get the touchdown. It’s art.
OK, Lynch and the Raiders didn’t technically run through all the Rams defensive players. They ran through 10 of them. Here’s what every Rams defender was doing on this domineering play:
Aaron Donald was ready, but you already knew that. At the seven-yard line, he pounced on the chance to stop Lynch, and he would’ve been successful were it not for two factors: Lynch found the slightest way to avoid him by cutting near Amari Cooper, and Donald collided with the smaller Josh Johnson. Bumping into Johnson stopped Donald, but it gave enough time for everyone to rush to the three-yard line and essentially kickstarted this good football play.
Lamarcus Joyner and Marqui Christian
Lamarcus Joyner and Marqui Christian were, for a brief second, what separated the Raiders from a touchdown. If it wasn’t for them, the initial Lynch run would have been a breeze into the end zone.
Nickell Robey-Coleman and Marcus Peters
Robey-Coleman, No. 23, was ready to stop Marshawn. In fact, he was one of the first players ready to stop the running back from reaching the end zone. The only problem is that he was overmatched by his bigger teammates. So while he initially tried to help, he found his way out of the action fast. By the end of the play, he could only look at everyone in the end zone.
Peters started the play covering Jordy Nelson, so he was too far to make an immediate impact. The most he could do was watch.
This wasn’t Talib’s best showing, but then again he wasn’t playing defensive line. You can see that he was prepared to cover up top as he stayed in or near the end zone, albeit he may have had an opportunity to help more. He was there with the initial tackler, Josh Johnson. But instead he let his teammates handle the dirty work. Eventually, he joined in when it was too late, attempting a last-second strip of the football to no avail.
Ndamukong Suh and John Franklin-Myers
There wasn’t much Los Angeles’ powerhouse linemen could do from where they started this play. They were farther away than most others, but they did make the effort and rushed to help.
Littleton was ready to risk it all to make up for being one of the last Rams players to stop Lynch. He dove on top of the pile, thinking he would be able to grab Lynch. Instead his momentum probably helped push the Raiders and got them six points. It’s the effort that counts.
Josh Johnson III
You have to applaud Johnson for his efforts. He was one of the first to get a hold of Lynch as soon as he approached the line. But instead of grabbing onto Lynch’s ankle, he crashed into Aaron Donald, lost his footing, and inadvertently did his best impression of Jeff Van Gundy during that fight between Alonzo Mourning and Larry Johnson. You know the one:
The resemblance is uncanny.
The Raiders line
The real MVPs of this play have to be Gabe Jackson and Rodney Hudson of the Raiders. They were the first to see six Rams defenders outnumbering Lynch. As soon as Jackson saw the scoring opportunity, he shoved Hudson in that direction. He’s the unsung hero of this play.