Seahawks fans may have again registered a measurable earthquake after Marshawn Lynch broke for a 31-yard touchdown run late in Sunday’s NFC Divisional Playoff game against the Saints in Seattle, reports the Associated Press.
The play was a perfectly blocked run to the outside of the field, where Lynch only had to overcome a single would-be-tackler after breaking out into the open. The 31-yard run came with 2 minutes 40 seconds left in the game and helped propel the Seahawks past the Saints and to a spot in the NFC championship game.
Lynch was crucial for the Seahawks win on Sunday, rushing for two touchdowns and setting a franchise playoff record for yards rushing with 28 carries for 140 yards on the ground.
The run echoed Lynch’s explosive and aptly named 67-yard “Beast Quake” run against the Saints in the NFC Wildcard Game in 2011. Unlike Sunday's texbook run, Lynch broke a half a dozen tackles in that run during an otherwise busted play.
The run sent Seattle fans into a quake-inducing fervor. Seahawks fans, popularly known in the region as the "12th man," stomped hard enough to measure in a “magnitude 1 or 2” earthquake at a Pacific Northwest Seismic Network (PNSN) station a few blocks away from CenturyLink Field, to the seismologists’ surprise.
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This time around the PNSN was ready. Scientists there set up two portable seismic stations to record the vibrations on Sunday. While Lynch’s run yesterday was not as long or arguably as heroic as the Beast Quake run, seismologists believe Sunday's fan-made quake was actually bigger than the Beast Quake. PNSN’s John Vidale says they will know definitively in a few days.
Scientists hope to learn more about the vibrational responses of large structures and unusual ground vibrations in an urban setting with the study. Seahawks fans seem happy to oblige, but would likely contend the seismic vibrations they make at CenturyLink Field are all but “unusual.” Seattle fans are known as some of the loudest in the league, and in 1984 the Seahawks retired the number 12 in honor of them.
Check out the PNSN’s readings from Sunday’s Seahawks-Saints game on its special webpage dedicated to the seismic potential of Seattle’s 12th Man.