"Beast Mode", aka Marshawn Lynch, has been bulldozing defenses since being drafted 12th overall out of the University of California. Displaying a freakish mixture of strength and speed, the 5'11'', 215lb running back can hit the edge while shedding tackles, use uncanny breakaway speed and make defenders look foolish and weak.
As demonstrated in the Seattle Seahawks' 2011 Wild Card match against the New Orleans Saints:
This Sunday afternoon, "Beast Mode" will face off against the "Monsters of the Midway”, the NFL's most opportunistic defense. Hell bent and fixated on forcing turnovers and creating scoring opportunities, this year's Bears may not be that all that unfamiliar to the Pro Bowl running back.
In his two regular season contests against Chicago, Lynch has only gained a total of 86 yards but has scored three touchdowns, all in the red zone, and he holds a 2-0 advantage over the Bears. Lynch did lose against the Bears in 2010 when Seattle met Chicago at home in the playoffs.
This year, four out of Lynch's five touchdowns have come in the Red Zone. Marshawn's TD total is down slightly from this point last season due to the success of rookie quarterback Russell Wilson (2,051yds, 17TDs, 8INTs) and the Seattle passing attack.
Chicago will boast a defense that is nearly at full health—Lance Briggs (ankle) and Charles Tillman (ankle) are both probable to start. This should serve as an advantage for Chicago. Also, weather appears to be a big factor when the Bears go up against "Beast Mode".
In the 2010 playoffs, Lynch recorded only two yards on a 24-degree, frozen Soldier Field. In their December match-up last season, the temperature was 39 degrees. Lynch rushed for only 42 yards but managed to reach pay-dirt twice in Red Zone situations.
Clearly, the key is to keep the "Beast" from smelling blood in the Red Zone.
So who will you side with, a "Beast" or a "Monster"?