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Jonathan Dwyer, Trent Richardson deliver key runs


Sunday's games are in the books for Week 8. What plays will we remember? Marc Sessler chooses the five runs that defined this weekend's action.

Jonathan Dwyer isn't going away. This young back is exactly what the Pittsburgh Steelers are looking for: He runs with power and vision, bounces off tacklers and burns up the tough yardage. On top of that, Dwyer is healthy and less expensive than Rashard Mendenhall. Steelers offensive coordinator Todd Haley used Dwyer on Sunday to eat up the clock and set up the pass in a 27-12 win over the Washington Redskins. Dwyer averaged 6.3 yards per rush in his second NFL start, boosted by this first-quarter, 34-yard romp.

The Cleveland Browns drafted Trent Richardson to help win the ugly ones. The rookie back did exactly that in Sunday's 7-6 victory over the San Diego Chargers. Richardson was in obvious pain in last week's loss to the Indianapolis Colts, but he ran with purpose again Sunday. He piled up a career-high 122 yards on 24 carries. One of those touches delivered this 26-yard touchdown, aided by a pair of big-bodied allies. Take a gander.

The Seattle Seahawks lost to the Detroit Lions on Sunday, but we saw some magic from Marshawn Lynch. He flipped the switch and shifted into "Beast Mode" early against the Lions, ripping off the longest run of his career with this 77-yard, second-quarter score. Unfortunately for the Seahawks, Lynch was otherwise quiet, with his remaining 11 carries netting just 28 yards as Seattle fell to 4-4.

Let's dial it back to Thursday night for a minute, because we shouldn't overlook a monstrous outing by Doug Martin. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers rookie enjoyed his best game as a pro, rumbling for 135 yards on 29 carries in a 36-17 wipeout of the Minnesota Vikings. Watch Martin funnel up the belly of Minny's defense for 41 yards. The comparisons to Ray Rice have come quick, but it's up to Martin to make them legitimate.

Stevan Ridley piled up 127 yards on 15 carries with a touchdown in a 45-7 romp over the St. Louis Rams in London. His backfield mate, Shane Vereen, had 22 more, including this tone-setting score on fourth-and-goal from 1 yard out. The touchdown handed the Patriots an early 14-7 lead, and they never looked back. New England came into the game ranked fifth on the ground, thanks to an up-tempo attack that spreads the field and hammers defenses with a stream of quick runs. Ridley and Vereen are the direct beneficiaries.

Follow Marc Sessler on Twitter @MarcSesslerNFL.