Marshawn Lynch, Jamaal Charles had key Week 16 runs


Sunday's games are in the books for Week 16. What plays will we remember? Marc Sessler chooses five runs that defined the action.

We normally reserve the top spot for Adrian Peterson, but the Minnesota Vikings running back was kept in check Sunday. What we can offer you, however, is Jamaal Charles, the Kansas City Chiefs back who, like Peterson, overcame major offseason knee surgery.

Charles' fine season has been obscured by a one-sided Chiefs offense that's been pushed around in 2012, but Charles exploded Sunday for 226 yards and one touchdown on 22 carries. The Chiefs still lost 20-13 to the Indianapolis Colts, but they can exit this season excited about their star back's future.

We aren't done with the Chiefs. Charles' backfield mate, Peyton Hillis, turned Sunday into a party on the ground with another 15 carries for 101 yards, including this 16-yard burst below. Here's the damper: Sunday's fireworks from Charles and Hillis made the 2012 Chiefs the first team in NFL history to run for 350 yards -- and lose.

It's impossible to say enough about Alfred Morris. His quarterback, Robert Griffin III, always will grab the headlines, but this rookie back is the engine behind a Washington Redskins offense that motored its way to a sixth consecutive win Sunday with a 27-20 victory over the Philadelphia Eagles. Morris pumped out 91 yards on 22 carries -- including this 10-yard scoring burst below -- and has emerged as a genuine workhorse. It wasn't so long ago that Mike Shanahan couldn't decide who was driving his clown car of a backfield. Morris has changed all that.

The Houston Texans are stumbling into January. Two weeks after being wiped off the grid by the New England Patriots, the Texans were knocked around by the Vikings on Sunday. Normally reliable Arian Foster ran for just 15 yards on 10 carries in the 23-6 defeat and lost this critical second-quarter fumble. Then the Texans lost Foster to an irregular heartbeat. There has to be concern in Houston about where this team is headed with one week to go in the regular season.

Two words: Marshawn Lynch. The Seahawks running back terrorized the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday night, accounting for 111 yards and one touchdown on 26 carries in Seattle's 42-13 win. Lynch also scored through the air on a 9-yard pass from Russell Wilson, but let's ignore the numbers for a minute. Most impressive was the Seahawks' attitude of fearlessness. They directed their running game right at San Francisco's best pass rushers, nullifying the 49ers' defense and dominating the point of attack. Does anyone want to deal with the Seahawks in January? Anyone?

Follow Marc Sessler on Twitter @MarcSesslerNFL.