For the past four seasons, Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch has terrorized the league, specifically the NFC West, with his bruising running style and long, strong runs in the clutch. His ferocity earned him the moniker Beast Mode and struck fear in the hearts of opponents and Skittles bags everywhere.
However, with Lynch out indefinitely as he recovers from hernia surgery, someone had to take up the mantle of NFC West Bruiser. On Sunday night, Cardinals rookie running back David Johnson staked his claim in a major way.
Topping Week 15's Top 10 "Performance Moments of the Week" presented by Bridgestone is David Johnson's tackle-shedding touchdown scamper.
Sidelined at the start of the season behind veterans Andre Ellington and Chris Johnson, David Johnson didn't see many snaps in the desert early on, which isn't strange for a rookie. The big, speedy back made a select few impactful plays in the Cardinals' early wins, but was never looked at as an anchor. That was until Chris Johnson and Ellington both went down with injuries, thrusting the rookie Johnson into the spotlight by Week 13.
Since taking over the role, David Johnson has impressed far beyond any pundit's imagination, nearing 100 rushing yards in Week 13 and 14 wins over the Rams and Vikings. On Sunday Night Football against the Eagles in Week 15, he took it to a whole other level. Johnson dominated the Philly front seven, and the next level, en route to a 187-yard, three-touchdown rushing performance that torched the Lincoln Financial Field turf and TVs around the country.
Johnson's shining moment came in the middle of the second quarter on a play that earned the rookie comparisons to Beast Mode. On second-and-5 from the Eagles' 47, Johnson took a handoff to the right where he was immediately caught up in a scrum of defenders. Amazingly, he emerged from the mass and burst out to the right. Turning the corner, Johnson broke another three tackles, stiff-armed a final defender and turned on the jets on his way to the end zone. The touchdown gave Arizona a lead it would not relinquish, and gave us a memory of a young rookie named David Johnson that we won't soon forget.
Also on the countdown: Kirk Cousinsreally likes thatDeSean Jackson is back on the field. ... Kamar Aikensays a Hail Mary. ... Welcome back, Marqise Lee!