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Breaking Down the Odds of Marshawn Lynch’s Historic Beast Quake Run vs the Saints

Marshawn Lynch holding football
Marshawn Lynch's 67-yard touchdown run against the Saints in 2011 caused an earthquake in Seattle.
  • In honor of Marshawn Lynch partnering with SportsBettingDime.com, we look back at one of the greatest moments of his NFL career
  • The “Beast Quake” run came against the Saints on Wild Card Weekend of the 2011 NFL Playoffs
  • See what the odds of Marshawn breaking each tackle during the run were

On January 8, 2011, Marshawn Lynch’s 67-yard touchdown run against the New Orleans Saints caused so much excitement in the stands at (then) Qwest Field in Seattle, a nearby seismograph responded to the ground motions.

On September 2, 2020, Marshawn is back with an earthquake-inducing play, partnering with SBD to bring sports bettors content they’ll be jumping up and down for. To celebrate the exciting news, we want to look back at the Beast Quake run and calculate the odds of Marshawn breaking each tackle on his way to the end zone.

Let’s start with a look at the play:

In breaking this play down, there are 5.5 points where Lynch could have been tackled – I’m only counting the swipe at his feet by Roman Harper at the end a half attempt. Let’s go through each one …

1) Scott Shanle’s Tackle at the Line of Scrimmage

  • Odds of Marshawn breaking this tackle: +650 (13.3%)

First of all, Saints linebacker (#58) Scott Shanle, fifth on the team in tackles that season, meets Marshawn right in the hole. He’s squared up and doesn’t leave Lynch much wiggle room. However, this is Beast Mode we are talking about. So I’m not saying Shanle tackles Lynch 7.5 out of ten times when they meet in the hole.

I’m saying there’s a 75% chance Lynch should go down on this play. While shaking Shanle, he is also dealing with his own offensive linemen – both tripping over their feet or bouncing off their backs – (#98) Sedrick Ellis’ grasp, and (#91) Will Smith taking a swipe at his legs.

Most good running backs do not escape this.

2) Darren Sharper and Remi Ayodele Tripping Him Up

  • Odds of Marshawn breaking these tackles: +550 (15.4%)

After breaking the first tackle, Beast Mode then has to deal with (#42) Darren Sharper and (#92) Remi Ayodele while trying to get back up to speed. Each defender gets a good piece of Marshawn and the two even get a brief hold of both his legs.

At the very least, he should have been tripped up here.

3) Jabari Greer vs a Stumbling Lynch

  • Odds of Marshawn breaking this tackle: +350 (22.2%)

While still stumbling from the previous tackle and trying to cover up the football with both hands, Saints corner (#33) Jabari Greer has a clean shot at Marshawn. Don’t let how easy Lynch made this look skew the reality of how often this play ends here.

Greer was not a bad tackler. He went a little high to try and take a swipe at the football, resulting in him slipping off Marshawn before getting any of his legs. But Marshawn did not have a free arm to fend off the tackler. This play normally ends here.

4) Tracy Porter Gets Thrown

  • Odds to break this tackle: +300 (25%)

Again, don’t take these odds the wrong way. Marshawn Lynch vs (#22) Tracy Porter in the open field is an easy win for the RB. But Beast Mode is not at full speed yet, having just broken Greer’s tackle, Porter closes the gap instantly, and Lynch isn’t left with much room at all along the sideline to go around the defender.

The only way Marshawn is breaking this tackle is by throwing Porter forward, which is obviously much easier said than done. But the action results in Lynch losing all momentum again with every Saints defender in pursuit.

5) Alex Brown in Pursuit

  • Odds to break this tackle: +150 (40%)

Saints DE (#96) Alex Brown has the opportunity to chase this play down because of the number of times Marshawn has been slowed by previous defenders. Brown dives at Marshawn’s feet and appears to get both of his heels.

Again, most running backs end up being tripped to the ground here.

5.5) Roman Harper’s Final Effort

  • Odds to break this tackle: -900 (90%)

After everything that had happened on this play, there was simply no way Marshawn was being tripped up by one of (#41) Roman Harper’s arms at the three-yard-line.

Even if Harper did manage to get more of Lynch’s leg, it’s very likely the RB has enough momentum to carry him into the end zone, or at the very least, extend the ball across the plane.

Now let’s recap:

Odds of Marshawn Breaking All the Tackles

Prop SBD’s Odds Implied Probability
Marshawn to break Scott Shanle’s tackle +650 13.3%
Marshawn to break Darren Sharper and Remi Ayodele’s tackles +550 15.4%
Marshawn to break Jabari Greer’s tackle +350 22.2%
Marshawn to break Tracy Porter’s tackle +300 25%
Marshawn to break Alex Brown’s tackle +150 40%
Marshawn to break Roman Harper’s tackle -900 90%
Marshawn to break all the tackles in Beast Quake run +243800 0.041%

Now keep in mind, these probabilities are quite inflated due to Beast Mode’s reputation. Marshawn was one of the all-time most difficult backs to bring down. If this was your average NFL running back, the probability of completing this run is zero.

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