RB Theorem: Rookie Stunner Series: Marshawn Lynch

We call him “Beast Mode” because of his superhuman power between-the-tackles. The epic stories in twelfth man land are as thunderous as they are true. The media be damned! Lynch is a legend, so who cares if he didn’t play by the rules of normalcy.

Marshawn Lynch | Rookie Numbers – 280/1,115/7 | 4.0 YPA/85.8 YPG/21.5 APG | 18 rec 184 yards in 13 games

In 35 games for the California Golden Bears, Lynch ran for over 3,200 yards. This included a 1,200 yard and a 1,300-yard season as a sophomore and as a junior. He also scored 35 TDs in those 35 games. People may forget he recorded 68 collegiate receptions for 600 more yards. This capped off by 34/328/4 during his junior (and final) season.

The Buffalo Bills made Lynch the 12th overall pick of the 2007 draft. This was not a running back heavy class. Adrian Peterson went 7th overall (Vikings). AP was the only other major fantasy asset, besides Lynch. Lynch and AP were the only first rounders. Second rounders Kenny Irons (zero games played), Chris Henry (11 games played, 172 scrimmage yards), Brian Leonard (88 games played, 1,836 scrimmage yards) and Brandon Jackson (54 games played, 2,247 scrimmage yards) leave very little to talk about. For reference, this draft included two other potential Canton-bound players as JaMarcus Russell, Calvin Johnson and Joe Thomas were the top three picks.

Standing 5-foot-11 and weighing in at a rocked-up 215 pounds Lynch has lasted 11 years in the NFL. He is known for his power, but he ran a 4.46 40. His 7.05 3-cone was very respectable. Also, Lynch’s 125-inch broad jump would have been top five amongst the 2018 draft class. Not surprisingly, Lynch put up 20 bench press reps.

During his rookie year in Buffalo, Lynch proved to be a valuable asset. If you extrapolate his 21.5 carries per game average, you get a ridiculous 344 carries.

In the last 15 years, the only other first-round RBs to average over 20 carries per game are Cadillac Williams (20.7) and Ezekiel Elliott (21.5). Doug Martin just missed with 19.9. Lynch’s counterpart AP only average 17. Sixth-rounder (2012) Alfred Morris averaged 20.9.

Looking intently at Lynch’s rookie game logs you will notice pure touch consistency. No matter what the game flow would have suggested, Lynch never saw less than 18 carries in his 13 games.

Fellow rookie RB Fred ”Action” Jackson was second on the team with just 58 carries. Only three 100-yard games on the season isn’t spectacular. However, his worst effort of the season was a 61-yard game. In that particular game, he saved some PPR face with three receptions for 24 yards. His worst fantasy/PPR game was eight points in the shutout loss to Cleveland. In total, he only had three games under double digits PPR points, but he never had less than eight points. Lynch would eventually be named to the NFL All-Rookie Team. AP beat him out for rookie of the year honors.

If you have a pulse, you likely know the tale of the rest of Lynch’s career. After some disgruntlement and falling out of favor he was traded to Seattle. This was after rolling up at least 1,036 yards in each of his first two seasons with the Bills.

Upon his arrival in Seattle the legend of ”Beast Mode” was born. He started 11 of his 12 games with Seattle that first year. Though he averaged just 3.5 YPA, his thunder and power between-the-tackles earned him much respect.

During his next four seasons in Seattle, Lynch would carve his way into elite status. He would gain between 1,204 and 1,590 yards on the ground in each season. He never received less than 280 carries or scored less than 11 TDs.

Super Bowls were made, and one was won. Not surprisingly, Lynch made four straight Pro Bowl teams. He was also named a First Team All-Pro in 2012 when he rumbled for 1,590 yards.

Despite his not trusting of the media, he is still revered in the Pacific Northwest. Seahawk’s Nation will speak about his lore for decades.

Seven games into the 2015 season (his last with Seattle), Lynch required sports hernia surgery. This ended his regular season though he did return for the divisional round of the playoffs (a loss to Carolina). He was 29 going on 30 years old that April. He decided it was time to hang up his cleats in February 2016.

That experiment lasted a calendar year. Steadfast rumors became commonplace in March of 2017. They professed  Lynch was very interested in playing for his hometown team the Oakland Raiders. He would be 31 years and 141 days old when he made his debut for the Silver and Black.

Lynch maintained his career YPA of 4.3 during 21 games with Oakland and gained another 1,267 yards and scored 10 TDs as a Raider.


I am searching for the meaning of every bump on the pigskin. From leather helmets to a league with no point after attempts, I am researching with a wide shovel. -married/father/music fan/Raider Nation baby/deli meat enthusiast/three-cone extremist

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