This guest post was made by the SeatCrunch team.
Marshawn Lynch completely dominated the NFC west in 2011. Against opponents in his division, he rushed for 502 yards on 122 carries. In addition, he broke the Seattle Seahawks records for most consecutive games with a touchdown with 10. But this season was his first to brake 600 yards since 2008. Will 2012 prove to be an equally dominant year for the hot-or-cold RB in Seattle?
After last year, opposing defenses will likely send extra defenders Lynch’s way to try and slow him down. But this will simply open up the Seahawks passing game making defenders pay for focusing on the run. Even if the defense makes the call at the right time and sends multiple defenders after Lynch, there’s no guarantee they’ll slow him down. Lynch might be the best in the league at breaking tackles as displayed in his 67-yard run in the playoffs against the Saints in 2011.
Lynch was the only player who ran for 100 yards and scored a touchdown against the San Francisco 49ers in 2011, so he clearly has a knack for working his way around killer defenses. Although other teams in the NFC West are improving on the defensive side of the ball, none are anywhere near as strong as the Niners. My guess is Lynch’s running style will allow him to continue to beat the 49ers.
On top of all that, the Seahawks see an improved offensive line this year. Last year, Lynch had to make up for a slew of changes to the Seahawks offensive line, and not once did he falter. The OL in Seattle saw three different starting lineups and Lynch’s production remained consistent. With a stronger, more experienced group this year, expect Lynch’s production to increase.
When watching a player who has been a question mark for many years, it’s exciting to see the true Beast Mode make an appearance like it did last year. If he can continue to produce for the Seahawks in 2012, Marshawn Lynch will be one of the most exciting backs in the league.