Marshawn Lynch: the Christmas present for all the 12s

GLENDALE, AZ - DECEMBER 21: Running back Marshawn Lynch #24 of the Seattle Seahawks. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
GLENDALE, AZ - DECEMBER 21: Running back Marshawn Lynch #24 of the Seattle Seahawks. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /

The Seahawks desperately needed a running back. and picked up the best present ever in Marshawn Lynch. Time will tell if he’s a gift with real value.

I’m as excited as anybody about the Seahawks signing Marshawn Lynch. I instantly had visions of Lynch dancing with sugar plum fairies in the 49ers end zone, knocking Niners defenders over like so many toy soldiers. Ah, it was glorious. To see him go Beast Mode again, shedding tacklers like a Wal*Mart manager kicking out last-minute shoppers on Christmas Eve. Such a warm, cheery glow.

Then I remembered that Marshawn Lynch hasn’t played any football since Week Six of 2018. All good little 12s remember that 2015 had been a tough year for him, as his season was cut short after surgery for a sports hernia. The team hoped he’d be back in time for the playoffs, but it wasn’t to be. Lynch retired from the Seahawks after the 2015 season with a memorable tweet.

His retirement only lasted a year. Lynch returned to the NFL after a year off – but for his hometown Oakland Raiders, not the Seahawks. He wasn’t exactly Beastmode, but he still had a good season. Lynch played in 15 games and tallied 891 yards. The Raiders used him as the leader of a running back committee, but he was still effective. In Seattle, he had averaged 17.8 carries per game. In Oakland, his workload dropped to 13.8 runs per game that first season.

Last year, Lynch carried the ball a bit more often, but the injury bug bit again. After six games, the Raiders placed him on injured reserve with a groin injury. Ironically, his last game that season – what we all assumed was his final game ever – was against the Seahawks, who held their former hero in check with just 45 yards on 13 carries in a 27-3 beatdown. I remember the days when we had games like that, don’t you?

So now Marshawn Lynch is bringing Beastmode back to the town and the team that saw his greatest successes. His two seasons in Oakland might not have been as spectacular as his time in Seattle, but he was still effective and often dangerous. He totaled 1,267 yards on 297 carries, an average of 4.27 yards per carry. That’s just a tiny bit under his 4.36 yard average with the Seahawks. Lynch scored 10 touchdowns and racked up 65 first downs as a Raider. Per 100 carries, those averages, 3.37 touchdowns and 21.89 first downs compare favorably to his tallies with the Seahawks, 3.91 and 20.86.

I’d say there’s still plenty of Beast left in his tank. Sure, he’s another year older, but he hasn’t been taken any pounding during his 14 months away from the game. Ah, who am I kidding? He delivered more punishment than he ever got. I agree with Lee Vowell’s assessment of the move. The Seahawks were desperate. At the same time, it made perfect sense for Seattle to sign Lynch. They brought him in for at least part of the reason they also signed Robert Turbin. Like Lynch, he spent a few seasons with the organization, so he knows the philosophy and the expectations.

Next. The Seahawks offensive starters, 2010-2019. dark

As Geoff Shull wrote the other day, the return of Marshawn Lynch is the dream scenario for the Seahawks. All little 12s may sleep a bit more soundly this week, as visions of Beast Mode leap back into their hearts. Whether the dream will come true or just fade away…we’ll know Sunday night. As for me, I think Marshawn Lynch will be the proverbial gift that keeps on giving. A very Merry Christmas, 12s!