Marshawn Lynch‘s return was supposed to make the Seattle Seahawks unbeatable. We assumed that after an eight game layoff, that Lynch would bolster an offense that had already been firing at all cylinders. But after a modest 6 carry 20 yard performance the truth had become clear. An offense that once fed off of the Beast no longer needed him to win. In his absence Russell Wilson became a MVP candidate, Doug Baldwin had a career year, and rookie Tyler Lockett became an All-Pro. Although Lynch’s leadership and personality had been missed his contributions this year, 3 touchdowns and only 1 hundred yard game suggest that he had all but been forgotten.
For six seasons the success of the Seahawks rested soley on the broad shoulders of Lynch whose punishing style of running led to lots of wins, caused a earth quake, and made him a sure fire Canton-bound Hall-of-Famer. Each time Lynch took a handoff we all waited to see something amazing and rarely were we ever disappointed. But after the run that did not happen in Super Bowl 49 everything changed, either due to poor play calling or father time, it appears Beast Mode had been tamed.
Throughout the season a new culprit was identified as the reason why Lynch wasn’t producing like the decibel defying running back we had remembered. One week it was the Seahawks OC Darell Bevell, then it was a poor O-line, and by week 6 a sports hernia was diagnosed as the source of Lynch’s ineffectiveness.
After seeing other running backs have success behind the Seahawks O-line, after two months of rest we assumed that the Beast would return healthy and ready to destroy anyone in his path. But boy were we wrong instead we saw a running back who was only a shadow of himself. Not once did we consider how 2,744 carries would wear on his body. Not once did we consider that a decade of delivering punishment would have finally caught up with him.
Maybe there are a few more years left in the thirty year old running back. No matter how many more yards or touchdowns Lynch scores, in 2016 we learned that the Canton-bound running back is the Beast-mode no more. No matter what Lynch does next, we all know he will do it his way, because HE’S ABOUT THAT ACTION BOSS. Will he retire? What jersey will he wear next? Stay tuned… I know I will.