Remember when Marshawn Lynch had that little contract dispute with the Seattle Seahawks in the offseason? Remember when the coaching staff was talking up the amazing Christine Michael, and there was speculation that the Seahawks might move on from Lynch?
Seems like a long time ago, doesn’t it? Beast Mode is still very much in play.
Just for fun, let’s look at the numbers through three games.
Lynch: 52 carries, 234 yards, 4.5 yards per carry, three TDs, zero fumbles
Ah, negotiating tactics. This isn’t to suggest that Michael can’t be a good running back in the NFL, but obviously he has not taken any touches from Lynch. Robert Turbin, on the other hand, has carried 10 times for 35 yards and has caught three balls out of the backfield for 39 yards and a touchdown.
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Yes, Beast Mode is still around.
Russell Wilson led that game-winning drive against the Denver Broncos in overtime. His clutch throws and scrambles kept the ball moving. However, with the ball on the six, who got the ball? Who launched himself into the end zone in dramatic fashion?
You guessed it…Beast Mode.
Lynch actually has more yards this season through three games than he did in 2013 (210). You could argue that the Seahawks have become more pass-oriented now that Percy Harvin is healthy, but the numbers suggest that Seattle has certainly not abandoned the run.
Despite his productivity, could this still be the last year for Lynch in a Seahawks uniform? It could. Like so many veteran players that can seemingly still contribute, Lynch may eventually fall victim to the tough realities of the salary cap.
He is only due a base salary of $5 million in 2015, but according to Spotrac.com, he will count $8.5 million against the cap. That may be too much for a guy who will be 29 next April, particularly with Michael waiting in the wings.
Lynch has been very durable in the last three seasons, having only missed one game way back in 2011. Still, he has had lingering back issues throughout his career and one has to assume that eventually he will hit that proverbial running back “wall” that seems to befall all tailbacks in the modern NFL.
For now, Beast Mode is still very much a worthy moniker. Skittles for everyone.