Six weeks have come and gone since the Seahawks made a move to try and revitalize a running game that was among the National Football League’s worst to start the season.
Out was Julius Jones – completely – and Justin Forsett as the team’s primary rushers and in came Marshawn Lynch, a 24-year-old from Buffalo who ran for over 1,000 yards in two of his first four seasons as a pro with the Bills, for a fourth-round pick in April’s Draft and a conditional one in next year’s. The moves generated buzz amid many of the Seahawks’ faithful, but, looking back, has it all been worth it?
The answer might not be as clear as one would think.
Seattle’s gone 3-3 in that time and the ground game still hasn’t eclipsed the one-hundred-yard average mark this season. In fact, despite increasing their per-game average by 4.2 yards since Lynch’s arrival, the Seahawks have actually dropped from 29th to 30th in the league in the category.
Lynch hasn’t had a one-hundred-yard game since coming to the Pacific Northwest and has just one game of over 48 rushing yards. His touchdowns in a Seattle uniform match the number of fumbles he’s lost – two.
Numbers can be deceiving, though. In each of the three Seattle losses since Lynch joined the team, the game had gotten out of hand. The Seahawks had been outscored by a combined 79 points and were forced to abandon their run game. In fact, Lynch has had just two games since coming to Seattle in which he has had more than 13 carries; however, in the one game that he toted the football more than 20 times – a 22-10 Week Seven win against Arizona – the 5-foot-11, 215-pound Lynch ate up 89 yards and had a 39-yard scamper, his longest of the season.
The Seahawks have also been without starting left tackle Russell Okung for half of the time that Lynch has spent thus far with the team. Of the 253 rushing yards that Lynch has accumulated thus far in Seattle, 169 have come in the three games that the rookie lineman from Oklahoma State has played.
Head coach Pete Carroll has raved about Lynch during his weekly Wednesday press conferences, saying that his presence has been felt as early as day one at practice. Fans might disagree, but should they?
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