Lately, Marshawn Lynch has looked like someone NFL fans know very well: Marshawn Lynch.
After a year of retirement following some terrific seasons with the Seattle Seahawks, Lynch joined the Raiders this offseason. But his returns for a good chunk of this season weren’t terrific. After a solid 76 yards rushing in the season opener, Lynch had just 75 combined over his next three games.
But over the past four Raiders games, Lynch has scored four touchdowns – including one on a 51-yard burst this past weekend in a win over the New York Giants – and totaled 371 yards from scrimmage (92.8 per game). He’s coming off a 101-yard rushing day against the Giants that helped Oakland improve to 6-6 and a share of the AFC West lead.
“Marshawn is just taking over,” said quarterback Derek Carr.
The analytic website Pro Football Focus noted that Lynch again looks like the runaway power back who was so crucial to the Seahawks' success.
“That looked like the Lynch of old,” wrote PFF after the Giants game. “He was decisive in his cuts and generating additional yardage with his power. Nothing of course quite encapsulated this like his run after the catch late in the fourth quarter where he made one defender miss, ran through two more, before dragging a tackler for additional yardage. Can Beast Mode kick start this offense?”
Raiders linebacker Bruce Irvin, who played with Lynch in Seattle, says the running back, even at age 31, is playing like the younger version of himself.
“He’s a do-it-all guy,” Irvin told Paul Gutierrez of ESPN.com. “Run the ball, catch it out of the backfield, block. He’s finally getting his legs back underneath him and it’s showing. You can tell.”
Over his past four games, Lynch is averaging 4.3 yards per carry. In his previous games with the Raiders this season he averaged 3.7.
The Raiders and Lynch will try to keep it going Sunday when they take on the 6-6 Chiefs in Kansas City. Kickoff is set for 10 a.m. in the Bay Area.