In Week 2 against the New York Jets, Oakland Raiders running back Marshawn Lynch had his coming home party. And he absolutely rocked the house with all of his dancing in front of his hometown crowd after the Raiders scored a touchdown late in the game.
Lynch scored a TD himself in the game so he had a reason to dance and celebrate. But he had only 45 yards on 12 carries so he didn’t exactly have his coming out party for 2017. And contrary to what many believe, it is through no fault of his own.
Lynch is still one of the toughest RBs to bring down as most of his 3.4 yards per carry come after contact. For goodness sake, in his first game of the season he ran over Tennessee Titans Pro Bowl defensive lineman Jurrell Casey. So all the talk about Lynch being washed up is nonsense.
Lynch had 122 yards rushing in the first two weeks and averaged just over four yards per carry. His yards per carry has been cut in half in the two games since.
What the heck do you expect a running back to be able to accomplish averaging just 11 carries per game?
“Marshawn is doing well with the things that we’re asking him to do,” Offensive coordinator Todd Downing said this week, “we just haven’t hit it with the same sense of efficiency that we did the first couple of weeks. We look forward to seeing what Marshawn can do this week and watch our offensive line be physical.”
Raiders fans really do have reason to believe Sunday will be Lynch’s day. Sure, playing in Oakland will get him extra hyphy for the game but that’s not it.
They’re playing against the Baltimore Ravens, who just gave up 144 yards to Pittsburgh Steelers RB Le’Veon Bell, who hadn’t found his mojo in 2017 until then. As a matter of fact, the Ravens have given up 307 yards rushing in the last two games. Being without defensive tackle Brandon Williams has certainly contributed to that. He’s out again this week.
The Raiders haven’t given Lynch the ball enough lately but they have no choice now. All indications are EJ Manuel will be starting in place of Derek Carr. Even if Carr did somehow play, the Raiders won’t want to have him throwing too much and risking his health.
So look for Lynch to have a big game and for there to be more dancing.