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If Marshawn Lynch put up these numbers for Raiders in 2018 it will put him squarely in Hall of Fame discussion

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New York Giants vs Oakland Raiders Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images

In the Raiders season finale, Marshawn Lynch reached a nice little milestone. He hit 10,000 career rushing yards. Adding a digit to your total like that looks really good and make for tidy stats, but otherwise round numbers are somewhat arbitrary. Round numbers don’t necessarily put you in the conversation for the Hall of Fame.

Numbers matter when compared to your peers and your era. They are weighted far more heavily when making a case for a player’s Hall of Fame worthiness. If you can say ‘all players with X number of Y were inducted’ it means something.

As of right now, there are those who would say Marshawn Lynch deserves consideration. Others would disagree. Right now he is borderline, and probably outside that borderline if we’re honest.

To get inside that border and have the ‘yeas’ outweigh the ‘nays’, Marshawn would need to put up another good season.

Rushing yards

Right now Marshawn is sitting at 10,003 rushing yards for his career. That is 30th all time. In order to get inside the top 20 all time, he would need to run for 965 yards this season. That would surpass Warrick Dunn (not in the Hall of Fame) for that 20th spot. That alone wouldn’t make him a lock. The top 15 would. All but one eligible running back in the top 15 are in the Hall. But he would need over 2000 yards to do that, so that’s just not realistic. With 891 yards last season and finishing strong, 965 is well within reach for him.

Rushing touchdowns

Every eligible running back in the top 13 in rushing touchdowns is in the Hall of Fame. Sitting at 12 and 13 are Curtis Martin and Eric Dickerson with 90 rushing touchdowns. Marshawn has 81 rushing touchdowns for his career. If he gets 9 touchdowns, he would be tied with those greats and with 10, he surpasses them and ties for 10th most ever with Jerome Bettis and Franco Harris. And if you like round numbers, it would put him right at 100 total career touchdowns.

Marshawn had 7 touchdowns last season and in his last four full seasons, he averaged 14 touchdowns (12 rushing) per season. So, that’s very doable.

Playoffs

He’s already among the league’s best in playoff numbers. First and foremost, he has a Super Bowl ring. He was also a major factor in getting it. He would have two if the Seahawks had looked to him at least once more.

His 937 playoff rushing yards is 8th ever. Every eligible playoff rushing leader in the top 9 are already in the Hall of Fame. He is also tied for 8th ever with 9 playoff rushing touchdowns. And again, every eligible running back with 9 or more playoff rushing TD’s is in the Hall of Fame.

That postseason success goes a long way, but if that were it, Cliff Branch would be in the Hall of Fame (but I digress).

2018 numbers needed

965 yards, 10 touchdowns

If he puts up these numbers, he would be top 20 in rushing yards and top 10 in rushing touchdowns. That plus his Super Bowl ring and 937 playoff yards and 9 touchdowns (and counting?) would make it very difficult to deny his Hall of Fame credentials.