Marshawn Lynch may be enjoying his time with the Oakland Raiders, but his antics and his history of going up against authority may be hurting his chances of staying on that team for good.
In last week’s win over the Kansas City Chiefs, Lynch made himself look like an idiot yet again when he got physical with a referee and then got suspended one game for it. Although he tried to challenge it, it ultimately did not go through and he will miss the game against the Buffalo Bills. But will it actually mean much for the Raiders? Or will winning this week mean that Lynch’s time in Oakland may be coming to an end sooner rather than later?
Lynch’s Early Antics
Marshawn Lynch has been known to be a pretty fiery guy and this goes back to his college days and in particular when he went out for a joyride on that cart after one of Cal’s wins. After that, he remained off the radar for some time since he was drafted by the Bills and wasn’t that effective there.
Lynch was traded to Seattle after the first three seasons with the Bills and won a Super Bowl with them in 2013, no doubt because of a great overall team at that time led by a great quarterback in Russell Wilson and skilled coaching in Pete Carroll. But then the antics started and they definitely came to fruition when he refused to speak to the media. This led to the ire of the NFL who had fined him multiple times before he finally showed up at a Super Bowl media day and kept answering, “I’m just here so I won’t be fined.”
Well, we’re a long way from that now and he’s now in Oakland trying to make an impact on his hometown team. So far, that impact has been less than satisfying and his antics are not making it any better.
What’s Wrong With The Running?
Even with Lynch, the Raiders don’t have a dependable threat that can both run and receive the ball out of the backfield. That has led to a somewhat troubling start for the Raiders, going 2-3 to start before winning against the Chiefs. In 2016, they finished with the sixth-best running game in the league in terms of total yards gained on the ground. Right now, they’re 11th in total carries and 10th in the league in yards per carry.
Not just that, but they’re 25th in the league in total carries, averaging only 21 carries per outing. That’s five fewer carries than in 2016. That has cost them in rushing yards too with only 650 so far through seven weeks of the season. That’s enough for 23rd but it’s definitely not a pretty ranking on the board.
Marshawn Lynch has had part of those numbers, but keep in mind that he’s no longer the same running back that we saw so many times in Seattle with his power running game and his ability to knock people over and outrun the defenders. That’s just not him anymore and so far it has led to some pretty bad numbers and it’s a worry many analysts have had about this team going forward.
What Should The Raiders Do?
It’s been very hard for running backs in recent history to have a sustained impact on the league, and in a league where the quarterback and the wide receiver are more important, it’s just been hard for a running back to get any traction.
Right now, the Raiders don’t have to do anything with Lynch. He’s been suspended and he’ll have to live with it and serve it. My guess is for this game, they’ll stay in the air most of this week because they don’t have any running game anyway and Derek Carr and Michael Crabtree can definitely make that happen on their own.
Lynch better heed this warning: One more stunt like what he did against that official and there will be consequences from the Raiders. The Raiders should not tolerate any of this behavior and they need to send a stern message to Lynch that this is unacceptable and will be condemned if done again.
We know one thing about Lynch, though, and it’s that he doesn’t care about authority. He always believes that he is the top authority and that he’ll do whatever he wants. And at some point, that’s going to cost him and it’s going to cost him very soon if he doesn’t understand that.