Skittles and determination.
That’s all Marshawn Lynch need to fuel his two-touchdown, 148-yard effort Thursday night against the Philadelphia Eagles in Seattle. The game was the fourth time in five games Lynch has topped 100-yards rushing and his eighth-straight game with a touchdown.
Thursday night was yet another reminder that Marshawn “Beast Mode” Lynch will not be stopped. He is a madman on a mission. However, with free agency looming for Lynch, it seems Skittles may not be enough to satisfy this madman for long. Lynch is going to get paid one way or another.
Seattle fans are very cautious when it comes to throwing the big bucks at running backs, and understandably so. The Seahawks locked Shaun Alexander with an eight-year, $62 million contract after his breakout MVP season in 2005. While Lynch isn’t close to that kind of penny, his standout season will surely raise his asking price significantly.
Lynch has scored in eight-straight games and is starting to flash the kind of potential that made him an icon after his signature “Beast Quake” in the playoffs last season against the New Orleans Saints. The man runs with an interminable quench for the end zone; running with no regard for convention, Lynch is a wonderful anomaly. He leads the NFL in total yards and yards after contact since week nine and with four games remaining, Lynch looks to be the Seahawks first rusher to eclipse 1,000 yards in five years.
If it were up to me, I’d ink Lynch to a long-term, bottom-heavy contract before he breaks another tackle. The man is on the better side of 25 and is seemingly ripening into one of the league’s most fierce and tenacious runners. With Lynch in the fold, Head Coach Pete Carroll is able to execute his kind of game.
This run first, hit you in the teeth style offense coupled with a tough young defense is becoming a theme in Seattle, and people are starting to take notice. Gone are the days of loathing weak play, if there’s one thing this team has, it’s toughness. That’s precisely why the Seahawks must own this new identity and hold on to it. Lynch embodies this identity more than anyone; without Lynch, the Seahawks would be lost on offense.
For five years, the Seahawks have watched running backs come and go without any semblance of success. After Alexander’s demise, they’ve tried a number of mediocre running backs including Maurice Morris, Julius Jones, T.J. Duckett, Edgerrin James and Justin Forsett. None of them stuck.
Finally, Lynch presents an opportunity to turn a position of weakness into one of strength for years to come. It may cost more than anticipated, but in order to compete in this league, you need to be willing to spend money. The Seahawks have been running on a limited budget for the past two seasons, next year they’ll need to open up their purse strings and sign the players that will take them past the rebuilding phase and toward success.
Lynch is a commodity worth investing in. With each teeth-gritting run, Beast Mode is making people notice what the Seahawks have been hiding. The Seahawks need to pay up before someone else does. Skittles won’t cut it.