During Super Bowl 50, Marshawn Lynch of the Seattle Seahawks announced on Twitter that he was “hanging up his cleats” and retiring from the NFL. Nobody was really surprised with the announcement since sources over the last few years have said he has been considering retiring.
The man known as “Beast Mode” did things his way and he didn’t care what anyone thought. He didn’t like talking to media and none of the media in Seattle seemed to care that he didn’t want to talk. The NFL and national media made a big stink about it the last few years. He famously stated during last year’s Super Bowl “I’m here so I won’t get fined” numerous times during media day. He decided to let his play on the field show that “he’s about that action, boss” and nothing else mattered to him.
Lynch brought something special to the Seattle area and all of the 12’s across the country. He brought a hard-nosed work effort that everyone fell in love with. He never shied away from contact and that is why many fans in Seattle, and the NFL in general, fell in love with him.
The “Beast Quake”
His first true act as “Beast Mode” happened during the playoffs after the 2010 NFL season. The Seahawks were taking on the defending Super Bowl Champions New Orleans Saints during the Wild Card Round. Clinging to a slim 34-30 lead with less than four minutes to go, Lynch did something special. He rumbled for a 67-yard touchdown to give the Seahawks a 41-30 lead. His touchdown run and the subsequent crowd noise actually cause a small earthquake in the area. If you don’t remember the run or just want to watch it again, click here and watch this gif.
Lynch brought toughness to an organization that many felt lacked it. He inspired his teammates to play their hardest at all times and to never stop fighting for every yard on the field.
Heart and Soul of the Seahawks
Marshawn, in this writer’s opinion, could be considered the heart and soul of the Seahawks since he arrived in Seattle during the 2010 NFL season. He was also the toughest and one of the best rusher in the NFL. From the 2011 NFL season and until the end of the 2014 season, nobody in the league had as many yards or rushing touchdowns then he had. During that four year period, Lynch ran the ball 1,181 times. He gained 5,357 yards on the ground with 48 rushing touchdowns.
To compare him to another great running back let’s take a look at Adrian Peterson’s stats during that time. Peterson carried the ball 856 times, gaining 4,408 yards on the ground and scored 33 rushing touchdowns. Some will say that it isn’t fair to judge the two because Peterson missed four games at the end of 2012 due to injury and missed 15 games in 2014 after being suspended by the league because of legal troubles. Regardless, Lynch should be considered one of the best running backs in the NFL the last four plus years.
Beast Quake 2.0
The Beast had another run late in the 2014 season against the Arizona Cardinals that somewhat mirrored the “beast quake” in January 2011. He broke off a 79-yard touchdown run after breaking several would be tacklers on his way into the endzone. Just watch the video below. It's a thrill to watch over and over again.
Injury Riddled 2015 Season
The 2015 season was a complete wash for the beast as he only played in seven games due to injury. He was a shell of himself due to a sports hernia and he ended up needing to have surgery after the Seahawks week 10 game against the Cardinals. Lynch was able to come back during the playoffs when the Seahawks took on the Carolina Panthers, but he was not effective at all as he only gained 20 yards on six carries.
Best Running Back in Seattle’s History?
Is Lynch the best running back to ever play in the Seahawks history? If you look at stats alone, he is not. He finished his Seahawks career rushing for a total of 6,347 yards on 1,457 rushing attempts which is good for fourth all-time. He finished with 57 rushing touchdowns and that is good for second all-time behind Shaun Alexander’s 100. Lynch is also seventh all-time in points scored with 392.
Some will want Lynch’s number retired by the team and this writer agrees. Nobody is sure if that will happen as the three players numbers that are retired, Steve Largent, Walter Jones and Cortez Kennedy, are all in the NFL Hall of Fame. Maybe the front office will make an exception and retire his number? Could you imagine another player from this day forward wearing #24? This writer shudders at the thought.
One day he should end up in the team’s “Ring of Honor” whenever he and the team are ready to do that. That is the very least the team could do for him if they in fact do not retire his number.
This writer will always remember the beast running defenders over, earning that extra yard. He will also remember all the joy he has brought to him and Seattle. He helped Seattle win their first ever Super Bowl in 2013 and come up one-yard short in 2014.
Even if he never becomes a member of the Hall of Fame, Lynch will always be in the hearts and thought of all 12’s across the country for what he did for this team in five and a half years as a Seahawk.
Just remember, Lynch “is about that action, boss."