#2 – Marshawn Lynch

To see the full list of the 20 best Seahawks in 2012, click here.

We ever-so-quietly witnessed one of the greatest running back seasons in Seattle Seahawks history.  This needs to be played up more!

I know, it’s thrilling to have a rookie quarterback who looks like he’s going to be the real deal with Bill McNeal, but I’ll tell you what:  Russell Wilson doesn’t accomplish what he did without the aid of Marshawn Lynch being a fucking workhorse!  Of course, it’s all connected; Lynch isn’t able to do what he did without an offensive line that did its job extremely well.  So be it.  Marshawn Lynch is still a special running back.

The last time the Seahawks had a running back so tough, so hard-nosed, and so beloved was back when Ricky Watters was stomping through holes in the line for chunks of yardage.  He spent his last four seasons of a criminally shortened career with the Seahawks before we decided to move on with Shaun Alexander.  It was a sensible gamble – after all, Alexander was a first round draft pick – but a big slice of bad-ass left the team the day they decided to not retain Ricky Watters.

That bad-assness returned with a vengeance once Marshawn Lynch put on a uniform.  Conventional wisdom has it that Alexander is the greatest Seahawks running back, but history will reveal the inherent flaws in his game.  Marshawn Lynch, meanwhile, is 1,300 yards away from holding sole possession of fourth place in the all time greatest Seahawks running backs list.  He’s a little over 6,000 yards away from Alexander, so it’s pretty safe to say that #1 spot is secure for now.  Nevertheless, when all is said and done, if we can squeeze another 2-3 quality seasons from Lynch, you have to wonder who is going to be remembered more fondly.  My bet is on Lynch.  Cash money, homey.

There are a couple schools of thought regarding Lynch.  On the plus side, he will only be 27 years old when the next season starts.  30 is usually the yardstick where we measure a running back’s effectiveness, so we’re still a ways away.  On the downside, he’s already played six full seasons in the NFL.  That’s a lot of wear and tear.  Still, as you can plainly see from him having his very-best season in 2012, we’re talking about a guy clearly in his prime.  As long as he keeps himself in shape (which, there’s no reason to believe he wouldn’t), you figure he can ride this wave at least through 2013 and probably on into 2014.  Then again, Lynch has carried the ball 600 times over the last two seasons.  I figure a conservative estimate is he takes 3 hits from a defender per carry.  We’re looking at around 1,800 hits!  The guy never goes out of bounds!  He never just falls to the ground on first contact!  How much more can one body withstand?

If you are of the religious sort, I’d start sending some serious prayers the Seahawks’ way.  They were WAY too healthy in 2012.  Chickens WILL come home to roost, my friends.  And when they do, I fear like the dickens about Marshawn Lynch’s back, knees, ankles, and feet.  Just need to carry him to a Super Bowl victory, that’s all I’m asking!

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