Retrospect: Raiders running backs and the “30-year-old” mark

Raiders running back Marshawn Lynch is generating insane buzz with his hometown arrival but let’s look at what he’s going to be compared to as far as Raiders history is concerned.

Lynch is yet to play a down for the Oakland Raiders yet the buzz he’s generating is only adding to the heavy expectations for the team, even if some are forgetting that he hasn’t played in a year.

Playing with a monstrous offensive line and a future superstar in quarterback Derek Carr puts Lynch in prime position to have a season for the ages. Looking at some examples history says that a Raider having an outstanding season past the age of 30 hasn’t exactly happened; Lynch might be the one to set a new trend.

Marcus Allen, 1990

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At this point, it can be safely said Marcus Allen is the greatest arguably running back in Raiders history, but Allen’s performance in the 1990 season was spectacular all things considered.

Facing not only age but a deteriorating relationship with owner Al Davis (which brought accusations of career sabotage with it), Allen turned in one of his better seasons after bouncing back from 1989 season, where he only rushed for 293 yards while only starting five games. While Allen never reached the “1,000 yard mark” again in his career, the season showed Allen was far from done.

Charlie Garner, 2002

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It’s only appropriate with the lofty expectations that have befallen Lynch, that one of the backs in this look back was part of the last Raiders’ Super Bowl team.

Charlie Garner at the age of 30 was the focal point of the team’s rushing attack as he totaled 962 rushing yards and scored seven touchdowns. He also had the second-highest yards per carry of his career as he averaged 5.3 yards. Even though two seasons later Garner was out of the league, his accomplishment was impressive and as I said before it was the closest to a 1,000-yard rusher the team had for quite a while thereafter.

With an entire city, literally and figuratively, behind him, it’s within the realm of possibility that Lynch has an incredible year. Also, let’s not forget that he’ll be backed up by an exciting young stable of running backs that will help him stay healthy along the way. Even with history not on Lynch’s side, the fact is, that Raider Nation is behind him and barring major injury there’s no reason “Beast Mode” plows thru defenses this year.

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