Running back Marshawn Lynch came out of retirement to suit up for Oakland and that will forever be engraved in Raiders lore, but what about his legacy?
Many people have different things to say about Lynch as a player and as a person, but the fact is he was one of the best. Many in Raider Nation may disagree with this statement and feel that he gave up on the team, his tenure on the field was wasted due to questionable coaching and a team that quickly found itself in disarray in 2017.
If there’s one undeniable truth in football is that stats don’t lie. And in the PFF era, Lynch will go down as the highest rated rusher with a final rating of 94.3, assuming he stays retired, which is ahead of Adrian Peterson, who is rated at 93.1.
— PFF OAK Raiders (@PFF_Raiders) May 9, 2019
Even if 2017 was a wasted year under the disastrous tenure of former Raiders offensive coordinator Todd Downing, it wasn’t without career milestones, most notably Lynch becoming the 31st player to rush for over 10,000 yards in their career in the season finale.
Head coach Jon Gruden’s return to the sidelines created much buzz around Oakland and it seemed, at least in the early going, that Lynch was primed for a special run last year. One indicator was Lynch scoring a touchdown in the first three games then rushing for 130 yards in Week 4 against the Cleveland Browns.
PFF also recently took a closer look at Lynch’s brief 2018 campaign, which has to ring bittersweet at what might’ve been for him. His yards after contact was an impressive 3.46 on 90 attempts.
— PFF OAK Raiders (@PFF_Raiders) May 12, 2019
Another eye-popping stat? How about the fact that Lynch averaged 0.27 forced missed tackles per attempt, which was first amongst all running backs.
No RB forced missed tackles more frequently than the now-retired Marshawn Lynch in 2018 pic.twitter.com/wyMCSJHvqS
— PFF Fantasy Football (@PFF_Fantasy) May 11, 2019
Unfortunately for the team and its fanbase, it appears this brief spell of greatness was only meant to be a spark as it seems Lynch will remain retired. His impact off the field in the Bay Area cannot be argued as he is a beloved figure and his charitable causes deserve much recognition. However, it seems like the on-field side of his tenure in Oakland will be remembered as a tease.
One thing is for sure, Lynch celebrating on the sideline will go down as one of the most iconic Raider moments of this century. What do you think Raider Nation? How will you remember Lynch’s tenure if he indeed stays retired?