Marshawn Lynch is having a very un-Beast-like season. He’s rushed for a mere 411 yards and has found the end zone only three times. Part of that is due to injuries. Lynch has had issues with his neck, calf and hamstring, and he was recently held out of a game when a nagging abdominal issue made him inactive.
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In his place stepped Thomas Rawls, an undrafted rookie free agent who played for both Michigan and Central Michigan during his college career. Rawls had the game of his life, rushing 30 times for 209 yards (an average of 7 yards per carry) and a touchdown and gaining 46 more yards and scoring another TD through the air. He also did this:
Lynch has long been known as Beast Mode for his violent style of running, in which he usually sheds tacklers or carries a defender on his back as he fights for more yards. Last Sunday, Rawls laid serious claim to the title of Baby Beast Mode, trucking defenders left and right and refusing to go down after the first hit. For the year, Rawls is averaging 2.8 yards after contact. If that continues, his number will be the highest by a running back in three years, per ESPN Stats & Info.
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Rawls’s devastating combination of speed and power was on display in college as well, especially at Central Michigan, where he transferred as a senior to become the Chippewas’ feature back. Above, in a game against Notthern Illinois, Rawls runs over a defender who tries to stop him up the middle, then darts to the outside and showcases his speed with a burst down the left sideline.
With Lynch’s health uncertain, Rawls may be in line for many more carries as the Seahawks try to push their way back into the playoff picture. Something tells me they won’t be too upset by that.