Probably my favorite Pete Carroll quote of 2015 goes like this:
"He's at large."
Is there any Seahawk besides Marshawn Lynch about whom you could imagine Carroll saying that, all while you nod along, internally going "yepyep, that sounds about right."
That was Monday, at Pete's press conference. Couple days later, reports surface that Lynch is in the V-Mac again. Not practicing, but present.
Marshawn Lynch sighting. He's back in the building today as the team is going through practice.— Curtis Crabtree (@Curtis_Crabtree) December 9, 2015
The whole bit, ever since Lynch's surgery on November 25, it's all so Marshawny. The guy marches to the beat of his very own drum. The coaches know it, we know it, he knows we know it. It's part of what makes Lynch Lynch, and makes Beast Mode work as a brand.
So If anyone knows how the rest of the season will shake out, after Lynch's rehab is complete, it's... well, frankly, it's nobody. Will Beast return to split carries with Thomas Rawls? Will one of them be the outright starter? How will Pete and the staff manage Lynch's re-integration into the offense and manage his touches? Will Lynch even be effective? Will he return at all, for that matter? And when, exactly? The eventual decision is made more complex by the on-field performance of the two men.
2015 Rawls: 150 touches for 862 yards and five scores
2015 Lynch: 124 touches for 497 yards and three scores
Oh yes there is plenty more. Without going into each runner's style and skillset, one important number leaps out:
2015 Rawls: 5.6 YPC
2015 Lynch: 3.8 YPC (his lowest since joining the Hawks full time)
And then, one of my favorites, success rate. Is the play a success (earning at least half the distance to a first down, or converting a third down) when you hand it off to one of these guys?
2015 Rawls: 61 percent
2015 Lynch: 50 percent
(Full list here at footballoutsiders.com, for context.)
In the previous two seasons, Lynch had accumulated 654 touches, scoring 31 times. A touchdown for every 21 times you got him the ball. Those aren't just monster fantasy stats -- they're Cantonesque.
Yet with him on the bench this season, the Seahawks have scored more frequently, more consistently, just more more.
With Lynch: 31, 17, 26, 13, 23, 20, 13. Average of 21.9 points.
Without Lynch: 24, 29, 39, 38 points. Average of 32.5 points.
When Lynch and Rawls share duties: 32 points.
The sample size is small and the opposition faced plays a part, no doubt. But when combined with the other stats listed above, it becomes really hard to say the 2015 offense has functioned better with Lynch.
So, there are those who like to call the Hawks a sports soap opera. Can't really argue with that right now, because hang on, this season contains another plot twist. Or two. Or three. And that's simply in the backfield.
Hence, the poll below exists. We're just bout that pollin, boss.