The Seahawks' Marshawn Lynch has taken on more carries than any other NFL running back over the past three years. He has topped 300 in each of the past two seasons. He is the unquestioned centerpiece of Seattle's offense, and that strategy has been very beneficial for the team, culminating in February's Super Bowl win.
But at some point, Lynch has to start feeling the effects from all of the punishment he has absorbed. He is 28 years old. A breakdown might be on the horizon. But the Seahawks aren't going to change anything; they will continue to ride Lynch as far as they can.
"You take Marshawn out of the game, there's a drop off to the next guy," running backs coach Sherman Smith said last month. "So why would we do that?"
Smith also said that forming any kind of committee backfield would hurt the offense because "we're watering down Marshawn's reps so we can get other backs in there."
I was wary of Lynch heading into last season due to workload concerns, and he continued to post consistently solid stats. Will he keep doing that this season? No one knows that answer, but Lynch deserves to be a top-six running back just based on his history and usage. And despite his physical style, he has missed just one game since joining the Seahawks in 2010. Maybe Lynch is just one of the lucky ones. Maybe he will be a player defenses fear for a few more years. Maybe Skittles has something to do with it.
But the Seahawks do possess a couple of nice backup running backs in Robert Turbin and possible future star Christine Michael . No matter what Smith says, the organization would be smart to start tapping the breaks on "Beast Mode" in the near future.