Marshawn Lynch averaged nearly 19 carries per game over four seasons from 2011-14, when he was the lead running back for a Seahawks team that went to two Super Bowls. He had almost exactly that number (18) in his first game with the Raiders. But since then, Lynch has averaged fewer than 10 carries per game, including several in which he hardly seemed to factor into the offensive game plan. Offensive coordinator Todd Downing said this week the Raiders are not trying to limit Lynch’s workload. Head coach Jack Del Rio echoed that when asked Friday if Lynch’s rush total has been ideal. “Could be a little more,” Del Rio said. “Like to push him, get him a little more.” Lynch’s season highs of 18 carries and 76 yards came in Week 1. His lows of two carries for 9 yards came in Week 7, when he was ejected in the first half for contacting an official. Lynch was suspended for the next game and bottled up in the first half of his return at Miami. Since the second half of the Miami game, though, Lynch has averaged 5.8 yards on 20 carries, including his two longest runs of the season (25 and 22 yards). Downing said Lynch appears “re-energized and refocused” since his return. “He’s running the ball well,” Downing said. “We were trying to get him rocking and rolling (on Sunday). I’m pleased with where he’s at. Hoping to be able to feed him a little more.” The Raiders ran the ball effectively in the first half Sunday against the Patriots (15 carries for 87 yards) but were forced away from the run when they fell behind 24-0 just after halftime. Lynch had nine carries for 61 yards in the first half and just two carries in the second. Downing cited the Raiders falling into those situations several times this season as a reason for their low rushing totals. Oakland is averaging the fewest rushing plays per game in the NFL this season (21.4) and is 27th in yardage (89.7) with Lynch, Jalen Richard and DeAndre Washington splitting carries.
Raiders would like to ‘feed’ Marshawn Lynch with more carries
San Francisco Chronicle | Nov 25