The Seattle Seahawks made some pre-holiday news by signing former Pro Bowl running back Marshawn Lynch. This came following major injuries to running backs C.J. Prosise and Chris Carson.
The issues: Lynch has not played competitive football since Week 6 of the 2018 season. Expecting any short-term production from him is far-fetched.
- Consider this. In losing Penny, Carson and Prosise, that’s 1,672 rushing yards on the season. The team’s leading rusher (outside of quarterback) is Travis Homer with 52 yards on the season.
- A 33-year-old running back who has not played in 14-plus months is not going to dramatically change what will be an unbalanced offense moving forward.
Other issues: It’s not just the running back position that’s an issue for Pete Carroll and Co.
- The Seahawks will be without starting left tackle Duane Brown for at least the next couple weeks. That includes Sunday night’s all-important game against the San Francisco 49ers.
- Without Brown in the mix, these Seahawks will be forced to rely on rookie fifth-round pick Jamarco Jones. At least for the 49ers game, that means going up against Defensive Player of the Year candidate Nick Bosa.
- It’s not great.
Balance won’t be there: Going up against an elite 49ers defense, it’s all about picking up yardage on the ground to open up the passing attack.
- Relying on Lynch and a rookie left tackle is not optimal for Russell Wilson. He put up just 189 net passing yards with an interception and a lost fumble in the Seahawks’ Week 10 overtime victory over San Francisco.
- Going up against the league’s best pass defense with the NFC West and potential home-field advantage in the NFC Playoffs on the line, Seattle will need balance here.
- Unfortunately, the addition of Lynch and Robert Turbin is highly unlikely to create said balance. Add in the issues at left tackle, and Wilson should be under pressure throughout the game.
Moving forward: No matter what happens Week 17, the Seahawks’ running back situation remains highly questionable.
- Seattle would obviously benefit from a win over the 49ers and a first-round bye in the playoffs. The team will need some help in this regard.
- Having to play in the wild card round after a physical matchup against the 49ers won’t bode well for the Seahawks’ Super Bowl aspirations.
- This is magnified with the Saints, Vikings and Packers all boasting top-end run defenses.
The bottom line
Seattle had to do something after the rash of injuries it suffered at running back last week. Bringing Lynch in should be a morale boost for the Seahawks. He’s a fan favorite in Seattle and within the locker room.
However, it’s not going to do too much to change the on-field dynamic. That starts Sunday night in one of the biggest regular-season matchups in recent NFL history.