Here are running back Marshawn Lynch's numbers of receptions and touchdown catches through the first eight games of each season he's been a Seahawk:
SEASON CATCHES TD CATCHES
2010 12 0
2011 8 0
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2012 11 0
2013 15 1
2014 22 3
The 22 catches so far this season are five fewer than he had through eight games for Buffalo in 2008, his second second in the league. That year he finished with a career-high 47 catches.The three TD catches he has -- all in the first four games this season -- ties career high for an entire season. He'd have four if he hadn't let a Russell Wilson pass go through his hands on the goal line two games ago at Carolina.
Seattle offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell says Lynch having team highs of five catches and 76 yards last weekend in the win over Oakland was not an accident. With Percy Harvin long gone and quarterback Wilson running less and getting hit more in recent weeks, the play caller says he wants to get the ball to the Seahawks’ four-time Pro Bowl plow horse in every way possible.
Lynch has been catching more screens and swing passes in recent games, a product of how fleeting or nonexistent Wilson’s pass protection has been.
“Well, we want to use our good players. And he’s definitely, probably, the best player on our offense,” Bevell said after a practice this week before Seattle (5-3) hosts the New York Giants (3-5) on Sunday. “And we want to get him the ball as many ways as we can.”
This sure doesn’t sound the Seahawks are tired of Lynch’s “act,” as this ESPN report stated last month. If the Seahawks can’t wait to get rid of Lynch following this season, as that ESPN article on the morning of Seattle’s game at Carolina asserted, Seattle’s OC sounds as if he’s going to take a showcasing route to get there.
Lynch missed his second consecutive practice day Thursday with a newly listed calf injury but doesn’t seem likely to miss Sunday’s game.
Bevell is now saying 20-25 carries for Lynch might not necessarily be the best route for Seattle’s offense, because of Lynch’s skill in catching the ball and then bulldozing defenders in the open field. His 22 receptions are second on the team. It’s the same amount Harvin had in five games with Seattle before the trade. Lynch’s average yards per catch of 10.1 is more than four yards higher than Harvin’s was for Seattle.
Bevell has also lined Lynch up outside as a fourth or fifth wide receiver in formations. That's where he came from on the slant pattern that should have been a in touchdown in the first half of the win at Carolina.
Lynch’s 76 yards receiving last week were the second-most of his career, two yards behind what he had last season in a win over Tennessee. That day included a 55-yard catch-and-run on a wheel route and throw back across the field from Wilson.
“It’d be easy to turn around and hand it to him. But we know he is a phenomenal receiver. He runs really good routes,” Bevell said. “We just have to kind of understand how important he is to us in the passing game as well. He caught a huge third down for us early in the game to extend the drive for us (last weekend against Oakland, on third-and-5 to set up that touchdown run in the first quarter).
“And we want to see more of that. ... Anytime we can get the ball to Marshawn we want to,” Bevell said. “Just opportunities to get the ball in his hands, because we know he is going to make people miss, the opportunity for a second-level runs (against overmatched linebackers and defensive backs). He’s going to run people over. Then the yards are going to come and we can keep the (first-down) sticks moving.”
I know many of you have heard this before. We shall see.