The San Francisco 49ers wanted to get out of Seattle with a victory, all they needed to do was limit Marshawn Lynch. The good news for the 49ers is that Lynch didn’t play. The bad news? Thomas Rawls did.
Starting in place of the injured Lynch, Rawls got the start and literally ran away with it on his way to 30 touches, 209 yards, and one touchdown. The game marks the third time this season that Rawls has broken the 100 yard mark, the previous two coming against the Chicago Bears in Week 3 and the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 5.
With Marshawn Lynch having to miss time with an abdominal injury and nearing the age of 30, could Rawls’ play allow the Seattle Seahawks to move on from Beast Mode following the season?
It was reported over the weekend that Marshawn Lynch would head to Philadelphia to see a specialist about his injury, thus putting his status against the Pittsburgh Steelers as questionable. This news most likely means that Rawls again will get the start, giving him the opportunity to once again showcase his abilities, this time against a more stout defensive unit.
If Rawls produces in a similar fashion, he could have Pete Carroll and John Schneider thinking about life without Marshawn.
As mentioned earlier, Lynch will be turning 30 in April. As the case with most running backs, 30 is the age in which many players at Lynch’s position begin to decline. Add to the fact that Marshawn is a more physical runner than most (add in his recent injuries), the Seahawks may feel that it’s time to hand the reigns over to Rawls, who is only 22 and has a similar playing style as Marshawn.
The one thing that could potentially play a factor in the Seahawks’ decision is the fact that both parties just agreed to a new three year, 31 million dollar deal back in March. If Seattle doesn’t feel that the cap hit is too big, we might see a decision.
All of these important decisions will have to wait though as Seattle will want to first find out the extent of Marshawn’s injury. For now, they’ll just have to relish in the fact that they may have found a possible replacement in the undrafted free agent out of Central Michigan.