Last offseason, the Raiders and Marshawn Lynch broke the internet when they announced that Beast Mode would be coming out of retirement. The amount of hype that this move created was borderline ludicrous, but only when taken out of context. In 2016, the Raiders defied the odds and stormed to a 12-4 record, making the playoffs for the first time since the 2002 season. They looked poised to make a deep run until Derek Carr went down with a broken leg. With the injury, the 2016 season was over, but the anticipation started building for 2017.
Fans and experts alike pegged the Raiders as a Super Bowl contender and the biggest threat to the Patriots’ domination of the AFC. The news that Lynch would be joining the team for the 2017 campaign was essentially the straw that broke the camel’s back. Everyone thought that Beast Mode was the missing piece and that he would help take some of the load off of Carr.
Unfortunately, things did not go as planned, and the Raiders crashed back to earth. Finishing with a meager 6-10 record, 2017 was a failure, and perhaps more indicative of what kind of team the Raiders actually were. Blame can be spread around for how poorly 2017 went. The coaching was horrible, team synergy and locker room morale were low, and both Amari Cooper and Carr played through injuries. However, Lynch continued to play well despite essentially everything around him failing.
While not a record-breaking return to the gridiron, Lynch’s 2017 season was productive. In 15 games, Lynch rushed for 891 yards and seven touchdowns. If Lynch repeated those numbers in 2018, the team would surely be content. But this season has all of the makings for Lynch to break out and return to his Seattle form. Here are three reasons why Beast Mode can have a breakout campaign with the Silver and Black in 2018.
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