A recent Sports Illustrated article ranked “The Top 25 Power Running Backs Of All Time” and Marshawn Lynch of the Seattle Seahawks checked in at number 21. Considering the fact that Lynch is only 26-years old, you can bet he’s going to be ranked much higher on these types of lists when new ones are created after his playing career has ended.
Lynch is most famous for his “earthquake” run in the Wild Card round of the 2010 NFL playoffs. It is one of the greatest runs in league history. Aside from treating Tracy Porter like a rag doll on that touchdown rumble, Lynch is also one of the best runners in the NFL at gaining yards after contact (YAC). Teams may be able to get a hand on “Beast Mode,” but it always takes more than that to get him to the ground.
With any list like this, there is always great controversy. For example, I remember watching greats such as Marcus Allen (#17) and Franco Harris (#9). While they were great runners, they weren’t as powerful as Lynch.
If I had to start an NFL team with a young Allen or Lynch, I’d take Allen. However, in my opinion, the criteria for this list is being powerful and Lynch has Allen beat in that respect.
Also, while Harris was indeed a load to bring down, I remember him getting out of bounds as often as possible to avoid contact. This was joked about quite a bit and it’s hard to fathom a power back like this wanting to avoid getting hit as often as he did. I’m not saying Harris was wrong to take care of his body, but it just seems ironic to put someone as high on a list like this when he didn’t usually go all out to punish defenders.
Lynch is still writing the story of his career and it’s possible that he will pass both of these other greats in the power department on future lists. I doubt he will be able to surpass Jim Brown (#1) or Earl Campbell (#2), but if he has a few more runs like he did against the Saints a few years ago, you can bet he will be making a hard charge well into the top ten in the coming years.