How Marshawn Lynch’s career compares to Adrian Peterson’s

Selected just five picks after AP, Lynch's career has been a storied one. John Breitenbach takes a look at "Beast Mode" through the PFF lens.

| 10 months ago
(AP Photo/Roger Steinman)

(AP Photo/Roger Steinman)

How Marshawn Lynch’s career compares to Adrian Peterson’s


Marshawn Lynch made Monday a little sweeter for NFC teams outside of Seattle, with confirmation that he plans to retire. With “Beast Mode’s” absence set for 2016, the rest of the football world is left to look back on Lynch’s short—but sweet—nine-year career.

The Cal product went through a range of highs and lows, but ultimately put together a compelling Hall of Fame résumé. Lynch was highly sought-after in the 2007 draft, eventually selected with the 12th-overall pick, but struggled with consistency in Buffalo. A trade to Seattle awoke full on “Beast Mode.” Lynch leaves the league as a Super Bowl winner and the perpetrator of one of the NFL postseason’s best individual plays.

Career overview

Player Carries Yards Yards per attempt Yards after contact per attempt TDs Broken tackles Fumbles
Marshawn Lynch 2,337 10,058 4.3 2.8 83 530 20
Adrian Peterson 2,496 12,088 4.8 3.1 102 423 34

Lynch was far from refined as far as running backs go, offering little threat in the passing game and struggling from time to time in pass protection, but he was probably the toughest player to tackle in the entire NFL over the past decade. His 530 broken tackles are testament to that, a good hundred more than “All-Day” Peterson, despite receiving fewer carries than the Vikings’ tailback. Lynch consistently fell forward, finishing his career with a highly respectable 2.8 yards after contact. The outcry over the fateful pass on the final play of Super Bowl IV came, in large part, because of the improbability of stopping Lynch in short yardage, illustrated by an impressive 83 touchdowns.

The other advantage he has over the other likely Hall of Famer (Peterson) drafted five spots above him? Ball security. Turnovers seem inevitable for a player who runs with as much violent purpose as Lynch, but in the end, he put the ball on the deck just 20 times in over 2,000 carries.

The grades tell a similar story to the numbers. Lynch may have fallen just short of bypassing the +100 career cumulative rushing grade mark, but came very close. His +94.7 rushing grade betters Peterson (+84.6) over the same period, and Lynch recorded a better single-season grade than his Canton competitor with a league-leading +28.3 output in 2014.

The news was met with shock this week because it appeared Lynch had so much left in the tank. Perhaps the injuries caught up with him, but it’s a shame to lose such a talented player still apparently capable of producing on the field; in the eight games he played in 2015 (including the divisional playoff), Lynch earned the highest cumulative grade of any RB in the league.

Tale of the trade

Issues off the field—and inconsistency on it—resulted in Lynch’s trade from the Bills to the Seahawks in 2010. Seattle sent a pair of conditional picks to Buffalo, which ended up being a fourth-rounder in the 2011 draft, and a fifth-rounder in 2012. Those picks were used on OT Chris Hairston and LB Tank Carder.

The Lynch trade was undoubtedly won by the Seahawks, who added one of the league’s best backs for a pair of mid-round picks.

Supporting cast

Losing a back of Lynch’s caliber is never a positive, but Seattle appears to have a ready-made replacement in Thomas Rawls, not to mention some much needed cap space to address their offensive line. Rawls had a strong claim for Rookie of the Year before a fractured ankle curtailed his season in Week 14. The undrafted free agent put in some impressive performances on his way to 830 yards from 147 carries (5.6 yards on average), 3.1 yards after contact, four TDs, and 26 broken tackles. Rawls finished the year as our 12th-overall back, despite seeing just 297 snaps. His 85.1 pure rushing grade (scale of 1–100) was fourth behind only Le’Veon Bell, Doug Martin, and Lynch.

Much like his former teammate, Rawls is a little one-dimensional, but he fits Seattle’s prototype on running downs. He isn’t ideal in obvious passing situations, but is a physical runner capable of wearing defenses out. Seattle’s front office clearly has a penchant for backs in the 5-foot-10-inch, 220-pound range; Lynch, Rawls, and 2013 second-rounder Christine Michael all fit that profile. With Michael and Rawls still in place, the Seahawks are set in short yardage and other run heavy sets. However, adding a threat in the passing game would add an extra element to their backfield, making their offense under Russell Wilson even harder to defend.

Lynch’s career will go down as one of the best of the last generation. As defensive fronts became lighter to disrupt the passing game, the Seahawk came into his own. The trail of Saints defenders left by Lynch in the 2010-11 playoffs highlighted his physicality on a national stage, but he had been running with that sort of power every week for a number of years. Eventually that must take its toll.

For the Seahawks, they rode the Beast Mode to a Super Bowl win, and now look ready to move forward with a pair of young backs capable of taking on his mantle.

| Analyst

John joined the PFF team in 2008, providing focused analysis on the NFL draft, team-building strategies, and positional value.

  • Darnell

    Vast discrepancy between the two players in the playoffs/clutch situations. Marshawn is one of the best big game runners the league has seen, Peterson is almost the inverse.

    • Wyzel

      So thats why he failed to get in the endzone in the super bowl, and decided to pass instead of running? AP had one bad playoff game, he had two terrible fumbles, but still had 3 tds. How well did lynch do in the playoffs before getting a good QB? What year did lynch carry his team with a bad QB anywhere? Comparing RB’s like that is worse than QB’s.

      • Darnell

        Are you implying that “he” decided to pass there, or is that just a poorly structured sentence?

        Lynch’s first playoff game was in the 2010 season against the Saints, so it depends if you consider 2010 Matt Hasselbeck a good QB (most would not). He went for 131 yds and 1 td on a 6.8 average.

        He has playoff games of 131 (6.8 avg), 132 (6.6), 140 (5.00), 109 (4.9), 157 (6.2), 102 (4.2). That’s 6 big time performances in 11 games.

        Peterson went over 100 yards once in the playoffs – 122 yds with a 4.8 avg. The rest of his playoff games are all sub 100 yds with a 4.5 or less. Had an absolutely crucial fumble to let Seattle back in the game this year in the playoffs.

        Marshawn has playoff TDs of 25 yards or more.

        http://espn.go.com/blog/statsinfo/post/_/id/114534/marshawn-lynchs-postseason-numbers-among-all-time-greats

        Again, not a knock on Peterson, but their playoff big game resumes don’t compare.

        • Anthony Daley

          True but ML has had a great team around him in the playoffs. AD only had one great team around him when he played in his limited playoffs. The other couple playoffs appearances AD pretty much carried the Vikings on his back to get them in and then with no help around him opposing defenses could key on him. He’s been facing that his whole career.

          • eYeDEF

            Lynch never cost his team in the playoffs and always rose to the occasion when called upon. Peterson did not.

      • Brandon

        Peterson has indisputably had better offensive lines than anything lynch has ever seen. Lynch did all the heavy lifting, Peterson started out his career with one of the best run blocking guards of the decade in front of him and a stellar line overall for most of his early career. The best line lynch ever had is still worse than the worst that AP has had. Imagine putting lynch behind the same line that peterson shared with brett favre.

        • Anthony Daley

          Steller offensive line for most of his career… are you insane? The Vikings have had some good solid lines but never great and this year was one of their worst… and he goes onto to win another rushing title.

          • eYeDEF

            Offensive linemen can be plenty effective well into their 30s, unlike other positions that require speed and athleticism that starts to wane sooner. Vikings had some very good lines for AP early in his career.

      • TJ Smith

        The beast quake run happen before Russell Wilson. It isn’t like RW was known as this great passing QB. Up until this year the talk was put the ball in Marshawn’s hands. It isn’t like Marshawn didn’t do anything with Tavaris Jackson as his QB. HIs Tavaris Jackson year is pretty much the same as his other Seattle years outside of the first Russell Wilson year.

    • Anthony Daley

      Just compare the playoff teams… other than the one year with Favre AD never played on a good offensive team in the playoffs. ML got to play on some of the best teams in playoff history! Tons of talent around him unlike AD

      • SeattleSteve

        Yet all I keep hearing from Viking fans is how much more talented their team is compared to the Packers (a routine playoff unit).

        So what is it? AD is better than Beastmode cause the vikes are awful? Or they’re a top to bottom better than a team that’s always contending?

        • Anthony Daley

          More talented than the Packers? Who says that? Maybe we were this past season but not in the past seasons. AD is better than ML for many reasons. I think its very clear to anyone other than Seattle fans. AD is better in about every statistical category all without having a Russell Wilson type threat. Like I said before ML numbers didn’t even get good until the years RW was QB’n the team.

    • SeattleSteve

      Don’t forget that Lynch has spent his career against Real defenses. Give him six games a year against the Slackers, lions and bears laughibly bad defenses and he’d have several 2,000 yard seasons.

      • Tony Daley

        That’s the best you have? Lol, I know its hard for anyone to make a reasonable case for ML being even close to the back AD is… try again! No, better yet don’t trying again… its not worth it. Like I said before only Seahawks fans would ever think ML is in the same class as a Hall of Fame’r like AD. ML didn’t even want to play in the cold of Minnesota. He went from Beast Mode to Pussy Mode and waited to play in the warmer weather of Carolina… only to get 20 yards.

  • Luke Thompson

    Sigh. Again, PFF”s ability to grade running backs is shown to be poor. Adrian and Marshawn both have a massive sample size of carries making their marked difference in yards per attempt staggering. Going to five significant digits, Adrian has averaged 4.8429 to Marshawn’s 4.3038. That’s a difference of 12.5%. That’s huge. Adrian’s never even had a season where he had less than 4.4 yards per carry, Lynch has had two over that number. Give the o-line skill edge to AD, but that is more than offset by the QB differential Marshawn enjoyed in his best seasons. Over Marshawn’s best three year stretch (2012-2014) he had Wilson at QB throwing for an average of 3,316 yards and rushing for 626 yards a year. Having a mobile QB stops opposite side DE’s from crashing and forces teams to assign a LB spy that focuses on the QB, all resulting in slower reads and less defenders for the RB to have to deal with. Over that three year stretch Peterson had three QB’s lead the team in yards. Ponder, Cassel, and Bridgewater. Combined they averaged 3,180 yards passing and offered little to no threat running (I used Bridgewater’s 2015 numbers since AD didn’t play in 2014). This allowed defenses to game plan solely around stopping Adrian and committing extra help defenders to the cause. ‘Broken tackles’ are a stupid measure as a lumbering mass like Eddie Lacy can rack up broken tackles while still being a below average running back. Having a high enough football IQ and enough speed to read holes and get into the clear without being touched isn’t a negative and until you learn how to grade a player beating defensive schemes your RB grades will continue to be meaningless.

    • Izach

      While I mostly agree on your message as a whole, broken tackles aren’t a useless stat and definitely shows the difference in styles,I agree there isn’t a real argument tho AP missed an entire year while yes marshawn was missed used his last 2 years in Buff. Lynchs best years aren’t as good as petersons best years, and he still out plays him in multiple areas. I think the comparisons mostly just come from the fact they are both from same draft. I don’t think lynch goes into HOF but he’s a borderliner just like edge James, Fred Taylor, Eddie George, Shaun Alexander, and Clinton Portis, honestly the only RB who’s been good enough and dominate enough in this era is AP. And lynch was a close second, out side of Tomlinson and AP I don’t think there’s a HOF RB for a while with the way the league plays ball nowadays, I mean guys like Fred Taylor could barely get a probowl in his era and and several of his best seasons would have been allpro worthy this year I mean a little over 320 carries 1400yds 11 TDs got AP the triple crown in 2015, I mean 06 Willie Parker would have looked like a god in this era statistically, Simply due to the offensive era shift. It’s a shame what the league has comes to now.

      • eYeDEF

        You think Edge and Fred Taylor are borderline HoF? I think Edge will almost certainly be in the Hall. He was a finalist this year in his second year of eligibility. Fred Taylor should be, whether he will is kind of a toss up. But his longevity and his talent speaks for itself, he just didn’t play on good teams and didn’t put together healthy full seasons being marks against him.

        • Izach

          Part of me truly agree with you but another part of me looks at it and says can you really say edge was the “best” RB in his era? Can you say that about Fred either? Were they ever considered the best? If yes then how long did they live up to that moniker? And then I look at who was better or comparable and there are a lot of RBs in that era who were close to their level or better at points in their career then.

          I say well of all those guys who was “the” best and IMO it was LT, LaDainian Tomlinson so he’s the HOFer from that 2000’s era IMO, and right now only AP is a HOFer from the late 2000’s to now era.

          • eYeDEF

            So you think only the best running back of a particular era should qualify for the Hall? I think that’s being waaay too selective. That would disqualify guys like Emmitt Smith and Thurmond Thomas because they played in the same era as Barry Sanders. Or Tony Dorsett and Marcus Allen because they played in Eric Dickerson’s era. Or Curtis Martin because he played at the same time as Marshall Faulk. That’s leaving a lot of talent outside of the Hall.

            Without question, LT was the best running back of his time. But Edge was consistently a top 3 back of that same time frame along with Shaun Alexander. IMO the case for Alexander is borderline, but there were years where Edge or Alexander would have a better year than LT. Edge also has a ring. I consider LT as the best of them because of his longevity. But without that distinction, the margins between them are much more narrow.

          • Izach

            Edge doesn’t have a ring Joseph Addai does, it sucks I kno some guys get rings others just barely miss out

          • Izach

            But again to clarify I don’t think “just” the best should get in, but only that anyone who does get in should be considered or arguably the best, or close to, voters tend to look at awards rather than the actual years and stats, fredtaylor only 1 ProBowl despite his “stats” and multiple great years, voters won’t look his way.

            With Edge he has some awards, but they were early in career, which actually helps his reputation but unless he lived up to it towards the end or has a “nice story” voters kinda look and say well this other guy was better/ has more awards, or if they have similar awards it this guy has better stats, etc.

            I mean Priest Holmes has more 1st team all pros more TDs and over all awards, and had similar “best seasons” but edge started as a rookie too and played longer and his yardage stats reflect that.

            I personally would say edge is a HOF is say he’s borderline but inside of the fence on that one.

            Marshawn Lynch tho I’d say isn’t a HOF. Reputation wise sure, story wise awards wise sure, but plenty of RBs have better stats and even whole years better than lynch has had, and aren’t in so why should lynch be in over them, because his team was good? wins alone IMO don’t make a HOF they are a last resort factor IMO.

          • eYeDEF

            Yeah, Fred Taylor won’t make it. I think he’s worthy, but HoF voters won’t see it that way. Voters seem to like Edge though based on voting him into the final rounds of consideration this year. Lynch I always felt was borderline. If you’re looking strictly at his traditional stats then it’d be hard to argue that he’s HoF. But there are some runners that succeed in spite of running behind awful protection that IMO makes them worthy for HoF consideration. For me, Lynch was one of those guys that transcended stats. He was just hard to bring down and would wear defenses down. I’d love to see him make it based on his narrative, I just don’t see it happening because of how he treated the press.

        • Izach

          Also part of that is it took Bettis so long to get in and he has a SB ring and better collective stats and reputation, and it took Bettis who retired as the 5th all time rusher and inside top 10 in TDs a few years to get in, edge was a bigger receiving threat, a factor that seems forgotten to HOF voters, but also wasn’t the same RB after his 3rd year injury. So idk how lol still view him.

          As for Fred Taylor he played well for most of his career but failed to make a lot of probowls simply because he was hurt or other backs had good years too, if Fred was in today’s NFL he’d be an all pro but played at the end of the run heavy era, so his contemporaries stole the spotlight.

          • eYeDEF

            I thought Edge did come back, it just took him two full subpar seasons to recover from his ACL. He never led the league in rushing again, but the same could be argued for Marcus Allen whose dropoff after winning the rushing title after his 4th season was steep. But after a couple down seasons Edge actually had his highest Y/A of his career in his sixth season.

          • Izach

            He came back but wasn’t the same, even that 4.6 y/a year was his 3rd best total yards from scrimmage and 5th best for TDs, again I think edge is a HOF worthy RB I just don’t know if the voter will put him in.

          • eYeDEF

            Oh I’m sure the voters will put him in just because as a I mentioned, the voters voted him a finalist this year in just his 2nd year of eligibility. So if he’s a finalist in just his 2nd year, one of these years coming up he’ll no doubt get enough votes to put him over the top.

          • Izach

            Idk if James doesn’t get in in the next 2 years then LT will be eligible and voters always seem to go who deserves it more then forget about the other guy until another guy is eligible who shouldn’t be in before him. You see it all the time for years a certain player or position won’t get in then it’ll be a rush to get those guys in quickly before they never get in. But who knows sometimes things happen. I’m still borderline with Megatron too, ppl act like he’s a shoe in but idk if he beats out a lot of guys current or former and WRs are hard to get in unless the numbers stand out. Only think Calvin has is the yardage record IMO. Which will likely be broken before he’s eligible.

          • eYeDEF

            Could be. Though Marvin Harrison did finally get the nod this year over TO. It’s probably true that TO’s off the field issues had something to do with that outcome and can’t really be compared to LTs sterling character rep. But it’s not like Marvin’s record was spotless in that regard either.

            I think Megatron probably gets in based on being considered arguably the best receiver of his era. If it were up to me, I prefer to favor more than just traditional stats as measurements on who gets into the Hall, especially receiving stats from today that are so massively inflated with all the regular rule changes. He wouldn’t make my top 5 all time WRs, not really even close, as I have a much higher opinion of receivers that might have put up lesser numbers but got mugged downfield on every play unlike how they’re prevented from doing now. But he’d make my HoF by being the best of his generation.

          • Izach

            See that’s where I disagree greatly with Megatron, he was always the best “talent” wise and from day one ppl tried to anoint him the throne, but in reality he had 2 years IMO where he was arguably the best every other year I’d say no, sure he was always a match up issue, but what 6’5 WR isn’t. I just feel like he didn’t do enough to be considered the best, sure the yardage record is nice, but that’s it the only thing, he didn’t play long enough wasn’t the best for years like other WRs have been or are right now IMO, if breaking a single record gets you In HOF, then Priest and Alexander should be in just for breaking the TD record. I mean ppl say he was best WR but yardage is his only real means of proving that. There have been more consistently high level WRs, WRs with better with Recs numbers , multiple WRs with good TD numbers. Given a few years I bet his yardage record gets broken too.

        • Izach

          Wanna know a real underrated RB was Priest Holmes 3 Time consecutive 1st team all pro, guy had 76 TDs and over 7500 yards from scrimmage in 4years with Kansas City!!! That’s over 1800 yards and 18 TDs average for 4 years (most of that was really in 3years) that’s basically better than Terell Davis’s first 4 years and ppl talk about how TD should be a HOF for those years alone.

          • eYeDEF

            No doubt Priest Holmes was a ridiculous force that really came out of nowhere seeing how he languished in a committee or rode pine his first 4 years. But I think the case for TD is better since he was the engine that powered the Broncos to two rings at a time when Elway was way past his prime.

          • Izach

            Agreed there TD was a catalyst for them, but Broncos were a good team too, should he be HOF for his 4years or work and team successes? Idk I just think it’s hard to say yes and not put other guys who have similar or better numbers in as well.

          • eYeDEF

            Broncos might have been good, but there is no way they win back to back championships if TD wasn’t on the roster. He was the engine of that offense and Elway was always unable to do it alone in spite of having good teams. Kind of like Marshawn, as good as TD was during the reg season, he cranked it up a notch during the playoffs. His postseason numbers are just sick. In 8 postseason games he rushed for 1140 yards, 5.6 Y/A, 12 TDs, averaging 142.5 yards a game. During his 4 year run he was considered alongside Barry Sanders as the best back in the game.

            I put a lot of emphasis on postseason for running backs that carry their teams because those extra carries shortens their careers as it no doubt did for TD. It’s accepted now you don’t want to subject a RB to more than 400 attempts a season so they don’t break down, as Marcus Allen, Ricky Williams, and countless others have that never had a good season again. Terrell Davis and his near 500 attempts in ’97 and following that up with 450+ attempts in ’98 no doubt did him in. Priest Holmes only has two postseason starts and played well in one of them, but he generally didn’t have to subject his body to a whole additional extra season at the end like TD did. Priest also only really had 3 consecutive seasons of sustained dominance before injury cut short his outstanding ’04 season, way too small a window to make the Hall.

            But if Hall voters decide that four years is sufficient for a RB to make the Hall, then Davis is a shoo-in. I just think you’d be hard pressed to find another RB with a 4 year window as outstanding as TDs. As great as Priest was in his 3.5 years, he lacked the trophies and didn’t carry his teams like TD did.

          • Izach

            While I do agree postseason narrative and performances as a collective do enhance a players resume to get it, I personally don’t use it against him if he was on a bad team. Sure TDs postseason success basically added years worth of extra wear and tear on his body, I can’t really say Holmes was as a good in his prime either, Holmes carried those Chiefs teams just much as any RB possibly could the team overall tho just wasn’t nearly as good as those Broncos teams, so I don’t hold it against him.

    • Blackfive

      Adrian Peterson has played with better quarterbacks and offenses than Marshawn Lynch.

    • David Stinnett

      Broken tackles means a lot, because simple yards after contact involves other factors like blocking. Peterson has 70% more fumbles than Lynch as well. That rightfully figures in.

  • Anthony Daley

    Its not even close. Lynch was always a bit overrated and until he got to Seattle with a complete team around him he was an average back at best. They couldn’t ‘key’ on him like they do AD. AD has pretty much played without a QB and not much of a line most of his career. Opposing defenses keyed on him and he faces more 8-9 men boxes in one game than ML has seen on his career. Not even close…

    • Skolbro28

      Don’t forget that we have to beat two teams every week, cuz da refs bro. Skol!

    • eYeDEF

      Nonsense. There were two seasons you could even claim he was an ‘average back’, his 3rd and 4th season, and he was dealing with off the field issues the first season and it affected his game. The second season he was traded after four games and thrown into the fire of Seattle’s zone blocking scheme he’d never had any familiarity with prior. To say he was ever an ‘average back at best’ is just talking with your home glasses on.

      • Anthony Daley

        Excuses excuses for ML… average back at best.

        • eYeDEF

          Except no one agrees with you because you’re obviously a hater. Everyone knows haters are blind to facts.

          • Anthony Daley

            What facts are you talking about? AP has ONE turnover in 4 playoff games. THAT IS A FACT. So tell me what facts am I blind to? You don’t honestly think ML is the better back do you? I mean really?

          • eYeDEF

            Dude, learn how to read a boxscore. AP’s a fumbler. Like I said, 3 fumbles in 5 games.

          • Anthony Daley

            Hey, I get it. You’re an AP hater and since you really don’t know what else to say you label him a fumbler. That’s all overblown. He had 2 or 3 seasons where he fumbled more than he should have but other than that he fumbles no more than anyone else. Here’s another fact for ya. Of the 29 guys that have gone over the 10,000 yard mark he fumbles less per carry than 18 of those 29 guys. His fumble to carry ratio is better than the likes of Dickerson, Payton, Tony Dorsett even Jim Brown! Better than 18 of the 29 of the greatest of all time. So he’s not a fumbler that’s just a label AP haters have come up with since there is nothing else bad to say about the 1st ballot HOF’r.

          • eYeDEF

            Now you’re just being sour grapes because I accurately called YOU out for being a Lynch hater and not knowing how to read a box score. Unlike you I’m not blind to facts. Quite the opposite, I base my opinion on facts. I recognize AP is one of the great running backs in the history of the game. My point has always been that I’d prefer to have Lynch come playoff time because he’s been a better clutch performer when the pressure ratchets up under the limelight and this is indisputable by the facts, as Peterson’s 3 fumbles in 5 playoff games attest. His fumble in the playoffs this past postseason cost his team a chance to advance. His performance against New Orleans got him benched and instead of helping his team get to a Super Bowl he was doing butkus. Meanwhile Lynch’s playoff performances speak for themselves. When the pressure is on and his team is depending on the engine of the offense, he is Beastmode in the clutch. You clearly live on a different planet to call him a ‘mediocre’ back. No one that appreciates facts would ever agree with you.

          • Anthony Daley

            I’m not more an ML hater as you an AP hater. I have quoted facts you just don’t seem to like them! Again, AP has one turnover in his playoff career and it was this year. Yes he has a couple fumbles in the Saints game but neither resulted in a TO. The Saints games was strange to begin with because the teams were playing in a dome yet there were 9 fumbles and 2 ints combined. Not sure how that happens but it sure wasn’t just AP. AP had 3 TD’s and 125 rushing as well as some receptions so he did his part in that game, sorry! As far as ML… If it makes you feel any better I can consider him an excellent playoff back but he had way too many mediocre years in the regular season for me to consider him a great back overall. Other than his 2 maybe 3 nice years he was just your average workhorse back. His stats just don’t add up to anything more then that. His best years were with the great Seattle teams. AP has always been the offense and other than one year he never really had much help. He put up big numbers with offenses that had nothing else. Not sure why we keep going back and forth anyway…

          • eYeDEF

            If you’re going to say he only had 3 good years then you’re definitely hating when he really only had 3 subpar seasons. I could point to two subpar seasons for AP. Sure, one of those years came during the suspension from off field drama and the other when he got injured but I could point out the same for Lynch’s subpar years being when off the field issues interfered with his playing time in Buffalo one year, then he was traded mid-season and had to learn the zone blocking scheme in Seattle, and his injury plagued final season. Lynch never had a Hutch or a Matt Birk to run behind like AP did his first 2-3 years. AP also had Favre for two years. To say he only had help for one year is just you downplaying the strength of the line in those early years while dismissing that he had a hall of fame quarterback slinging it next to him for two years.

          • Anthony Daley

            Hutch and Birk were both on the wrong side of 30 when AP hit the NFL. Both still good but best days were behind them. Favre had a great year in 2009 but in 2010 in went back to being an over the hill 41 year old below average QB and wasn’t effective at all. Maybe 3 excellent years for ML and I think AP would have gotten 2000 yards for 2-3 seasons with those Seattle teams with Wilson and the other weapons. We can agree to disagree I guess…

          • eYeDEF

            Being on the wrong side of 30 didn’t prevent Birk being PFF’s highest rated center in the league in 2009, the first year they started their current grading system. He was already in Baltimore by then, but seeing how he was a six time pro bowler in Minnesota, including one of the two seasons he blocked for AP, you’re way overexaggerating. Hutch happened to clock 3 of his 5 All Pro seasons blocking for AP in his first three years, all post 30, of his 5 overall. It’s well known that turning 30 doesn’t affect the guys in the trenches who rely on power and strength over speed. Elite offensive linemen can continue playing an elite level until 32-33 like Hutch did, the last year he was 1st team All Pro. So don’t give me that. That gave AP far superior interior run blocking his first 3 years than Lynch ever had his entire career. Meanwhile Lynch was toiling behind one of the worst lines in the league in Buffalo. I’m not such a homer that I’m going to gloss over the years that AP played behind much worse lines than he had initially and excelled like you do for Lynch. But your idea that AP would have gotten 2000 yards those 2-3 years in Seattle in place of Lynch is pure fantasy. AP couldn’t even do it early in his career with Hutch and Birk in front of him, you think he’d be able to do it in Seattle with James Carpenter and JR Sweezy blocking for him? Absolutely hilarious. It was only one year that AP averaged six yards a carry, the only other time he came close was his rookie year. That 6 YPC was the only justification that he was given the rock 348 times that year and that he was even in position to crack 2000 yards. The most Marshawn was ever given the ball in Seattle was 315 times in 2012 because it was Wilson’s rookie year, and that was the year he ran for almost 1600. Meanwhile AP has cracked 300+ rushing attempts 4 seasons and could only break 2000 yards in one of them. If Lynch had been handed the ball as often as AP was he could have clocked a 2000 yard season too, or least very close. He was never in position to because he was never given enough carries. You’re just being silly thinking Peterson in Seattle would have been given enough additional carries to even be in position to crack 2000 yards when only Marshawn in his best year and Wilson’s rookie season allowed him to crack 300 carries. In 3 of AP’s 4 300+ carry seasons he only averaged 4+ yards a carry, he wasn’t that special to be demanding the ball that much more. And you think he’d break 2000 yards with Seattle’s trash line in front of him when he couldn’t even do it with Hutch and Birk. Pure Fantasy Land.

          • Anthony Daley

            Yes, AP would have easily broke 2000 yards more than once in Seattle with a weapon like Wilson. No way they could key on AP like they do in Minnesota. Wilson is such a threat running and passing ML had it made. ML had better blocking than you give them credit for. Their pass protection was suspect but run blocking wasn’t that bad. Don’t put so much faith in PFF ratings either. All that is a little over blown. The Vikings had some good lines early in APs career but no way were they great or elite. Take away ML one career season in 2012 and he barely averages 4 yards a carry. AP basically averaging 5 yards a carry. Only two other backs broke 11000 yards with a 5 yard average for their career. Jim Brown and Barry Sanders… along with AP.

          • eYeDEF

            You’re full of it. AP only had two seasons where he averaged over five yards a carry. You’re also laughably ignorant about football to confer mythical advantage to RB having a mobile QB. If you understood anything at all about scheme, you would know that the only time that gives a RB an advantage is on read option plays when the QB chooses to hand off. Even at its peak, Seattle only ran the read option on 20% of its play calls, and assuming an even split between Wilson we’re still talking about less than one in five rushing attempts where the threat of Wilson’s mobility could give Lynch any advantage at all. To think a mobile QB is any kind of real substitution for competent blocking is exactly the sort of fairy tale I’d expect to hear you make up. Lynch was the first option on offense, so he was keyed on plenty in Seattle. And no, Lynch did not get better blocking than I’m giving him credit for. Lynch’s ability to break tackles actually propped up the run blocking of the line, look at the tape yourself. And the fact remains, AP had better blocking from 3 of Hutch’s All Pro years and a pro bowl year out of Birk than Lynch ever got in Seattle.

            So my point stands, Peterson would have never been given anywhere close to the number of carries he’d need to get to 2000 yards in Seattle. The only reason he got that many in Minnesota is because they had weak teams. They could just keep feeding him without conscience not having to worry about preserving him for a postseason. Individual stats during the regular season takes a backseat on a championship contender and Carroll was always careful to keep Lynch rested at or below 300 to limit exposure knowing he’d get plenty more in the postseason. Nor did Lynch ever care about individual stats anyway, he was always about team. AP can have the glory of being regular season champ. But legends are built on postseason glory and Lynch reigns supreme and alone in that kingdom in comparing the two best backs of their era.

          • Anthony Daley

            I was talking about career averages not per season. You spend too much time trying to make ML some kind of Hall of Fame back but he’s not. Too many excuses for ML… heck he even decided not to play in the Seattle Vikings playoff game because it was too cold.

          • eYeDEF

            Yeah I guess he should have hit the juice harder like Peterson did so he could have come back from injury sooner. That’s ok, since Peterson was there to average 2 yards a carry and cough up the ball so his team could advance anyway. Even career averages AP doesn’t average 5 yards a carry and his playoff performances speak for themselves where he plummets to an abysmal 3.6 Y/A. Like I was saying, he’s a regular season king and a postseason dud. I don’t know whether Lynch will make the hall or not, though I somehow doubt it. As it stands right now his stats are borderline. My point has always been that come playoff time I’d far rather have him on my team. Peterson chokes in the clutch.

  • TJ Smith

    Interesting. I could make a case that that AP playoffs have cost his team. His fumbles although all recovered cost Favre another trip to the SB. AP has not done anything in the playoffs.

    That said I never had Marshawn better than AP. It is telling that Rawls in a few games has had 2 games bigger than any Marshawn Lynch game in Seattle. The one thing I would say is Lynch lacked the big run ability. Most of his big runs he breaking tackles during the long run. From hand off to the first 10 years I say Lynch was as good if not better than AP. The difference being if Marshawn breaks that tackle 10 yards down the field he might go 20. If AP breaks it he might go 70.

    I would also say if Jerome Bettis is a HOFer then Marshawn Lynch is a HOFer. I didn’t think Lynch would make it but when Jerome Bettis made it how can you deny Marshawn. Jerome just hanged around for some bad years to add to his yardage total. At the same age they pretty much are equal.

    • Anthony Daley

      You obviously have no idea… Favre had three turnovers in the 2009 NFC Championship game. He cost AP a trip to the Super Bowl. AP had two fumbles but no turnovers… they were both recovered by him. Favre on the other hand had 2 INTs and one fumble. Check the box score below if you didn’t watch the game!
      http://espn.go.com/nfl/boxscore?gameId=300124018

      AP has done nothing in the playoffs? Did you look at the offenses he played for? He never had the teams around him that ML had around him. Russel Wilson all by himself makes Lynch much better.

      • TJ Smith

        I saw the game. You telling me a summary of it means nothing. AP fumbled twice. He also botched a hand off from Favre for that turnover. Which was AP fault but was charged for Favre. Then he said it completely messed him up the rest of the game as he couldn’t hang on to the football. Instead of one of the great RB games for a trip to the SB. He got benched with the game on the line. A few yards away from potentially winning the game. Despite the fact they really owned the action. The couldn’t trust the best running back in the league.

        AP fumbles are a big part of his legacy. Even those that didn’t count. This year with the game on the line he fumbled.

        • Anthony Daley

          Favre took blame for the botched handoff. The ball never even made it into AP hands. It was a high handoff you can see it again on youtube if you like. It was Favre’s fumble and that’s why he got credit for it in the box score. AP’s fumble this year against Seattle hurt and will be remembered but it was only one of many reasons why they lost that game. So AP’s been in 4 playoff games and maybe can be blamed for one big fumble that hurt but they don’t even make the playoffs without AP and still should have won. They had the 31st ranked passing game this past year along with a bad offensive line and yet AP wins the rushing title… he doesn’t need talent around him to do special things like Lynch.

          • TJ Smith

            Favre took blame because he a good leader and that what you do as the QB. There was nothing wrong with that hand off. He got credit for it because that is standard. Until the RB possesses the ball he gets credit for fumbles. It is almost a irrelevant conversation. AP thought he was to blame. Then said that it effected his mind in next two fumbles. That is my issue. It wasn’t even the fumbles. It was the fact AP became a part time player because they were afraid he would fumble again.

            I think you overstate the reality of the Vikings this year. Every player needs talent around them to have success. The Vikings also had a very strong defense. They were 27th in offense last year pretty much without Peterson. They were 29th in offense with him this year. The Vikings made the playoffs because a pretty average defense became elite.

          • Anthony Daley

            The fact that AP was removed from the game was a bad coaching decision. They shoulda removed Favre… there were a total of 9 fumbles in that game in perfect dome conditions so there was something strange going on anyway. The bottom line is that AP has 1 turnover in 4 career playoff games. His fumble ratio is much better than most of the greats… E Dickerson, Tony Dorsett, Walter Payton and several others all fumbled at a higher rate than AP… the whole fumble issue is overblown for a back that handles the ball as often as he does.
            What talent around AP this year helped him become the rushing leader? They had no passing threat and opposing defenses stacked the boxed. They certainly don’t have a Pro Bowl line. The defense did great but AP was on the offense and was pretty much all they had on that side of the ball.

          • TJ Smith

            Favre should have been benched? Not sure who I’m dealing with now. The Vikings go from nothing to something because of Favre and you what him benched.

            You can call it a bad coaching move but it was the reality. Part of it might be because your living in the reality of today. Which is AP has fixed most of his fumble issues. AP back then was known as a fumbler. In a close game they were put in a tough spot.

            What made him become the rushing leader was the fact that almost nobody in the league was using 1 running back and only a few backs were even over 1000 yards. The offensive line of Minnesota was not bad at run blocking. Well at least when they weren’t playing Seattle. They did have some speed at receiver. I’m not knocking APs season but I’m not really getting this everything was against him mindset. It isn’t like Minnesota offensively was that much different with or without AP. Only difference is they ran the ball more and the passing game became less effective. Which is weird since people thought with AP TB would have a great year taking advantage of the attention he receives.

            Just to note. Rushing titles are nice but to me that can be subjective to your role. La’Veon Bell to me is the best back in the NFL. Healthy Jamal Charles I would put in front of AP right now. What is scary is the best back I saw last year with the ball in his hands was Thomas Rawls.

            Another thing I would say about AP. Historically I think he has looked for home runs and it has led to a lot of carries for negative yards. I do think ML has been better than AP at maximizing the yardage on a play. While AP was better at turning 1 play that Marshawn might have gotten 5 yards out of into a 40 yard run. Some people might prefer the back that keeps the ball going forward over the one that is willing to lose yards on a few possessions. I don’t subscribe to the idea that switch ML with AP and they become some unstoppable team.

      • Skolbro28

        I agree bro, Peterson is the greatest of all time! If we didn’t have that Puker joker in at QB and the Saints refs, we’d have won the super bowl easily. Skol!

  • Anthony Daley

    Some here keep bringing up the playoffs. No doubt Marshawn has much better playoff stats but no one can convince me that if you put AP on those Seattle teams with Russel Wilson he would have had huge games as well. AP had a huge game with Favre in the 2009 playoffs with 125 yards and 3 TD’s but his other couple playoff games were with bad offenses… Joe Webb at QB in 2012 and Teddy Bridgewater and the 31st ranked passing game this past year. Lynch would have struggled mightily with those teams.

    • TJ Smith

      Except some of those Minny teams had really good offensive lines. All this talent that Seattle has had usually was on the defensive side of the ball and never on the O-line. It was debatable if RW was even a good pocket passer up until this year. Marshawn did have a great year with Tavaris Jackson and Charlie Whitehurst and a bad o-line. So you can’t tell me there is no way ML could have success with Teddy Bridgewater.

      This discussion is also funny because I swear I been in a few discussions with Minny fans claiming Teddy B is a great qb in the making.

      • Anthony Daley

        Minny had some good offensive lines early in AD’s career although they were all in their 30’s so their best days were over. Some of his biggest years including 2012 when he went for 2100 yards he had Christian Ponder at QB and an offensive line that was barely average. The only other back I can remember that usually had stacked boxes every game was Barry Sanders. Something Lynch never really had to deal with much.

        • eYeDEF

          Christine Michael didn’t start having success until 2015 after he was cut and got his act together. There were plenty of other backs they churned through that didn’t enjoy plug and play success because you’re simply crazy to think that when the offensive line has been so consistently terrible. Rawls was a gem of a find who could break tackles like Marshawn could. Nor did Lynch ever have Birk and Hutch opening up running lanes for him, both were great even late in their careers.

          Not sure what you mean about Marshawn not having to deal with stacked boxes unless you think his first couple seasons in Buffalo with Trent Edwards as QB or the 2011 season with Tarvaris Jackson meant defenses were actually worried about the pass. FYI: they weren’t.

          • Anthony Daley

            Peterson has one turnovers in four playoff games so you are wrong again!

          • eYeDEF

            Try 3 fumbles in 5 playoff games. Try and get your stats right so you don’t make a fool out of yourself. Like I said, he’s a fumbler.

          • Anthony Daley

            Look it up! Look up all the past box scores of his for playoff games and you’ll find he’s turn the ball over just once.

          • eYeDEF

            Are you not old enough to be aware he’s played in 5 playoff games, not 4? Look it up yourself, he fumbled twice in the 2009 playoffs in their loss to New Orleans. He was such a fumbler that he got benched after his 2nd fumble. Like I said, during the playoffs AP is NOT that guy you want with the ball because he’s a big time choker who coughs it up, just like he did against Seattle these past playoffs.

  • crosseyedlemon

    I’ve seen Peterson embarrass our Bear defense enough times to know he is clearly number one. On many occasions he has carried the Vikings on his back and he has never had the offense support that Lynch had in Seattle.

    • eYeDEF

      Yes he has. He had a better OL than Lynch ever had in Seattle those first 2-3 years with Hutch and Matt Birk opening up running lanes for him on the interior. He also had two years of Bret Favre next to him handing off and slinging it. I’m not saying Lynch was in the same class as AP, but it can’t be said that AP didn’t enjoy offensive complements his first 4 years in the league that surpassed what Lynch ever had to work with in Seattle.

  • enai D

    Lynch had an awesome career, but there obviously isn’t much of a valid comparison to be made with Peterson, who’s already firmly established as one of the best RBs in NFL history, and potentially the very best pure runner ever to play RB.