Thomas Rawls is a worthy replacement for Marshawn Lynch

The rookie running back may have flown under-the-radar before, but Seattle is in good hands with Rawls' dominant play.

| 2 years ago
(AP Photo/John Froschauer)

(AP Photo/John Froschauer)

Thomas Rawls is a worthy replacement for Marshawn Lynch

Marshawn Lynch’s career high for rushing yards in the regular season is just 148. In the playoffs it is 157. His career high in yards from scrimmage is just 177 during the regular season and 184.

Those aren’t poor totals by any means, but when you consider that Adrian Peterson had topped 200 rushing yards alone six times in his career, and what Thomas Rawls — his rookie teammate — has already achieved this season, it does somehow seem amiss.

Standing in for an injured Lynch, Rawls rushed for 209 yards on 30 carries against the 49ers. He added three receptions for another 46 yards and a touchdown, marking the second time this season he has gained more rushing yardage than Marshawn Lynch ever has and the first time he has gained more yards from scrimmage than Beastmode has ever notched.

In fact, Rawls’ 255 yards from scrimmage are the most in the NFL this season amongst running backs over a single game and only four other runners have topped 200.

Only four rookie rushers since the year 2000 have topped 250 yards from scrimmage in a single game, and DeMarco Murray was the last player to do it in 2011 for the Cowboys.

The Seahawks have certainly earned their money’s worth from Lynch since picking him up in a trade with the Bills. Given the offensive line that he’s often been tasked with running behind, he’s done an incredible job to post the statistics he has consistently. However, what Rawls has done in a couple of outings in his place as a rookie has been remarkable.

Seattle’s offensive line is a bad unit, and is little better run blocking than it is pass-protection, so for Rawls to step in and show he can not just be productive, but record-setting is huge for Seattle as they look into a future beyond Lynch.

Rawls was a player that flew under everybody’s radar and ultimately went undrafted, but a peek back at our college grades from a year ago does show him performing well. He earned the seventh-highest rushing grade of draft eligible players last season — a figure that was higher than several runners drafted well ahead of him including players like Jacksonville’s T. J. Yeldon and Atlanta’s Tevin Coleman.

Seattle must feel a lot better about the future now that they’ve discovered an apparent heir to the Beastmode throne.

| Senior Analyst

Sam is a Senior Analyst at Pro Football Focus, as well as a contributor to ESPN and NBCSports.

  • Kvk

    He is a beast

  • crosseyedlemon

    I’m just hoping someone with a camera catches the moment when Rawls approaches Marshawn and sings “You’ll never find another rush like mine”

  • Scott Humphreys

    Its funny, PFF for years has been giving all the credit for the Seattle offense to Lynch and sometimes Wilson and saying how bad the offensive line is. Lynch is out and the next guy up is an undrafted free agent and he looks even better than Marshawn Lynch. The offensive line must not be so bad after all?

    • Scraps

      Are you watching the Seahawks’ offensive line, let alone looking at the tape the next day?

      To the point: yes, the offensive line is bad (though ever slowly getting better).

    • Augie Janke

      Seattles offensive line is a world beater compared to what he had at Michigan.

  • Augie Janke

    I sure wish Rawls had a average offensive line when he was at Michigan. Instead he had perhaps the worst offensive line in Michigans history…so glad a fellow Flintstone is tearing it up! God Bless and Go Blue Mr. Rawls