What stat trends say about Lynch for 2014

June, 17, 2014
Jun 17
8:27
PM ET

RENTON, Wash. -- Marshawn Lynch made it to minicamp Tuesday for the Seahawks, but he will not practice this week because he recently tweaked his ankle.

Whether he gets a tweak to his contract remains to be seen, along with what we may see from Beast Mode in the 2014 season. ESPN The Magazine had an interesting take on that topic in the most recent issue.

Four NFL running backs entered last season with at least 250 carries in each of the previous three seasons -- Ray Rice, Chris Johnson, Steven Jackson and Arian Foster.

All four were workhorse backs, averaging more than 1,000 yards each season from 2010 through 2012. Three of them had dramatic drop-offs in 2013. Johnson was the only exception, rushing for 1,077 yards on 279 carries, but his average per carry fell from 4.5 to 3.9.

Even taking Johnson's 2013 season into account, the average rushing yards for the four of them went from 1,256 to 705. The average yards per carry dropped from 4.3 to 3.6 and the touchdown average went from 8.6 to 4.2. The average number of carries dropped an average of 100 carries per player.

Two backs enter the 2014 with at least 250 carries in the previous three seasons -- Lynch and San Francisco running back Frank Gore. Lynch averaged 300.3 carries per season over those three years and 1,350 yards per year (4.5 yards per carry).

Judging by what happened to the four workhorse backs last season, on average, this is how Lynch's projected numbers would change in 2014:

Carries: 198

Rushing yards: 759

Yards per carry: 3.8

Touchdowns: 6

However, these are only speculative numbers showing a trend for backs with a lot of carries over three years. Lynch could be different. Well, he is different, but he could go out and have a career-best year, especially if he's happy with the contract.

Terry Blount

ESPN Seattle Seahawks reporter

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