12th-man-space-needle

Deja vu is “the phenomenon of having the strong sensation that an event or experience currently being experienced, has already been experienced in the past, whether it has actually happened or not.” The Seattle Seahawks are licking their wounds from a controversy-filled Super Bowl defeat. They dispatched of the NFC with a stout defense and dominant running game. The team was led by arguably the best running back in the game. His name is… Shaun Alexander.

The year is 2006. The Seahawks just lost Super Bowl XL to the Pittsburgh Steelers. There were a host of controversial calls in the game that brought heated discussion from all sides. The 2005 Seahawks were ranked #7 in points/game allowed and boasted the #3 rushing offense at 153.6 yards/game.

Shaun Alexander just completed his fifth consecutive season with 1,000+ yards and double-digit touchdowns. As a reward, the front office signed Alexander to an eight-year, $62 million contract in March of 2006.

Life was good. But then, All-Pro offensive guard Steve Hutchinson left to go to Minnesota. The 2006 season was the beginning of the demise for Alexander. After six seasons of never missing a game, he missed six in 2006. Including the playoffs, Alexander notched 1,812 carries in that magical run.

marshawn-lynch-geeksandcleats

 

Fast forward to 2015. The Seahawks just lost Super Bowl XLIX to the New England Patriots. The controversy in this game was that the Seahawks chose to pass instead of feed Beastmode at the one-yard line with 26 seconds left in the game.

The 2014 Seahawks were ranked #1 in points/game allowed and possessed the #1 rushing offense at 172.6 yards/game.

Marshawn Lynch just completed his fourth consecutive season with 1,000+ yards and double-digit touchdowns. In March of 2015, Lynch agreed to a three-year, $31 million deal.

Then, center Max Unger was traded to the New Orleans Saints. With Unger, Lynch ran for 5.0 ypc. Without Unger, 4.4 ypc.  The first preseason game for the Seahawks in 2015 did not assuage any of the offensive line concerns.

Glitch in the Matrix. Glitch in the Matrix.

Including the playoffs, since Lynch entered the league in 2007, he’s carried the ball 2,220 times.

Joseph Juan wrote an interesting article in April of 2015 titled: Measuring NFL Running Back Longevity: Falling Off the 1,800-Carry Cliff.

Nothing lasts forever. Can Lynch have another great season in 2015? For sure, but there are definitely some red flags. In my article, Predicting the Top 10 RBs of 2015, data for the past 10 seasons has shown that preseason ADP has only predicted the final top 10 greater than 50% twice. Personally, the similarites (which are probably just coincidences) to Shaun Alexander’s 2005 gives me the heebie jeebies. I would not be in the least bit surprised if Lynch does not return first round value in 2015.

 

 

You can follow Son on Twitter at Stan_Son.

  1. Clint says:
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    Being a Packer fan, I silently hope your heebie jeebies come to more fruition than the hangover my club has to deal with (and resulting talent loss in Jordy’s knee). But, the thing that amazes me about this team is how they seem to be able to pay everyone up until now. I didn’t think there was any way they’d be able to pay both Wilson AND Wagner while staying under the cap. Granted, Kam’s testing them now but for at least the next year, even w/the loss of Unger, they look ready for another run. I mean, worst come to worst, Jimmy Graham can always stay in like he did in New Orleans which’d be great for Seattle but another blow to fantasy folks, right?

    • Son says:
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      @Clint: First off, tough news for Jordy but the Packers will be fine. Great organization. Seattle has done a marvelous job as well. Both organizations draft phenomenally. It’s going to be interesting to see how Seattle transitions.

  2. Jerry says:
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    Hey, Son! Should I keep Jeremy Hill or Mike Evans in a 12 team ppr league? Thanks and enjoy the weekend!

    • Son says:
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      @Jerry: What round can you keep them at?

      • Jerry says:
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        It’s not by round. We are allowed to keep one player prior to the draft. I also have the fifth pick in the draft.

        • Son says:
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          @Jerry: Hill

  3. David Niven says:
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    Nice piece, and clicked the link to a nice top 10 analysis. Thanks man, and welcome. Nice to read ya.

    Now, I come from Seattle and just took Lynch in my big money league at 1 overall, so please take it all back…

    • Son says:
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      @David Niven: Thanks David. I will not take anything back! But for your sake, I hope I’m mush then

  4. RotoLance

    RotoLance says:
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    I don’t buy that Joseph Juan article at all. Talking like there is some “carry cliff” when I think it’s much more likely an “age cliff” is silly in my opinion. And certainly a very strong correlation exists between increasing age and increasing carries. So it’s difficult to separate the two. But the author has done little to even present that information, on his x-axis of some charts he’s got “season” when “age” would be much more interesting in my opinion.

    It just seems silly that carries a running back got 5 years ago could impact his performance now. And if that’s the case why not go back all the way to their college stats?

    So for instance if a 29 year old player actually carried the ball 300 times in his rookie year, if he had instead carried it 50 times, because that puts him below some threshold he’s somehow safer? What’s the likelihood that’s true? I’m not going to put any stock in how many carries a player got a few or several years ago.

    Now let’s really drop the hammer:

    If carries are really the reason RB decline then the RB ought to be able to just take off several years, say he takes off his age 25-30 seasons but stays in shape. If it’s due to carries he should be able to come back and be just fine. But of course we know he won’t be the same player at that point. Because of age.

    • RotoLance

      RotoLance says:
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      @RotoLance: I should say that due to the correlation of age and carries all I’ve said doesn’t necessarily discount the point of Son’s post. The concerns with Lynch and a host of other top RBs this year are valid.

      • Son says:
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        @RotoLance: This is actually an interesting year for this debate. Justin Forsett is 29 years old but has only received 583 career carries. Adrian Peterson just took a year off.

    • Son says:
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      @RotoLance: Good points. As with most things in life, I think there is intersection between age and carries. Father time is undefeated, so the age issue is pretty straightforward. As we age, the body deteriorates. As for the carries and seasons aspect, I believe that they do have an impact. I vaguely compare it to a boxing fight. Pound the body! Pound the body! Those hits have an accumulation effect. It wears down the opposing fighter so that when the knockout punch is delivered, KABOOM! Same for running backs. On almost every carry, they are not only wearing down their lower body running and cutting, but they eventually get tackled by a horde of beasts (300+ linemen and 250+ linebackers). Those hits have an effect. To address your comment of “safer,” I think the probabilities of injury increase the more times you play, carry the ball, and get hit. Here’s my real world analogy: Say you play flag football after work every day. You’re sore from running around. You will probably play better on Monday than Friday. Now imagine if they switched it to tackle football. Now, you are not only sore from running, but your body aches from all the pounding you’ve taken. How long do you last? So in regards to carries, I don’t think it’s just the simple fact of getting the ball. I think it has to do more with the punishment received on those carries.

      • RotoLance

        RotoLance says:
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        @Son: A better argument for your side would have to do with: Why do RBs fall off the age cliff faster than WRs if it’s really just an age related cliff?

        • Son says:
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          @RotoLance: But I don’t think it’s just an age related cliff

          • RotoLance

            RotoLance says:
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            @Son: That’s my point. If it were, their performance should decrease similarly. But it doesn’t. Something about the RB position makes them age faster, so to speak, than other positions. I just doubt it has anything to do with the difference between a 300 carry season and 100 carry season from 7 years ago.

            • Son says:
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              @RotoLance: I hear you, but I beg to differ. Running backs age faster than other positions because of the amount of punishment they take on each carry. So, I think there is a huge difference between a 300 carry season and a 100 carry season from 7 years ago because that’s a potential 200 more times a running back gets pummelled. Going back to my boxing analogy, those body blows aren’t felt in the beginning of the fight. They are felt at the end.

              • RotoLance

                RotoLance says:
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                @Son: I’m agreeing (or at least making the argument) that carries might have something to do with the difference between how RBs age and how WRs age. So I don’t think you are hearing me. In any case something about the RB position has to account for that difference.

                And your boxing analogy doesn’t work for me unless boxers feel body blows several years later. LOL.

                • Son says:
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                  @RotoLance: Ok, my fault then. I thought you were saying that carries don’t have an impact. Your words:

                  “It just seems silly that carries a running back got 5 years ago could impact his performance now…I’m not going to put any stock in how many carries a player got a few or several years ago.”

                  As for the boxing analogy, I think ALL blows are felt by boxers years later to some degree.

                  • RotoLance

                    RotoLance says:
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                    @Son: See my comment at 10:42. That’s where I first confused you. If you look back on it now this will all make sense. That was when I started to argue the other side but you had no idea what I was doing. The question mark at the end was the hypothetical part, not me asking you.

                    • Son says:
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                      @RotoLance: Not really because you posted this in your original post at 8:56:

                      “It just seems silly that carries a running back got 5 years ago could impact his performance now…I’m not going to put any stock in how many carries a player got a few or several years ago.”

                      Now I’m very very confused. Stop with the Jedi mindtricks! :)

              • RotoLance

                RotoLance says:
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                @Son: Sorry for the confusion, by the way. I think you didn’t understand why I was going with that because I basically did a 180. I was actually trying to make the carries (or something about RBs) does matter argument.

                • Son says:
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                  @RotoLance: No sweat. Yeah, I definitely got confused there.

                  • And Now the Jon Lovitz Dancers! says:
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                    @Son: wasn’t just you.

  5. Derrick says:
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    Thoughts on this team? 12 team. .8 PPR.

    QB – Matt Ryan, Bridgewater
    RB – J. Hill, L. Bell, Lat. Murray, Woodhead, D. Robinson
    WR – J. Jones, S. Smith, M. Bryant, Coltston, Hurns, Garçon
    TE – Graham
    Def – Lions

    During this draft I traded Gurley and a 4th for AJ Green and a 10th. Then I traded Green and Gronk for Bell and Graham. Crazy draft.

    Also, Murray and Hill were my keepers.

    • Son says:
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      @Derrick: Well done. Good job with the trades as well.

  6. Johnny Ticklemonster says:
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    Had a 12-team snake draft (.5 ppr) last night. I had the 12th pick. Went Dez/Hill to start. Here’s my team, what do you think? Any areas of concern you’d suggest, or potential trade bait?

    QB
    Tannehill

    RB
    Hill
    Gore
    Spiller
    DMC
    Knile Davis

    WR
    Dez
    Matthews
    Andre Johnson
    Robinson
    Agholor
    Terrence Williams

    TE
    Eifert

    Defenses
    Packers and Bengals

    • Johnny Ticklemonster says:
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      Had a 12-team snake draft (.5 ppr) last night. I had the 12th pick. Went Dez/Hill to start. Here’s my team, what do you think? Any areas of concern you’d suggest, or potential trade bait?

      QB
      Tannehill

      RB
      Hill
      Gore
      Spiller
      DMC
      Knile Davis

      WR
      Dez
      Matthews
      Andre Johnson
      Robinson
      Agholor
      Terrence Williams

      TE
      Eifert

      Defenses
      Packers and [email protected]Johnny Ticklemonster: Let me know what you think

      • Son says:
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        @Johnny Ticklemonster: Like the team a lot. You did a good job drafting. I have many of the same players. I’m not a fan of DMC. I’m a Raiders fan so take that into consideration. Don’t like Andre Johnson. There’s a reason why Houston let him go. Plus tons of weapons on that team. Don’t like the Packers defense, but it’s a defense so nitpicking

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