Is Marshawn Lynch Unstoppable?

Brian Bassett , TheJetsBlog.com

So far, many teams have talked about the necessity to stop Marshawn Lynch, but few have been able to deliver.  With the Jets heading to Seattle this weekend, there’s real concern about just how much this Jets defense can contain a runner of his caliber.

Early in the season the Jets let up scads of yards to both CJ Spiller and Arian Foster, but were successful in holding Frank Gore to just 64 yards.  So which group for the Jets will show up Sunday?  Sione Po’uha has been dealing with a back injury all season and the rest of the line has suffered for it.  Also, Bart Scott’s decline in play has made his replacement by the Jets in favor of raw rookie Demario Davis an expected shift.

What makes Lynch such a tough tackle is his size of power along with an uncanny elusiveness, even if he doesn’t have blockers on a play he’s routinely able to break or elude tackles.

There have been a lot better teams at stopping the run than the Jets that Lynch has already faced this season and played commendably against.  The Niners, Patriots and Vikings most notably and even so, Lynch has piled up the yards in a bid for the rushing title with five games with over 100 yards and only one game in which he was held for under 50 yards.  That game came against the Patriots.

So how does a team stop Marshawn Lynch?  Here’s what one of the best defensive tackles and linebackers in the league each had to say about Lynch.

First up, Vince Wilfork of the Patriots, who was familiar with him from his years in Buffalo:

“He breaks a lot of tackles. And he’s been running hard, ever since he was at Buffalo,” Wilfork said of Seattle running back Marshawn Lynch.

[…]

“He’s just a tough, tough back,” Wilfork said of the former Buffalo Bill, now in his third season with the Seahawks. “He’s a strong, physical runner and he’s quick and shifty. He’s well put together. You talk about backs, an elite back, I don’t think he gets enough credit.

“He can go anywhere,” he added. “Sometimes, he doesn’t even need blocks. He can go out there and take on the defense by himself.”

Next, a current divisional rival, Patrick Willis:

“He runs the ball hard, a very elusive guy,” Willis said Tuesday. “He’s a very hard tackle. We’re going to have to have everybody swarming to the ball and not expecting one guy to make the play. He’s by far one of the best running backs in the league and will be one of the best backs we face all year long. We’ve got to face him twice.”

Brian Bassett, TheJetsBlog.com

Up front, the Jets are going to have to do their best to win at the line of scrimmage, something that hasn’t come easily for the Jets this year.  Behind the line, the linebackers are going to need to attack those gaps on running plays and swam the ball as Willis suggests. The Jets have had trouble with both of those two key elements to run defense so far this year, something they’ve done so well in years past.



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