Marshawn Lynch Is Back To Trucking Defenders, Flips Off Titans Defense

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(Photo: Getty Images)

Marshawn Lynch took an NFL field for the first time in over a year on Sunday, must to the chagrin of anyone with the unenviable task of trying to tackle the Oakland Raiders’ new running back.

Just ask Tennessee Titans defensive tackle Jurrell Casey.

With the Raiders trying to secure an opening-week victory in the final minutes, the Titans’ two-time Pro-Bowler attempted to stuff a Lynch run up the middle.

Casey, not a small man by any means, got punished.

On 18 carries, Lynch led all rushers with 76 yards on the ground. He also added a catch for 16 yards as the Raiders dispatched the Titans, 26-16.

“Man, he’s such boost,” said wide receiver Amari Cooper, who amassed 62 yards through the air and snagged a touchdown. “You saw that play where he ran a guy over? Probably five times bigger than he was? It gets everybody hyped. … Every time you know he’s about to get the ball, you’re watching, because you know something amazing is going to happen.”

Oh, he also did this:

Though Lynch’s stats for the contest are unremarkable—his longest rush of the day was 14 yards—it was clear throughout that he hasn’t lost his trademark ability to tack on extra yards at the end of rushes thanks to sheer physicality.

And the 31-year-old‘s teammates took note.

“We got to see that Marshawn is Marshawn,” said quarterback Derek Carr, who went 22-of-32 for 262 yards, two scores, and no picks in his return from a broken fibula. “He’s running through people, and he’s going to make it a pain on them to tackle him.”

“He’s a physical player. He’s smashmouth,” said offensive tackle Kelechi Osemele. “He’s going to run right through you. On third-and-short, fourth-down, four-minute situations when you’re trying to close the game out, he’s the type of player that you need.”

Lynch’s new coach, Jack Del Rio, had some advice for guys like Casey in the future: “You’d better be sure you want tackle him before you go in there.”