Raiders RB Marshawn Lynch embracing true self is what Oakland wants and needs

Oakland Raiders running back Marshawn Lynch, just one year removed from his NFL retirement, is back to being his crazy, even chaotic self. And that’s not a bad thing.

Lynch now on the Raiders is having a great time. He’s living the good life as Kanye West would say.

This seemed abundantly clear on Sunday when he was dancing all around the Oakland sideline in the fourth quarter of a blowout win against the New York Jets.

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(Photo via AP Photo/Ben Margot)

The Oakland Coliseum was behind Lynch completely, roaring in agreement with the 31-year-old running back. He appeared as happy as a teenager that hears his favorite song on the radio and wants to just smile and dance.

What else could Lynch be happy about?

The Raiders are now 2-0 and look as dominant as ever after recording convincing wins over the Tennessee Titans and the Jets.

Lynch, hasn’t been a bystander but a catalyst to the aforementioned success. He’s had 121 yards on the ground on 30 attempts with one touchdown.

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(Photo: Heidi Fang/Las Vegas Review-Journal)

He hasn’t been all-worldly but the Oakland native is averaging over 4 yards per carry and his energy has seemed infectious to the team. A major reason why the diehard fans were making the stadium so loud on Sunday.

In Week 1, Lynch flipped off the Titans on the field. The one thing he has publicly admitted he is trying to avoid occurred.

“I’m just here so I don’t get fined,” Lynch famously said during the Super Bowl media day in 2015.

Lynch was fined $12,000 ($6,000 for each finger) but that didn’t seem to impact his attitude against New York.

Lynch has strong ties to the Bay Area as he attended Oakland Technical High School and proceeded to wear the Blue and Gold playing in the city right next to his birthplace at the University of California, Berkeley.

After moving on from Cal, the Buffalo Bills drafted the Oakland native. He then moved on to the Seattle Seahawks after three seasons in Buffalo. After the move, he finally became the elite running back he was projected to become.

The former Cal Bear rushed for over 1,000 yards and 10 touchdowns in four consecutive seasons from 2011-2014, capped off by a championship victory in Super Bowl XLVIII.

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(Photo: AP Photo/Chris O’Meara)

After stepping away from the game after the 2015 season, Lynch decided he wanted to lace up his cleats one more time, but this time he wanted to do it in his hometown.

He requested a trade from Seattle and eventually got his way. The Seahawks got the Raiders’ 2018 fifth-round pick for Lynch and a sixth-round pick in 2018.

With the franchise set to move from its roots in Oakland to Las Vegas, Lynch embracing the great Oakland culture seems perfectly timed.

Will Lynch have an all-pro year?

Probably not. But that’s not the point. Lynch is exciting Oakland and the Raider Nation and is someone for kids to recognize and look up to. The Bay Area youth can see the way he takes on the persona that is Oakland in a positive and happy light.

In a time when the Golden State Warriors are leaving the East Bay, the Oakland Athletics are relocating to a different part of the city and the Raiders will soon be leaving for Vegas, saying Oakland lacks stability is a complete understatement.

Lynch is more than just football. He is a special role model and represents hope and excitement for not only the city of Oakland but the entire Bay Area.


Rob Werner is a contributing writer for The JR Report. For more news follow him on twitter @robwerner28.

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NFL predictions: Raiders improve despite decline in 2017 win/loss record

With the Oakland Raiders’ 2017 preseason wrapping up, it is time to start looking forward to the 2017 NFL regular season.

As such, here are The JR Report’s win-loss projections for the 2017 Raiders.

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Oakland Raiders quarterback Derek Carr (4) scrambles away from Tennessee Titans nose tackle Al Woods (96) in the second half of an NFL football game Sunday, Sept. 25, 2016, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Mark Zaleski)

Week 1: at Tennessee Titans

Starting the regular season off on the road against an up and coming team in the Tennessee Titans would be tough for any team to overcome.

Running backs DeMarco Murray and Derrick Henry and even quarterback Marcus Mariota could cause many issues on the Oakland defense. With so many weapons on the Tennessee offense, the Raiders’ poor defensive communication could be exposed.

With that being said, the Oakland defense will get gashed often, but the Raiders have an MVP caliber quarterback on the other side who will lead Oakland to a nail-biter victory in Week 1 carrying over the common theme from 2016.

Until the defense learns to communicate and gets defensive backs Gareon Conley and Obi Melifonwu up to speed, they will look a lot like the 2016 Raiders, just with fewer victories.

Raiders 34 Titans 30

Week 2: vs. New York Jets

This game will be the first home opener in Oakland since the organization announced their move to Las Vegas.

A blow out victory against the New York Jets should do well in pleasing the fans and keeping the Oakland Coliseum hospitable with the relocation on everyone’s mind.

Raiders 27 Jets 10

Week 3: at Washington Redskins (SNF)

The Raiders are a better team than the Washington Redskins and, despite what the salaries might say in the future, Carr has a major advantage over quarterback Kirk Cousins.

Nonetheless, it is still early in the season and the Oakland defense will be vulnerable. Cousins will have a monster game and Carr’s late magic will not be enough to carry his team on the road against a possible playoff team on Sunday Night Football.

Redskins 27 Raiders 24

Week 4: at Denver Broncos

The Denver Broncos just do not have the star-power at quarterback to compete with a talent like Carr.

The Raiders, like last year’s home win, will use running back Marshawn Lynch to run over the defense and open the play action passing game for Carr to complete a few game-changing strikes.

The Broncos might not admit it, but they are about to enter a rebuilding phase as they need to find their quarterback of the future. Also, placing safety TJ Ward on the trading block does suggest a possible rebuilding period.

Raiders 23 Broncos 17

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BALTIMORE, MD – OCTOBER 2: Michael Crabtree #15 of the Oakland Raiders celebrates after scoring a touchdown in the fourth quarter against the Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium on October 2, 2016 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Larry French/Getty Images)

Week 5: vs. Baltimore Ravens

Oakland has defeated the Baltimore Ravens two seasons in a row. Moreover, quarterback Joe Flacco might not even be ready or healthy for this game in Oakland.

As a result, the outcome will be no different from the last two meetings.

Raiders 20 Ravens 13

Week 6: vs. Los Angeles Chargers

Upset alert!

Quarterback Philip Rivers is going to have a field day against the porous Raiders secondary. The Los Angeles Chargers are a much-improved team, maybe the most in the NFL, and will sneak up on Oakland a few days before they have to play the Kansas City Chiefs on national television.

Chargers 31 Raiders 27

Week 7: vs. Kansas City Chiefs (TNF)

A game under the lights at home will help Carr turn around his poor history against the Chiefs (lost five straight games to KC) since there is no team Carr and company will want to beat more than Kansas City.

The game also becomes a must-win after the previous week’s loss to the Chargers.

Lynch has a beast quake type game as the Coliseum erupts on Thursday Night Football during the team’s first victory over the Chiefs since Carr’s first NFL win.

Raiders 27 Chiefs 20

Week 8: at Buffalo Bills

As long as Tyrod Taylor is the quarterback of the Buffalo Bills, they won’t stand any chance against Carr and the Raiders.

Oakland would need a major off-day to lose to Buffalo, especially as the Bills subtly begin their rebuild, which they should until Tom Brady exits the division.

Raiders 24 Bills 13

For second half of season click here


Ryan Lipton is the founder of The JR Report. For more news and The JR Report updates follow him on twitter @rytime98.

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