By Tim Graham
Asked for his take on Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch, former Buffalo Bills teammate C.J. Spiller said with a grin:
"He's a hard runner. He's a physical runner. I hope he has his worst game ever."
Back in July, when Lynch had been arrested for drunk driving, I wrote the Bills were lucky to have rid themselves of him and his off-field antics.
The Bills' trade seemed like a relief then. Lynch was in trouble with the law again. The Bills used the two draft picks they acquired from the Seahawks on two players who showed promise: Chris Hairston and Tank Carder.
I was wrong.
The trade unmistakably has swung back to Seattle's favor. Hairston is a backup tackle when everybody's healthy, and the Bills cut Carder at the end of training camp.
And Lynch? He avoided a suspension and has been one of the NFL's best running backs.
A collection of factoids about Lynch's production since he left Buffalo:
1) Lynch ranks second in the NFL with 1,266 rushing yards and sixth with 1,415 yards from scrimmage.
2) He has seven 100-yard rushing games this year.
3) ProFootballFocus.com's stats show Lynch ranks fourth in the NFL with 762 yards after contact and third with 46 tackles broken or avoided.
4) He set Seattle's record for yards per carry last week. He averaged 11.6 yards against the Arizona Cardinals, rushing 11 times for 128 yards.
5) In the past two years, he has rushed for three of Seattle's five best single-game averages.
6) He's on pace to establish career-highs with 1,558 rushing yards, 321 attempts and a 4.9 average. He would be only the third Seahawk to rush for more than 1,500 yards, joining Shaun Alexander and Chris Warren.
7) Lynch leads the NFL in rushing since Week Nine of last year with 2,207 yards. That's 332 yards ahead of the next-closest runner, Ray Rice.
8) Lynch has rushed for 100 yards in 13 of his past 22 games and has been held under 85 yards only three times in that span.
9) He has been held out of the end zone just seven times over the past 22 games. He has rushed for 18 TDs and caught one TD pass.
10) He scored at least one touchdown in a club-record 11 straight games last year.