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NFL AM: Seahawks’ Lynch Has Surgery, Could Return This Year

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Lynch Has Successful Surgery

Seattle Seahawks Pro Bowl running back Marshawn Lynch underwent successful (he didn’t die) sports hernia surgery on Wednesday, and could be back as early as December, according to NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport.

The 29-year old running back is having his worst season since 2010 (when he was traded to Seattle), as he’s averaging a career-worst 3.8 yards per carry (417 yards/111 carries) and has just three rushing touchdowns.  The former Cal Golden Bear has had just one game of over 100 yards rushing, which came in a victory against the lowly San Francisco 49ers on October 22nd (27 carries, 122 yards, 1 touchdown).

Seahawks fans are worrying less due to the emergence of Thomas Rawls, who has done a nice job filling in for “Beast Mode.”  The 5-foot-8, 220 pound rookie from Central Michigan has gained 604 yards on just 101 carries, and his 6.0 yards per carry average leads all NFL running backs with enough carries to qualify.

“He can run over guys, but he can run away from you too,” Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll said of Rawls. “The potential for him to be a real big-timer looks like it might be there. So we’re really excited about that.”

If Lynch is able to come back this season the Seahawks would have a tandem of running backs as good as any in the league entering the postseason.  If he isn’t, there’s no guarantee that Seattle will even be competing in the postseason as they currently sit with a 5-5 record, one of two teams (Tampa Bay) just one game behind the Atlanta Falcons for the sixth-seed in the NFC.

Best Set of Thanksgiving Games Ever? 

For the first time in a long time, each of the three Thanksgiving Day games should have plenty of intrigue and figure to be close.

The 4-6 Philadelphia Eagles, with all of their anonymous quotes and issues travel to Detroit to take on the suddenly resurgent Lions, who have won two games in a row.  This game features two former first-round picks at quarterback (Mark Sanchez and Matt Stafford), who have underperformed, and two coaches who are on a very hot seat.

Detroit has won three straight Thanksgiving Day games and the Eagles come in losers of two straight.

Our pick: The Eagles can’t seem to get out of their own way offensively and if you believe the anonymous quotes, the locker room could be ready to bail on head coach Chip Kelly.  Even though Megatron is questionable, give me Ameer Abdullah and the Lions.  Lions 24, Eagles 16. 

The undefeated Carolina Panthers travel to Dallas to take on “America’s Team” with Tony Romo starting his second game.  How do you beat the 10-0 Panthers?  Nobody has figured that out yet, but having a healthy Romo and Dez Bryant, along with getting the Panthers traveling across half the country on a short week will certainly help.

Our pick:  The Panthers have a nice run going, but last week was a little too easy for them against the Redskins.  The Cowboys are in absolute desperation mode, as their margin for error is very slim, even in the NFC East.  The only way to get these Panthers is on a short week, and that’s what we have.  Cowboys 20, Panthers 17. 

Finally, the primetime game features the tougher-than-expected Chicago Bears bicycling into Lambeau Field to take on the Green Bay Packers.  Jay Cutler is quietly having a resurgent season and new Bears head coach John Fox is hiding the team’s defensive deficiencies as well as anyone could have hoped.

Meanwhile in Packer-land, Green Bay avoided disaster and a four-game losing streak by taking down the Minnesota Vikings last week to regain control of the division.  Aaron Rodgers is still great, but he seems to be holding the football longer and not taking as many shots down the field, which could be the lasting effect of the team missing wide receiver Jordy Nelson, who tore his ACL in preseason.

Our pick:  The Packers are the better team with the better quarterback, playing at home.  The Bears will show up, but let’s not over think this.  Packers 27, Bears 17. 

Bo’s Game Nuggets

Football Insiders columnist Bo Marchionte gives us news, notes and nuggets for each team from each of the weekend’s matchups.  Here are Thursday’s games.

Philadelphia Eagles vs. Detroit Lions

 Eagles: It was an embarrassing home loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 45-17, and cries for head coach Chip Kelly to be fired are echoing loud and clear in Philly. It was also an opportunity for Mark Sanchez to steal the job away from Sam Bradford, but that will not be the case after he threw three interceptions and got into shouting match with teammate Darren Sproles. The Eagles have lost three of their last four games and facing a resurgent Lions team on Thanksgiving.

Lions: Detroit is the winner of two straight games and three out of their last five. A big concern moving forward is the lack of a running game. They are averaging 66.9 yards per game on the ground. Rookie Ameer Abdullah has not exceeded 50 yards rushing in a game all season and is averaging just 3.5 yards per carry.

Carolina Panthers vs. Dallas Cowboys

Panthers: Mike Shula should be in the running for a head coaching job after his current success in Carolina as the team’s offensive coordinator. Shula is making an offense lacking a ton of potential into a potential powerhouse. In addition to keeping the offense functioning without a hiccup, he has helped Cam Newton play to an MVP level. He completed five touchdowns to five different receivers in their Week 11 win over the Washington Redskins.

Cowboys: The all-time record between the Panthers and Cowboys is in favor of Dallas with a 9-3 edge in the 12 match-ups. It is the highest winning percentage against any opponent in the history of the Cowboys.

Chicago Bears vs. Green Bay Packers

Bears: Chicago failed to win their third straight game after a 17-15 home loss to the Peyton Manning-less Denver Broncos. The last time the Bears won three straight games was in 2013.

Packers: “It was a big win,” said Packers linebacker Clay Matthews after stopping a three-game losing streak with a win over the Minnesota Vikings, 30-13. Green Bay is in control of the NFC North for now and face their all-time rival this weekend at Lambeau Stadium. The Packers trail the Bears 92-93-6 and a win this weekend would even one of the most storied rivalries in sports history.

 


About Charlie Bernstein

Charlie Bernstein

Charlie Bernstein is the managing football editor for Football Insiders and has covered the NFL for over a decade.  Charlie has hosted drive time radio for NBC and ESPN affiliates in different markets around the country, along with being an NFL correspondent for ESPN Radio and WFAN.  He has been featured on the NFL Network as well as Sirius/XM NFL Radio and has been published on Fox Sports, Sports Illustrated, ESPN as well as numerous other publications.