It's hard to argue that he's not the best running back in the NFL.
If so, then who is No. 2?
I remember coming out [of college] with him. We trained together in Arizona, and I knew he was going to be a force to be reckoned with. He's 'Beast Mode' for a reason: He's a physical runner. He plays fast. His lateral movement, cuts, his vision is top of the line. Even though he didn't play much this year, I would say he's probably the second-best back in the league. I'd give it to him, hands-down.
I'm a guy with a little more speed. I don't think he's got the same jump-cut as me. But his lateral movement, his ability to get through guys is amazing.
Peterson made some good points, but if you looked only at Lynch's 2015 season, it would be hard to tell. The five-time Pro Bowler had just 111 attempts, 417 yards and three touchdowns while missing nine games because of an abdomen injury.
However, his past four seasons, which earned him a spot in four Pro Bowls and two touchdown titles, seem to back up Peterson's claim:
|Marshawn Lynch 2011-2014 Average Season Stats|
If Lynch, who has been a full participant in practice this week, is back for the playoffs, it could be huge for the Seahawks, per NFL on ESPN:
NFL on ESPN @ESPNNFL
Getting Marshawn Lynch back could be huge for the @Seahawks. He's the NFL's active leader in postseason rushing. https://t.co/YI3UlBP9Di1/6/2016, 7:25:08 PM
Of course, there are up-and-coming running backs such as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' Doug Martin, whose 1,402 yards were second to only Peterson, and the St. Louis Rams' Todd Gurley, who was third with 1,106 yards in his rookie campaign.
Martin is nearly three years younger than the 29-year-old Lynch, who is eight years older than the 21-year-old Gurley.
However, Peterson's statement could be a sign of respect for his playoff opponent more than anything. Or perhaps he just didn't want to give any bulletin-board material to Lynch and the Seahawks heading into their Wild Card Round tilt.