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Marshawn Lynch and the running back cliff


By Brady Henderson

No position in the NFL has a shorter shelf life than running back. It’s an established reality, and not a surprising one given the nature and the volume of the contact that is typically absorbed at that position.

Kevin Seifert’s latest column on takes a closer look at the so-called “running back cliff”, and the upshot is that production begins to precipitously decline after the age of 27. Specifically, ESPN’s data showed that after peaking at 27, a running back’s production on average drops by 15 percent the next year, 25 percent the year after and nearly 40 percent by age 30.

It’s an especially relevant conversation around here now that Seattle’s Marshawn Lynch is weeks away from his 28th birthday. Lynch rushed for 1,257 yards in 2013, which ranked sixth in the NFL and represented a 21 percent decrease from his total the year before when he rushed for a career-high 1,590 yards.

“It doesn’t mean that Marshawn Lynch’s career is getting ready to hit a wall,” Seifert told 710 ESPN Seattle’s “Brock and Danny” on Monday. “It just means that historically it wouldn’t be a surprise if his production starts decreasing.”

So, how much does Lynch have left? Bob Stelton and Dave Grosby share their thoughts in the video above, offering a couple reasons why Lynch may not experience as steep a decline as some other running backs.