NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Jack Del Rio’s postgame press conference was cruising along when there was a rustle at the door. Marshawn Lynch opened it, peered in and asked PR man Will Kiss an important question.
“I was available for three minutes and they didn’t holler at me,” Lynch said. “I’m good, right?”
“Yup,” Kiss said. “You’re good.”
Lynch typically doesn’t talk to press. He’s all about that action, boss.
They spoke volumes in a Sunday’s 26-16 victory over the Tennessee Titans. Fans got their first real glimpse of Lynch in Silver and Black, but got his alter ego instead. Lynch became Beast Mode, using power to produce pain over 18 carries for 76 yards.
“He’s a physical player. He’s smash mouth,” Raiders left guard Kelechi Osemele said. “He’s going to run right through you. …When you’re trying to close a game out, that’s the type of player you need.”
Lynch was Mariano Rivera on Sunday. His cut fastball was heavy hitting, churning out tough yards on a fourth-quarter drive that put the Raiders up two scores. He ran six times for 18 yards when Tennessee knew what was coming.
His penultimate carry might’ve been his best, when he trucked Titans defensive lineman Jurell Casey. Osemele pumped a fist. Donald Penn raised the roof and the Raiders sideline went nuts.
“He’s such a beast,” receiver Amari Cooper said. “He ran over a guy who was like five times bigger than he was. It gets everybody hyped.”
It didn’t, however, surprise anyone. The Raiders have seen that type of speed and burst in practice. They knew the aggressiveness would intensify in games.
“That’s what we expected,” cornerback David Amerson said. “We already knew what he was capable of. He came out here and put on a show. When we had a lead in the fourth quarter, we just give it to Beast Mode and he grinded down the field. That’s exactly what we thought he would do.”
Lynch brought an edge to offensive proceedings, even more than the offensive line typically brings. That should help wear defenses and make the Raiders more effective with a lead.
“I think we’ve always been physical with our offensive line, but Marshawn definitely adds to it,” Del Rio said. “You’d better be sure you want to tackle him before you engage. I think you saw some great examples of what we’re going to get.”