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Marshawn Lynch could see more snaps for Raiders

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  • By Thomas Warren NFL.com
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Sunday could be the day Raider nation gets the break out, Beast Mode-type game from Marshawn Lynch they've been waiting with baited breath all season to see.

The veteran running back has been held in check through the first 11 weeks not so much by opposing defenses but a lack of touches. The Raiders have run the ball the fewest times in the league (214 attempts), with Lynch accounting for 97 carries, though he's run for 390 yards with a respectable four yards-per-carry average. If not for the Raiders getting torched early in last week's 33-8 loss to the Patriots in Mexico City, the 10-year veteran was on pace for his first 100-yard game as a Raider (11 carries, 67 yards).

Head coach Jack Del Rio said they'll make a concerted effort to get Lynch involved early and often Sunday.

"I'd like to push him and get him a little more," Del Rio told the Mercury News. "Obviously, that's a matter of us doing things that I spoke to earlier in the week with getting the possessions offensively, converting on third down which allows more possession, more snaps and opportunities. That's a big part of it."

They'll look to be more efficient against a Broncos defense that only allows 3.3 yards per carry and might've regained its footing last week holding the Bengals to 190 total yards in a 20-17 win.

The Raiders' offensive line will need to find some consistency if their Lynch-heavy game plan will be successful. It doesn't help that right guard Gabe Jackson is battling an ankle injury that kept him out of practice all week and has him listed as questionable for the game.

Raiders offensive coordinator Todd Downing points to the Dolphins game in Week 9 as a sample of how explosive Lynch can still be when he's running with his trademark violent style. He finished that game with 57 rushing yards, including his a 22-yard scamper for a touchdown.

"We were trying to get him rocking and rolling," Downing said, adding, "I'm pleased with where he's at. Hoping to be able to feed him a little bit more."

The Raiders have seemingly saved Lynch for the stretch run with the playoffs in mind, and if they want to stay in the hunt, it's time to let Beast Mode run free.

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