Beast Mode is officially back.
While Marshawn Lynch returned from a one year retirement last season, rushing for 891 yards and seven touchdowns while averaging 4.3 yards per carry, he's truly back to his old self through the first four games of 2018.
Thus far, the 32-year-old has toted the rock 68 times for 300 yards and three scores while averaging 4.4 yards per carry. He has a long of 52 yards on the year while 16 of his carries have gone for first downs, which is an impressive 23.5 percent clip.
Lynch is also breaking tackles like he did in his prime, gouging defenses in yards after contact. Thus, the Chargers know they are in for a tough test come Sunday.
"He looks better this year than (last)," said Head Coach Anthony Lynn. "He sat out in 2016, came back last year and was a little rusty. But he's in rare form right now. He's just a very unsatisfied runner."
Still, just because it's a challenge doesn't mean the Bolts aren't looking forward to it. In fact, they expressed how meaningful it is to face off against him while he is in top form.
"When you get a chance to play against a caliber player like that, man, it's a blessing," said Melvin Ingram. "(He's a) great guy. We had a couple conversations, and he's a great person who loves the game of football and he plays it that way."
Perhaps no one knows that better than Defensive Coordinator Gus Bradley, who coached for the Seattle Seahawks during the prime of the running back's career.
So, what is he seeing from Lynch thus far this season?
"He ran pretty well last year too for them, but the yards after contact (stands out)," he said. "Every week we look at running backs' running styles. The number of clips we can find to show our guys his running style and the yards after contact, he's running very angry. You can tell that. I think that's been picked up by our team…. He runs so strong (with) the ability to use the stiff arm. I think you have to go in each week (with a) tackling plan. What's effective and what doesn't work with his style?"
According to Bradley, it's imperative to shut Lynch down early, preventing him from getting on a roll and gaining confidence.
"Obviously when he gets going and has some space (he's tough to defend)," he said. "And he can create space on his own, too. He's a guy that attacks the edges, he'll run through the middle and we've got to confine that space. Setting the edge is going to be really, really important. Just try not to let him get going because we're going to need everybody to get him down."
Browse through the top practice photos as the Chargers get ready to face the Oakland Raiders for Week 5's divisional rivalry game.