Marshawn Lynch played in his first home regular-season game for the Raiders on Sunday afternoon, and he made the most of it by running for 45 yards and one touchdown on 12 carries during a 45-20 win over the Jets. He also put together a memorable dance celebration on the sideline at the beginning of the fourth quarter that endeared him to the hometown crowd and showed off his love for Oakland.
Not everyone loved the dancing that Lynch did, though. After the game, a handful of Jets players spoke with the media and admitted that they were angry about seeing Lynch go full Beast Mode as “Oakland,” a song by Vell and DJ Mustard, played inside of Oakland Alameda Coliseum. They weren’t necessarily angry with Lynch himself, but several players revealed that they were angry with the situation that led to Lynch dancing with so much time left on the clock.
“It irks my ever-living nerves,” linebacker Jordan Jenkins said of Lynch's dancing, which came with the Raiders leading 35-13. “When I saw it happening, it was infuriating…That pissed me off. I’m an old-school guy. I don’t like when things like that happen. That was embarrassing, losing like that and having Marshawn dance like that. Great player, but seeing it happen, that should infuriate the whole team. It should infuriate everybody and we should have a good response coming into next Sunday.”
Jenkins later stopped short of referring to what Lynch did as “unsportsmanlike,” despite how angry it made him. “Guys dancing around, you can get mad at them—you’re supposed to. That’s football. You don’t blame it on unsportsmanlike,” he said. “He fights. He earned every bit of what he did today. I’m not going to take that away from him. Of course, I’m going to be pissed off at him for dancing like that, but that’s sports. That’s not unsportsmanlike at all.”
Nose tackle Steve McLendon added: “We’re upset because it seems like he was rubbing it in our face. But he’s winning, man. He can do whatever he wants to do.”
And linebacker Darron Lee went as far as to label Lynch’s dancing “demoralizing.” But like many of his other teammates, he stopped just short of criticizing Lynch and admitted that it was the circumstances surrounding the game that frustrated him the most. “It’s their house—they can do whatever they want—but as a competitor, as a defender, you don’t like to see that type of stuff,” he said. “It’s demoralizing, but we have to bow up and keep fighting.”
After the game, Lynch didn’t have much to say about his dancing or the win that the Raiders earned to move them to 2-0 on the season. But he did state the obvious when he was asked what it was like to get the crowd going during the game. “It felt good,” he said.
Raiders fans are hoping for more of it in the coming weeks. They’ll hit the road for two games—including a Sunday Night Football matchup against the Redskins next Sunday—before returning to Oakland in Week 5 for a game against the Ravens.
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