During a recent "60 Minutes Sports" interview, Marshawn Lynch summed up his running philosophy with a description only he could get away with.
"If you just run through somebody's face, a lot of people ain't gonna be able to take that over and over and over," Lynch said.
During his prime from 2011 to 2014, Lynch piled up 2,420 yards after contact, more than any running back in the league.
Ball carriers have different styles, but the ability to fight through defenders and gain yards even when the blocking is not perfect is a skill that sets the most physical backs in the league apart from their peers.
Using ESPN Stats & Information's charting, below is a look at the top five and bottom five running backs in average yards after contact in 2015.
Thomas Rawls: One of the reasons that Seattle Seahawks coach Pete Carroll likes Rawls so much is that his style is similar to Lynch's. Rawls doesn't believe in running out of bounds, and last year he led the NFL in averaging 2.68 yards after contact. The question with Rawls is not ability but health. He suffered a fractured ankle with ligament damage in December and has not been participating in OTAs. If healthy, Rawls figures to be the bell cow for the Seahawks' run-first offense.
Carlos Hyde: The issue for Hyde last year was not his ability to break tackles. He rarely had space to maneuver. Hyde averaged 2.30 yards after contact last season, which ranked second. But he averaged just 1.78 yards before contact, which ranked 45th. In other words, when Hyde was gaining yards, he was often doing it on his own. He's in line for a big workload in new San Francisco 49ers coach Chip Kelly's run-heavy offense, but Hyde has missed 11 games because of injury in his first two seasons and will have to prove he can stay healthy.
Mark Ingram: He was having a strong 2015 campaign before suffering a shoulder injury in December. Ingram averaged 2.27 yards after contact and 4.63 YPC last season. He was a factor in the passing game, too, catching a career-high 50 balls. Even though it seems that Ingram has been around forever, he is only 26 and is in line to be the New Orleans Saints' starter in 2016.
C.J. Anderson: It appeared for a moment that he would be headed to Miami this offseason, but Anderson is back with the Denver Broncos; he averaged 2.22 yards after contact and 4.74 YPC last season. He got off to a slow start, but the Broncos are counting on Anderson to be the guy who heated up in the second half of last season. From Week 7 on, he averaged a league-best 6.35 YPC and 2.78 yards after contact (third).
David Johnson: With 1,038 yards from scrimmage and 12 touchdowns as a rookie, Johnson has fantasy owners salivating about his potential in 2016. He showed the ability to break tackles (2.22 yards after contact) and to be explosive as a receiver (12.7 yards per reception was tops among running backs). The only question with Johnson is touches, as Arizona Cardinals coach Bruce Arians will have to figure out how to divide the workload between Johnson, Chris Johnson and Andre Ellington.
Jeremy Langford: No running back in the NFL averaged fewer yards after contact (1.13) than Langford. The rookie struggled overall, averaging just 3.63 YPC (44th). He will have to compete with rookie Jordan Howard and third-year player Ka'Deem Carey for touches. The good news for Langford? Reports out of Chicago indicate that the Chicago Bears coaches recognize he needs to do a better job of fighting through defenders and are focusing on improving Langford's balance this offseason.
Matt Jones: Only Langford did less after contact than Jones. His 3.40 YPC average ranked 47th out of 47 qualifying players, and Jones averaged just 1.44 yards after contact. To make matters worse, he had issues with ball security, fumbling once every 36 attempts, the third-worst mark among running backs. Jones is in line to be the Washington Redskins' workhorse in 2016, but he clearly has plenty to work on in the months ahead.
Alfred Morris: From 2012 to 2014, he piled up 876 carries, second in the NFL behind only Lynch. During that time, Morris averaged 1.97 yards after contact, which ranked 10th. But the evidence suggests that the heavy workload took its toll on Morris, who averaged just 1.45 yards after contact (third-worst) last season. Since the Dallas Cowboys drafted Ezekiel Elliott after they signed Morris, the veteran will have to adjust to a backup role.
Jeremy Hill: He is one of the more fascinating players on this list. As a rookie in 2014, Hill looked every bit the part of a physical runner, averaging 2.29 yards after contact, fourth-best in the NFL. But last year, that number plummeted to 1.46, fourth-worst, and it's tough to figure out a reasonable explanation why. Hill will once again join Giovani Bernard in the Cincinnati Bengals' backfield and will try to regain the form he showed in his first NFL season.
LeSean McCoy: This is a case where the numbers need additional context. In McCoy's case, one of the reasons his yards after contact number (1.47) is so low is because defenders have a tough time getting their hands on him. It's been that way his entire career. But before contact last season, McCoy averaged 2.94 yards per carry, third-best among running backs. According to Football Outsiders, the Buffalo Bills were the most efficient rushing offense in the NFL in the 12 games in which McCoy played last season.