Wed. Sep 30th, 2020

Rams’ Todd Gurley stiff-arms QB Jared Goff’s…

3 min read
Rams' Todd Gurley stiff-arms QB Jared Goff's...

THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. — Last week, Los Angeles Rams running back Todd Gurley let his head coach shoulder the blame. This week, it’s his quarterback who intended to deliver a compliment, but perhaps didn’t find the right words.

“Sounds like I suck and then I made a good play,” Gurley said straight-faced, with a shrug. “So, yeah, I guess so.”

Gurley was referring to a touchdown run in Sunday’s 28-12 victory over the Seattle Seahawks, during which he tangled with cornerback Tre Flowers and threw a stiff-arm that caught the attention of quarterback Jared Goff.

So much so that Goff lit up when asked about it afterward. “He’s a bad dude,” Goff said. “It was vintage Todd.”

Vintage? Gurley didn’t think so … and made it known Thursday.

Against the Seahawks, Gurley rushed for 79 yards and a touchdown on 23 carries and caught four passes for 34 yards. And that stiff-arm? Nothing special. “Not my first time stiff-arming nobody,” Gurley said. “Just a regular stiff-arm.”

The Rams are 8-5 and chasing the Minnesota Vikings for the NFC’s final wild-card berth. On Sunday, they play the NFC East-leading Dallas Cowboys (6-7) at AT&T Stadium.

Gurley has played an increased role in the offense recently, and indications point to the trend continuing Sunday.

“The approach for us is that Todd is a big-time player,” Rams coach Sean McVay said. “He’s shown that he’s feeling good and when he’s doing those kind of things — whether it be through the pass game, through the run game — good things seem to happen for the Rams.”

After he averaged 14.9 touches per game through the first 10 weeks, Gurley has seen an average of 21 over the past four games.

When asked Thursday how he felt at this point of the season compared to last season, Gurley responded, “It’s Week 15 in the league, ain’t nobody feeling rested. It’s Week 15, no one in this league is feeling well rested.”

Gurley had a season-best 28 touches in a Week 11 victory over the Chicago Bears. In a Week 13 blowout over the Arizona Cardinals, he had 20 touches, and Sunday when the Rams defeated the Seahawks on Sunday, he had 27.

McVay recently shouldered the blame for not giving Gurley more opportunity early in the season.

“Me not being an idiot,” McVay said last week, when asked what caused him to get the ball to Gurley more.

Gurley offered no alternative to McVay’s explanation.

“He said it, I didn’t,” Gurley said, chuckling. “That’s all I got to say. I don’t have anything else to say.”

The Rams’ offense has appeared to benefit from Gurley’s increased production, as Goff broke a monthlong touchdown drought to pass for four scores in the past two games.

Gurley was asked Thursday if the offense and other teammates benefitted when he was in rhythm.

“I feel like we all feed off of each other. I don’t really have to explain too much, you see the results over the last couple of years,” said Gurley, who rushed for more than 1,200 yards in each of the past two seasons as the Rams won back-to-back division titles and last season advanced to Super Bowl LIII. “When we’re running the ball, stuff is going well, stuff is opening up — so it’s like, it’s not too much really to explain, just got to go out there and do it, whether it’s in the passing game or the running game.”

Gurley has rushed for 721 yards and nine touchdowns on 177 carries in 12 games this season. He also has caught 26 passes for 168 yards and a touchdown.

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