Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Gordon: Gurley Makes Rams Dangerous

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Gordon: Gurley Makes Rams Dangerous

Article excerpt

GREEN BAY, WIS. * This may see like an odd time to bring it up, but here goes: The Rams are more formidable now and running back Todd Gurley makes it so.

They carry a 2-3 record into their bye week after falling to the unbeaten Packers 24-10 Sunday afternoon. But, as coach Jeff Fisher noted after the game, "We're 1-1 since Todd got his opportunity."

And since that 1-1 came on the road against the NFC's top two teams, the Rams can live with that split heading into their much- needed schedule break.

Gurley rushed for 159 yards on 30 carries against the Packers. He repeatedly pounded the ball into scoring range, most notably with a 55-yard run in the fourth quarter.

"I felt like we did a great job today," Gurley said. "We were definitely on the field a lot more than last week, but we need to be more consistent and finish by putting some points on the board."

He has gained 305 yards on 49 carries in his first two NFL starts after recovering from major knee surgery. His development completes the Rams' transformation from bullied weakling into respected mouth- smashers.

Along with the playmaking Rams defense which forced three Aaron Rogers turnovers, an unheard total at Lambeau Field Gurley will make the Rams dangerous in their final 11 games if he stays healthy.

"We're running the football right now, so the formula is there," Fisher said. "We just have to keep improving."

Sunday's loss was no shocker. This has been a "L" on their schedule since the NFL posted it. The Packers carried an 11-game home winning streak into this game, playoffs included. Their explosive offense scored 383 points during their last 10 home games.

Rodgers earned a 100-plus rating in 10 straight regular season home games. He had thrown 586 consecutive passes at Lambeau without an interception, playoffs included, and completed 49 TD passes during that span.

But the aggressive Rams defense and their persistent ground game turned this game competitive. Gurley helped the Rams maintain ball control and sustain drives despite the epic collapse of their passing game.

Quarterback Nick Foles threw four interceptions, including one resulting in a Packers touchdown, one in the Green Bay end zone and one at the Packers 7-yard line.

He suffered three sacks and absorbed 12 hits, according to the press box statistics. He also fumbled once (recovered by the Rams) and threw away several passes under duress.

And when he did have time to throw, he didn't see much separation from his targets. Foles completed just 11 of 30 passes for 141 yards, with 68 yards coming on a garbage time bomb to Stedman Bailey.

This aerial futility turned the Rams into a one-dimensional offense, yet Gurley still made some headway against a stout defense expecting him to get the ball on every play.

"In the second half he broke out and got one big run that boosted his stats up," Packers linebacker Julius Peppers said. …

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