As Todd Gurley Gets Going, Rams Stymie the Bears on SNF

Running back Todd Gurley #30 of the Los Angeles Rams runs for a first down against the Chicago Bears in the first half of a NFL football game at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on Sunday, November 17, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)

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The Los Angeles Rams came into Sunday Night Football as favorites against the Chicago Bears, but nobody really knew if they could pull it out. They did. The week that preceded the Sunday night showdown was full of doubts and despair for Rams fans; the team didn’t meet their low expectations, they surpassed them.

As the Rams’ defense continued to shine, their two superstars had two great games. Aaron Donald and Jalen Ramey were astounding as usual, and the defense held the Bears rushing attack to under 100 yards along with forcing one turnover for the umpteenth time this season. Dante Fowler and Clay Matthews did their part off of the edge, getting pressures and paving way for Donald’s two sacks on the game.

Down two starting receivers in Robert Woods (undisclosed personal issue) and Brandin Cooks (lingering concussion), the Rams offense sputtered but found a way to get a few successful drives in. Josh Reynolds led the way on the receiving end with three catches for 55 yards, and Cooper Kupp did the most the could with a tethered passing game with three catches for 53 yards. Jared Goff didn’t get a lot of burn in the game (11 for 18 for 173) because the Rams offensive staff changed their ways for the better.

The real story of this game was Todd Gurley getting 25 carries and 133 scrimmage yards, by far the best game he has had all season. Gurley looked refreshed and he found and hit holes with ease. The recent loss against the Pittsburgh Steelers seemed to spark a change of heart from head coach Sean McVay, as he pushed Todd Gurley to “feel like the old Todd.” Injuries to star receivers and core offensive linemen were enough to make McVay change the offense up, and although they only put up 17 points, it was refreshing to see the Rams pull something new out of their hat. Credit to Sean McVay and the Rams’ offensive staff.

I wrote in a piece early last week where I said Bobby Evans and David Edwards were the keys to any Rams win going forward. They dominated Khalil Mack and that Bears defensive front. In Evans’ first official start and Edwards’ first start at right guard for the Rams, they assisted in giving Jared Goff and Todd Gurley the best run/pass blocking game we have seen from the Rams offensive line this year. Holes were wide and Goff had time, and Evans and Edwards were the linchpins that made it happen. Expecting them to do the same next week might be a huge ask, but the new duo on the right side of the line is threatening to take the jobs that their predecessors once held.

The Los Angeles Rams, in a game that was all about defense, outshined the Chicago Bears defensive front, they changed it up offensively, they got Todd Gurley the ball, and they won a game that they HAD to have. If I knew better I’d call it a confidence-boosting game, and maybe just maybe a crack in the door to the playoffs.

 

 

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