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Rams RB Todd Gurley Says He Felt Fine; Doesn’t Have Answer to Low Usage in Super Bowl LIII

Two weeks after Todd Gurley, the highest-paid running back in NFL history, was limited to five touches and 13 total yards in a victory over the New Orleans Saints in the NFC Championship Game, he had 11 touches for 34 total yards in the Super Bowl.

But Gurley insists he is healthy and all is fine, Lindsey Thiry of ESPN reports.

“It’s cool, man,” Gurley said after the game. “It’s a team sport. There’s 11 people on the field. Everyone can’t touch the ball.”

The Rams finished with 260 total yards of offense, including 62 rushing yards. Running back C.J. Anderson, whom the Rams signed in mid-December, rushed for 22 yards in seven carries.

“There was some different situations, you could always look back, certainly that is going to be something I’m sure I’ll say, ‘I wish I could have got him more involved,'” McVay said. “The film is always a good chance to go back and look at it and I know there is a handful of decisions that I’m going to want back for sure.”

Quarterback Jared Goff said he would “love to get [Gurley] the ball,” but added, “That’s not my decision.”

Gurley, who signed a four-year, $60 million contract before the season, was sidelined for the final two games of the regular season because of inflammation in his left knee. He returned in a divisional-round win over the Dallas Cowboys and rushed for 115 yards and a touchdown in 16 carries.

But speculation regarding Gurley’s health grew when he made two uncharacteristic mistakes early in the NFC Championship Game and played a minimal role, then was unable to find a rhythm in the Super Bowl.

After the game Sunday, Gurley said he was “fine,” and added that he had an MRI on his knee following a Week 15 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles, during which he was sidelined for a series in the second half.

“I felt good,” Gurley said. “Whenever my name is called to get in, I’m ready.”

Rams Shut Down in Super Bowl LIII; Fall to Patriots in Bid for Championship 13-3

Sunday night the Rams were out of their element, and out of sync, as the master of defense in Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots defense was just too much, as the title hopes of Los Angeles fell in an ugly 13-3 loss.

“I’m almost numb,” Rams coach Sean McVay said after the game.

“They did great job but it was mostly result of me doing a poor job calling plays and not giving us a chance to win. I don’t know how you ever get over this.”

The Rams simply did not play well, as they were held scoreless in the first half, scored their only points of the night in the third quarter, and then down 10-3 had a shot with about four minutes left, Jared Goff threw a bad pick deep in Patriots territory, ending the best shot for a touchdown and a chance to tie the game.

Goff was simply not good, as he was pressured often, and even when he had time missed on quite a few passes. He ended the night hitting on 19 of 38 passes for 229 yards, with an interception.

The Rams put up just 260 yards and 14 first down, and their three points matched the lowest total in Super Bowl history.

They were just 3-of-13 on third downs, again showing their inability all night to try and get anything going to put any pressure on the Patriots defense.

With the game tied at three in the fourth quarter, the Patriots went on a drive to win the game.

Tom Brady hit an 18-yard pass to massive TE Rob Gronkowski and then completed a pass to the games’ MVP Julian Edelman and another to Rex Burkhead.

The big play was a 29-yard pitch and catch between Brady and Gronkowski near the goal line. Sony Michel scored on a two-yard plunge to make it a 10-3 game with seven minutes left.

Goff and the Rams put a drive together, but Stephon Gilmore hauled in a bad Goff pass, ending their best chance of the night and basically putting the game away for the Patriots.

Brady completed 21 of 35 passes for 262 yards, with an interception. He threw a pick on the New England opening drive, but then didn’t make any more key mistakes as the Pats defense shut down the Rams all evening.

The Rams run game made no impact whatsoever, as Todd Gurley and C.J. Anderson both did little, as the team as a whole ran for 62 yards on 18 carries.

New England ran for 154 yards on 32 carries, a 4.8 yards per carry average, and they simply wore down it appeared the Rams defense.

It was a fun ride, and there will be more to come for this Rams team, but for now this was a wasted opportunity – one that with just a few plays could have been vastly different.

Super Bowl LIII: Three Keys to a Rams Win and a Final Prediction

The Los Angeles Rams have overcome a lot in 2018 to make it to the promise land of Super Bowl LIII, a game that will see them try to exercise the demons of years past when they fell as a heavy favorite in the 2001 season to the Patriots in New Orleans.

This is a very different Rams team, they are young, hungry, and nearly all of them have never been on a stage this size as they look to finish off their goal of a title.

There’s plenty on the line, and today we will take a final look at the game, the three keys for the Rams, and a final prediction on how this is going to go today.

1. Don’t Let Brady Escape

The mystique of Tom Brady is real – he’s a first ballot Hall of Famer, has five Super Bowl rings to his resume, and is going to go down as the greatest QB in Super Bowl history.

The team cannot be intimated by Brady, and when the Rams super defenders have a chance to get to him and bring him down, much like what the Eagles did a season ago as they made the most of getting to Brady.

The Rams boast a much better defense than what the Eagles threw out, but the biggest thing is they can’t be awe struck by the greatness of Brady.

2. Find a Way to Run

The run game for the Rams is key, but there’s all kinds of rumors that Todd Gurley is not 100 percent, and that if he’s not it’s going to come down to C.J. Anderson carrying the load for the team.

Anderson has been reborn in this Rams offense over the past few weeks, and his game against the Cowboys shows that he’s got what it takes to make a huge impact on the Rams offense today.

Look for New England to try and put the Rams run game to rest early, therefore forcing Jared Goff to throw a ton, which is not a good recipe for the Rams.

3. Avoid Silly Mistakes

Playing in the Super Bowl is the most pressure any player will have in their career, and it’s during these pressure packed hours where careers are made or broken.

For the Rams, they have a number of young players who have never been there, and they have to make sure that the pressure isn’t too much for them to handle as they look to make history and overcome a team that is looking to set a record with their 6th Super Bowl title.

Penalties, letting emotions go wild, turnovers, these are all things that can quickly derail a team, and for the Rams their best shot at a win is to make sure to keep all that in check and avoid the type of mistakes that will cost them dearly.

Prediction – The Rams have come a long way since losing the wild card game at home to the Falcons last year, and have been impressive in beating the Cowboys and upsetting the Saints on the road 26-23 in overtime.

Today will be very tough, as look for Tom Brady to avoid that solid Rams pass rush by stepping up often in the pocket, look for a big game for TE Rob Gronkowski, and look for New England to finally escape last year’s demons by scoring touchdowns this time and not settling for field goals.

It should be a fun game, but one that will see the Pats hoisting their 6th Super Bowl Trophy in the end.

New England 34 Los Angeles 26

Veteran Wide Out DeSean Jackson Wants to Leave Buccaneers to Join Rams

Wide out DeSean Jackson wants out of Tampa Bay, and has his eyes on Los Angeles, Nick Shook of NFL.com reports.

“I don’t know about Frisco, man. State tax is crazy, man. That is home too though. I don’t know,” Jackson said during an appearance on The Simms and Lefkoe Podcast. … “If anything, I would like to kind of end up in L.A., being a Ram. Sean McVay, you know, we got some connection from when I was in D.C., but we’ll see how it plays out, man. Right now, I got another year in Tampa. So we’ll see how it plays out, man.”

The history with the Rams coach makes sense, but the rest is fairly laughable, unless Jackson wants to take a large pay cut. The receiver is due $10 million in the final year of his deal with the Buccaneers, who have little incentive to trade him other than to rid themselves of a potential malcontent (or to clear $10 million in cap to spend elsewhere).

If Tampa decides to part ways with Jackson — who caught 41 passes for 774 yards and four touchdowns in 12 games in 2018 — it likely will first attempt to trade him for assets. A veteran speedster on a one-year, $10 million deal is a movable contract, but probably not to Los Angeles.

The Rams already have a deep threat in Brandin Cooks, who they just signed to an $81 million contract that runs through 2023. They’re doing just fine without him, and would be better served to use their projected $35 million elsewhere, especially while Jared Goff is on his rookie deal.

Rams Coach Sean McVay Says Todd Gurley Will Be a Big Part of SB LIII Game Plan

As Super Bowl LIII crawls closer, the questions continue to persist regarding Todd Gurley’s usage in the biggest game of his career.

The running back touched the ball just five times in the NFC Championship Game for 13 total yards, both career lows. The NFL Offensive Player of the Year candidate attributed the poor performance to his own “sorry” play after two drops and a big negative-yardage run, not a lingering knee injury.

On Tuesday, coach Sean McVay again took the blame for not getting the running back more involved in the offense, attributing it to play selection, and vowed to get Gurley the rock in Sunday’s Super Bowl showdown versus the New England Patriots, Grant Gordon of NFL.com reports.

“I think what says as much about Todd as anything, is the way he handled it right after,” McVay said. “You learn about people when they do go through a little bit of adversity. I couldn’t have been more proud and pleased with just the way that he handled that — demonstrated the mental toughness that we expect. You show me anybody that’s great in anything they do, I’ll show you somebody that’s persevered, demonstrated that mental toughness to overcome some obstacles and adversity. And I think a large part of specifically when you talk about last week’s game was a result of some of the things in terms of the play selection. I’ve got to do a much better job for Todd to get him opportunities to get him going. … Fully expect him to be the Todd Gurley we all know and he’s going to be a big part of this game.”

Rams RB C.J. Anderson Claims He’s the “Freshest Running Back in the League”

One of the best late-season stories in the NFL is the career renaissance of running back C.J. Anderson and he actually credits his spurts of unemployment in 2018 for part of his success according to Nick Shook of NFL.com.

“I’m the freshest running back in the league,” Anderson said. “I’m not gonna say they’re still fresh, but I’m fresher than Mark (Ingram), Alvin (Kamara), and Todd (Gurley), for sure.”

Anderson, who was released by the Denver Broncos in the offseason, signed by Carolina (where he played 73 snaps and received 24 carries in nine games), cut again, signed by Oakland (where he played 0 snaps), cut again, and then signed by the Rams, has carried the ball just 90 times (130 snaps played) in the 2018 season. Comparatively, Todd Gurley has carried the ball 272 times on 835 total snaps (in 15 games). Alvin Kamara has run the ball 210 times on 726 total snaps. Ingram has 147 totes on 369 snaps. So you can see why Anderson believes he has an advantage in the playoffs.

“I think it helps a lot,” Anderson said. “I’ve played over 1,000 snaps, 600-700 snaps in this league and when you get to this point of the season, you start to wave back and I’m out there flying around on practice, just being a kid, having fun. I look faster than everyone else, part of it because I’m fresh.” Those fresh legs have lead to three consecutive 100-yard plus games, with the 27-year-old back bursting through holes and running with impressive power. In last weekend’s win over the Dallas Cowboys, Anderson actually outperformed Gurley with 23 carries for 132 yards and two touchdowns.

When combined with the home run-hitting Gurley, the Rams have a rushing attack that seems to have more life than any other in the NFL at this point — including the Saints. How that plays out Sunday is a key reason to tune into the NFC Championship Game.

Can the Rams Avenge the Earlier Loss to the Saints? Three Keys to a Sunday Win In New Orleans

If the Los Angeles Rams are going to advance to the Super Bowl in a couple weeks, they are going to have to exercise the demons of earlier in the season when they lost on the road to the New Orleans Saints, the team they must beat to reach the promise land.

There’s a number of things that the Rams will have to do better in round two between these two teams, but today we take a quick look at three things the Rams will have to do in order to walk out of New Orleans with a win and advance to the ‘big game’ in Atlanta in a couple of weeks.

1. Have the Ground Game Working Like Last Week

The Rams 1-2 punch of C.J. Anderson and Todd Gurley combined for 238 rushing yards and three touchdowns as the Rams powered past the league’s No. 5-ranked rushing defense last week in their NFC Divisional playoff win over the Cowboys.

The O-line stepped up with a huge game, and both Anderson and Gurley looked fresh coming off a few weeks off. Look for the Rams line to try and dominate up front, and therefore set the tone which also will keep the Saints offense off the field.

2. Make Kamara and Ingram Pay

Saturday night the Rams solid run defnese stifled Dallas’ rushing attack, holding Ezekiel Elliott to 47 yards on 20 carries. The group will need a repeat performance on Sunday against the 1-2 Saints attack of Alvin Kamara and Mark Ingram.

The two can make it a long day for the Rams if they allow them to get off to a quick start. Last week the Eagles early stopped the pair, but by midway through the second quarter it was apparent that the Saints would keep running the ball, and eventually it paid off for them in the six-point win over the Eagles to advance.

3. Cover Thomas

Saints leading wide out Michael Thomas goes by ‘cantguardmike’ on Twitter, and for good reason. Last week he was dominant in the win over the Eagles, and was the best player on the field after the Eagles got up on the Saints 14-0 in the first quarter.

The Rams secondary has done a decent job all season making sure to not allow the big plays, but look for Drew Brees early to try and stretch the Rams D and get the ball downfield to Thomas. It would behoove the Rams to get pressure on Brees and not allow him to get the ball downfield.

For information on how to bet on AFC and NFC championship games, visit US-Bookies.com.

Guess the Score of the Cowboys-Rams and Win an Amazing Todd Gurley Bobblehead from Forever Collectibles

The Rams are set for a showdown with the Cowboys in the NFC Divisional Playoffs, and today we’re ready to see what you think of the game – and one lucky winner could get themselves an amazing Todd Gurley bobblehead from Forever Collectibles!

All you have to do is simply leave us a comment with your guess of the final score of the Divisional Playoff game between the Cowboys and Rams.

That’s it! If there’s more than one winner, we’ll chose one winner at random for this amazing bobblehead.

Forever Collectibles has great Saints merchandise to choose from scarfs, socks, gloves, collectibles and much more! Click HERE to see the entire Rams line!

If you’re buying or looking for a fan of another team – no worries – Forever Collectables has you covered with EVERY team – click HERE to see their entire NFL line of great bobbleheads today!

Don’t forget to leave us your best guess at the NFC Divisional playoff game final for a chance to take home a sweet Todd Gurley bobblehead! Good Luck!