The St. Louis Rams are finally ranked in the top half of the NFL in rushing yards per game, a welcome addition to their usually struggling offense that makes them contenders in the weird way the NFC West is shaping out to be.
The Rams might be just 2-3, but they’ve already beaten both the Seattle Seahawks and the Arizona Cardinals this season. They have a quarterback that is battling turnovers, a defense with a frightening pass rush and front four and also a stud at running back, Todd Gurley, who is less than a year removed from tearing his ACL at Georgia.
Gurley has had two full games to show his ability. He ran for 146 yards on 19 carries in the win against the Cardinals, and followed that up with 159 yards on 30 carries in the loss to the Green Bay Packers. His next game is facing the worst run defense in the league, the Cleveland Browns. Gurley was a huge gamble in the 2015 NFL draft, taken 10th overall. After taking it very slowly with his reinstatement on the field, the Rams seem to be reaping the rewards.
The Rams seem to finally have all the pieces to be more than bottom feeders in the NFC West. A quarterback that needs to start doing more game managing and less looking for big plays all the time, although Tavon Austin is a very good option to try and make big plays through. A front four that is the best in the NFL or among the best, and Gurley – a running back that allows the Rams to finally play the kind of football Jeff Fisher wants, which is about time of possession and managing the clock, instead of trying to come back from behind by putting the ball in the air.
The Rams took a risk and it seems to have paid off, even though taking running backs so early in the draft is against the GM manual in this league over the last few years. Having the right pieces dosesn’t automatically mean this team will succeed. It probably says the Rams are running out of excuses to miss out on the playoffs.