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Todd Gurley's career day pushes Rams past Cowboys

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Todd Gurley's career day paced the NFL's top-ranked scoring offense as the upstart Los Angeles Rams came from behind to topple the Dallas Cowboys in Week 4. Here's what we learned in the Rams' 35-30 victory:

1. The reigning NFC Offensive Player of the Month, Gurley took control of the game in the final two quarters, finishing with a career-best 215 yards from scrimmage. The highlight was a 53-yard catch-and-run touchdown on a post route, as Gurley scored via reception for the third consecutive game. New coach Sean McVay has not only rejuvenated Gurley on the ground, but has also tapped into the former Georgia star's ability to make plays in the aerial attack. Gurley fell just six yards shy of becoming the first Rams back since Steven Jackson in 2006 to reach 100 receiving yards in a game. Needless to say, Dallas' defense sorely missed All Pro linebacker Sean Lee, who sat out with a hamstring injury.

2. Credit Rams coordinator Wade Phillips for key halftime adjustments after his defense failed to stop Ezekiel Elliott and the Cowboys' offense on four first-half possessions. Taking a decisive 287-126 edge in net yards into the third quarter, Dallas' first four second-half possessions resulted in three punts and a Mark Barron interception before Dak Prescott found a wide open James Hanna for a fourth-quarter touchdown. The Rams dominated time of possession, stonewalled Elliott and came through with big stops on third downs, playing keep away throughout the second half.

3. Already armed with three-time All-Pro Johnny Hekker as the premier punter in football, the Rams' special teams have also benefited from the league's most productive place kicker at the season's quarter mark. After entering Week 4 with the most kicks (field goals and extra points) converted, Greg Zuerlein drilled seven field goals without a miss, accounting for 23 of the team's 35 points.

4. While it's fair to point out the lack of powerhouse defenses on the Rams' early-season schedule, the dramatic turnaround masterminded by McVay will have him in the Coach of the Year discussion as long as it continues. In addition to Gurley's renaissance, McVay has also transformed Jared Goff from one of the NFL's least efficient quarterbacks to one of its most efficient. Goff has already thrown more touchdown passes (seven) through four games than he managed in seven rookie starts (five). The top overall pick in the 2016 draft has completed 66.7 percent of his passes at 9.2 yards per attempt for a 112.2 passer rating at the season's quarter mark.

5. One of McVay's stiffest challenges is figuring out how to get his organization's money's worth out of fourth receiver Tavon Austin, relegated to a gadget player in September. McVay found success Sunday by using the jitterbug receiver/runner hybrid as a change-of-pace backup to Gurley, dialing up six runs for 48 yards (8.0 yards per carry). Maximizing Austin's unique playmaking ability will continue to be a challenge going forward.

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