Todd Gurley's career day pushes Rams to 6-0

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What an odd week.

The Jets -- the Jets! -- scored on eight straight possessions and tallied 42 points to beat the Indianapolis Colts. But unlike last week, our unstoppable performer doesn't come from Gang Green.

Might it come from the thrilling Sunday Night Football affair between two of the AFC's best? You know, the game in which its two quarterbacks combined to throw for 692 yards and five touchdowns?

Nope -- but that was an excellent game.

We're keeping it on the ground this week. Let us travel back to 1998 as Jon Gruden intended for mankind when he ascended to the Silver and Black throne.

Unstoppable Performer


Todd Gurley, Los Angeles Rams


Gurley entered Sunday with 13 career 100-plus-yard games. That's pretty solid for a guy in the early stages of his fourth season, right?

He'd never broken the 200 mark, though. At least, not until Sunday.

Gurley rushed 28 times for 208 yards and two touchdowns, powering a Rams offense that needed his ground efforts in frigid Denver. He iced (no pun intended) the game by taking a toss 26 yards down the sideline to put the Rams in field goal range, on which they eventually capitalized with a 21-yard Cairo Santos field goal to give them a 10-point lead late in the fourth.

In between, he caused nightmares for nearly every member of Denver's defense. In typical Gurley fashion, the running back made the spectacular look easy, skirting defenders for important first downs and taking advantage of his excellent offensive line's work by slicing through zone blocking schemes for chunks of yards. Every handoff built anticipation for the next big play.

The final product was the best day of Gurley's already illustrious career.

He also officially made Broncos fans (and team employees) quake in their cowboy boots, becoming the second straight rusher to break 200 yards on the Denver defense in as many weeks. Yes, Denver, it is time to take a hard look at your run defense.

Gurley and the Rams aren't looking back, though, instead riding their latest win and unblemished record into a bright future free of snow flurries.

Also considered ...


Melvin Gordon, Los Angeles Chargers


Are we riding a -- dare I say it? -- West Coast bias?

No. The teams from L.A. just happen to have two of the best running backs in the NFL right now.

Gordon posted his best game of the 2018 campaign, one that's starting to look like his greatest yet. The former first-round pick gashed the Browns' defense consistently in Week 6, with a third of his 18 rushes going for 10-plus yards (the highest rate of any ballcarrier with 10-plus attempts in Week 6).

Gordon also found paydirt three times. He was -- after a brief explosion from Tyrell Williams -- the heart of the Chargers' offense in a key road win a week before flying to the U.K.

Let's dive into Next Gen Stats for another look, because numbers can make this kind of thing more fun.

The earlier stat of 10-plus-yard carries is indicative of just how damaging a back can be to opposing defenses. Sure, any pro back can grind out three yards per tote. But it's the ones who make a defender or two miss and break the 10-yard mark that make the big difference.

Of backs with 60 carries through six weeks, Gordon is tied with Ezekiel Elliott for second in the NFL in the category, racking up 17 runs of 10-plus yards on the season. Only Gurley is better in that regard.

And he's only better because he had one more than him in Week 6.

Consider it the week of the L.A. Express -- USFL reference intended.


Defense, Baltimore Ravens


Specifically, the Ravens' pass rush is what earned this recognition.

Believe it or not, if you ask enough people with whom you cross paths in life, eventually you'll meet someone (likely a staunch opponent of doughnuts) who doesn't know how many items are in a dozen. Baltimore ended one sack shy of the mark on Sunday.

Let that sink in. Let it harden like a fresh glaze on a Krispy Kreme creation. Eleven sacks. In one game. Against a mobile quarterback!

Marcus Mariota admitted after the game he ran into some sacks, but he also said he'd never experienced a game like that in his career. That's understandable. It isn't every day a quarterback gets sacked more than 10 times.

What makes this even more impressive are two key factors: This largely came against Tennessee's starting line (an injury to Quinton Spain did occur during the game), and was spread among eight (!) different Ravens defenders. As defensive tackle Willie Henry said after the game, it was "time to go hunt."

Their prey was a quarterback wearing No. 8. Consider the mission accomplished.

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