C.J. Anderson: 'I'm the freshest running back' in NFL

C.J. Anderson had time to rest, watch the rest of the NFL -- and maybe put on a few extra pounds.

(Don't bring up that last part, though.)

Surprisingly, unemployment did Anderson some good. It landed him with the Rams, who are one win away from Super Bowl LIII, and it kept him off his feet for a healthy portion of the season. As a result, 20 weeks into the NFL campaign, Anderson feels more like a running back who hasn't even hit his bye week yet.

"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, Alvin and Todd, 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.

Advantage: Anderson.

"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."

His fresh legs are very evident in how quick he bursts through holes, and in the power with which he runs. Usual tackles become additional yards for Anderson, who bowled over defenders to get into the end zone twice in a win over the Cowboys.

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.

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