Despite stacked boxes, Gurley reaches 1,000 yards

Despite not playing in two games and being eased in for a third, Todd Gurley still breached the 1,000-yard barrier with two games to spare Thursday night in the St. Louis Rams' 31-23 victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

In just 11 starts Gurley has 1,023 yards, averaging 4.9 yards per carry on 210 totes thus far.

It's been tough sledding for Gurley lately. After compiling 575 yards in his first four starts, the No. 10 overall pick has surpassed the 100-yard rushing mark just once in the past seven games.

"He got a late start, as we all know," coach Jeff Fisher said after Thursday's victory, via the team's official website. "Everybody knows we're going to run it, and he still got 1,000. That speaks volumes for him."

It speaks to the beast Gurley is when he hits the second level. Despite teams stacking the box and a faltering offensive line that causes him to be hit in the backfield almost every play, Gurley is still able to churn out yards, becoming just the third Rams rookie to hit 1,000 yards. The other two are in the Hall of Fame: Eric Dickerson (1,808 in 1983) and Jerome Bettis (1,429 in 1993).

Gurley certainly has HOF talent, whether he realizes that potential with the Rams over the next decade will depend on how a young offense grows around him.

The season will end with another middling record for the Rams, but in Gurley they've finally found a dynamic offensive centerpiece to build around.

Gurley (9 TDs) and Tavon Austin (9 TDs) have combined to score 18 of the Rams' 24 offensive touchdowns this season (75.0 pct), the highest percentage by any duo in NFL this season and the second-highest percentage by any duo in a season since 1970 (Seahawks' Shaun Alexander and Darrell Jackson, 80 percent in 2001).

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