Since erupting for more than 125 rushing yards in each of his first four NFL starts, Los Angeles Rams running back Todd Gurley has reached the century mark just once in 17 games. The 2015 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year broke free for more runs of 20-plus yards in his starting debut versus the Cardinals last October than he's managed this entire season in nine games.
While NFL Game Pass has shown Gurley misreading open holes at the line of scrimmage this season, it can be argued that he has been forced into bad habits by an overpowered offensive line and an anemic aerial "attack."
Gurley's rare talent isn't up for debate. Your mother could scout Todd Gurley. On the rare occasions when the former Georgia star finds a crease, he still exhibits explosiveness that few other backs can match.
Since the Rams' dysfunctional Week 1 performance, though, defenses have been content to stack the box and take their chances against Case Keenum's popgun arm. Absent a passable threat at quarterback, Gurley has run into a brick wall on first and second downs. Backed into third-and-long situations against defenses bringing pressure, Keenum has had little chance to sustain drives.
As a result, an offense stuck in a vicious circle ranks dead-last in points per game, 31st in yards per game, 30th in yards per carry and 29th in rushing yards per game.
Although Goff has been slow to decipher the middle of the field and is still adjusting to blitz pickups, per NFL Network's Michael Silver, the Rams believe his passes have the zip to make defenses pay outside the numbers and down the field. If that's the case, Goff's arm can soften boxes for Gurley, leading to a more balanced offense.