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Article Credit: Vincent Bonsignore (Daily News)
The frustration level would undoubtedly be higher if the Rams weren’t in first place or hadn’t won three of their first four games. Todd Gurley is annoyed, but he isn’t selfish. So for now, he’ll swallow the harrowing statistical start to his second NFL season with a spoonful of perspective.
The player for whom stardom was assumed a mere formality upon the Rams returning to Los Angeles – and the unrelenting force the Rams built their entire offense around – has managed just 216 yards rushing thus far and an unfathomable 2.6 yard-per-carry average.
By any measure, that paints a bleak picture. And considering the dynamics involved – say what you want, folks, but Gurley is getting little help from his teammates and coaches – he has every right to be at a boiling point right now.
The Rams have wasted one of the great young talents in the NFL through the quarter post of the season. And as they head into Sunday’s game against the Buffalo Bills, it’s squarely on their shoulders to get that corrected.
Darn right, Gurley has reason to be fuming.
But with the Rams off to their best start in more than a decade, he isn’t about to put personal irritation above the good of the team.
“You have to look at the bigger picture,” he said. “At the end of the day, we’re still winning. We’re 3-1.”
But it isn’t easy.
“I mean, you know, it’s life,” he said, unapologetically. “Sometimes you kinda wonder what’s going on.”
To the naive eye, the answer is fairly elementary: The Rams have won three straight games without a significant contribution from the reigning NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year. Going strictly on stats, Gurley has taken a major step back from a remarkable rookie season in which he rushed for 1,106 yards and 10 touchdowns in just 13 games.
To his credit, Gurley is making this a we thing rather than a me thing. And he isn’t about to point fingers.
“We just got to a better job. Everybody, from the linemen, to me, tight ends – everybody.” he said. “Overall, just finishing blocks, making the right reads, hitting the hole – everybody in one.”
The diplomacy is understandable.
But to the nuanced eye, Gurley has a right to be frustrated.
Running behind an offensive line ranked 27th in the NFL by Pro Football Focus – in a scheme that falls short in creativity and imagination – and constantly facing opposing defenses that have made it a priority to stop him, Gurley has essentially been reduced to a non-factor.