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Todd Gurley, Rams, Ravens

NFL

Todd Gurley must be a workhorse again for the Rams to compete with Baltimore

In case you haven’t noticed, Los Angeles Rams quarterback Jared Goff has not been playing well this season.

The 2018 MVP candidate has thrown for 2,783 yards, 11 touchdowns and 10 interceptions while completing 60.3 percent of his passes and posting a passer rating of 82.1.

This past week actually represented the first time Goff completed at least 60 percent of his passes since Week 4, and it was only on 18 attempts in a 17-7 win over the Chicago Bears.

How were the Rams able to get the victory over the Bears without any real production from their quarterback, you ask?

Todd Gurley.

You know, the guy who was once a top three running back (at worst) in the NFL and had made three Pro Bowl appearances while earning a couple of First-Team All-Pro selections coming into this season? Yes. That guy.

Gurley wasn’t outstanding in Week 11, but he at least showed he was able to take on a heavy workload, carrying the ball a season-high 25 times for 97 yards and a touchdown while also catching three passes for 36 yards.

He only averaged 3.9 yards per carry, but his ability to wear down the Chicago defense and help move the chains for Los Angeles with Goff struggling was paramount.

Make no mistake: the Rams will need that type of effort from Gurley again this weekend if they want to beat the Baltimore Ravens and keep their playoff hopes alive.

Los Angeles is a respectable 6-4, but it also happens to play in arguably the best division in football, as the San Francisco 49ers and Seattle Seahawks are ahead of the Rams in the NFC West at 9-1 and 8-2, respectively.

With the Minnesota Vikings at 8-3, LA really needs to keep winning in order to keep pace.

Of course, the Rams will face one of their toughest tests of the season yet when they take on the Ravens on Sunday.

Los Angeles is at a point now where it simply cannot count on Goff to get the job done. He has been brutal all year long, and LA’s formerly explosive offense has labored as a result.

Obviously, the fact that Gurley has not been 100 percent has not helped, but Sean McVay seemed to realize in Week 11 that in order for the Rams to have any sort of success going forward, they need to put the ball in Gurley’s hands.

Baltimore has a stingy run defense and is actually a bit weak in terms of defending the pass, but the Rams have reached a critical juncture where they can’t just depend on matchups anymore. They need to give the pigskin to their best player.

Gurley has had more than enough rest throughout the season to keep him fresh for this moment. Does he still have the type of juice he had prior to his knee injury in 2018? Maybe not, but Los Angeles at least needs to see if he can carry the team for the second straight week.

The Rams are running out of chances, so it’s time they just hand the ball off to Gurley and let him ride.