Gurley Watch: A win and a regular season rematch

Cowboys Rams Football-2

Los Angeles Rams running back Todd Gurley scores past Dallas Cowboys cornerback Chidobe Awuzie on Saturday.


Sports Writer

Monday, January 14, 2019

A year ago, when the Los Angeles Rams finished the season 11-5 but lost to the Atlanta Falcons in the wild card round of the playoffs, the consensus was that they were a young team a year ahead of schedule.

This past Saturday, hosting the Dallas Cowboys, the Rams this time proved their legitimacy with a 30-22 victory, sending them to the NFC Championship Game — their first time reaching such a stage since 2001 — in New Orleans against the Saints, one of the three teams that managed to beat Los Angeles in the regular season. That was in Week 9, and it was a 45-35 defeat.

Alas, the rematch is on, and a big reason for it is Tarboro's Todd Gurley, who parlayed his excellent regular season into another impactful game against Dallas. The running back rushed the ball on Saturday 16 times for 115 yards and a touchdown, for a 7.2 yard per carry average, far better than his 4.9 average during the season.

Gurley also outperformed his contemporary, Dallas’ Ezekiel Elliot, in a much-hyped head-to-head. Elliot was held to only 47 yards.

Gurley’s marquee play came late in the second quarter, with the Rams up, 13-7, when quarterback Jared Goff handed the ball to Gurley from 35 yards away. He found a hole up the middle, bounced to the left, and finished off the touchdown run for a 20-7 lead.

After the game, with his team now just a win away from the Super Bowl, Gurley was honest about the Rams’ opportunity this year.

“That’s just how the league goes,” Gurley told reporters, referring to Los Angeles’ rise over the last two years. “You’re not gonna have a great year every year, unless you’re the Patriots.”

In other Tarboro news, former Viking Tyquan Lewis was injured and did not play in the Indianapolis Colts’ game against the Kansas City Chiefs on Saturday, an eventual 31-13 loss for the Colts that ended their surprising season.

Next week: The Rams travel to New Orleans for a 3:05 p.m. kickoff next Sunday with a chance at the Super Bowl on the line.