The Los Angeles Rams roster is loaded with stars, but there’s no one who gives the team more than running back Todd Gurley.
There are a lot of bright lights in Los Angeles, but no one shines brighter for the Rams than Todd Gurley. He’s already showing the Minnesota Viking that fact up close and personal on Thursday night football.
The versatile running back put all of his skills on full display in the Rams’ opening drive. He ran the ball four times for 18 yards. That’s a solid drive, but it only tells part of Gurley’s story. The former Georgia star also caught three passes for 17 yards and a touchdown.
Gurley is a nightmare for defenders because he’s an old school sized running back who showcases new school skills. He’s one of the few runners in the NFL who is equally comfortable running the ball between the tackles and running a pass route against a cornerback. That type of versatility makes him a nightmare for defensive coordinators.
He’s also the guy who sets up everything Sean McVay wants to do on offense. Sure, the Rams have a lot of complicated passing plays in the playbook, but making the defense respect the run game is key for their success. Brandin Cooks and Cooper Kupp are terrific wide receivers, but they’re even better when they go up against single coverage. The presence of Gurley in the offensive backfield makes it tough for defenses to double the Rams’ talented wideouts.
The scariest thing about Gurley is that he hasn’t reached his prime yet. It may seem like he’s been in the league for a decade, but he’s still just 24-years-old. Running backs have relatively short careers, but Gurley still has at least five years of prime productivity left. He’s going to get even better as he learns more and more about how opponents are trying to stop him.
The NFL may be placing less value on the running back position than ever before, but that’s not a philosophy that the Rams are buying into. That’s because they have one of the most weapons in football in their backfield. Not only is Gurley the team’s MVP, he may be the best player in the NFL as well.