NFL

Todd Gurley can make a difference for Rams in Super Bowl LIII against Patriots

Rams star running back Todd Gurley didn't touch the ball during the third quarter of last Sunday's NFC Championship Game against the Saints, is something wrong with him ahead of Super Bowl LIII?

In arguably the biggest game of the season for the Rams, they were without their best offensive player for an extended period of time, as Todd Gurley appeared in just three snaps and didn't log a single touch during the third quarter.

C.J. Anderson was the lead running back with Gurley out and head coach Sean McVay told reporters that he went with Anderson for most of the second half and overtime "because of the flow of the game."

Gurley dealt with inflammation in his left knee in recent weeks, which forced him to miss the last two games of the regular season but he played in the Divisional Round game against the Cowboys in Los Angeles and ran for 115 yards and one touchdown on 16 carries.

The live broadcast showed Gurley stretching and using a stationary bike on the sideline at the end of the third quarter and he returned to the game for the second series of the fourth quarter and he carried the ball for six yards with under 11 minutes left to play but the didn't touch the football after that.

The running back had just three carries for four yards before running for a six-yard touchdown in the second quarter. Gurley led the NFL in scoring with 17 touchdowns and ran for 1,251 yards on 256 carries.

The Rams were dominant on the ground this season behind Gurley and C.J. Anderson has thrived but the key to unlocking this great offense has been their offensive line.

Most adjusted line per rush since 1996 (when Football Outsiders began tracking):

1. 2018-19 Rams (5.49)

2. 2018-19 Saints (5.19)

3. 2002-03 Broncos (5.13)

4. 2000-01 Rams (5.09)

The Rams are clearly not afraid to use their two running backs but they need a healthy Todd Gurley because of his ability to exploit mismatches against safeties and linebackers in the passing game.

Seven running backs were able to catch at least five passes against the Patriots this season and Gurley can help the Rams find an edge on offense.

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