Rams running back Todd Gurley wasn’t able to reach 100 yards on the ground Sunday, which allowed the Seahawks to run their streak of not allowing a back to run for that many yards to 21 games.
Failing to reach that number didn’t mean Gurley didn’t make an impact, however. Gurley ran 19 times for 85 yards and scored a fourth quarter touchdown that ultimately left the Seahawks with too much ground to make up in what wound up as a 23-17 Rams victory. He also had some good luck as a fumble before that touchdown was recovered by the Rams.
Those 85 yards leave Gurley as the league’s third-leading rusher, a pretty good spot for a rookie who missed the first two games of the season and played sparingly in the third. That makes Gurley a strong contender for offensive rookie of the year honors, but it doesn’t do anything to impress Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett.
“He’s average to me, personally,” Bennett said, via the Tacoma News-Tribune. “He got a couple of big runs on miscommunication and misalignment, but I mean, I’ve seen better running backs in the NFL. It wasn’t Marshall Faulk to me, or Marshawn Lynch.”
Faulk’s ability as a receiver give him an edge on most backs, but Gurley’s rookie year actually matches up well to what Lynch did for the Bills in 2007 despite Lynch, who played 13 games that year, getting 50 more carries. It’s just one year, of course, but it’s been a better than average one and there’s plenty of reason that things will be even better in 2016 and beyond for the Rams back.