What we learned in the Rams’ 27-23 victory over the Tennessee Titans

The Times’ Sam Farmer, Gary Klein and Lindsey Thiry discuss the Rams’ NFC West division title after a 27-23 victory over the Tennessee Titans in Nashville.

What we learned in the Rams’ 27-23 victory over the Tennessee Titans:

Todd Gurley is an MVP candidate

Gurley’s performance against the Seattle Seahawks put him in consideration. His effort against the Titans should make him one of the favorites.

Gurley rushed for 118 yards in 22 carries, and caught 10 passes for 158 yards and two touchdowns. He took a screen pass 80 yards for a touchdown.


It might be rare for running backs to win the award, but Gurley is positioned to do it.

Replacing Greg Zuerlein is not easy

The Rams came to rely on Zuerlein, the NFL’s leading scorer, who had made 38 of 40 field-goal attempts before he suffered a back injury that required season-ending surgery.

Sam Ficken, who had never kicked in an NFL regular-season game, missed a field-goal attempt and an extra-point attempt before settling down and converting several kicks.


But as the Rams move toward the playoffs, concern about the kicking game remains topical.

Linebacker Mark Barron could be questionable

Coach Sean McVay and the training staff have carefully monitored Barron’s overall condition since organized team activities last spring.

Barron did not play at Seattle because of soreness that intensified in the cold weather.

He did not play against the Titans because of an Achilles’ tendon issue, McVay said.

Cory Littleton started in Barron’s place and played well — intercepting a pass and recording a sack — but the Rams need Barron’s experience and ball-hawk skills for a playoff run.

Sammy Watkins can catch a slant pass

Watkins is making it an art form to catch short touchdown passes off slant patterns.


He caught his team-best eighth touchdown pass in the third quarter to give the Rams a 20-13 lead.

He finished with three receptions for 30 yards.

Question: When will McVay have Jared Goff throw deep again to Watkins?

Robert Quinn is on the rise again

Quinn as of late is showing the form that made him one of the most feared pass rushers in the NFL before he injured his back in 2015.

His pressure coming off the edge helped discombobulate Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson and also made it tough on Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota.

Quinn, as much as any veteran player, is enjoying the opportunity to finally play for a winner.

Connor Barwin continues to come on strong


The veteran linebacker has come back from a broken forearm to make significant plays.

Early in the game against the Titans, he dropped into coverage to defend a pass that fell incomplete.

On the Titans’ final play, he chased Mariota and nearly sacked him before Mariota got rid of the ball for an incomplete pass.

Barwin had four tackles.