The Rams’ 30-29 defeat by the Seattle Seahawks on Thursday night was not a complete loss.
Rams coach Sean McVay finally got running back Todd Gurley into something resembling an early rhythm. Gurley rushed for 51 yards and two touchdowns in 15 carries, and he caught three passes for six yards at CenturyLink Field.
“We wanted to get him going,” McVay said. “I thought he did a good job. He had some tough, hard-earned yards against a good defensive front.”
In the days leading up to the game, McVay and Gurley appeared to have grown tired of constant questions about the running back’s physical condition and how McVay was seemingly limiting his carries while alternating him with backup Malcolm Brown.
McVay had said multiple times during the first four weeks of the season that he needed to do a better job of getting Gurley, the 2017 NFL offensive player of the year, involved in the offense.
Gurley carried the ball for nine yards on the Rams’ first play. By the the midpoint of the first quarter, he had five carries — as many as he had in the Rams’ 55-40 defeat by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Gurley scored touchdowns on runs of eight yards and one yard.
“Just being able to get some runs off enables you to stay in those normal downs and distances,” McVay said. “It opened up some other things.”
Said quarterback Jared Goff: “I thought it was great.”
But any happiness about a good start was tempered for Gurley by the defeat.
“We lost the game,” he said, “so it doesn’t really matter.”