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Todd Gurley's carries 'need to increase significantly' for Rams

THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. -- The Los Angeles Rams' last two losses have been a product of an ineffective offense. For reasons, look no further than this: Case Keenum has attempted a whopping 99 passes, while Todd Gurley has run the ball a mere 27 times.

It's just not the way this team was built.

"Todd's not getting enough carries," Rams coach Jeff Fisher acknowledged on Monday. "Our passing numbers were skewed."

Fisher reasoned that the Rams were in a lot of two-minute situations and made a lot of their passing attempts on third down during that two-game stretch. But that is still no excuse.

Gurley has compiled only 41 carries over the last three games, all losses. He has run the ball a combined five times in the fourth quarter of those games. And on Sunday, in the 13-10 loss to the Carolina Panthers that extended the Rams' losing streak to four, Gurley only carried the ball in back-to-back snaps once -- on the team's first drive.

Gurley, on pace for only 902 rushing yards in his sophomore season, hasn't exceeded 15 carries in any of the last three games.

Fisher said those numbers "need to get up in the 20s."

"His touches and his numbers need to increase significantly," Fisher added. "That’s what we discussed, and what we’re working on right now offensively.”

Gurley gained only 48 yards on 12 carries Sunday. He made four catches for 26 yards and continued to be more involved in the passing game, but he also gave way to Benny Cunningham in third-down situations and during two-minute drills, as is the Rams' custom.

Gurley has now failed to reach 100 rushing yards in 15 of his last 16 games, a stretch that immediately follows his record-breaking first four starts of 2015. Midway through this season, the 22-year-old has rushed for 451 yards. Seventeen players have more. Gurley ranks 40th among 42 qualified running backs in yards per attempt (3.09) and 41st in average yards before first contact (1.44).

Getting him going has been "a much greater challenge" than anticipated, Fisher said, even though the Rams were fully expecting defenses to focus in on Gurley this season.

"We've got to do a better job; we recognize that," Fisher added. "Todd's number of carries the last few weeks are not what we would like."