Rams turn to Todd Gurley as RB turns back clock

LOS ANGELES -- In an apparent departure from previous game plans this season, the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday relied on running back Todd Gurley to power them to a 17-7 victory over the Chicago Bears.

Gurley had 133 all-purpose yards on 28 touches, both season highs.

"I guess I felt like the old Todd," Gurley said after the game. "But it's cool, man. I'm just happy I was able to go out there and take advantage of my opportunities."

As Rams coach Sean McVay explained, "That was part of the game plan tonight, and I thought he did a great job."

Rams quarterback Jared Goff shared words with Gurley as they left the field.

"I told him he fights, he fights, man," said Goff, who completed 11 of 18 passes for 173 yards, with an interception. "He's been through the ringer and that dude fights, and I couldn't be more proud to be his teammate."

Gurley, who signed a four-year extension with $45 million in guarantees before last season, has yet to rush for more than 100 yards in a single game in 2019, as questions have continued about the health of his left knee -- which sidelined him for two games last season -- and McVay's apparent move to utilize a running back rotation that includes Malcolm Brown and rookie Darrell Henderson Jr.

On Sunday, Gurley rushed for 97 yards, tying his previous season high, and a touchdown on a season-high 25 carries.

When asked if he was happy about his production, Gurley said: "Ain't nobody gonna complain about getting the ball. If you do, then you're a damn fool."

Gurley overcame a rough start when he lost a fumble, his second of the season, on the Rams' opening play. But on L.A.'s second possession, the three-time Pro Bowl back found a rhythm. Gurley rushed for 16 yards on consecutive carries and caught a 23-yard pass, his longest reception of the season.

Late in the second half, Gurley rushed 1 yard for a touchdown, breaking the Rams' streak of 23 possessions -- dating to the third quarter of Week 8 -- without a TD.

"Anytime we can run the ball like that, it's going to open things up, especially in the play-action game, and I think that's kind of what you've seen from us the last few years," said Goff, whose offensive line on Sunday featured three first-year starters because of injuries. "When we're at our best is when we're running the ball really well."

As Gurley explained, "I was able to get a little bit more opportunity ... you just got to take advantage of it."

A week after Gurley averaged more than six yards per carry, but spent much of the fourth quarter on the sideline in a 17-12 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers, McVay said he learned from his error.

"I didn't think I did a good enough job against the Steelers of kind of recognizing the way that he was running," McVay said. "And you don't want to make the same mistake twice."

With the win over the Bears, the Rams improve to 6-4 and remain in the playoff hunt.

When asked if Gurley would be utilized more going forward, McVay said, "I think so."

"That's an ideal situation," McVay said. "Anytime you get Todd involved like that, it's usually always a good thing for our offense."

Gurley, who was sidelined in Week 6 because of a thigh contusion, has rushed for 525 yards and seven touchdowns in nine games. He also has caught 18 passes for 117 yards and a touchdown.