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Todd Gurley shakes off the rust, powers Rams past Cardinals

Todd Gurley needed a game to shake the rust off, but he came on strong for the Rams, leading them to victory over the Cardinals on Sunday.

Norm Hall/Getty Images

St. Louis Rams running back Todd Gurley had a huge day against the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday. Gurley, a rookie first-round pick playing in his second NFL game, rumbled for 146 yards on 19 carries, helping the Rams past the Cardinals, 24-22.

Late in the game, the Rams had a two-point lead and the Cardinals had all three timeouts, but Gurley put the game out of reach with a couple smart runs. On first down, he took a run up the middle 20 yards, and after a couple more short runs, he took the ball another 30 yards, wisely went to the ground in bounds and the Rams were able to kneel the game out.

Gurley missed the Rams' first two games with a knee injury, and he didn't look great in his debut against the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 3. He had just six carries for 9 yards and one catch for 5 yards in that game, but the Rams were never in doubt when it came to the man they selected with the No. 10 overall pick in the 2015 draft, giving him plenty of opportunities against the NFC West rival Cardinals.

Gurley was also key on the drive that gave St. Louis its final points of the game, which were ultimately needed to hold off the Cardinals. Nick Foles hit Tavon Austin for a 12-yard touchdown late in the game, but they were only in position for that after Gurley put up a massive 52-yard rush earlier in the drive:

Gurley gave the Rams the kind of offensive output they haven't had from a running back since Steven Jackson departed in free agency.

Coming into the draft, there were plenty of injury concerns for Gurley. He tore his ACL with Georgia the previous November and that same injury was the one that prevented him from doing much work for teams pre-draft, and it's the one that kept him out of the Rams' entire preseason and the first two weeks of the regular season.

But the Rams stayed the course, drafted the player they feel can be the crux of their offense and on Sunday, Gurley rewarded them big time.