Home Football Grading the St. Louis Rams: Running Backs

Grading the St. Louis Rams: Running Backs

by Jeremy Karp

The St. Louis Rams finished the 2015 season with a 7-9 record, making it their ninth consecutive losing season, which also happens to be the longest active streak in the National Football League.

And with their season over, it’s time to take a look back and evaluate each position to see how they performed, one position at a time. The first position we took a look at throughout this evaluation was the quarterback position. And now, it’s time to take a look at… the running backs.

While ranking dead last in total offense as well as passing offense during the 2015 season, the Rams finished seventh in the league in rushing offense, with 122.7 yards per game. It’s no shocker that the major reason for this was the drafting of Georgia running back Todd Gurley. Despite missing the first four games of the 2015 season recovering from an ACL injury, Gurley exploded onto the season in his second career game, rushing for 146 yards on 19 carries, which helped the Rams hand the Arizona Cardinals their first loss of the season.

Gurley rushed for over 120 yards during the next three games, with a yards-per-carry average of 6.7 in two of those games.

But it wasn’t a fully successful season, as within the midst of the Rams’ struggles that sent them from 4-3 to 4-8, Gurley failed to post a 100-yard rushing game. His final 100-yard rushing game came against the Detroit Lions in week 15, when he rushed for 140 yards.

In the end, Gurley finished the season with 229 carries for 1,106 yards and ten touchdowns.

However, the rest of the running backs performed well under expectations, most notably last year’s starting running back for the Rams, Tre Mason. Drafted in the third round in 2014, Mason only rushed for 207 yards, one touchdown, and a yards-per-carry average of only 2.8. He also was beset by injuries early in the season that played a role in his sophomore slump.

Benny Cunningham nor Chase Reynolds had any real impact in the running game, with Cunningham rushing for only for 140 yards and no touchdowns, while Reynolds was mainly a special teams player.

Overall, the Rams running backs did perform very well, despite setbacks from the back-ups.


Grade: A-



(Photo Credit: Christian Petersen)

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