Rams reaping benefits from getting physical
THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. — The Los Angeles Rams have built a reputation for cerebral, clever play during two seasons of coach Sean Mcvay’s influential offensive schemes. But one big difference between last season’s team, which lost its first playoff game, and this season’s NFC championship-bound squad is the Rams’ team-wide embrace of physical, disruptive play.
These Rams have an attitude, and it’s taking them far.
The Rams are in their first NFC title game in 17 years because of the way they manhandled the Cowboys on both sides of the line in their divisional playoff. Dallas entered the game with one of the NFL’S top rushing defenses along with their own powerful rushing offense led by NFL rushing champion Ezekiel Elliott, but the Rams dominated on the ground.
Los Angeles’ rushing offense was historically good,
with C.J. Anderson and Todd Gurley both topping 100 yards rushing on the way to a franchise-record 273.
The Rams’ defense spent most of the first half on the sideline watching as their offensive line carved chunks out of the Dallas defense. Los Angeles edge rusher Dante Fowler could only smile when left tackle Andrew Whitworth led the blocking for Gurley’s 35-yard touchdown run.
“They played very physical, lights out,” Fowler said. “The intensity that Whitworth brought, that set the tone. The block that he made for the touchdown ... that’s when I knew we were going to win the game.”