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Eagles’ ‘D’ will pay close attention to Rams’ Gurley in run, pass game

December 10, 2017 GMT

The Philadelphia Eagles are looking to get back on the winning track after last week’s loss to the Seattle Seahawks. The Eagles will face the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday (4:25 p.m. FOX 29) at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.

The Eagles (10-2) and the Rams (9-3) will be one of the marque matchups of the day. These are two of the best teams in the National Football League. It’s the second of three consecutive games the Eagles will play on the road. This game has playoff implications for the Eagles who are trying to keep pace with the Minnesota Vikings (10-2) for the NFL’s best record.

The Rams are capable of lighting up the scoreboard offensively. Like the Eagles’ bright, young quarterback Carson Wentz, the Rams have a rising star in signal-caller Jared Goff. Although Wentz and Goff will be key players, the player to watch could be Rams running back Todd Gurley who has great speed and good moves in the open field.

Gurley, a 6-foot-1, 227-pounder, has 939 yards rushing on 223 carries while scoring eight touchdowns. Gurley is averaging 4.2 yards a carry. In addition to his ability to run the football, Gurley has been a great receiver out of the backfield. He has 48 receptions for 563 yards and three receiving touchdowns.

Eagles defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz knows Gurley is a terrific player for the Rams.

“He’s a big back, but he picks and chooses his holes,” Schwartz said. “He can run downhill, but he also has some [Steelers running back] Le’Veon Bell in him when it comes to picking his way through. [He’s the] second-leading rusher in the NFL, but he’s been very productive in the passing game. I think that’s something that went unnoticed from me until we really started diving into the film. He’s averaging double digits in average per receptions. For a running back, that’s pretty impressive. So it’s not just the run game. It’s the pass game also.”

Gurley will test the Eagles defense with his all-around skills. This will be a huge challenge for the Birds’ defense as they try to slow down the Rams’ offense.