The St. Louis Rams have made several offensive upgrades in the past few months that will hopefully translate into more wins in 2015. The two biggest upgrades come from the two most important positions on an offense outside of the offensive line, the quarterback and the running back.
The Rams made headlines when they swapped quarterbacks, Nick Foles and Sam Bradford with the Philadelphia Eagles back in March. On paper, this trade was a massive home run for St. Louis. Bradford had never accomplished anything positive while on the Rams while Foles had shown signs of absolute brilliance while with the Eagles.
If this had been the only major headline the Rams had of pulled off heading into the regular season, Foles would have been the offensive X-factor without a doubt. But, a man by the name of Todd Gurley may have just stole that thunder from Foles.
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Gurley was the Rams’ first round pick and now gives the Rams their running back of the future, well at least that is the plan. Gurley is a freak of nature. His unique ability to plow through tackles and have the back-end speed to pull away from the others makes his skill set well above the leagues average running back. While at the University of Georgia, Gurley put on clinics on almost every Saturday afternoon, but a torn ACL last November put him an actual clinic which leaves question marks surrounding him heading into training camp.
Due to the injury, Gurley was unable to compete in the 2015 NFL Combine, nor his UGA pro day, but the Rams took him anyway. Recent reports have shown that Gurley expects to be ready to go by training camp at the end of July which is great news for Rams’ fans. But, is he a bigger x-factor than Foles? Absolutely.
Rams head coach Jeff Fisher has made it quite obvious that he want’s to run the ball a lot in 2015. This makes Foles’ role important, but not as important. If Gurley is able to live up to the hype he had in college, he alone may carry the Rams to the postseason on his back.
If Gurley is the week one starter, there is absolutely no reason why he shouldn’t rush for more than 1,000 yards and 10 touchdowns. Even with the emergence of second-year running back, Tre Mason still in the mix, Gurley is the better of the two and will prove that in 2015. If Gurley succeeds in 2015, this will make Foles’ year a walk in the park. Foles will be able to hit players like Tavon Austin on slip screens and Kenny Britt, Brian Quick and Stedman Bailey on a play action roll out with ease.
This offense will run though Gurley. And if it is run to perfection, the Rams’ offense will move up and down the field and score points. But, when Foles is needed to lead the team on a two-minute drill, you can expect him to make the plays needed to win.
It’s a tough call as to who the offensive X-factor will be in 2015, but in my opinion it is Gurley. We are all dying to watch him carry the ball in the coming weeks as well as watch Foles compete passes to a slew of receivers the Rams have.