Super Bowl 2019: What's wrong with Todd Gurley and will it affect performance vs. Patriots?

ATLANTA -- Running back Todd Gurley has been one of the shining stars of the Rams' return to Los Angeles and the rise to power in the NFC. But in the biggest game of his professional career, Gurley's performance looked more like a Hollywood flop than an Oscar-worthy performance.

Super Bowl LIII is Sunday, Feb. 3, in Atlanta and it will air on CBS and streamed here on CBSSports.com and the CBS Sports App for free on most connected devices.

His final line: Four carries for 10 yards, one touchdown and a 3-yard reception. That's it. Not exactly the kind of outing that should be expected from one of the top running backs in the world. Sure, he could use the knee injury he suffered late in the regular season as an excuse, but not Gurley. Not now. Not when his team is one win away from a title.

"I'm fine. I'm feeling good," he said. "I'm feeling excited to come out there and play in Super Bowl LIII."

But should he use it as an excuse? He rushed for 115 yards on 16 attempts against Dallas in the divisional round, but only two of those carries went for more than 15 yards -- a 35-yard touchdown run late in the second quarter and an 18-yarder early in the third. 

This postseason, it's been more about rhythm and coaching than anything else.

"I think a large part of specifically when you talk about last week's game was a result of some of the things in terms of the play selection," coach Sean McVay said. "I've got to do a much better job for Todd to get him opportunities to get him going."

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He got those opportunities during the season. Gurley finished third in the league in rushing attempts per game with 18.3, and had fewer than 15 carries in just four outings. It isn't Gurley's health that's the problem, it's the solution that was brought in to help out during the final two games of the regular season.

C.J. Anderson was signed on Dec. 18, filled in well and provided support that Gurley needed as he got back to 100 percent leading into the postseason. 

Could Gurley be grandstanding during Super Bowl week in an effort to keep the element of surprise in play leading into Sunday's showdown with the New England Patriots? No doubt. But whether he's nursing a lingering injury or just had a bad day, the Rams are in good hands at running back -- no matter who's toting the rock.

College Football Writer

Barrett Sallee has been a member of the sports media in various aspects since 2001. He is currently a college football writer for CBS Sports, analyst for CBS Sports HQ and host for the SiriusXM college... Full Bio

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