Photo credit: Sean M. Haffey / Getty Images Sport
Author: Jon Kuzma
The Los Angeles Rams were the better team on the field when they hosted the Dallas Cowboys in the NFC divisional round. Sean McVay completely out-coached Jason Garrett and the difference between the two was obvious in the offensive play calling. Los Angeles is a well oiled machined and they do an excellent job of utilizing bootlegs and play-actions. They also incorporate a ton of jet sweeps and they stretch the field in so many different ways (vertically, horizontally, and diagonally). All of those concepts make opposing defenses stay honest and in this game both of LA’s running backs stole the show. C.J Anderson was a punishing downhill runner and he racked up 123 yards and 2 touchdowns. Anderson looks about 20 or 30 pounds heavier than the last time we’ve seen him. Yet it didn’t affect his play and to be honest Anderson ran better than ever. That’s probably because he only had 24 rushing attempts in the regular season. So while Todd Gurley is banged up because of a heavy workload throughout the year, Anderson is fresh because the Carolina Panthers didn’t use him very much (before releasing him). Of course Gurley did go for 115 yards and 1 touchdown himself so it’s not like he struggled by any means. It’s just that Anderson was the hero in this match-up and he’s definitely been a spark plug for McVay’s group. Dak Prescott threw for 266 yards and 1 touchdown but the Cowboys needed a couple more scores from their offense. Ezekiel Elliott was off and that certainly cost Dallas. Early on in the first quarter Dante Fowler laid a devastating hit on Elliott and you have to wonder if that shook his confidence? Michael Gallup did step for in the loss with 119 yards but the Rams defense did a good job of keep the visiting squad out of the end zone (for the most part). Speaking of defense Corey Littleton led LA with 7 tackles. Fowler also chipped in 3 tackles, 1 sack, and 1 TFL. The Cowboys were led by Jaylon Smith who had 9 tackles. Chidobe Awuzie added 6 defensive stops. Overall though it was just the Rams’ night. Going to the Coliseum and beating this team is going to be extremely tough.
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