News & Analysis

Refocused: Los Angeles Rams 27, Tennessee Titans 23

By PFF Analysis Team
Dec 24, 2017

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Dec 24, 2017; Nashville, TN, USA; Los Angeles Rams running back Todd Gurley (30) rushes against the Tennessee Titans during the second half at Nissan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports

Todd Gurley carried the Los Angeles Rams past the Tennessee Titans, 27-23, pushing the Rams record to 11-4 and an NFC West division crown. Gurley totaled 118 yards on the ground, 158 yards through the air and two total touchdowns in the victory.

Rams quarterback Jared Goff threw four touchdown passes and 301 yards, while Gurley was his top target on the afternoon with 13 targets, 10 receptions as over half of his passing yards went to the running back. Titans QB Marcus Mariota finished the day with 275 passing yards but without a touchdown and a costly interception. With that, we give you our PFF-exclusive takeaways from the contest for each team.

https://www.pff.com/nfl/teams/los-angeles-rams/26/roster

Top 5 Grades:

RB Todd Gurley, 93.7 overall grade

S John Johnson III, 87.5 overall grade

LB Alec Ogletree, 85.0 overall grade

DE Aaron Donald, 81.3 overall grade

LG Rodger Saffold, 80.8 overall grade

Performances of Note:

QB Jared Goff, 74.2 overall grade

A solid day for Goff who, outside of one fumble, was safe with the ball while showing his ability to move the ball downfield. He wasn’t helped with two big drops (one on a deep shot downfield and another on an early third down) and he wasn’t overly accurate on throws underneath (9-of-16 on throws between 0-9 yards) but this Goff is part of the winning formula in LA.

RB Todd Gurley, 93.7 overall grade

If you ever doubted who this offense ran through, this game answered that for you. Gurley was the difference-maker in this game, with his decisiveness in his cuts as the key to the Rams running game going for 119 total yards (all but one of them belonging to Gurley). Not just that, but in the play of the game, he went 80-yards on a screen pass to put six points on the board, just one of his 10 catches to cap a 250-plus yard day from scrimmage.

S John Johnson III, 87.5 overall grade

A remarkable rookie year continues and the impact of the new addition to the Rams secondary should not be overlooked. The former Boston College man has surpassed expectations of any rookie third rounder, finishing second on the team with three defensive stops in this one while also breaking up a pass in coverage.

DE Aaron Donald, 81.3 overall grade

For anyone else a great game. For Aaron Donald, one of his slower efforts of the year. The Titans largely kept him in check but he still managed to walk away with a sack, three hurries and a forced fumble. He’s just that good.

Top 5 Grades:

RT Jack Conklin, 85.5 overall grade

DE Jurrell Casey, 83.4 overall grade

WR Corey Davis, 82.5 overall grade

WR Eric Decker, 81.7 overall grade

LT Taylor Lewan, 80.3 overall grade

Performances of Note:

QB Marcus Mariota, 66.0 overall grade

There was plenty to like about Mariota but it was jarring that he lacked the poise of the more inexperienced quarterback opposite him. Mariota did throw some nice balls into tight sideline coverage, but he also had a terrible interception early and panicked on more than a few occasions in the pocket, leaving it without pressure and in the process creating pressure for himself. It hasn’t been a bad 2017 for the former Oregon Duck, but he hasn’t reached the heights many hoped this season could hold.

WR Corey Davis, 82.5 overall grade

That was the receiver Titans fans were expecting to see all year. Davis set a career-best with 91 yards and showcased some of his talents. His best play came after outrunning Troy Hill and then dragging defenders for additional yards after the catch in the first quarter He also showed some nice footwork with a sideline grab in the second half. Plenty to be excited about in 2018 if this can act as a springboard going forward.

DE Jurrell Casey, 83.4 overall grade

Casey picked up a hit (that was almost a safety) and a hurry, but it was his work in the run game that really stood out. He finished with three defensive stops and proved nearly impossible to block one-on-one against Los Angeles.

OLB Brian Orakpo, 52.9 overall grade

It’s been a solid but unspectacular year rushing the passer for Orakpo, though with just one hurry against Andrew Whitworth, this represented one of his worst efforts of the year. He was better in the run game (five defensive stops, to lead team) but there’s not been enough this season to say the Titans are a team who doesn’t need to look at upgraded their pass-rush in the offseason.

PFF Game Ball: Todd Gurley, RB

Los Angeles Rams RB Todd Gurley

*Grades subject to change

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