ATLANTA — Rams coach Sean McVay had promised during the week that he’d use a heavy dose of Todd Gurley in Super Bowl LIII, even though Gurley has played a limited role since suffering a knee injury late in the season.
In the end, Gurley again was a part-time player in the Rams’ 13-3 loss to the Patriots on Sunday night at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
Gurley was in the starting lineup but wound up with only 10 carries for 35 yards. He was targeted for two passes and caught one of them for minus-1 yard.
“It’s a team sport,” Gurley said. “There’s 11 people on the field. Everyone can’t touch the ball. Still, a great season by us. I’m blessed either way it goes. I’m grateful for the opportunity to play in the Super Bowl.”
The Rams’ offense was never able to get into a rhythm, and Gurley was at a loss to explain it.
“I don’t know,” he said. “Definitely, we’ve got to watch the film and stuff like that.”
More than likely, Gurley will discover when reviewing the game that it might have had more to do with the Patriots than anything else.
“We were playing against a great team, and you’ve got to give credit where credit is due,” he said. “Their guys did the job and we just didn’t.”
Backup running back C.J. Anderson, who was signed late in the season after Gurley was hurt, had seven carries for 22 yards, plus two receptions (from three targets) for 12 yards. He didn’t have many answers, either.
“Just played bad today,” he said. “All week, I said we’ve got to be great on third down, and we weren’t.”
The Rams were 3-for-13 on third downs, a big reason they were limited to 26:50 in time of possession.
“We knew we had to come in and play a complete game, play a mistake-free game, and we didn’t do that,” Anderson said. “They played New England football. That’s what they do. They’ve been doing that for years, so nothing changed. We just didn’t execute today, plain and simple.”
Anderson had hoped either he or Gurley would develop a rhythm during the game. Unfortunately for the Rams, neither running back did.
“One of us tried to get in a rhythm, we didn’t care who,” Anderson said. “Obviously, neither of us got going, so you’ve got to give it to New England on that.”
Despite the loss, Gurley remains optimistic about the future.
“We have a great team,” he said. “We have a great leader in Coach [Sean McVay]. We are just starting. Obviously, it’s not the outcome we wanted, but we had a hell of a year. We just didn’t get the job done.”