The Facts: The fault of Gurley's disappointing 2016 season usually falls on the circumstances that surrounded him, specifically a shoddy offensive line and a non-threatening passing attack that caused defenses to stack the box and suffocate Gurley every time he touched the football. But Gurley himself didn't take advantage of opportunities. ESPN's K.C. Joyner's tape review saw Gurley leave way too many yards on the field, even when he did get good blocking up front.
Diehards Line: Gurley went from rushing for 1,097 yards through 12 starts in 2015 to rushing for 885 yards through 16 starts in 2016. Those 885 yards were the fewest ever for a running back with at least 275 carries in a single season. It vaulted Gurley out of the discussion for the elite running backs in the game, mere months after he was thought to be in position to lead it. Gurley's 3.18 yards per attempt ranked 41st among 42 qualified running backs. He averaged 1.59 yards before first contract, which was also the second-worst mark in the league. But Joyner's numbers say the Rams gave him good blocking on 36.3 percent of his carries, which ranked 28th among 43 qualifying running backs and indicates that Gurley should have been better. Perhaps significantly so. But veteran offensive lineman Rodger Saffold, currently the starting left guard, saw improvement in the communication with Gurley during the offseason program. We'll all be watching for signs Gurley continues to build on that in August.