Gurley off to slow start and Bucs want to continue it

(Photograph by Mark Goldman/Icon Sportswire)

Rams running back Todd Gurley hasn’t been gaining ground at anywhere near the rate he did a year ago when he all but ran away with the NFL’s Offensive Rookie of the Year award.

After rushing 229 times for 1,106 yards (4.8 per carry) and 10 touchdowns last year, Gurley has gained just 98 yards on 36 carries (2.7) and has yet reach the end zone this year.

The sledding may not get any easier for Gurley this weekend.

The Bucs are off to a bad start defensively, allowing 26.1 points and 340 yards per game, but those numbers are largely a result of some shaky pass defense.

The Bucs rush defense has been nothing short of solid. In fact, it’s been one of the strengths of the teams so far, the Bucs allowing an average of just 3.0 yards per carry and 76.5 yards per game.

Those figures have the Bucs ranked third and eighth overall in the NFL in yards allowed per carry and yards allowed per game respectively. They have also allowed just one rushing touchdown so far this year.

The key to the Bucs success against opposing ball carriers seems to be their ability – at least so far – to avoid allowing breakaway or what they refer to as explosive runs.

The longest run the Bucs have allowed this year was a 10-yard run last week by David Johnson, but they are the only team in the league that is yet to allow a run of 10 yards or more this season.

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