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linchao Mar 13 '19
LOS ANGELES (AP) — With 1 yard between the Los Angeles Rams and the Dallas end zone on fourth down midway through in the fourth quarter Samson Ebukam Jersey , Sean McVay decided to go straight ahead.No clever plays for this high-flying offense. No elaborate schemes from their inventive coach.C.J. Anderson ran directly into the left side while his line cleared a path. He tumbled into the end zone with 7:16 left for the Rams’ final points in their first playoff victory in 14 years, 30-22 over the Cowboys on Saturday night in the divisional round.“We always talk about attacking success, never fearing failure,” McVay said of his reasoning behind the simple call. “We wanted to come out here and try to play fearless tonight.”Los Angeles’ ground game is something to be feared after racking up a franchise playoff-record 273 yards rushing from the opening drive to Anderson’s final first-down run.Anderson rushed for 123 yards and two touchdowns, and Todd Gurley ran for 115 more yards and another TD to send the second-seeded Rams (14-3) to the NFC championship game for the first time in 17 years.That’s also the most ever allowed in the postseason by the five-time Super Bowl champion Cowboys, who were playing in their NFL-record 63rd postseason game.“Feels great, just running the ball the way we did,” quarterback Jared Goff said after his first career playoff victory. “Two 100-yard rushers, that’s rare, and it starts with those five guys up front.”Next weekend, the Rams will face the winner of the other divisional playoff game in New Orleans between the top-seeded Saints and the defending Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles.The long-struggling Rams had won only one postseason game since their last trip to the Super Bowl in February 2002, but the 32-year-old McVay has added his first playoff victory to his spectacular two-season franchise turnaround . Los Angeles is one win away from another Super Bowl trip after McVay largely stuck to old-time football basics with his unlikely running back tandem and an offensive line determined to assert its superiority.With the Rams’ veteran offensive line cutting holes in the Cowboys’ defense, Gurley and Anderson became the fourth set of teammates in NFL history to rush for 100 yards apiece in a postseason game, an improbable development just a few weeks ago. Gurley is the Rams’ offensive centerpiece and one of the NFL’s elite running backs Dominique Easley Color Rush Jersey , but Anderson is a well-traveled veteran playing only his third game with the Rams after signing last month when Gurley was struggling with a knee injury.“It’s scary,” Anderson said of his new partnership with Gurley. “We’ve got two different styles, and we can keep teams off balance. … Playing on the field with Todd Gurley and Ezekiel Elliott, I’m just trying to make my statement and make my stamp in this game, too.”The Cowboys (11-7), who largely shut down Seattle’s league-best rushing attack last week, hadn’t allowed two 100-yard rushers in a playoff game since the NFL-AFL merger. Los Angeles racked up more yards than the Cowboys had allowed on the ground all season.“We got beaten,” Cowboys defensive end Tyrone Crawford said. “Like I said in (the locker room), it’s a scar that you’re going to wear for the rest of your life. You can either look at your scar and run from it, or you can look at your scar and remember it, and punch somebody in the face because of it. So hopefully our guys use this as ammunition for next year.”Elliott rushed for a TD and Amari Cooper caught an early TD pass for the Cowboys, who still haven’t won a playoff game on the road in 26 years. After winning the NFC East and beating Seattle last week, Dallas lost in the divisional playoff round for the sixth consecutive time and fell short of its first trip to the NFC championship game since January 1996.Dak Prescott passed for 266 yards and rushed for a TD with 2:11 to play , but the Cowboys couldn’t climb out after falling into a 23-7 hole midway through the third quarter. Elliott managed only 47 yards on 20 carries as Dallas lost for just the second time in its last 10 games.“They’re a physical football team https://www.ramsfanstore.com/Ndamukong-Suh-Jersey ,” Dallas coach Jason Garrett said of the Rams. “There is a little bit of a misperception of how the Rams play offensive football with the run. They do an outstanding job.”Goff passed for 186 yards and spent much of the night handing off, but the gangly quarterback improbably scrambled 11 yards for a first down with 1:51 to play, essentially wrapping up his breakthrough win. It was also the first postseason victory for the anchor of that line, 37-year-old left tackle Andrew Whitworth, and veteran defensive lineman Ndamukong Suh.Anderson and Gurley ran with equal verve while Dallas gave up 200 yards rushing in a playoff game for the first time since Eric Dickerson did it for the Rams in 1986. Anderson became the third Rams player with more than 100 yards and two rushing TDs in a game, joining Dickerson and Marshall Faulk.The Rams chewed up the ground and the clock on four lengthy scoring drives in the first half. Anderson reached the end zone seven minutes before halftime on a 1-yard plunge — and just 3 1/2 minutes later, Gurley broke through the middle and went 35 yards for his first career playoff touchdown , putting the Rams up 20-7 at halftime.Elliott scored on a 1-yard plunge and the Cowboys got a 2-point conversion to trim the Rams’ lead to 23-15 in the third quarter, but the Rams made a decisive 12-play, 65-yard drive in the fourth capped by Anderson’s bold 1-yard TD plunge on fourth down.JANUARY 12 IS A BIG DAYThree years to the day after the NFL approved the Rams’ return to Los Angeles, and two years to the day after McVay was hired, the franchise earned its first playoff victory since coming home from 21 years in St. Louis.THE MAIN EVENTA sellout crowd of 77,187 assembled in the cavernous Coliseum, and a significant portion of those fans cheered on America’s Team. The sideline was dotted with celebrities John Franklin-Myers Color Rush Jersey , and LeBron James hosted several Lakers teammates in a field suite behind the east end zone.INJURIESCowboys: WR Cole Beasley had one catch for 15 yards, and tight end Blake Jarwin had two catches for 17 yards. They both missed practice all week with ankle injuries.Rams: Gurley appeared a bit hesitant early in his first action in four weeks, but his knee seemed to hold up well. … CB Aqib Talib went to the locker room in the third quarter to be evaluated for a concussion. He returned for the fourth quarter.UP NEXTCowboys: Season over.Rams: Either a trip to New Orleans or a visit from Philadelphia for the NFC championship game. LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Los Angeles Rams are experiencing something they hadn’t in Sean McVay’s two seasons as head coach: a losing streak.Philadelphia’s 30-23 win at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on Sunday night marks the first time under McVay that the Rams have dropped back-to-back games, something that seemed unfathomable after they defeated Kansas City 54-51 on Nov. 18. The Rams were 10-1 and tied for the league’s best record when they went on their bye week, but haven’t been the same team since, as they’ve dropped two of three.Los Angeles (11-3) has had a playoff spot sewn up for a couple weeks, but no team wants to be stumbling with the postseason drawing near.“It’s hard to argue against that based on the way we’ve played. Your tape is your resume and we haven’t played as good as a team,” said McVay when asked if the bye week ended up knocking his team off its stride. “Guys are making decisions and mistakes we typically haven’t seen. This wasn’t good enough and it is a tough pill to swallow.”The epitome of the Rams’ struggles has been Jared Goff. The third-year quarterback went into the bye week second in the NFC with a 113.5 passer rating, but he has been in a slump since. Over the past three games, Goff has completed only 55 percent of his passes, has six interceptions to only one touchdown and a 51.3 passer rating.“We have been seeing a little bit of everything in terms of fronts and coverages. It is nothing we haven’t seen before, but teams are mixing it up. At the same time we are beating ourselves and we have to figure it out,” Goff said.Goff — who was 35 of 54 for 339 yards and two interceptions — had a brutal third quarter in which he completed just 3 of 9 passes for 24 yards. He also had one of the ugliest turnovers of the season late in the quarter. On third-and-1 on the Rams’ 34, Goff tripped over the foot of center John Sullivan and fumbled the ball Marcus Peters Jersey , but he was able to recover. As Goff got up to throw, his half volley was intercepted by Eagles defensive end Brandon Graham at the Rams’ 28 and returned 16 yards.Two plays later, Wendall Smallwood scored from 4 yards out to extend the Eagles’ lead to 30-13. It was the largest deficit the Rams have faced at home this season.The Rams have a minus-three turnover ratio in their three games since the bye after being plus-11 in their first 11.McVay said that Goff has to make better decisions, like taking a sack and punting it instead of making things worse.The Rams rallied in the fourth quarter and had a chance to tie it on the last play, but Goff’s pass to the end zone, which was intended for Josh Reynolds, was incomplete.“It’s good to go through some adversary at some point. We are in the playoffs, but we have to be urgent about getting these things fixed, but they are very fixable,” Goff said.Los Angeles did try to establish the run game early, but had to abandon it when it fell behind. Todd Gurley was out for part of the third quarter after tweaking his knee but he did return.Gurley, whose first-quarter touchdown made him the third Rams player to score 20 TDs in a season, said he was fine after the game.“It is not the end of the world, we still are 11-3 Aqib Talib Color Rush Jersey ,” Gurley said. “We know what we can do better. We know who we are as a team and where we are trying to go.”Defensively, the Rams have only one sack in the past two games and haven’t been able to generate much pressure. Aaron Donald has gone without a sack the past two games and only had only one quarterback hit against the Eagles’ Nick Foles.The secondary has been susceptible to big plays most of the season and Sunday was no exception as Foles had five completions of 18 yards or more. Alshon Jeffery had eight receptions for 160 yards, which is the third-most receiving yards he has had in a game for his career.“If you want to be great, you have to be great. You have to show up in big games and this was a big game for us,” Donald said.Los Angeles still controls its destiny for a first-round bye, but New Orleans (11-2) could take a huge step toward getting home field throughout the playoffs with a win at Carolina on Monday night. Even if the Panthers were to win, the Rams would need to win their final two games at Arizona and against San Francisco and need the Saints to lose either to Pittsburgh or the season-finale against Carolina to get the top seed because New Orleans has the tiebreaker after beating the Rams earlier in the season.“We have football to play no matter what,” offensive tackle Andrew Whitworth said. “The month of December is crazy. Every year you see teams that weren’t winning start to win and you see teams that were starting to struggle. That is why this month is what it is. Teams are fighting either for the playoffs or guys are fighting for their careers.”
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