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ST. LOUIS -- The St. Louis Rams finished the 2015 campaign with a 7-9 record, including a 4-2 mark in NFC West play and 5-3 home record.
On offense, the Rams were led by Rookie of the Year candidate Todd Gurley, who paced all first-year players in rushing and finished third among all NFL runners in ground yards (1,106). He became just the third rookie in franchise history to reach the 1,000-yard mark, joining Hall of Famers Eric Dickerson and Jerome Bettis.
Gurley’s production came behind a young offensive line that is set to anchor the club for years to come. The Rams finished seventh in the NFL in rushing offense and allowed the fewest sacks in league (18). They did so while receiving 31 starts from rookies and 17 more from second-year players, 16 of which came from LT Greg Robinson.
WR Tavon Austin set new career highs in receptions (52), receiving yards (434) and touchdown catches (five) while also rushing for 434 yards and four touchdowns. WR Kenny Britt led the Rams with 681 receiving yards and finished second in the NFL in yards per catch (18.9).
Defensively, the Rams tied for 10th in the NFL in takeaways, were sixth in third-down defense and 11th in sacks, despite key injuries to starters such as DE Robert Quinn (eight games), LB Alec Ogletree (12 games) and S T.J. McDonald (five games).
DT Aaron Donald set the tone during a season that saw him earn Pro Bowl honors for a second time in as many NFL seasons. His 11 sacks, 22 tackles for loss and 49 QB pressures led the team in each category. S Mark Barron saw his role grow midway through the season and resulted in a team-high 135 tackles. LB James Laurinaitis turned in his seventh-straight 100-tackle season with 114 and became the franchise’s all-time leader in the category.
In the secondary, CB Trumaine Johnson tied for third in the NFL with seven interceptions, one of which he returned for a touchdown. CB Janoris Jenkins posted a team-leading 13 pass breakups opposite of Johnson, and S Rodney McLeod enjoyed a 106-tackle campaign. CB Lamarcus Joyner turned in a strong second season manning the slot, and second-year pros CB Marcus Roberson and S Maurice Alexander contributed as spot starters late in the year with success.
P Johnny Hekker is headed back to the Pro Bowl after one of the best punting seasons in NFL history. The fourth-year pro led the NFL in punts, gross average, net average and punts downed inside the 20 yard-line. He’s the first player to lead the league in all three categories since the NFL began tracking punts inside the 20 in 1976.
KR Benny Cunningham finished fourth in the NFL in kickoff return average, highlighted by a 102 yard return in Week 15, and PR Tavon Austin led a punt return team that saw opponents net 38.8 yards per punt, the 10th lowest in the NFL this season. Rookie Bradley Marquez led the unit in tackles with 16.