Daily Dose: Todd Gurley is LaDanian Tomlinson’s top running back to begin 2019

Each weekday, theRams.com will be taking a look around the internet for the top Rams headlines of the day. Here’s a look at what’s out there for Friday, July 26 about your Los Angeles Rams.

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GURLEY’S NO. 1

There have been plenty of questions throughout the offseason about Rams running back Todd Gurley and how he’ll fare in 2019. But that didn’t stop Hall of Famer LaDanian Tomlinson from keeping Gurley at No. 1 in his running back rankings heading into 2019.

From the article, here’s why LT has Gurley as the top back:

I know folks tend to dwell on how Gurley's 2018 campaign ended, but let's not forget that he was in the MVP conversation for a majority of the season. Gurley had a league-high 21 touchdowns and didn't even play in the final two games of the regular season due to a knee injury, which also hindered him significantly in the postseason. Gurley's trainer, Travelle Gaines, said last month that the All-Pro back has an "arthritic component to his knee," and there have been concerns about whether Gurley, who didn't participate in team drills during offseason workouts this spring, will be 100 percent come Week 1. Plus, as Gurley has worked to shed weight to lessen the load on his knee, there are questions about whether he'll still be a bell cow for the Rams' offense. However, head coach Sean McVay recently said Gurley is " ready to go," and that is why he's No. 1 on my list. When healthy, Gurley is the best all-around running back in the NFL, and his dynamic play will allow him to be effective no matter his touch count in 2019. He's a physical dual-threat with breakaway speed -- the kind of running back most teams desire to have and all teams loath to play.

CASE FOR THE RAMS AS SUPER BOWL CONTENDERS

Sheil Kapadia of the Athletic put together a case for 11 teams that can potentially win the NFC. The Rams are the first team Kapadia listed as a part of his section for “The Favorites.”

Here’s what Kapadia had to say:

The Patriots bounced back from a Super Bowl loss two years ago to win it all last season. Can the Rams do the same? The offense laid an egg in the Super Bowl, but Los Angeles has averaged an NFL-best 31.4 points per game over the last two seasons, and its 24 regular-season wins over that span are tied for first. The Rams will be breaking in two new starters on the offensive line, but concerns about the impact from Todd Gurley’s health might be overblown. Football Outsiders tracks a metric called adjusted line yards to measure how much an offensive line’s blocking is responsible for a team’s rushing success. The Rams’ 5.49 adjusted line yards number last season was the highest ever recorded in Football Outsiders’ database (going back to 1996). In other words, the scheme and blocking can do a lot of the work in the run game. Combine that with the fact Los Angeles drafted Darrell Henderson in the third round, and the offense should be fine. Defensively, the Rams finished 18th in efficiency last season. Their most glaring issue was allowing big plays through the air; 10.28 percent of opponents’ pass plays resulted in explosive completions (20 yards or more). That ranked 29th in the NFL. The defense doesn’t have to be great for the Rams to get back to the Super Bowl. It just has to hover around mediocre. With Wade Phillips running the show, that seems extremely doable.

Keep an eye on … the Rams’ injuries. They’re one of only two teams that have finished each of the past two seasons in the top five in adjusted games lost, a metric that measures which teams are most and least hurt by injuries. Good overall health has been a factor in their success the past two seasons. If the Rams see some regression with their injury luck, the path to Miami will get more difficult.

Kapadia also lists the Saints and Eagles as favorites for an appearance in Super Bowl LIV.

STAT OF THE DAY

From voice of the Rams J.B. Long, Los Angeles has held at least a share of first place in the NFC West for a long time.

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