In Todd Gurley's rookie year, the Rams went up to Seattle in Week 16 and defeated the Seahawks, 23-17.
The Rams played from ahead for the entirety of that 2015 contest, though quarterback Russell Wilson helped mount a late comeback attempt.
But during the fourth quarter, Gurley scored a two-yard touchdown, which put the Rams up by 13 with 10:34 left. And after he scored, Gurley spiked the ball in celebration — knowing what the score meant for the club's chances to win the game.
"I remember I scored my first touchdown and I kind of spiked the ball. My teammate was like, 'Boy, what you doing? You better keep that ball. You know how many people score in Seattle? Nobody,'" Gurley recalled with a laugh on Thursday.
A lot has changed for both the Rams and Seahawks since that time. But Gurley knows he and L.A. are going into what's going to be a particularly hostile environment on Sunday with first place in the NFC West on the line.
"It's hard, man. It's hard," Gurley said of winning at CenturyLink Field. The running back added head coach Sean McVay asked, "'How loud is it going to be?' I'm like, 'Yeah, we're not going to hear nothing.' Not expecting to hear anything, but hopefully we go in there and do what we're supposed to do and shut the crowd up.
"It's a great environment. One of the — probably is the loudest, one of the loudest stadiums in the NFL," Gurley continued. "It reminds you of playing back in college — that type of atmosphere. The 12th man up there is real, so hopefully we can go in there and put up some points and not let Russell Wilson make some crazy plays and get a win."
Gurley has been outstanding for the Rams this season, as evidenced by his gaudy numbers. He currently leads the league with 13 total touchdowns and 10 rushing touchdowns. He's No. 2 with 1,637 yards from scrimmage and No. 3 with 1,035 yards rushing. But one of the talking points following the Eagles' game was his number of touches.
Gurley amassed 135 yards from scrimmage and two touchdowns on 16 touches against the Eagles. And McVay said earlier this week that he'd like to do a better job of getting Gurley in a rhythm and flow during the game.
But what about Gurley himself — does the running back feel like he needs more touches? The Georgia product said he knows McVay does his best to try to keep the offense balanced, especially considering how many weapons the unit has with wideouts like Sammy Watkins, Cooper Kupp, and now Robert Woods returning this week.
"You go through situations and [McVay] sees looks that he likes. He calls the shots. He's the head dog and if he wants to pass the ball, we're going to pass the ball, if he wants to run the ball we're going to run the ball," Gurley said. "There's only one ball and there's 11 people on the field — you can't get it every time and you've got to just look at it like that. If I'm not getting the ball then Kupp had a great, fantastic game last week. And we've got Rob back this week, so it's another person that wants the ball.
"That's what it's all about on this team is being able to spread the ball out and not just going to one guy and everybody can make plays out there."
Still, as offensive coordinator Matt LaFleur said, the Rams want to make sure their best player is involved as much as possible.
"We're always in the mindset of 'How can we best move the ball?' And whether it's in the running game or the passing game we definitely want to get, again, our best guys the ball," LaFleur said. "Todd has proven that throughout the course of the season. He's a dual threat guy. We know that in order for us to move the ball to the best of our ability he's got to get it.
Los Angeles' multiple ways of attacking a defense is a significant reason why the club is 9-4 and in position to take a commanding two-game lead in the NFC West with two games to go. And that's what the Rams are out to prove, with Gurley quoting a second-year Jaguars cornerback to best illustrate his point.
"Jalen Ramsey said it best — 'There's new big dogs in the league,'" Gurley said. "Teams that haven't been doing good in the past, they've been able to step up. So, just to see that, see what teams come through and be able to be where they're at today means a lot for us and just to see other teams having the success that they're having.
"It's one of those games that you usually see other teams play in at the end of the year and we're in a situation this year, so it will be exciting," Gurley added. "Obviously, Seattle has been on top of the division the past couple years, actually won the division the last three out of four, so it will be a big game for us — go in there in a hostile environment and try to get a win."