The Rams took the ball and ran with it…literally.
Todd Gurley and C.J. Anderson rushed for over 200 yards and the Los Angeles Rams advanced to the NFC Championship game by defeating the Dallas Cowboys, 30-22, on Saturday night at the L.A. Memorial Coliseum.
Los Angeles rushed for 273 yards and three touchdowns and their much-maligned rush defense held Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliot to just 47 yards on the ground.
Todd Gurley returned from a knee injury and bolstered the Rams rushing attack with 115 yards and a touchdown, but it was his backup, C.J. Anderson, that stole the show in the NFC Divisional match with 123 yards and two touchdowns.
The Rams opened the scoring with a 23-yard field goal, but the Cowboys answered right back with a 29-yard touchdown pass from Prescott to Cooper.
— Dallas Cowboys (@dallascowboys) January 13, 2019
The Cowboys converted a fourth and one on the drive, and the Rams shot themselves in the foot with a 15-yard personal foul penalty on cornerback Marcus Peters.
The Rams thought they responded with a touchdown of their own when Goff found Brandin Cooks at the right pylon, but the call was overturned after a review showed the ball hit the ground before Cooks knee. Los Angeles would once again settle for a field goal.
On December 2, in a 30-16 victory over the Detroit Lions, Los Angeles Rams backup running back Malcolm Brown left the game with a broken collarbone and underwent season-ending surgery. Two weeks later Todd Gurley left a home loss against the Philadelphia Eagles with a knee injury and did not play again during the regular season.
That left the door open for free agent running back C.J. Anderson who the Rams were forced to sign in order to have enough ball carriers. The move turned out to be a blessing in disguise as Anderson rushed for nearly 300 yards in the final two games of the regular season.
With Gurley healthy for the postseason, the Rams now have a two-headed monster in the backfield that was unleashed upon the Dallas defense on Saturday night.
After the Rams defense got Prescott and the Dallas offense off the field on the following drive, running back C.J. Anderson capped off a nine-play, 76-yard drive with a one-yard touchdown run up the gut to give Los Angeles a 13-7 lead.
One drive later, it was Todd Gurley’s turn, as the reigning NFL Offensive Player of the Year, gashed the Cowboys defense and ran untouched for a 35-yard score to give Los Angeles a 20-7 lead entering halftime.
— Los Angeles Rams (@RamsNFL) January 13, 2019
The Cowboys kicked off their comeback with a 44-yard pass from Prescott to Michael Gallup that placed the ball on the Rams two-yard line. Two plays later, Elliot rushed up the middle for the touchdown and after a two-point conversion, Dallas trailed by just eight points.
The Rams were forced to punt on their next possession, but the defense stopped Elliot on fourth and one inside Los Angeles territory and the Rams took over on downs.
The Cowboys loss became the Rams gain as C.J. Anderson finished off a 12-play, 65-yard touchdown drive with a one-yard run up the middle on fourth and goal.
Dallas went down the field and scored on a quarterback keeper from Dak Prescott, but the Cowboys rally fell short in the house of the Rams.
Prescott finished with 266 yards with a touchdown and one rushing touchdown.
Jared Goff had 186 yards and no touchdowns, but his seven-yard scamper with two minutes remaining on third down, helped seal the victory for the Rams.
Rams dominated the time of possession, holding on to the football for more than 36 minutes, compared to just 23 minutes for the Cowboys.
The Cowboys season comes to an end as the Los Angeles Rams will await the winner of the Philadelphia Eagles and New Orleans Saints game on Sunday.
If the Eagles win, the Rams will host Philadelphia next Sunday in Los Angeles.
If the Saints win, the Rams will travel to New Orleans in a rematch from Week 9.
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