Todd Gurley believes 2016 season was a 'nightmare' for Rams

The Rams second-year running back doesn't have any fond memories for the 2016 season.

Heading into his second season, Los Angeles Rams running back Todd Gurley had high hopes of helping lead the franchise back to relevancy in the NFL.  

However, it turned out to be quite the opposite with the Rams finishing with a 4-12 record, which marked their 13th straight season without a winning record and 12th consecutive without making the playoffs. It was something that Gurley characterized as being a "nightmare" during an interview on Tuesday with the Rich Eisen Show.

"Like a nightmare. I still can't believe the season," Gurley said. "It was definitely a tough year, a learning experience for me. To be 4-12 this year? I don't want to feel that feeling again."

It was a season that had began with such a promising start winning three out of their first four games that put them atop of the NFC West division standings. From that point on, things headed south with the Rams losing 11 out of their last 12 contest to drop to the fourth-worst record in the league. 

During this stretch, Los Angeles also made a major decision to part ways with longtime head coach Jeff Fisher a day after the team suffered an embarrassing 42-14 home loss to the Atlanta Falcons, which marked the second straight defeat in as many games in blowout fashion. It also came less than 24 hours after Gurley had stated that the Rams' possessed a "middle-school offense." 

The 22-year-old provided more clarity to his comments on Tuesday regarding his criticism of his team's performance on that side of the ball.

"It was definitely frustrating. The week before, we played New England. I think we probably scored one touchdown and that was the last two minutes of the game," Gurley said. "Then we go play Atlanta, and they probably put more points up on us on defense than we actually put up on offense. I kind of told it like it was, kind of how we looked. It was too many mental errors from everybody, including myself, just turning the ball over. You just can't have that. Atlanta practiced and looked at film just as much as we did."

The level of frustration stemming from Gurley had much credence as the team's utter lack of offensive production led to them finishing the 2016 season ranked last in the league in points per game (14.0), total offensive yards (262.7), and were 31st in passing yards per game (184.4).

Gurley experienced much of these struggles recording just 885 rushing yards with six touchdowns while averaging a meager 3.2 yards per carry. This included falling short of cracking the century mark in any game while tallying fewer than 50 rushing yards seven times and failing to reach the end zone in all but five contests.

This was a huge drop off for Gurley after coming off a historic rookie campaign that saw him become the first rookie running back to record 125 or more rushing yards in his first four starts while being just the third Rams' rookie running back to gain more than 1,000 yards in their first campaign in just 12 games played. He had accomplished all of this less than a year after tearing his ACL in his final year at Georgia and didn't receive clearance to play until the third game of the year. 

With all that in mind, Los Angeles is hoping the addition of new head coach Sean McVay could help drastically fix the team's offensive problems next season. As the Washington Redskins' offensive coordinator last season, McVay orchestrated one of the league's most productive offenses that finished the 2016 regular season third in yards per game (403.4), and second in yards per play (6.40). 

LA Rams Report Top Stories