traffic jam to force the running back somewhere else.

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DETROIT (AP) — The Los Angeles Rams returned to their lockers in the Motor
City ,
where NFC West championship shirts and hats were waiting to be worn.The victors,
though, refuse to be spoiled by this accomplishment.Todd Gurley ran for 132
yards and two touchdowns to help the Rams overcome a sputtering start to beat
the Detroit Lions 30-16 Sunday and clinch the division title for a second
straight season.“We’re not satisfied yet,” said defensive tackle Aaron Donald,
who had two sacks and forced a fumble. “But we’re headed in the right
direction.”The Rams (11-1) moved a step closer to earning home-field advantage
in the NFC playoffs, taking a one-game lead over New Orleans after it lost to
Dallas on Thursday night. It is a cushion Los Angeles needs because its only
loss was against the Saints last month.“We’re in a position right now that we
feel good about,” coach Sean McVay said. “If we take care of our business, all
the rest of that stuff takes care of itself.”The Lions (4-8) have lost five of
six since a surge of success gave them a winning record in late October.“I’m
extremely tired of losing,” center Graham Glasgow said.Detroit’s defense held
Los Angeles’ high-powered offense in check for three quarters, giving the
slumping team a shot to potentially pull off a stunning upset. The Lions,
though, failed to make the most of the opportunity because their offense
struggled to move the ball and score.Donald helped seal the win by forcing
Matthew Stafford to fumble midway through the fourth quarter. The star defensive
tackle had two strip-sacks in his last game on Nov. 19, a 54-51 win over Kansas
City.“He held the ball and was loose with it,” Donald said. “I just took
advantage.”Donald has an NFL-high 16½ sacks this
season Will Harris
Detroit Lions Jersey
, and the Rams say he should be an MVP
candidate.“He’s unlike anything I’ve ever seen,” quarterback Jared Goff said of
the 2017 Defensive Player of the Year.Linebacker Samson Ebukam recovered
Stafford’s fumble at the Detroit 24 and Gurley scored on a 13-yard run three
snaps later, giving the Rams a 23-13 lead.Goff, perhaps rusty coming off a bye
week, was off the mark on many passes and lost a fumble to help keep the game
close. His lackluster performance led to Los Angeles settling for Greg Zuerlein
kicking three field goals. Goff was 17 of 33 for 207 yards with a tiebreaking,
8-yard touchdown pass to Robert Woods late in the second quarter. Goff also
threw an interception on an overthrown pass in the second quarter and lost a
fumble in the third quarter.The Rams were able to lean on Gurley, who has a
single-season franchise record with 15 rushing touchdowns. The star running back
also caught three passes for 33 yards.Stafford was 20 of 33 yards for 245 yards
with an 11-yard touchdown pass to tackle Taylor Decker, who faked the Rams out
by blocking for a moment before releasing into the flat where he was left wide
open. Decker’s touchdown pulled Detroit within three points late in the third
quarter.The Lions had a chance to cut its deficit to three again late in the
game, but Kenny Golladay couldn’t get both feet in the end zone on a pass from
Stafford and they had settle for Matt Prater’s third field goal.SAVVY MOVEGurley
converted a third down late in the game, and after breaking free, he chose not
to score to run more time off the clock and force Detroit to take timeouts. It
proved a good move because Gurley ran for a 2-yard score with 1:54 left and the
Lions were left with no timeouts on their final drive. That ended with Troy Hill
intercepting a pass in the end zone with 12 seconds left.“I wanted to waste some
time,” Gurley said.SUH OR BOO?Rams defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh played against
Detroit for the first time and made six tackles.“I got a warm welcome back,” he
said.Detroit drafted Suh No. 2 overall eight years ago and he left for Miami as
a free agent in 2015. After the Dolphins cut him earlier this year, he signed a
one-year deal with the Rams.When he played for the
Lions Will Harris
Jersey 2019
, the fans would say his last name after he made a play. When
his name was announced after his first tackle Sunday, the crowd seemed to jeer
him.“I don’t believe it was a boo,” Suh said.STILL COOKINGLos Angeles receiver
Brandin Cooks, who had four receptions for 62 yards, became the first player in
NFL history with 1,000 yards receiving in three straight years with three
different franchises. He helped set up a field goal that gave the Rams a 13-3
halftime lead.Cooks surpassed 1,000 last year with New England and in 2016 with
New Orleans. Cooks also had a 1,000-yard season with the Saints in 2015.INJURY
REPORTRams: RB Malcom Brown left the game with a shoulder injury. CB Aqib Talib
played for the first time since going down with an ankle injury in Week 3.Lions:
LB Devon Kennard went out with a hip injury.UP NEXTRams: Play at Chicago on
Sunday night.Lions: Play at Arizona on Sunday.Film Room: Eli Harold brings
much-needed help to Detroit but has flaws of his own The Detroit Lions added
some much needed depth to their linebacking corps on Thursday morning when they
finalized a trade that brought in the San Francisco 49ers’ Eli Harold for a
conditional seventh-round pick. Harold is entering his fourth year in the NFL
after spending the first three with the 49ers who drafted him in the third round
of the 2015 draft. The former Virginia Cavalier played in all 16 games last
season and started in 11 of them. He recorded 34 total tackles in 2017 along
with two sacks.Harold lined up primarily as a strong side linebacker in San
Francisco and filled a hybrid role between outside linebacker and defensive end.
When watching him on film it becomes immediately apparent why the Lions traded
for him. Detroit had a terrible run defense in 2017 and much of it was due to
the inability of the team’s edge defenders to contain runs on the inside. These
issues have haunted Detroit so far in preseason, as they’ve been continuously
gashed by the likes of UDFA running back Chris Warren and even New York Giants
third string quarterback Kyle Lauletta. Harold’s most valuable skill is his
ability to set the edge and force runs back inside, which he showed on this play
against the Philadelphia Eagles last season. Eagles, and now Detroit Lions,
running back LeGarrette Blount takes the hand off out of the backfield and tries
to take the run to the left edge. Harold strongly forces his way into his
opponent’s backfield and blocks off the running back’s lane. Blount is forced to
cut back as his primary read is snuffed out, and the 49ers defense rushes him
down for a 4-yard loss on the play.Harold was great at getting outside
positioning on the opposing team’s tackle and causing a traffic jam to force the
running back somewhere else. He was very disciplined against play action as well
and rarely was caught chasing ghosts in the backfield. The Lions run defense has
been devastatingly bad so far this season and this infusion of talent should
help the front seven greatly. While Harold is a great run defender, he does not
bring much else to the table. In a league as pass heavy as the
NFL Color Rush Will
Harris Jersey
, being able to rush and put pressure on the passer is more
valuable than anything. The linebacker has the speed and burst necessary to be a
good pass rusher, and he shows it on
occasion. Harold is
given any sort of free run at the opposing quarterback, then he can storm into
the backfield for a sack. The issue is that it’s rare that opposing teams make
it that easy for him. The linebacker does not really have any pass rushing moves
in his arsenal and relies entirely on pinning his ears back and speed rushing
the quarterback. If he runs into a blocker and he can’t just brute force his way
through the man in front of him, then he generally just gives up on the play.He
is a very raw pass rusher and the fact that he still has not developed much at
all after three years in the NFL is a worrying sign for his long-term future. If
he cannot fill the most important role of his position, then there is no way
that he can be a regular contributor in this league long term. One of the
biggest flaws the Lions linebacking corps has had the past few years is their
failures in pass coverage. While a strong side linebacker generally does not
take as much responsibility for pass coverage as the middle or weakside
linebackers, he still needs to do better their as well. The 49ers rarely used
Harold in man coverage (and when they did he wasn’t very good) and primarily
sent him to cover the flats and shallower routes in zone coverage when he was in
the game on pass plays. He struggles getting out there at times, though, and
would often get caught ball watching and let the man he was assigned to cover
slip right by him.His failures as both a pass rusher and in coverage caused the
49ers to take him off the field on passing downs. He was specifically in the
game to defend the run, and if he ever happened to be in the game on a pass
play, he was assigned to cover a zone where his mistakes would have the least
impact. Despite his listed role as a starter he only played over 50 percent of
the team’s weekly defensive snaps four times in 2017.While Harold provides
Detroit with much needed utility against the run, there is a reason they were
able to snag him for only a conditional seventh-round pick. He will most likely
back up Devon Kennard this season and only take the field to relieve Kennard
when he needs rest. It is hard to see him as a part of the long-term plans in
the Motor City, but with such a low price tag it is hard to expect much more
Posted 16 May 2019

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