Todd Gurley, Ezekiel Elliott headline Rams-Cowboys playoff matchup

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Of three possible opponents, it’s the Dallas Cowboys whom the Los Angeles Rams will face in a divisional-round playoff game on Saturday at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.

The Cowboys (10-6) are the only team in the NFC playoff field that the Rams (13-3) have not played this season. They last met in 2017, when the Rams pulled off a come-from-behind victory at AT&T Stadium.

“These guys have been playing really good football throughout the year,” Rams coach Sean McVay said Sunday of the Cowboys. “They're battle-tested and it's going to be a really tough challenge for us.”nike nfl jerseys cheap paypal

Saturday’s game will feature two of the NFL’s top running backs in Ezekiel Elliott and Todd Gurley, two young quarterbacks in Jared Goff and Dak Prescott, and two defenses that have played pivotal roles in their teams’ success.

Leading the way: Gurley led the league in rushing yards for most of the season, but Elliott outpaced the defending NFL Offensive Player of the Year down the stretch to win the regular-season rushing title with 1,434 rushing yards. Gurley finished with 1,251 rushing yards despite sitting out the final two games because of knee inflammation and soreness.3

Gurley, who the led NFL with a league-best 21 touchdowns and is the centerpiece of a team that produces an average of 32.9 points per game, is expected to play Saturday. Veteran backup C.J. Anderson, whom the team signed in Week 16, has proved dependable in two games, rushing for 299 yards in Gurley's nfl nike jerseys china

Like Gurley, Elliott is a multi-dimensional back. Along with averaging 95.6 rushing yards per game, he’s also caught 77 passes for 567 yards and three touchdowns. Controlling Elliott will be a challenge for a defense that’s struggled to slow the run.

“He's got the ability to go through you or go around you with speed,” McVay said. “He's truly a complete back and you could see that a lot of what they do is predicated on just him getting a bunch of touches.”

Young talent: Goff was among the MVP candidates through Week 11, before the third-year pro fell into a three-week slump. He rebounded in the final two games -- but did so against the Arizona Cardinals and San Francisco 49ers, who won a combined seven games.

Goff finished the regular season as the NFL’s fourth-ranked passer with 4,688 yards. He threw 32 touchdowns and 12 interceptions.

The question is whether the 24-year-old can recapture the form he displayed through the first 11 weeks of the season, which included a thrilling victory over the Kansas City Chiefs.

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