On a four-drive sequence in the first half, Gurley touched the ball just four times as the Rams fell behind by 10 points entering the third quarter. The lack of work in the middle of the game took place after the running back busted out of the gate with a 30-yard dash on his first carry, and a two-yard plunge to open the scoring.
On Monday, coach Sean McVay admitted he should have been more conscious about getting Gurley the ball.
"Any time we're running the football like that, I've got to do a better job of making sure that he gets enough touches to get into the flow, especially when we're getting some good movement," McVay said, via the L.A. Daily News.
"It is a delicate balance. At the end of the day, however you want to cut it, I've got to get him going and give him more opportunities, with the way he was running, and have a better feel for the flow of the game. That was something I didn't think I did very well."
Gurley touched the ball just 16 times in Sunday's loss, taking 13 carries for 96 yards and two scores, a 7.4 yard-per-tote average. His three catches went for an average of 13 yards. While Sunday's low snap count (45) played a role in limiting Gurley, it continues a trend of the Rams underutilizing their most talented offensive player. Since the Week 8 bye Gurley has earned fewer than 20 touches in four of six games.
"Going back to the New Orleans game and the last couple weeks, you can definitely look at that," McVay said. "I look at myself and say, you've got to make sure you're cognizant of giving the runs a chance and trying to stay balanced. That's something I haven't done. You can't keep standing up here and saying the same things. You've just got to get it fixed.
"That's something I've got to be mindful of, especially when you look at it and, they were the top rushing defense in the league, but our guys were doing a good job of getting some movement and Todd was running really well."
Credit McVay for openly admitting he's been getting away from Gurley too often, even if the game script and opposing defenses offer viable excuses. Self-scouting is among the most difficult and yet vital parts of NFL coaching. The best teams work on understanding their own tendencies as much as an opponent's trends.
While the Rams might have gotten away from Gurley for stretches, the playmaking running back has gotten plenty of chances on balance. The third-year pro ranks tied for second in the NFL in touches with 287, behind only Le'Veon Bell (358), and third in carries with 236. Gurley earned his 10th game with 100-plus scrimmage yards this season, most in the NFL.
The Rams head to Seattle for an NFC West tilt versus the Seahawks on Sunday that could help L.A. lock up the division. In their first meeting this season, Gurley garnered just 14 carries for 43 yards and two receptions for seven yards. Against an injury-ravaged Seattle defense, the Pro Bowl running back must see the ball more Sunday. McVay's self-scouting suggests he should.