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NFL.com's Daniel Jeremiah, Bucky Brooks Debate Better Young RB: Rams' Todd Gurley Or Falcons' Devonta Freeman?

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On the Move the Sticks podcast, NFL Media's Daniel Jeremiah and Bucky Brooks debated who they'd rather have on their team.

While St. Louis Rams fans, and the national media, are basking in the warming glow that is budding rookie superstar RB Just Todd Gurley, I found the question debated by NFL.com/Media/Network/the conglomerate of all NFL properties who cares what the name is' Daniel Jeremiah and Bucky Brooks pretty interesting:

Who would you rather have: St. Louis Rams RB JTG or Atlanta Falcons RB Devonta Freeman?

So there are a couple of things in play here.

First, the statistical comparisons are a bit off between the rookie and the sophomore. Gurley's played in a little more than three games, depending on what fraction you apply to his 6-rush, 9-yard performance in the Rams-Steelers game in Week 3. Freeman, now in his second season out of Florida St., has played in all of Atlanta's seven games with at least 10 carries in each.

Here's how they break down statistic-wise:

Name Att Yds Yds/Carry TDs Att Per/Gm Yds Per/Gm TD Per/Gm
Todd Gurley 74 442 5.97 2 18.50 110.50 0.50
Devonta Freeman 131 621 4.74 9 18.71 88.71 1.29

Obviously, the stats are in JTG's favor, ESPECIALLY if you obscure his Steelers performance which would give you:

Name Att Yds Yds/Carry TDs Att Per/Gm Yds Per/Gm TD Per/Gm
Todd Gurley 68 433 6.37 2 22.67 144.33 0.66
Devonta Freeman 131 621 4.74 9 18.71 88.71 1.29

And yes, you can point to the length of the runs JTG is posting. Time and time again, he's not just plowing into the linebackers. As Jeremiah breaks down in the video, he's clawing out space at the second level and turning it upfield. On his own. It's impressive.

But Bucky Brooks' argument has some merit. And it gets back to my criticism of the selection of Gurley in the draft. It's about results.

The Rams are 3-3, 2-2 with JTG and 2-1 if you take out the Steelers game.

The Falcons are 6-1.

JTG hadn't seen the end zone until this weekend.

Freeman's been there nine times.

You can't criticize Gurley as a player. His last three weeks are proving just how good of a prospect he was and promises some lofty aspirations for how good of an NFL competitor he can be.

But you can criticize how much that is contributing to the Rams' bottom line.

The Rams are 31st in the NFL in yards per game. Atlanta's fifth.

The Rams are 31st in the NFL in points per game, with three games in which they've scored 10 points or less. Atlanta's fourth having scored 10 or less just once...this weekend in a 10-7 win over the Titans.

The Rams have scored more than 24 points just once, in the 34-31 season-opening win over the Seattle Seahawks. The Falcons have scored more than 24 points four times.

In their three losses, the Rams cumulatively scored 26 points. In their one loss, the Falcons scored 21.

The question surrounding the Rams and Todd Gurley, and evidenced by a nice foil in the Atlanta Falcons and Devonta Freeman, is less about the individual and more about the collective result.

What does it say that Gurley can shoulder the load in Green Bay for 30 carries and deliver 159 yards in a 10-24 handling at Green Bay's mercy?

What does it say that Sunday's win over the Browns required just as much from Todd Gurley as it did from the Browns' four fumbles and 11 penalties?

The Rams are 2-1 with Todd Gurley Atlas-ing the team with some incredible performances.

What's worrisome is what happens if he returns to human-like levels.