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2 former Rams have strongest games in Week 5

Brandin Cooks, Todd Gurley resembled their old selves for a day

NFL: Jacksonville Jaguars at Houston Texans Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Former Rams running back Todd Gurley had his best game with the Falcons and his most productive rushing performance since 2018 in Atlanta’s 23-16 loss to the Panthers in Week 5. Gurley had 14 carries for 121 yards and one touchdown, also catching four passes for 29 yards.

Gurley had a 35-yard touchdown run on the Falcons first drive, his longest run since December 12. 2018 against the Lions when he gained 36 on a play late in the fourth quarter.

it is also the most rushing yards that Gurley has had in a game since that win against Detroit. Between that win over the Lions and Sunday’s loss to Carolina, Gurley had averaged 3.8 yards per carry and 56.5 rushing yards per game over 21 regular season contests.

In 2017, Gurley had five carries of 30+ yards. Sunday’s was his second in the last two and a quarter seasons.

One thing has not changed for Gurley the entire time is his propensity for touchdowns. Gurley has five touchdowns for the Falcons this season. He had been struggling otherwise and it will be interesting to monitor how Gurley is utilized if 0-5 Atlanta continue to lose.

Another former Rams skill player to have a game on Sunday that is making fans wonder if they could return to their former selves is receiver Brandin Cooks. Traded to the Texans for a second round pick, Cooks had only caught 10 of 21 targets for 138 yards prior to Week 5’s game against the Jaguars. Cooks was targeted 12 times, catching eight passes for 161 yards and his first touchdown of the season.

It is the most yards Cooks has had in a game since December 18, 2016 as a member of the Saints. He did have seven catches for 159 yards in his second game with Los Angeles in 2018.

But after posting 19 catches for 296 yards and one touchdown through four games, Cooks saw his targets decrease and he caught 23 passes for 287 yards and one touchdown over the final 10 games he played in with the Rams. He now has 299 yards in five games with Houston.

Additionally, I don’t know if Cory Littleton had an individual breakout performance this week, but the Raiders did beat the Chiefs 40-32 and establish themselves as legitimate contenders to win the AFC West. Littleton has 27 tackles, no sacks, no interceptions through five games.

Dante Fowler’s presence was not missed in Week 5 against Washington Football Team, but we’ll see if Troy Reeder or somebody else can become a consistent presence as a pass rusher. However, Fowler is off to a slow start with the Falcons. He has one sack in five games, four QB hits one forced fumble.