The sporting world has fallen in love with Rams rookie running back Todd Gurley, and his violent style of running will be on display at TCF Bank Stadium Sunday when the Vikings host St. Louis. The love-fest for Gurley isn't unprecedented, but praise like this hasn't been seen for a rookie running back since Adrian Peterson broke into the league in 2007.
Don Banks of Sports Illustrated called Gurley "The biggest home run threat" in the NFL.
Ex-Viking Herschel Walker, a former Georgia Bulldog like Gurley, compared the rookie Ram to Gale Sayers, according to ESPN.
Vikings cornerback Captain Munnerlyn, per the Pioneer Press, said Gurley is "Adrian Peterson all over again."
The scary part about Gurley is that he's the first rookie running back in the modern era to post consecutive 100-yard games in his first four career starts, and his 566 yards are the most in league history through four starts. He's done that after rushing for 9 yards on 6 carries in his NFL debut.
And he's not even 100 percent healthy following an ACL tear last college football season, Pro Football Talk notes.
ESPN compared Gurley's first five games to Peterson's in 2007, and the similarities are striking.
- Yards per attempt: Peterson 6.3, Gurley 6.1
- 20-plus-yard runs: Gurley 7, Peterson 5
- Touchdowns: Peterson 5, Gurley 3
The separator, at this point, might be that Peterson broke the NFL's single game rushing record in his eighth career contest, when he torched the Chargers for 296 yards.
Gurley: Peterson is the gold standard
For Gurley, playing on the same field as Peterson will be a bit of a dream come true. Via the Rams' official website, Gurley referred to Peterson as "the gold standard" at running back – and "the best" the NFL has to offer.
“He is the Godfather,” Gurley said. “I guess I’m the Godson.”
“We kind of have the same physique,” Gurley said. “He’s probably a lot more muscular. We both kind of run hard and don’t like to go down.”