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Sports >  NFL

Todd Gurley carries Rams to victory over Titans and NFC West title

UPDATED: Sun., Dec. 24, 2017

Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Cooper Kupp, third from left, celebrates with tight end Gerald Everett (81) and quarterback Jared Goff, right, after Kupp scored a touchdown against the Tennessee Titans in the second half of an NFL football game Sunday, Dec. 24, 2017, in Nashville, Tenn. (Mark Zaleski / Associated Press)
Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Cooper Kupp, third from left, celebrates with tight end Gerald Everett (81) and quarterback Jared Goff, right, after Kupp scored a touchdown against the Tennessee Titans in the second half of an NFL football game Sunday, Dec. 24, 2017, in Nashville, Tenn. (Mark Zaleski / Associated Press)
By Gary Klein Los Angeles Times

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – With the chance to win the NFC West, the Los Angeles Rams put the ball in the hands of Todd Gurley.

The star running back came through Sunday, amassing 276 yards from scrimmage and two touchdowns in a 27-23 victory over the Tennessee Titans that improved the Rams record to 11-4 and clinched their first division title since 2003.

Gurley rushed for 118 yards in 22 carries and caught 10 passes for 158 yards and two touchdowns before an estimated crowd of 50,000 at Nissan Stadium as the Rams stayed on track for a No. 3 seed in the playoffs.

Quarterback Jared Goff passed for 301 yards and four touchdowns, including the game-winner to receiver Cooper Kupp early in the fourth quarter.

The Rams conclude the regular season next week at home against the San Francisco 49ers.

With former Rams coach Jeff Fisher looking on, the Rams escaped on a day that new kicker Sam Ficken struggled to replace league scoring leader Greg Zuerlein, who was placed on injured reserve with a herniated disk. Ficken missed his only field-goal attempt and one PAT attempt.

The score was tied 13-13 at halftime, then the Rams got a break midway through the third quarter when Titans kicker Ryan Succop missed a 45-yard field-goal attempt.

Gurley took advantage on the ensuing possession, catching a screen pass for a 10-yard gain, and then following up with a 34-yard run.

Goff appeared to keep alive the drive with a third-down scramble, but the Titans won a challenge on the spot.

The Rams went for it on fourth down and Gurley ran for 10 yards.

Goff’s short touchdown pass to receiver Sammy Watkins put the Rams ahead, 20-13.

But Adoree’ Jackson’s 57-yard kickoff return gave Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota a short field.

Mariota completed passes for 34 and 9 yards before DeMarco Murray rushed for a 6-yard touchdown to tie the score.

The Titans went ahead on a field goal early in the fourth quarter.

That set the stage for Goff.

The Rams got a break when the Titans were called for pass interference, moving the ball to the Titans 28.

Five plays later, Goff lofted the ball to the diving Kupp in the back of the end zone for a 27-23 lead.

The Rams defense made it stand up, ending a final threat when linebacker Connor Barwin chased down Mariota and forced him to throw an incomplete pass.

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