Things are always elevated in the playoffs, and veteran coaches frequently reach deep into their bag of tricks to pull out a win. Dan Quinn’s hefty experience in the playoffs is helping him out today with these shocking inactives, headlined by Los Angeles Rams star running back Todd Gurley, III. Here’s Quinn on the inactives.
A lot of this is matchups, and we think some guys gave us a better chance to win than others. We love Nick [Williams], but want more speed against the Rams. And we really just didn’t like what we saw from Todd [Gurley] in practice this week, so we decided to declare him inactive. It’s just how things shakeout some games, but maybe Gurley can contribute in other weeks.
Woah, this is huge news ahead of tonight’s playoff game in Los Angeles. It’s going to be really tough for the Rams to adjust their game plan with their best player missing. Even tonight’s announcers, Chris Collinsworth and Al Michaels, weren’t sure what the Rams could do.
Chris: Woah, this is a real Pete Carroll move right here. You think you know what’s happening, then BOOM, the Falcons take out the other team’s best player before the game starts.
Al: What a crafty, veteran move from a team with playoff experience. This is the first time most of the Los Angeles coaches and players have been in the playoffs, and they must be absolutely blindsided.
Chris: You better believe Bill Belichick wouldn’t get caught flat-footed like this.
Gurley had an impressive 1,305 yards on 279 rushing attempts, and an absolutely insane 788 receiving yards on 64 receptions. It’s not clear how the Rams will manage without Gurley. They have three more backs on the roster, but no one nearing his level of talent. Sean McVey was stuck struggling from this blow only hours before kickoff, per his interview with Michelle Tafoya.
The Falcons did WHAT? That doesn’t even make any sense, right?
The Falcons definitely have the early edge after this aggressive move.