One of the best late-season stories in the NFL is the career renaissance of running back C.J. Anderson and he actually credits his spurts of unemployment in 2018 for part of his success according to Nick Shook of NFL.com.
“I’m the freshest running back in the league,” Anderson said. “I’m not gonna say they’re still fresh, but I’m fresher than Mark (Ingram), Alvin (Kamara), and Todd (Gurley), for sure.”
Anderson, who was released by the Denver Broncos in the offseason, signed by Carolina (where he played 73 snaps and received 24 carries in nine games), cut again, signed by Oakland (where he played 0 snaps), cut again, and then signed by the Rams, has carried the ball just 90 times (130 snaps played) in the 2018 season. Comparatively, Todd Gurley has carried the ball 272 times on 835 total snaps (in 15 games). Alvin Kamara has run the ball 210 times on 726 total snaps. Ingram has 147 totes on 369 snaps. So you can see why Anderson believes he has an advantage in the playoffs.
“I think it helps a lot,” Anderson said. “I’ve played over 1,000 snaps, 600-700 snaps in this league and when you get to this point of the season, you start to wave back and I’m out there flying around on practice, just being a kid, having fun. I look faster than everyone else, part of it because I’m fresh.” Those fresh legs have lead to three consecutive 100-yard plus games, with the 27-year-old back bursting through holes and running with impressive power. In last weekend’s win over the Dallas Cowboys, Anderson actually outperformed Gurley with 23 carries for 132 yards and two touchdowns.
When combined with the home run-hitting Gurley, the Rams have a rushing attack that seems to have more life than any other in the NFL at this point — including the Saints. How that plays out Sunday is a key reason to tune into the NFC Championship Game.