Gurley struggling with ball security issues, a lack of big gains prior to matchup against Jaguars

Los Angeles Rams running back Todd Gurley ranks third in the league in rushing yards and first in total touchdowns heading into the Week 6 matchup against the Jaguars at EverBank Field.

The former Georgia Bulldog presents a tough challenge for the Jaguars. However, he also has had his lumps this season.

The Jaguars need to exploit those weaknesses in order to get past their running game woes on defense.

Despite receiving 100 carries in five games, Gurley has only two runs of 20 or more yards. He has yet to streak for more than 40 yards in a game this season.

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The Jaguars can afford to give up chunks at times, but they need to make sure Gurley's big play ability isn't jump-started in Jacksonville. The Jaguars were badly burned by the New York Jets for three runs of 33 yards or more and those big plays ultimately led to a loss.

The Jaguars have done a good job of handling bruising backs similar to in-house rookie Leonard Fournette. The defense has struggled against the scat back variety.

The issue with Gurley is that he transcends those labels. He has the ability to run north-to-south and bounce outside for a big gain with his 6-foot-1, 227-pound frame.

The Jaguars will need to stack the box against Gurley. Jacksonville will also need to rely on their defensive backfield to clean up any potential messes that are sent their way.

Along with limiting the big plays of Gurley, the Jaguars' defense needs to focus on his ball security issues. 

The former first-round running back has fumbled at least once in all but one game this season. Gurley leads the league with five fumbles through five games. He has lost two of those fumbles.

The Jaguars' defense is predicated on making big plays in the passing game, but Gurley's issues with holding onto the ball may create even more opportunities.

Every team focuses on stripping the ball out of the hands of running backs and wide receivers. Perhaps the Jaguars could focus a bit more on forcing fumbles this week.

The objectives of limiting the big play and stripping the ball against Gurley won't be as easy as typing the words, but if the Jaguars can accomplish one or both of those tasks, they'll be put in a better position to beat the visiting Rams.

Follow Mike Kaye on Twitter at @Mike_E_Kaye.

Listen to "Teal & Black Blitz with Mike Kaye and Mike DiRocco (Podcast) 10-9" on Spreaker.

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