What was rumored earlier in the week leading up to the Week 5 game became a reality on Sunday afternoon.
Rookie running back Zac Stacy was given the start over Daryl Richardson for the St. Louis Rams as they attempted to bolster what had been an inept rushing attack to the season’s quarter pole. While facing the lowly Jacksonville Jaguars gave that effort a serious kickstart in its own right, the fact that Stacy showed his stuff also helped the cause.
In the Rams’ 34-20 victory over the Jags, Stacy had a solid 14 carries for 78 yards for an impressive 5.5 yards per carry average. It should also be noted that Richardson looked much more comfortable in a complementary role with some explosive runs despite only totaling 48 yards on 13 carries of his own. This duo could have staying power in the St. Louis backfield with Isaiah Pead again on the inactives as he appears to be falling more and more out of favor with the team.
This game was by far the best game for the Rams on ground in the 2013 campaign. The opposing Jaguars certainly had something to do with that, but the offensive line also looked a bit more focused and actually created some push at the point of attack. It’s probably an overreaction to say that this is the Rams team we will see for the remainder of the season, but it’s also a bit dismissive to simply say this showing was all due to facing an inferior opponent.
Steven Jackson isn’t coming back to St. Louis, but the rookie Stacy did his best impression on the day. His stalky 5-foot-8 224-pound frame has the ability to bounce off of tackles or simply bowl over any defenders that dare to get in his way. With just one carry coming into the game for a modest four yards, this showing can’t necessarily be guaranteed to having staying power. What is a certainty, however, is just how much better Sam Bradford and the rest of the offense look when the unit has some semblance of a balanced attack.
Hopefully that is a trend that sticks around for what had been an offensively challenged group up until their get-right game against the Jags. There’s no doubt that keeping the rookie Stacy heavily involved in the attack will have to play a big role in righting the ship.