The St. Louis Rams‘ 2013 season opened with a broken running game. Through the first 3 games of the season the running backs were averaging 2.6 yards per carry and now injured Sam Bradford was forced to carry the load. Daryl Richardson opened as the starter and failed to gain any traction on the ground. The doubters of Richardson’s ability to start were quickly proven to be correct in their second guessing of the Rams decision to start him.
Zac Stacy was given a start in the 3rd week of the season and hasn’t looked back while pin balling his way through defenses. He has entrenched himself as the workhorse of the offense with back to back games where he had 20+ carries and 100 yards. Last week’s 134 yard performance against the Seattle Seahawks was the first 100 yard game for a Rams running back since Stephen Jackson. St. Louis has averaged 133 yards rushing per game during the last 5 weeks.
Stacy’s average of 4.6 yards per carry is largely due to his hard nosed running. He simply refuses to go down when it’s a one on one tackle. If Marshawn Lynch can still be called Beast Mode, then Zac Stacy must be Beast Mode Junior. Stacy has turned in at least one run of 18 yards or more for the last 4 weeks while gaining more carries each game.
His most recent exploit was against the Tennessee Titans when he carried the ball a career high 27 times, gained 127 yards, and scored the first 2 rushing touchdowns of his career. Not only were they the first rushing touchdowns of his career they were the first rushing touchdowns for the Rams this season. He also set a career high in receptions (6) and receiving yards (51). He is the motor behind the St. Louis Rams offense and he deserves to get the ball every chance he can get as he is the safest option for this offense.
Back up running back Benny Cunningham lost a fumble before he was hit on what could have been a touchdown run had he held onto the ball. Maybe he got a little excited at his chance to score and forgot he needed the ball? Kellen Clemens has turned the ball over 4 times in the last two games so Stacy is the only viable option that hasn’t turned the ball over for St. Louis this season.
St. Louis might have found a gem in their 5th round pick by accident. Teams are going to start paying more attention to Stacy, but he’ll have to keep proving himself before he can earn any cool nicknames. For now, St. Louis fans should just enjoy what they have seen in their rookie running back.