This season has proven to be a test of will for the NFL’s youngest roster. The St. Louis Rams haven’t exactly been dealt the best hand this season with their starting quarterback Sam Bradford on the shelf for the year with a torn ACL suffered in Week 7, but the youthful squad has shown its exuberance despite that obstacle.
Perhaps the brightest spot of all has emerged in the past few weeks with running back Zac Stacy taking the league by storm. A fifth round rookie out of Vanderbilt, not much was expected of the 5-foot-8 224-pound bowling ball with legs coming into the season. The Rams were thought to be set on using Daryl Richardson and Isaiah Pead in a rotation with Stacy providing at most a change of pace in short yardage for the team. But since his insertion into the starting lineup, Stacy has provided the offense with a serious boost.
Week 9 was a disappointing effort from majority of the team, but Stacy proved to be the lone exception as the he led the team rushing yards and receptions on the day. His 27 carries for 127 yards were awfully impressive, but his ability to provide Kellen Clemens with a reliable check-down target was just as useful with six catches for 51 yards on the day. In addition to these yardage totals, Stacy cracked the goal line twice for the Rams on the ground to record the team’s first two rushing scores on the year. Although it’s sad the St. Louis had yet to score via the running game this season, Stacy’s value is proving huge for a team that turned the page from the great career of Steven Jackson this past offseason.
It’s still early in this young man’s career being that Week 9 was just his fifth career start, but 103 carries for 475 yards at a 4.6 yards per carry clip is certainly foreshadowing of a positive future for the Rams’ running game. There’s no doubt he will continue to be a focus for the team moving forward this season as the evaluation for next year begins at 3-6. What remains a mystery for the Rams is just who will be handing the ball off to Stacy whenever the 2014 season begins.