When the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year Award is announced, it’s likely to go to either wide receiver Keenan Allen of the San Diego Chargers or running back Eddie Lacy of the Green Bay Packers. But the award should be a three-horse race; St. Louis Rams running back Zac Stacy should be a serious candidate and deserves to be on equal footing with Allen and Lacy.
Stacy has been overlooked this season because he wasn’t a high draft pick and he didn’t come from a college football powerhouse like Lacy and Allen. Stacy is also at a disadvantage because he didn’t win the starting running back job in the preseason and didn’t play during the first month of the season.
Despite having just one carry for four yards the entire month of September, Stacy has managed to rack up 958 yards rushing on the season which gives him a legitimate chance to pass the 1,000-yard mark in the season finale. That is an impressive accomplishment for a rookie running back, especially one that has only played three quarters of a season.
Had Stacy been the starter for the entire season he would have as many, if not more, rushing yards than Lacy, and he may have been able to match Lacy’s 10 touchdowns this season. Since Stacy became the primary running back for the Rams, St. Louis is 6-5 despite a limited passing game with backup quarterback Kellen Clemens. Stacy’s productivity is a big reason why the Rams have been a better team the second half of the season by winning four of their last six games, including two wins against playoff teams.
By no means should Stacy run away with the Rookie of the Year Award, as there are strong arguments that can be made for both Lacy and Allen. But Stacy has put together a season that warrants serious consideration to be named the NFL’s top offensive rookie, and the voting should reflect a three-horse race.
Bryan Zarpentine is a New York Mets writer at RantSports.com. He also writes frequently about the NFL, College Football, College Basketball, and International Soccer. Like him on Facebook, follow him on twitter @BZarp and add him on Google.