Jeff Roberson/Associated Press
When quarterback Sam Bradford tore his ACL last season and ended up on injured reserve, it looked like the season would be a disaster.
Don’t get me wrong, 7-9 is a bad record. But it could have been much worse if fifth-round rookie Zac Stacy hadn’t totaled 973 yards on the ground, 141 receiving yards and a total of eight touchdowns.
And that was after having all of one carry for the first four weeks of the season.
Not wanting to put all their eggs in one basket, the St. Louis Rams selected Tre Mason with their third-round pick in the 2014 NFL draft.
The two backs are similar in many ways—both are so-so catching the ball, and both are just 5’8”, though Stacy has about 17 pounds on Mason. Mason has some ball-protection issues and needs to improve his pass-protection skills.
We’re not totally sure what to make of the Rams offense this year. Bradford is in a “prove it or lose it” year for his job, but there aren’t a lot of tremendous pass-catching weapons on the field. We think Chris Givens, Austin Pettis and Tavon Austin should be a dynamic trio, but we’ll have to wait and see. We think Jared Cook can regain the production he flashed in Tennessee, but we’ll have to wait and see.
The one thing we do know is how good Stacy was last season and how good Mason looked at Auburn.
The Rams could be a dark-horse team in the NFC West this year. They have a solid defense, and the offense could be productive.
They may need to rely on the backfield, though, and so, who they choose to lead the way through the tackles will affect the ability of the offense to win games.
If the Rams can put it together, they’ll make some waves in the NFC and could change how the playoffs shake out.