Pete Carroll and his Seahawks received they could handle from
Stacy, who was largely unknown nationally prior to the Rams’ appearance on Monday Night Football against Seattle, rushed for a career-high 134 yards in that Week 8 meeting in St. Louis. Now in preparation for the final regular season game, Carroll expects another significant challenge from Stacy and company.
“He had a great game against us, and they’re off and running,” Carroll said during his Thursday conference call with St. Louis media. “We could see why they would be one of the top running teams in the league at this time now. He’s been terrific.”
Following that midseason game against Seattle, Stacy has piled up three more 100-yard performances, including each of the last two weeks. He remains just 42 yards shy of becoming the third Rams rookie to surpass 1,000 rushing yards. He would also give the Rams a 1,000-yard rusher for the ninth consecutive season. There will be a concerted effort on the part of the Rams’ offense to find running room once again, though offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer acknowledged another 200-yard day would be quite a feat against what is currently the league’s top-ranked defense.
Leading up to the last meeting between the two teams, discussion surrounding the running game centered primarily on the Seahawks’ Marshawn Lynch, who recently tallied his fifth career 1,000-yard rushing season. The Rams then limited Lynch to just 23 yards on eight carries, his lowest single-game rushing total in three years. The Rams’ performance against Seattle paved the way for what has been one of the league’s best run defenses during the second half of the season, and ranks seventh against the run overall this year.
“We have to go and play well in the run game,” Rams defensive coordinator Tim Walton said. “That’s where it all starts with us. When we stop the run early and teams can’t run the ball and they have to drop back and throw it, that really plays into the strength of our guys that can rush and then get our hands on balls and force the quarterback to make errant throws. So, it all starts with that. We’ve got to keep it going. We have to finish that strong.”
News and Notes:
LB K.J. Wright (foot), WR Percy Harvin (hip), WR Jermaine Kearse (ankle) and DE Red Bryant (knee) did not practice Thursday. G J.R. Sweezy (concussion), FB Derrick Coleman (shoulder), T Russell Okung (toe), LB Malcolm Smith (ankle), CB Richard Sherman (hip) and S Earl Thomas (thigh) had full participation Thursday.