After hauling in a 29-yard reception to bring the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to the St. Louis 32-yard line, rookie Mike Evans was slow to get up on Sunday. In fact, he was so slow to get up that officials stopped the clock with eight seconds remaining to help Evans off the field. Unfortunately for Tampa Bay, NFL rules stipulate an injury in that situation requires a 10-second runoff.
As a result, Tampa Bay lost, 19-17.
“It was crazy,” Rams running back Zac Stacy said on The Doug Gottlieb Show. “For us, we were just hoping they wouldn’t be able to spike the ball. Fortunately for us, it happened in our favor and we got the win.”
Stacy was on the bench when Evans was injured and watched as teammates and coaches began screaming for a 10-second runoff.
“I’m on the bench just trying to soak it all in, just trying to see what was going on,” Stacy said. “People on the sidelines, players on the sidelines, were saying it’s a 10-second run-off. That’s when I realized, ‘Hey, that is accurate.’ By the time I realized the game was over in our favor, I just sat on the bench for a little bit (and gave a) sigh of relief.”
Stacy carried 19 times for 71 yards – and scored the Rams’ only touchdown – but it was third-string quarterback Austin Davis who stole the show. Davis, who was making his first career start, was 22-of-29 for 235 yards, completing passes to eight different receivers.
“He was very poised,” Stacy said. “I think the main thing with Austin was . . . I think he had a pretty good week of preparation. It put him in the right spot. He was very poised in the huddle. He did a good job. Our offense wants to be balanced with the run and pass. I think we did a pretty good job.”
Davis was playing in place of Shaun Hill, who injured his quad and thigh in the Rams’ 34-6 loss to the Vikings in Week 1.
That’s right. The Rams opened the season with a 34-6 home loss before rebounding with a 19-17 road win. Needless to say, this Monday felt a lot different from last Monday.
“Definitely,” Stacy said. “No matter how you get it – any time you get a win – (it feels good). From that standpoint, we got the W, but there’s so much stuff we can improve on (and so many things) we can correct. That’s what we’re most excited about. Take advantage of each and every week, take advantage of each and every play, play our football and don’t worry about anything else and go from there.”
Still, the Rams are playing without quarterback Sam Bradford (torn ACL), who is out for the season, and defensive end Chris Long (ankle), who is expected to miss at least two months. Can St. Louis realistically hope to contend without such important leaders on the field?
Stacy says yes.
“We have experienced guys – especially on the defensive side of the ball – that know what it takes to win football games on Sundays,” he said. “(It’s all about) how we prepare week in, week out.”
The Rams (1-1) host the Cowboys (1-1) this Sunday and have a bye in Week 4.