The Memphis Express didn’t have much to cheer about on their slow ride home. In their first-ever game, they suffered a difficult-to-watch shutout at the hands of the Birmingham Iron. The Iron’s defense came out swinging and never relented, applying constant pressure to quarterback Christian Hackenberg. However, despite the shutout, former St. Louis Rams running back Zac Stacy actually put together a strong performance.
Zac Stacy the Lone Bright Spot for the Memphis Express Offense
The Express came out showing a quick-paced tempo that quickly led to what proved to be a busy day for their punter. The Iron defense seemed to have an answer for both the run and the pass right from the beginning.
It didn’t help that Hackenberg went into panic mode at the first hint of pressure. Mind you, league rules only allow five defensive players to rush the passer. Hackenberg tossed up prayers throughout the contest and finished 10 of 23 for 87 yards, no touchdowns, and one interception. The leading receiver was Alton Howard who finished with four grabs for 33 total yards.
With the lopsided score, the run game became an afterthought at times. However, Zac Stacy showed up as the best running back of the trio trotted out. The former St. Louis Rams running back finished with 58 yards on 12 carries. His 4.8 yards-per-carry was better than the opposition’s Trent Richardson‘s but dwarfed by his two scores and a two-point conversion.
Stacy had a chance to score on a fourth-and-goal opportunity that head-scratchingly went to fullback Anthony Manzo-Lewis for a loss of yardage.
Last Word on Zac Stacy
The Express utilized a running back rotation throughout the game and seemed to favor Terrence Magee in a few Wildcat packages. Rajion Neal was the only back to receive passing targets out of the backfield.
Stacy showed that he still has fuel left in the tank. He had the most carries of all the running backs. He showed vision, patience, and power between the tackles that was reminiscent of his days in the NFL. Stacy easily looked like the best running back on the roster and hopefully get rewarded with more of a workload moving forward. If this offense wants to show up offensively next week against the Arizona Hotshots, Stacy should be scripted into the game plan.
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