– The Rams fell to Pittsburgh by a score of 27-0 on Saturday at Heinz Field. By now, you’ve seen this movie before. The defense kept the Rams in it but the offense couldn’t generate points against an outstanding defense.
– This time, the Rams made it out injury free at least on first glance.
– So let’s take a different tone after this one and focus on the brightest spot for the Rams on Saturday and many times over the past eight years: RB Steven Jackson.
– Jackson, of course, eclipsed the 1,000-yard mark for the seventh consecutive season against Pittsburgh. He became just the seventh player in league history to achieve the feat.
– Think about that for a moment: Jackson is one of seven players in league history to reach that mark. He’s done it on a team that hasn’t had much success where he’s been the focal point of opposing defensive game plans for the bulk of his career. He’s done it through pain like a herniated disc in his back. He’s never complained. He’s matured before our very eyes and he’s done it all while trying to lead the Rams out of their struggles and into better times.
– Even now when things are bleak and he’s probably closer to the end than the beginning, Jackson isn’t asking for a trade or a way out. Quite the opposite, in fact. Jackson recently stated that he wants to end his career as a Ram and be one of the few premiere athletes to say he’s done so.
– On Saturday, Jackson faced one of the league’s nastiest defenses and – with the help of a solid game from his offensive line and other blockers -became just the third back to break 100 yards against the Steelers.
– Jackson also surpassed the 9,000 yard mark for his career. That’s quite a number and puts him in position to make a legitimate run at 10K next year.
– After the game, Jackson was asked if he ever thought about what his career would be like had he played in a place like Pittsburgh where grind it out runners become folk heroes. His response told you everything you need to know about who Jackson is and has become:
“That’s one of those questions I will reflect on after my career,” Jackson said. “I am one of those people that has a list of goals and I check them off as I accomplish them. Who knows what happens? I am in a great city in St. Louis. When you follow tradition I share with a list of guys who have been Rams over the years, I think being a running back with that group of guys is just as impressive.”
– Maybe none more impressive than Mr. Jackson, himself. Eric Dickerson, Marshall Faulk, those are Hall of Fame backs and rightfully so. But neither played an entire career with the adversity Jackson has faced. He joined elite company by hitting the 1K mark again on Saturday but all that did was confirm something I – and all Rams fans already know – he already belonged.
– Merry Christmas, all.
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