Call it what you will — deja vu, a return visit to the Heartbreak Hotel — but for the second straight week, Steven and the Rams were on the wrong end of another stunning defeat Sunday.
This time, St. Louis lost 17-16 to the San Francisco 49ers, after leading for nearly the entire game.
“I don’t know if we are cursed,” Steven began, “But it hurts. It hurts when you feel like you outplayed your opponent for almost eight quarters going back to last week. I really feel like we outplayed both teams but for whatever reason, we just are not coming out with the win.”
Three of the Rams’ last four losses have come by four points or less, and yet St. Louis can’t seem to catch a break.
|The Rams postseason hopes are dashed, but SJax could still hit 1,000 yards for the fourth straight season (Getty Images).|
BREAKING THE CENTURY MARK
SJax was one of his team’s lone bright spots once again, eclipsing the 100-yard mark for the third time this season.
No. 39 gained 108 yards on 32 carries, and added 11 more yards on two receptions. It was only the fourth time all season that the 49ers allowed an opposing back to reach the century mark.
After two 90-plus yard games in his last three outings, SJ was due for a breakout, and he knew it.
“I really feel good,” Jackson said of his health leading up to the game. “My leg feels strong… The strength is there, the burst, the cutting, all the things I was having trouble with in the middle of the season, the leg feels good again.”
FULL SPEED A-HEAD
SJ had no lingering effects of the head injury he suffered against the Seahawks last week, which allowed him to go at the Niners full-tilt.
“The light-headedness and the dizziness, everything was pretty much cleared out by Sunday and Monday morning,” Jackson said. “They checked my head again, and everything was fine.”
THE PURSUIT OF 1,000
Steven entered the game needing 227 yards in the last two weeks of the season to reach the 1,000-yard milestone for the fourth straight season, which would tie the mark held by former Ram Eric Dickerson, who reached that plateau every season from 1993-96.
“That’s definitely the goal these two games, with a win, of course,” Jackson said of reaching 1,000 yards. “We want to win these last two games, and if I can get to 1,000, that’s something you can build off of next year looking forward to things to come in my career.”
Steven needed to average 114 yards per contest over his last two contests to reach his goal, and though he didn’t reach that mark against San Fran, a big game against Atlanta could still put him over the top.
The Rams may not have much to play for, but Steven certainly does — 120 yards or more against the Falcons next week will give SJax 1,000-plus yards for the fourth straight year.
Believe that SJax will keep that goal in mind, and will be given plenty of opportunities to tie the record against Atlanta’s porous run D, which gives up an average of (you guessed it) 120 yards rushing per contest.
Jackson still on pace for 1,000 yards (Belleville News-Democrat, Dec. 19, 2008)
Steven Jackson still has a shot at 1,000 yards (Ramblings, Dec. 18, 2008)
Steven Jackson’s quest for 1,000, continued (Turf Show Times, Dec. 20, 2008)
Run Steven Jackson, Run (Turf Show Times, Dec. 19, 2008)
Rams lose another close one (StLouisRams.com, Dec. 21, 2008)