Steven Jackson and the St. Louis Rams just can't catch the break they're in need of.
No. 39 rushed for 84 yards and added 25 yards receiving to outgain Minnesota running back Adrian Peterson (69 rushing, 6 receiving) but the Rams suffered their fifth straight loss to start the season, 38-10, at the hands of the Vikings.
SJ wearing a Rams throwback. He finished with 109 total yards (StLouisRams.com).
The key to the game was turnovers. St. Louis turned the ball over four times, three times inside the Minnesota 10. As Steven told the Belleville News-Democrat, that's no way to win a game:
"Unfortunate turnovers at crucial times," Rams running back Steven Jackson said. "When you have turnovers like that, we all know it's fundamental football — you have to hold onto the ball — so I don't want to make light of that.
"Once we get that turned around, I think we can play with any football team. That was a really competitive, talented football team that we played today, and if we don't give up those 21 points, it would be interesting to see how that turned out."
Steven was responsible for one of the four turnovers, his fumble near the goal line stalling a potential scoring drive. After the game, he held himself accountable, as quoted in the News-Democrat:
"It was me dropping the ball," he said. "My turnover at the goal line really hurt the team and our momentum. After that, I think we just snowballed downwards. We were able to move the ball as an offense, but in the National Football League, it's really hard to overcome turnovers, especially against a team like the Minnesota Vikings."
In facing Minnesota, a teams that ranks 10th in the league against the run, the Rams attempted to move the ball through the air and did so to some success.
Quarterbacks Kyle Boller and Marc Bulger combined for nearly 300 yards passing and the Rams' only touchdown. Bulger completed all seven of the passes he threw after Boller left with a head injury.
Steven was pleased to see the passing game have a measure of success because he knows a strong passing game can do wonders for opening things up for him between the tackles, as quoted in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch:
"Both quarterbacks looked really sharp," running back Steven Jackson said. "We were able to move the ball. We actually were able to stretch the field, and our receivers made plays."
S-Jax was on the receiving end of two of St. Louis' 27 completions, including a 25-yard gainer from Boller on a screen pass in the second quarter. No. 39 moved uncovered into the open field and rumbled for 25 before being forced out of bounds.
LEADER OF MEN
Steven's 84 yards performance on just 21 carries Sunday was the fourth time in five games that No. 39 has broken the four yards per carry benchmark. He's averaging 4.3 yards per rush this season.
Steven remained fourth in the league in rushing with 451 yards this season. He sits only 36 yards behind league leader Cedric Benson at 487 yards. Peterson is second with 481 and Chris Johnson of Tennessee sits just above S-Jax with 468. No other back in the leagues has broken the 400-yard barrier yet.
At his current pace, Steven remains on his way to his best season since 2006 when he finished fifth in the league with 1,528 yards. He's currently on pace for 1,443 yards rushing and No. 39 also has 14 catches for 92 yards this season, a 6.6 yards per catch average.
Turnover bug bites Rams; Winless streak reaches 15 games (Belleville News-Democrat, October 12, 2009)
Bulger steps up after injury sidelines Boller (Belleville News-Democrat, October 12, 2009)
Silver linings can't disperse this cloud (St. Louis Post-Dispatch, October 12, 2009)
QB decision may be needed (St. Louis Post-Dispatch, October 12, 2009)