With each game this season, Steven had gotten stronger, and anyone could see that an explosive performance was only a matter of time.
Unfortunately for the Dallas Cowboys, that time was Sunday. No. 39 racked up 160 yards on 25 carries and scored three touchdowns in a 34-14 rout of one of the NFC’s alleged powerhouse teams.
|SJax on the run (courtesy of St. Louis Rams).
It was a much-needed victory for St. Louis — the team’s second straight — and one that Steven saw coming.
“Coming in this week we had a boost of confidence coming back from Washington and on film we thought we could take advantage of their aggressiveness when they try to get up field. We really felt like we could take advantage of that, especially in the running game.”
It was also the kind of output that had Marc Bulger feeling very good about his offense’s ability to generate points.
“With Steven Jackson running the way he is and the line playing the way they are, I think we can start scoring some more points.”
SJ’s banner day was highlighted by an electrifying 56-yard run down the right sideline in the third quarter, which sealed the victory. The run showed Steven’s superb vision and breakaway speed, and proved why he’s worth every cent the Rams paid him this offseason to keep him in St. Louis for many years to come.
“He showed he’s worth very penny and then some,” said Rams center Nick Leckey. “His passion is what makes him so good. I believe that football is 95 percent mental, and he has such a fire and passion for the game.”
“When you know that a cat is like that, you give him the ball and let him tote it. That’s what we did today and you saw what happened.”
The 160 rushing yards were a season-high for Steven, and marked his 13th 100-yard game. The three TDs tied a career-high.
Afterward, his teammates heaped on the praise.
“He was great today,” said Rams rookie wide receiver Donnie Avery. “We just followed him and rallied behind him. He is one of the leaders of this team.”
“Steven was great,” said Rams offensive guard Richie Incognito. “We got him going and that’s what we needed. He was breaking tackles and really got us going. That’s a big part of our success. As Steven goes, we go.”
“When Steven breaks into the second level—whether it’s up the middle and he’s one-on-one with the safety, or whether it’s an outside play and he captures that edge and gets his shoulders square—you know it’s a big play,” Rams left tackle Adam Goldberg said. “I think sometimes defenses do underestimate his speed.”
|So long, Dallas (Getty Images).|
I CAN’T STOP RAVING
The St. Louis faithful couldn’t stop raving about Steven in the blogs after his big day and the Rams’ second win in as many weeks.
From “Turf Show Times”:
“Steven Jackson is a horse in a man-suit. Please let him run more.”
“On his second run, SJ sprinted down the sideline for 56 yards and the dagger TD. Sexy stuff. And by the way, his first touchdown was vintage SJ. Shoulder-hip separation, physical evasion, wonderful finish to a nice run.”
From the ChicagoTribune.com:
“Jackson was the catalyst in Sunday’s surprising rout of Dallas. Here’s the rundown: He romped for 160 yards and three TDs, including a 56-yard scoring sprint, against the Cowboys’ No. 7 run defense; it was his first game with three rushing scores since the 2006 finale; he has 475 total yards in his last three games. Got it? Good. It’s time to hop on Jackson’s back.”
Steven and the Rams look to keep their winning streak alive next week in New England. The Pats are 3-2 coming off a bye week, and still trying to find a solid second option to the injured Tom Brady. Like the Dallas game, SJ and St. Louis need to take advantage of the Patriots quarterback situation and come out with a W in Foxboro.
Rams run through Cowboys (St. Louis Post Dispatch, Oct. 19, 2008)
Jackson breaks loose (Belleville News-Democrat, Oct. 19, 2008)
Rams v. Cowboys grades (TurfShowTimes, Oct. 19, 2008)
Fantasy impact: Rams’ Jackson a fantasy treasure (Chicago Tribune, Oct. 19, 2008)
Quick take: Rams stun reeling Cowboys (NFL.com, Oct. 19, 2008)
Rams roll Cowboys 34-14 (RamsGab, Oct. 19, 2008)