SJ Finds Paydirt vs. Packers

The St. Louis Rams executed a solid offensive gameplan and kept themselves in the game for most of Sunday’s contest against the Green Bay Packers. Steven Jackson even scored a touchdown in the fourth quarter to make it a one-possession game.

Steven dives across the goal line for his first touchdown of the season (Getty Images).

But the Rams couldn’t hold off a red-hot Green Bay offense that topped 400 yards from scrimmage on the way to a 30-20 victory over the St. Louis at Edward Jones Dome. Steven said the game was a learning experience for the Rams, but he also noted that it was the type of game when you have to tip your hat to the opponent because they played so well.

“Just tip your hat to Aaron Rodgers, because he beat us,” SJ39 said. “They have one of the best quarterbacks in football. We knew it was going to be a challenge. We have to continue to get better at that. We’ve still got work to do. We’re slowly coming together as an offense, a unit. But we’ve still got to continue to get better, continue to help our defense out by putting points on the board.”

The Rams ran well in the first half (Post-Dispatch Photo).The Rams offense was boosted again by an effective running game. No. 39 turned his 12 carries into 57 yards and a touchdown. In the process he passed Shaun Alexander for 29th on the NFL’s all-time rushing list with 9,473 yards.

Backup Daryl Richardson complimented S-Jax well, as he ran eight times for 36 yards and Steven said after the game that the Rams’ ground attack is starting to click as the season goes on.

“We’re getting better,” SJ said. “This unit continues to get better week in and week out. The guys up front did a good job for me, creating some lanes.”

Steven carried the load in the first half, toting the rock eight times for 51 of his 57 yards. The Rams struck first in the game with a field goal to go up 3-0, but the Packers answered with a touchdown drive to take the lead, then pulled off a successful onside kick late in the first quarter and turned the ensuing drive into a field goal to take a 10-3 lead.

But the Rams mounted a monster comeback drive late in the second quarter. St. Louis took possession at their own 10 after a Green Bay punt with 6:03 left in the half. No. 39 did work to get them out of their own end zone with a four-yard run on first down and a 19-yard burst on second down. He later added an 11-yard gallop that pushed St. Louis into Green Bay territory.

“Steven just pounds on you,” offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer said. “The safeties don’t want to see him coming, the corners don’t want to see him coming.”

Steven did some heavy lifting in the first half, rushing for 51 yards on just eight carries (Post-Dispatch Photo).

But the drive stalled at the Green Bay 25 and the Rams had to settle for a field goal. St. Louis trailed 10-6 at halftime, but SJ thought they should’ve been ahead at the half.

“They surprised us with an onside kick,” Steven said. “But when you face a team that’s a potent offense, we’ve got to do our job as an offensive unit — and that’s to keep up and help our defense out.”

As much damage as the Rams did on the ground in the first half — racking up 93 rushing yards on 16 carries —they weren’t able to sustain the running game in the second half and had just six carries for 15 yards as a team. Because of the limited opportunities Steven’s six-yard touchdown dive was the longest ground gain of the second half for St. Louis. Still, Jeff Gordon of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch graded the St. Louis running game as the team’s best unit on Sunday afternoon.

“The whole thunder-and-lightning thing worked pretty well again. Veteran Steven Jackson looked back to full speed, rushing the ball 12 times for 57 yards and his first touchdown of the season. Rookie Darryl Richardson had 11 touches (eight rushes, three catches) for 79 yards. It is a shame the Rams couldn’t have sustained more drives to keep both backs busier. Grade: A”

Green Bay opened the second half with the ball and went right down the field for a touchdown to take a two-possession lead. When they tacked on a field goal on the first drive of the fourth, the game appeared to be getting away from the Rams.

But St. Louis answered with a quick six-play, 80-yard drive that featured a 56-yard pass from Sam Bradford to Chris Givens and was capped by SJ39’s dive into the end zone to make it a one-possession game.

SJ39 rolls the dice after his fourth quarter touchdown dive (Getty Images).

Nathan Kearns at Ramblin’ Fan wrote that SJ looked rejuvenated in Sunday’s contest.

“Steven Jackson looked like a new man out there on the field. He had 12 rushes for 57 yards, good for a 4.8 yards per carry. Jackson also punched the ball into the endzone for the first rushing touchdown by a running back this season.”

But the Packers responded with a clock-killing scoring drive of their own, led by Rodgers, who completed 4-of-5 passes for 74 yards on the 10-play 80-yard drive, which left the Rams with just three minutes down by two scores. Steven gave all due credit to Rodgers after the game.

“I’ve been a fan of his since our college days when he was at Cal and I was at Oregon State,” SJ said of the Green Bay quarterback. “He’s always been one of those guys that I’d pay to watch play because of how well he competes. He beat us today.”

NEXT UP

The Rams make the trek over the pond to London this week to play the New England Patriots in the NFL’s annual London game at Wembley Stadium.

Kickoff is scheduled for Noon CDT and the game can be seen on CBS.

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By | 2017-02-13T19:03:16+00:00 October 22nd, 2012|News|Comments Off on SJ Finds Paydirt vs. Packers