For Steven Jackson, the time has finally come to show out on the national stage.
The St. Louis Rams and Seattle Seahawks meet in the Pacific Northwest tonight for Monday Night Football and Steven wants his Rams teammates to know that there is plenty to play for on the national stage.
"The first thing is you play for pride, and then secondly the love of the game," he said. "You don't want to turn on the film on Mondays or Tuesdays, or whenever you're doing a grade sheet, and have guys questioning your heart or your love for the game."
SJ39 missed out on the Rams' other prime time appearance this year, as he sat out St. Louis' Week 2 Monday night game against the New York Giants with a quad strain. This time, No. 39 will be in uniform and ready to go as the Rams take on the Seahawks.
"On Monday night this is what we all hope, during the regular season you get a Monday night game and to put on a show for the nation and kind of propel yourself for the postseason," he told Missouri Sports Mag. "We're not going to have a postseason, so this is our shot to show the nation what we're trying to do here and what we've been building here over the last three years."
St. Louis and Seattle met just three weeks ago and Steven was limited to just 61 total yards on 18 touches. But the Seahawks know that putting the clamps on SJ39 is a key to winning and that is no easy task.
"From seven years ago, when I first got in the league, day one, until today, to beat the Rams, you have to stop Steven Jackson," linebacker Leroy Hill told the Seattle Times. "He's big. He's physical. He can run around you. He reads his blocks well. He blocks well. He's a complete back, and he shows it year in and out."
Seattle works extra hard to stop SJ and he is still seeking his first ever 100-yard game against the Seahawks. There's no better time to get it done than Monday night.
"It's a stage that I think everyone looks forward to being on," Steven said. "Although we have our backs against the wall and some young guys playing or some guys that wouldn't normally be playing in circumstances, this is also time for them to show off their talent too."
Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. CST and the game can be seen on ESPN.