Rams Notebook: Jackson Reaches Milestone In Defeat
Rams notebook: Jackson reaches milestone in defeat
By Jim Thomas
ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
Steven Jackson doesn't seem to be all about numbers anymore. The days are long gone when the Rams' running back made bold predictions about his yardage totals.
But in a Rams franchise known for its star running backs over the years, Jackson is now No. 3 in career rushing yards. With a 7-yard run with 8 minutes, 3 seconds left in the third quarter Sunday against New Orleans, Jackson moved past Lawrence McCutcheon for the No. 3 spot.
"It'd mean a little more if we got this win," Jackson said following Sunday's 28-23 loss to the Saints at the Edward Jones Dome. "But I'm a fan of 'Clutch,' and to be able to pass him, it means a lot. It says more for my offensive line and what we're doing as a team than me myself. I couldn't do it by myself."
McCutcheon, currently the Rams' director of player personnel, gained 6,186 yards for the team at running back from 1972-79. Jackson finished Sunday's game with 6,206 career rushing yards.
Jackson now trails only Eric Dickerson (7,245 yards) and Marshall Faulk (6,959 yards) on the team's career rushing list.
"He's legit," coach Steve Spagnuolo said. "People have to worry about him. I respect him a great deal."
With 131 yards rushing Sunday, Jackson has put together 100-plus yards in three consecutive games for only the second time in his NFL career. (Previously, he topped 100 yards rushing in the final three games of 2006.)
"(Saturday) night in the hotel, we just talked as a unit that we were going to have to put up points," Jackson said. "We knew that (the Saints) were going to make their plays. But we as a team, we were just going to have to match their intensity. And I think we did that. We came up short at the end, but I'm really proud of the effort that we put out there."
The Saints jammed the box with extra defenders most of the game, nothing new for Jackson. But they were more successful in the second half, limiting Jackson to 31 yards on 10 carries after he gained 100 yards on 16 carries in the first half.
What was the difference?
"They know that a running back has to read a defensive line, so they were just doing stunting with the defensive line and the linebackers, which they weren't doing at first," Jackson said.
Wide receiver Keenan Burton entered Sunday's game as the Rams' leading receiver this season with 25 catches. But his season ended in the first quarter against New Orleans with a knee injury when he landed awkwardly on a Marc Bulger pass that was intercepted by Usama Young.
"It's a patella injury," Spagnuolo said. "It's a pretty (bad) injury."
Burton will become the eighth Rams player overall, and the third wide receiver, to go on the injured reserve list this season. The other wideouts on IR are Laurent Robinson and 2009 draft pick Brooks Foster.
"You can't control injuries," Spagnuolo said. "I don't get frustrated about that. Keenan Burton I love. I mean, he's stepped up to become a leader. He is a workhorse in practice. So I get disappointed for the person."
LB Paris Lenon (ribs) and DE Chris Long (knee) left the game briefly with injuries, but both returned. Long, in fact, recorded his second sack of the season after returning.