Jackson puts on 'big-boy pads'

11 hours ago • By Jim Thomas jthomas@post-dispatch.com314-340-8197

GLENDALE, ARIZ. • According to Rams left tackle Rodger Saffold, Steven Jackson had one of those “Jackson huddle moments” Sunday against Arizona.

“It’s where he’s like, ‘OK, I’m gonna take over the game,’ ” Saffold said. “He says, ‘All right, guys, I’m gonna put my big-boy pads on this play.’ And after that you see a huge play.”

Jackson’s recollection of what he told the Rams’ offensive linemen before the play Sunday — a third-and-1 run — was more R-rated.

“I told them, ‘If I hit you in the back, excuse me. I’m just going to be a (jerk) on this run,’ ” Jackson said, laughing. “They said, ‘OK! Let’s go!’ ”

The play came with 11˝ minutes remaining, with a 28-17 Rams lead, and the ball on the St. Louis 36. Jackson bulled his way off right tackle for 15 yards, for a first down and then some. All told, he carried seven times on the 11-play drive that drained 7 minutes off the clock and drained the life out of Arizona’s defense.

The drive culminated in a 19-yard field goal by Greg Zuerlein that gave the Rams their final points in a 31-17 victory over the Cardinals.

“I try to be that emotional leader,” Jackson said. “I try my best just to make sure that the energy is up for us as a team overall. Any time I get the ball now, I try to make the most of it.”

Jackson carried 24 times for 139 yards Sunday, averaging 5.8 yards a carry. It was Jackson’s highest single-game rushing total since a 159-yard day Oct. 30, 2011, a 31-21 victory over New Orleans. Jackson now has 724 yards rushing this season, and is getting a bead on his eighth consecutive 1,000-yard rushing season. He needs to average just over 55 yards a game in the Rams’ final five games.