Runningback Steven Jackson of the St. Louis Rams walks off the field during the NFL game against the Arizona Cardinals.
The St. Louis Rams week 13 over the Arizona Cardinals kept them in the playoff picture. Sometimes it's easy to pick a player who gets the game ball. Not this time. Several gutsy, tough performances standout, and more than one player made a play that arguably saved the game for the Rams.
I put the game ball question out on the TST Facebook page and the overwhelming answer was Steven Jackson. It's hard to argue that.
Jackson made things happen when it seemed like nothing could happen, like he's quietly done all season. He finished the game with 102 rushing yards on 28 carries and 1 TD...a sweet score that came on a 27-yard run that featured him breaking out on the right end, helped by a Jason Smith block. You can see his TD run here, after that block, Jackson did it all with his speed, avoiding contact all the way to the end zone.
That was one of the few runs Jackson had all day where he did avoid contact. Like the Broncos last week, the Cardinals were firmly focused on stopping SJ39. Better plays helped this week, as Pat Shurmur ran the ball plenty to the outside and in spread formations, often out of the no huddle.
This is the third time we've given Jackson the game ball. We gave it to him for his outing against Tampa Bay, when he ran for 110 yards on 22 carries. That was week 7 and the last time he topped triple digits in rushing yards. He also earned the nod for his outing against Detroit, when his effort was the only highlight in the worst game of the season.