Game Ball Of The Week: Steven Jackson

ST. LOUIS, MO - OCTOBER 2: Steven Jackson #39 of the St. Louis Rams takes the field prior to playing against the Washington Redskins at the Edward Jones Dome on October 2, 2011 in St. Louis, Missouri. The Redskins beat the Rams 17-10. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)

For as much time as we spend talking about the Xs and Os of the game, football boils down to a game of mental and physical fortitude. The St. Louis Rams lacked many noticeable signs of that in their first four games of the seasons. Watching a few rallies falter on a sack, a false start or a dropped pass dug the knife in even deeper. After four games, fans wanted to some sign of life. We finally saw it last week at practice from none other than Steven Jackson.

Demanding answers and accountability wherever they could get it, fans breathed a huge sign of relief last week upon the news of Jackson delivering a big speech to his offensive teammates at last Tuesday's practice. Whatever Jackson said seemed to have worked, for the moment at least, because the offense moved through a spirited practice uncharacteristic of an 0-4 team. 

This Sunday we'll see just how much impact Jackson's words and his leadership had on his teammates. Beating the Packers is probably too tall an order to ask. Lively play with few mistakes would be a welcome sign. Watching the Rams play a tough game against the World Champs would go along way toward salvaging the season. If it works, we'll have Jackson to thank. 

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