Rams RB Jackson keeping defenses occupied - KMOV.com

Rams RB Jackson keeping defenses occupied

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St. Louis Rams running back Steven Jackson (39) carries the ball through the Atlanta Falcons defense during the second quarter of an NFL football game Sunday, Nov. 21, 2010, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Tom Gannam) By Tom Gannam St. Louis Rams running back Steven Jackson (39) carries the ball through the Atlanta Falcons defense during the second quarter of an NFL football game Sunday, Nov. 21, 2010, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Tom Gannam) By Tom Gannam
St. Louis Rams running back Steven Jackson runs against the San Francisco 49ers during the second quarter of an NFL football game in San Francisco, Sunday, Nov. 14, 2010. (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma) By Paul Sakuma St. Louis Rams running back Steven Jackson runs against the San Francisco 49ers during the second quarter of an NFL football game in San Francisco, Sunday, Nov. 14, 2010. (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma) By Paul Sakuma
St. Louis Rams running back Steven Jackson runs against the San Francisco 49ers during the third quarter of an NFL football game in San Francisco, Sunday, Nov. 14, 2010. (AP Photo/Ben Margot) By Ben Margot St. Louis Rams running back Steven Jackson runs against the San Francisco 49ers during the third quarter of an NFL football game in San Francisco, Sunday, Nov. 14, 2010. (AP Photo/Ben Margot) By Ben Margot
St. Louis Rams running back Steven Jackson runs into the endzone for a 13-yard rushing touchdown during the third quarter of an NFL football game in San Francisco, Sunday, Nov. 14, 2010. (AP Photo/Ben Margot) By Ben Margot St. Louis Rams running back Steven Jackson runs into the endzone for a 13-yard rushing touchdown during the third quarter of an NFL football game in San Francisco, Sunday, Nov. 14, 2010. (AP Photo/Ben Margot) By Ben Margot

ST. LOUIS (AP) -- It's been a month since Steven Jackson's last 100-yard game. No complaints from the two-time Pro Bowl running back, whose role lately is to keep defenses occupied so Sam Bradford can operate.

Jackson averaged only 2.5 yards per carry against Denver last week, totaling 72 yards. Every time he made a jump cut while searching for daylight, more tacklers were waiting.

His 3.8-yard average overall would be a career low for a full season and he has only three 100-yard games. But it would be a mistake to believe the bruising, 235-pound back is on the decline.

Jackson gladly makes the sacrifice in exchange for playing meaningful games in December, a big step up for a franchise that was 6-42 the last three seasons. The Rams (5-6) are tied for first place in the mediocre NFC West with a legitimate shot at their first playoff bid since 2006.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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