Thearon W. Henderson
Daryl Richardson had another big game, but Steven Jackson showed he was the starter in the St. Louis Rams' tie on Sunday.
It's not often—especially for a team as starved for offense as the St. Louis Rams—that a player like Daryl Richardson can lose momentum when he carries the ball seven times for 58 yards, but that's what happened to their rookie running back in Sunday's tie against the San Francisco 49ers. Richardson was great, but Steven Jackson—with whom he'd been nearly splitting carries—was ubiquitous, carrying the ball almost 30 times and crossing the 100 yard mark for the first time all season.
Of course, this is only bad news for Daryl Richardson if you thought he was going to take the bulk of the Rams' carries from this point forward, an unlikely idea from the start; his seven carries were totally in keeping with the way he's been used over the last several weeks. But as the Rams expand the role of the running game in their offense, it looks like Steven Jackson is going to be the primary beneficiary.
The silver Richardson-related lining was Isaiah Pead's continued misadventures; his fourth-quarter kick-return fumble precipitated the 49ers' comeback and led to the eventual tie, which means that the Rams' former running-back-of-the-future remains buried on the depth chart. If Jackson leaves after the season, as expected, the path looks clear for Richardson to take the big side of any rushing platoon in 2013.