We didn't notice it right away, but the St. Louis Rams' fantasy football narratives were inverted almost the instant Steven Jackson wasn't traded at the deadline at the end of October. Before, Daryl Richardson was taking full advantage of Jackson's apparent decline; after, Jackson has played nearly as well as he ever has, crossing the 100-yard barrier twice in three weeks and averaging nearly five yards per carry.
That came to a head on Sunday, when the once-ascendant Richardson almost completely vanished from the narrative. In the Rams' 31-17 victory over the Arizona Cardinals Richardson took his usual seven carries, and with 32 yards they were as effective as usual. But it's much harder to be interested in seven carries now that Jackson's taking 20 again—he finished with 24 carries for 139 yards, a vintage performance in which his speed and power looked almost undiminished from his glory days, back when the Rams' offense was even worse.
Richardson continues to play like a great complementary back and a solid prospect, but after all the postmortems Rams fans, surprisingly enough, have Steven Jackson to be excited about again. The Daryl Richardson discussion will just have to wait.