After an exceptionally slow start to the 2012 season, Steven Jackson could be back where he always is this time of year, and as soon as next week: On a losing St. Louis Rams team, crossing the 1,000-yard barrier. The Rams were eliminated from playoff contention on Sunday, and Jackson--before the Rams fell behind and had to start passing his way instead--got over 900 yards, and pushed his yard-per-carry average back to 4.0.
Now he's 91 yards away from 1,000, which means that a big game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers--in which the Rams are in competition all the way through--could give him 1,000 with a game to spare. Which is remarkably impressive, given where he started.
What's more impressive is that it would be the eighth season in a row that he did it, out of nine years in the NFL. That's the usual impressive, depressing thing about Steven Jackson: Year after year he's been consistently excellent, and the Rams have been consistently terrible. He was a little less excellent than usual this year, and the Rams were considerably less terrible, but things ended up in the usual arrangement after all.