Let's have a pity party for Steven Jackson.
Chase Stuart of Football Perspective did some pretty extensive research and came to the conclusion that Steven Jackson is the best running back of all-time... to play with some of the worst teams of all-time. In fact, his career weighted winning percentage with the St. Louis Rams is below .300. The only such RB with over 7500 career yards to be under such a low, low bar.
As the 2012 season commences, Jackson has a legitimate chance to break the 10K rushing plateau and the 13K yards from scrimmage mark by just staying healthy. He's scored 60 touchdowns, caught just under 400 passes and had over 220 attempts in every season, save for his rookie year in 2004.
All in all, Jackson has been not only been a overachiever on a team full of bums, he's also maintained his Pro Bowl level of play for eight seasons.
The postseason, though? 2 games in his rookie year. 19 carries. 68 yards. And a front row seat for a 30-point trashing at the hands of the Falcons. Since January 15 2005, SJax hasn't tasted the NFL's second season.
Approaching 30, the tail end of his prime, and the final two years of his contract, Mr. Jackson is poised to go down in history as STL's next generation Larry Wilson. Elite amongst his peers.
Afterthought amongst the masses.
While he's still in the weeds, Jackson will never admit that he's disappointed the way things turned out. A runner-up in the Nevada state championship his senior year of high school, he was recruited and eventually signed with the Oregon State Beavers and finished his college career a year early after amassing over 4K in all-purpose yards and 52 total TDs.
The 6'2", 248lb beast of a RB fell to the Rams at 24 in the 2004 draft and signaled the twilight of Marshall Faulk's tenure as the Rams' stalwart running back. Eight years later, the Rams are on the precipice of replacing Jackson and moving again into a different era.
Still, no progress had or has been made.
The Rams are in the midst of their third rebuilding effort in the past decade. After failing with Scott Linehan and then failing worse with Steve Spagnuolo, it's now Jeff Fisher's time to take a stab at bringing the Rams franchise back to a point that is at least even with the way Mike Martz left it. No one is expecting a miracle in season one, and most would be happy with a five or six-win season. Expectations that would be laughable in Green Bay or Pittsburgh, unfortunately, have become the norm in St. Louis. And once again, Steven Jackson is looking at a lost year with the Rams.
Unlike any other professional sports leagues, it's almost impossible to get anything of value for stars that are close to 30. So Mr. Jackson will be a Ram for the foreseeable future. To his credit, he's voiced little displeasure with his situation. And while the millions of dollars he's banked have certainly helped, it's still admirable for any athlete with such a stupendous skill-set to be able to tolerate incompetence all the way around his career.
No, Jackson is staying with the Rams. And it's time his teammates and his franchise repaid him by getting him back to the playoffs at least once before his career ends.
Steven Jackson is going to be doing his part to get the Rams over this slump. He's going to be working over linebackers, crashing into the secondary and churning his legs for an extra yard on every carry. Coach Fisher's responsibility is to get the rest of the team to buy in to Jackson's on-field leadership.
After eight long, dubious years, the Rams are quickly approaching the finale of the Steven Jackson sports story.
It's time they gave him a happy ending.