This season has been something else for the St. Louis Rams. Thanks to a dramatic overtime victory over the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday, they’re now 4-0-1 against teams in the NFC West, but they’ve won just one game outside the division. While the playoffs may not be in the cards, running back Steven Jackson and the Rams have their closest rivals’ attention.
Steven Jackson joined ESPN 101 in St. Louis with The Fast Lane to discuss what Sunday’s victory over San Francisco meant for St. Louis, shaking off a dropped pass in overtime, the Rams’ thoughts when they trailed late, the team’s kicker, how much the team has grown this year, the Rams’ success against divisional foes and if the team can talk about playoff chances at this point.
What do you think a win like Sunday’s can do for the St. Louis Rams?:
“It really [helps] us in our division and our conference as well. Teams are going to respect the St. Louis Rams now when they see us on the schedule. They know we’re a tough-nosed team that’s never going to back down, regardless of the situation, regardless of what the past may have been. This team has taken on a new identity.”
Did dropping a pass early in overtime motivate you for the rest of the game?:
“No, football, the key to football is, regardless of the situation, to have a short-term memory. All the great players had that ability to forget and move on to the next play. No one wants to make a mistake on the football field, but it is what it is. I made a mistake, but I don’t let it haunt me and I didn’t think twice about it.”
What are you guys thinking as it’s getting late and you’re down 10-2?:
“We were thinking we’d get the ball back and we knew we were going to have to go for two. Luckily enough, Jenkins was able to get that fumble recovery and score the ball. We had already prepared to go for two, but we thought it would be after an offensive touchdown. But any way we could get it and take it, we did, and we were able to execute and get the two-point conversion as well.”
Give us your impression of kicker Greg Zuerlein:
“I would say, today, I watched the TV copy of the game, I said, ‘I’m going to watching this kid 20 years from now.’ I believe he will be an NFL kicker for at least 15 or 20 years. He’s really good, he’s clutch, he has a lot of confidence, and in pressure situations, it just doesn’t seem to overwhelm him.”
Janoris Jenkins and Chris Givens have gotten in a bit of trouble but had big games Sunday. How much has this team grown this year?:
“People make mistakes, and the thing about it, we can’t expect these young guys to be 10-year veterans in one week. We know that some of these guys are going to make mistakes and we’ve got to continue to just be brothers and be mentors to them. It only becomes a problem when they don’t learn from their mistakes. … Coach got their attention and they’re moving on and we’re all moving on.”
How does it feel to be 4-0-1 in divisional play?:
“It feels good, that we’ve established ourselves in this division. Tough defenses, good running offenses and quarterbacks that are going to get it done. We have some young, talented quarterbacks in this division that are going to be around for a while.”
Do you start mentioning playoffs at this point?:
“We dare to dream, but we know we’ve got to do it one game at a time. … It means a lot. We have a tremendous team, a lot of talent in this locker room, and guys that are willing to stick around, study film together, put in the time so we can all trust and go together. It’s starting to happen. You can see it on the football field, that we’re willing to play, we say, through the echo of the whistle. Guys are playing hard for each other.”