You can hear the naysayers now, ‘Steven Jackson is too old.’ With his 30th birthday rapidly approaching, Jackson is going to start hearing that a lot. But if you’re an optimistic fan, you’re probably saying, ‘Jackson is in the best situation of his career.’ While I’m never optimistic in the world of sports, I am going to side with those folks when it comes to Jackson.
The Atlanta Falcons needed a big bruising back to compliment the speedy Jacquizz Rodgers, and they got the best one on the market this offseason. Jackson is your proverbial downhill runner, who’s not afraid to lower his shoulders to pick up a few extra yards. That’s what he was brought in for – not to carry the ball 315 times, and to put this Falcons team on his shoulders. Atlanta’s bread and butter is the passing game, and they don’t need the running game to set it up, it’s the other way around for the Falcons.
So given Jackson’s age and new situation, it’s fair to wonder if he’ll be able to continue his consecutive 1,000-yard rushing streak. The running back has eclipsed the 1k mark in each of the past eight seasons, but he just barely made it a year ago (1,042). Even though his tank does seem to be getting closer to empty, I’m going to again be optimistic, and predict that Jackson will break the 1k mark yet again in 2013.
There are just so many other weapons on the Falcon’s roster, that Jackson should have no trouble at all averaging 64 yards a game. That’s all he needs to break the mark again, and given the talent all around him, it should be a walk in the park. Predictions are tough in pro sports, but Jackson hitting the 1,000-yard mark for the ninth consecutive season, isn’t really going out on a limb. He should get there, and then some, with the 2013 Falcons.
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