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Public Enemy Number 1: Steven Jackson

If the Buccaneers have any hope of beating St Louis this Sunday the leagues second worst rushing defense will need to find a way to stop one of the best running backs in football.

Steven Jackson

#39 / Running Back / St. Louis Rams



Jul 22, 1983

Oregon State

The St. Louis Rams are having somewhat of a resurgence; They have already won as many games this year, 3, as they did in the previous two seasons combined. Of course, drafting a franchise Quarterback number 1 over all may have a lot to do with that as the former Oklahoma star Sam Bradford has assimilated himself into NFL life about as quickly as anyone would have hoped; in just 6 games Bradford has thrown for 1357 yards and 7 touchdowns.

But while some things change, others stay the same; Steven Jackson may finally be healthy and is again wrecking havoc on opponents’ defensive backfields. Jackson has racked up 507 yards of rushing and added another 130 receiving so far on the young season. He’s averaging 4 yards a carry and 9 yards per reception; and if the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have any hope of winning Sunday, Steven Jackson will need to be Public Enemy Number 1 at Raymond James Stadium.

It’s no secret that the Buccaneers have struggled to stop the run this year. Tampa Bay ranks second to last in rushing defense and has given up over 150 rushing yards a game to opposing offenses. The past three games have been nothing short of brutal as three opposing running backs have been turned into absolute studs by the Buccaneer defensive line. Pittsburgh’s Rashard Mendenhall went for 143 yards and a touchdown; Cedric Benson of the Bengals was 1 yard better at 144 yards; and last week some guy named Chris Ivory (Who?!) exploded onto the scene with 158 yards on only 15 carries. If you can say you started Ivory last week in fantasy, you're a liar.

As for Jackson, he is a big brusing back with tons of talent. He can do it all, he can run between the tackles, he can catch balls out of the backfield and when healthy he has speed to complete the trifecta. Jackson could be the Buccaneers worst nightmare this weekend.

Head Coach Raheem Morris admitted that stopping Jackson may be the Bucs toughest test this Sunday, reported Joe Smith of the St. Petersburg Times.

"Steven Jackson, he's a problem," Morris said. "He's a dynamic pain in the neck to watch when you watch on tape from a defensive coordinator's perspective."

So SBNation, how do you think the Bucs will do against one of footballs most talented runners?

Photographs by, thelastminute, turtlemom nancy , fesek, kthypryn, justinwright, sue_elias, pointnshoot, and scrapstothefuture used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.