ST. LOUIS (AP) -- Steven Jackson is quickly showing the St. Louis
Rams that he is as good as advertised.
The 6-foot-2, 230-pound rookie out of Oregon State bowled over
the Redskins for 125 yards on 25 carries and scored on a 5-yard run
to help the Rams to a 28-3 victory Friday night over Washington.Rams coach Mike Martz said his brawny runner "just keeps
getting better and better.""When he hits that pile, he's relentless," Martz said. "You'd
better be prepared to tackle him. He's what everyone at Oregon
State said he was."Jackson ran for 3,625 yards and 39 touchdowns in three seasons
at Oregon State and was the first running back taken in April's
draft. He said he simply wanted to make a good impression and
perhaps move up the depth chart behind Marshall Faulk, who had 11
yards on four carries.The bruising back got better as the game went on, rushing for
103 yards in the second half."I tend to wear down the defense in the latter part of the
game," Jackson said. "That's where I get my big runs. That's
Steven Jackson of college football and what helped me get to this
level."When asked whether it was a breakout game for him, Jackson
shrugged."For some of the people who haven't seen me run, I guess so,"
he said. "But not for me. I'm not satisfied. I had a couple of
mistakes out there that I have to clean up."Torry Holt had seven catches for 143 yards for the Rams (1-2),
including a 7-yard TD from Marc Bulger in the second quarter. That
was the first touchdown by the Rams' starting offense in three
games this preseason. In its previous two outings, St. Louis
mustered just 13 points.St. Louis' first-string defense also got into the act, forcing
its first turnover of the preseason in the second quarter.
Cornerback Kevin Garrett stripped the ball from Taylor Jacobs after
a long completion from Patrick Ramsey and Aeneas Williams
recovered.Two plays later, Rams backup quarterback Chris Chandler hooked
up with Holt on a 58-yard pass to set up Chandler's 1-yard sneak
into the end zone, which gave St. Louis a 14-3 lead at halftime.Chandler was 9-of-15 for 190 yards and a 35-yard TD pass to
Shaun McDonald in the third quarter.Bulger was 6-for-12 for 78 yards, including the scoring pass to
Holt, but drew boos after overthrowing wide open receivers on
several occasions.Overall, Martz liked what he saw from his team."This was really a week for this team to come together," he
said. "We're excited, passionate about this game."Ramsey and Mark Brunell did little to resolve the quarterback
debate for Washington (2-1). Ramsey played the first half, but
completed just 5 of 10 passes for 81 yards before giving way to
Brunell, acquired in an offseason trade to challenge Ramsey for the
job. Brunell wasn't any better, going 5-of-8 for 28 yards.Redskins coach Joe Gibbs said Brunell would get the next
preseason start, but he has not decided who will be under center
when the regular season begins."Any time you get beat like that, it's a concern. You don't
like that," Gibbs said. "We were disappointing in every single
phase. We didn't run the ball well. I didn't feel like we did much
on offense. I think our defense struggled. I can't think of any one
thing we did well."In a 24-7 loss Monday at Kansas City -- an outing Bulger called
"embarrassing" -- Rams quarterbacks were sacked five times and
pressured relentlessly. But St. Louis' patchwork offensive line
held its own against the Redskins, allowing just one sack and
giving Chandler time to throw."Any time you play a game like this, there is a lot to learn,"
Redskins cornerback Fred Smoot said. "It's the preseason. Let's
go. Let's build on it. We're not going to go and panic. We're not
going worry about going 0-16. We're going to learn from this."Point blank, we needed this."Clinton Portis had 13 yards on three carries for Washington.
Redskins starting OT Chris Samuels sprained his right ankle
in the second quarter and did not return; X-rays were negative. ...
Rams G Tom Nutten sprained his right big toe in the third quarter
and did not return ... Before the game, the Rams released T Jason
Lenzmeier. ... Former St. Louis Cardinals and San Diego Chargers
head coach Don Coryell served as the Rams' honorary captain.