How much longer will Steven Jackson be an elite back?

The following are all of the top 25 all-time leading rushers who have played at some point in the last 10 years (2002 or later).

Emmitt Smith

Last 1000 yard season: Age 32 (3798 carries)

3 seasons after age 32: 611 carries, 2168 yards, 16 touchdowns

Last season: Age 35 (4409 carries)

Curtis Martin

Last 1000 yard season: Age 31 (3298 carries)

1 season after age 31: 220 carries, 735 yards, 5 touchdowns

Last season: Age 32 (3518 carries)

LaDainian Tomlinson

Last 1000 yard season: Age 29 (2657 carries)

3 seasons after age 29: 517 carries, 1924 yards, 19 touchdowns

Last season: Age 32* (3174 carries)

Jerome Bettis

Last 1000 yard season: Age 29 (2686 carries)

4 seasons after age 29: 793 carries, 1939 yards, 38 touchdowns

Last season: Age 33 (3479 carries)

Marshall Faulk

Last 1000 yard season: Age 28 (2155 carries)

4 seasons after age 28: 681 carries, 2837 yards, 21 touchdowns

Last season: Age 32 (2836 carries)

Edgerrin James

Last 1000 yard season: Age 29 (2849 carries)

2 seasons after age 29: 179 carries, 639 yards, and 3 touchdowns

Last season: Age 31 (3028 carries)

Fred Taylor

Last 1000 yard season: Age 31 (2285 carries)

3 seasons after age 31: 249 carries, 980 yards, and 5 touchdowns

Last season: Age 34 (2534 carries)

Corey Dillon

Last 1000 yard season: Age 30 (2210 carries)

2 seasons after age 30: 408 carries, 1545 yards, and 25 touchdowns

Last season: Age 32 (2618 carries)

Warrick Dunn

Last 1000 yard season: Age 31 (2256 carries)

2 seasons after age 31: 413 carries, 1506 yards, and 6 touchdowns

Last season: Age 33 (2669 carries)

Jamal Lewis

Last 1000 yard season: Age 29 (2399 carries)

1 season after age 29: 143 carries, 500 yards, and 0 touchdowns

Last season: Age 30 (2542 carries)

Thomas Jones

Last 1000 yard season: Age 31 (2280 carries)

2 seasons after age 31: 398 carries, 1374 yards, and 6 touchdowns

Last season: Age 33* (2678 carries)

Tiki Barber

Last 1000 yard season: Age 31 (2217 carries)

0 seasons after age 31: X

Last season: Age 31 (2217 carries)

Eddie George

Last 1000 yard season: Age 30 (2733 carries)

1 season after age 30: 132 carries, 432 yards, and 4 touchdowns

Last season: Age 31 (2865 carries)

Average

Last 1000 yard season: Age 30.1 (2601.8 carries)

Per season after last 1000 yard season (28 total): 169.4 carries, 592.1 yards (3.5 YPC), 5.3 touchdowns

Last season: Age 32.2 (2966.7 carries)

*=LaDainian Tomlinson and Thomas Jones are both free agents, but are not expected to play next season

Steven Jackson is currently at 2138 carries and coming off his age 28 season. He’s currently 32nd all time in rushing yards and 1180 yards outside of the top 25 so he fits in this class of players, though I’d call him slightly below the average of the group. The average member of this group has his last 1000 yard season in his age 30 season at 2602 carrier carries.

Jackson has 2 seasons and 564 carries to go before he’s at that point, but because he’s below average, I would only consider him a safe bet to have 1000 yards for one more season. And after players have their drop off, they average just 169 carries per season at 3.5 yards per carry and just 5 touchdowns, so they’re really a non-factor as a back. The Rams really need to start looking at a replacement back in the next season or two.

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