By Dave Thomas
After struggling their way to a 13-6 win this past Sunday over the winless Oakland Raiders, the San Diego Chargers get a house call next from an improving St. Louis squad.
With that in mind, are the Chargers possibly going to embark another losing streak, this after just snapping a three-game slide that saw them slip to third place in the AFC West?
While just about everyone on the planet figured the Chargers (6-4) would find some way to get by the Raiders (0-10), the same can’t be said about this coming Sunday’s intriguing meeting with a St. Louis (4-6) squad that owns victories over Seattle, San Francisco and Denver among others.
The Rams, who lost starting QB Sam Bradford early in the season for the second straight season to an ACL tear, have found ways to win despite such adversity. Just this past weekend, the Rams (about a touchdown underdog at home) shocked Peyton Manning and the Broncos by a 22-7 score.
St. Louis Will Prove Tough Test
When you looked at the NFL schedule before the season began, not to mention especially after Bradford went down for the count yet again, you couldn’t help but think that playing St. Louis (leads all-time series with San Diego 6-4) would not be the toughest of tasks.
Yes, you may not know all the names on this team, but the Rams have found a way to be relevant after all this season, leaving themselves still in the NFC wild card hunt.
On the offensive side of the ball, the Rams used five Greg Zuerlein field goals and a 63-yard TD pass from Shaun Hill to Kenny Britt to beat the Broncos. Keep in mind that the St. Louis ‘D’ held Manning and his high-powered offense to all of seven points.
Hill (301 yards passing on the season), who regained his starting job from Austin Davis, can turn to Britt (440 yards receiving on the season) or Jared Cook (446 yards) through the air, with Tre Mason (383 yards rushing to date) leading the ground attack.
Defensively, the Rams turn to linebackers Alec Ogletree (66 total tackles) and James Laurinaitis (65 total tackles) to stop the run and harass opposing quarterbacks, with defensive end Robert Quinn leading the team with six sacks.
For the Chargers, this is all but another must-win game as they look to secure a second straight spot in the AFC playoffs.
For more Chargers news and updates, visit Chargers Central.
Dave Thomas has been covering the sports world since his first job as a sports editor for a weekly newspaper in Pennsylvania back in 1989. He has covered a Super Bowl, college bowl games, MLB, NBA and more. His work can be found on Examiner.com.