The early-season St. Louis Rams were not very good. They were 1-4 and seemingly headed for another lost season, their vaunted defensive line woefully underperforming.
Then, like magic, they woke up. Look at this split:
First 5 Games: 1-4 (1 sack)
Last 5 Games: 3-2 (18 sacks)
So, while it may be easy to look at the Rams' 4-6 record and think "bad team", this has been a tale of two teams for Jeff Fisher's team this season. The Chargers, unfortunately, will be going up against the "good" Rams team on Sunday. Oh, and San Diego's offensive line isn't very good at protecting Philip Rivers...
In their last three games, the Rams defense is allowing an average of 45.3 rushing yards per game. Those are total team yards allowed against three very good running teams in the Broncos, Cardinals, and 49ers.
According to Football Outsiders, St. Louis has the 6th best run defense in the league this season. They also figure that San Diego has the 27th best rushing offense in the league.
Don't expect that Chargers offensive line or rushing game to suddenly come to life against the Rams. This, actually, might be their worst game of the season on the ground.
"Bad" Philip Rivers
I don't mind ESPN's QBR stat. Here's how Rivers' season splits up with it.
Philip Rivers' first 6 games: 85.0 average QBR
Philip Rivers' last 4 games: 57.3 average QBR
To give you an idea of the difference between the two, 85.0 as an average QBR would make Philip Rivers the 2nd-best QB in the league behind only Aaron Rodgers (85.9). 57.3 as an average QBR would make Rivers the 15th-best QB in the league behind Jay Cutler (59.0).
To put it simply, whether it's due to a "chest" injury or not, Philip Rivers is not playing very well right now. The Chargers need him to play fantastic to beat the Rams, who easily handled Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos.
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