Chargers cause teams to rethink standing

The St. Louis Rams believed they had something going when they arrived at Qualcomm Stadium but left knowing they have to improve to play the elite of the league. The Chargers have a funny way of doing that to teams.

Chargers running back LaDainian Tomlinson rushed for 183 yards on 25 attempts, with 118 yards coming on four carries. The two biggest were a 51-yard run that set up a field goal and a 38-yard run for a touchdown. His other 21 other rushing attempts totaled 65 yards.

"Especially against a guy like LT (LaDainian Tomlinso), we needed the best chance available, and I wasn't that best chance," linebacker Pisa Tinoisamoa said. "We had to go with 'Coak.' " Said defensive end Leonard Little, "We would stop them for one, two or three yards, and then they would bust a play for 20. We, as a defense, were not in the right place at the right time and we didn't make tackles when we needed to. That's what the game of football is all about and, for a defense, it is making tackles. We missed some tackles we should have made on a good back."

Tomlinson was a one-man wrecking crew, adding another 57 yards on pass plays, including a 25-yard touchdown. For the game, the Chargers totaled 419 yards on 59 plays, with more than half of those yards -- 232 -- coming on nine plays. Their other 50 plays netted 187 yards.

In addition, the Rams did not have a takeaway against the Chargers after entering the game with 16, the fourth-highest total in the NFL.

"They made more plays than we did in the end," Witherspoon said. "Defensively, we didn't really get started the way we wanted to. All in all, we let them get some things and they made bigger plays than we did."

On offense, the Rams started slowly, but the game turned in the third quarter. Trailing 14-7, the Rams had a first down at the San Diego 29-yard line after a 37-yard pass play from quarterback Marc Bulger to wide receiver Isaac Bruce. Running back Stephen Davis gained four yards up the middle, but fumbled. Chargers safety Marlon McCree recovered and ran 79 yards for a touchdown.

It was the Rams' sixth turnover of the season and their only one of the game, but they were never able to recover from the 21-7 deficit.

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