The Week Ahead

The San Diego Chargers travel to St. Louis leaving behind an ugly 44-13 loss at the hands of the New York Jets. St. Louis looks to continue its winning ways having won their last three games after losing their first five. The Rams have battled back despite losing starting quarterback Kurt Warner and will bring the intensity and renewed vigor of Marshall Faulk into Sunday's game. Kickoff is at 10 AM PST at the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis.

The Rams come off another impressive win, showing dominance on the ground against Arizona to win 27-14. Marshall Faulk gained 174 yards on 27 carries with one touchdown and added 5 receptions for 58 yards while battling the flu and cramps to his legs. Marc Bulger completed 20 of 29 passes for 245 yards with 2 touchdowns and 2 interceptions. The Rams defense held Arizona to just 64 yards on the ground and Leonard Little forced a fumble to go along with a Kim Herring interception.

The Chargers meanwhile are looking to forget the past that includes a beating from the New York Jets. The Jets embarrassed the Bolts in every facet of the game en route to a 44-13 victory on the Bolts home turf in front of a crowd gathered to watch the Chargers also induct Stan Humphries and Bobby Ross into their Hall of Fame. On a day where the Chargers wore the powder blue uniforms to honor the 1994 team, they dishonored themselves with lackluster play. LaDainian Tomlinson was held to 60 yards on 12 carries, mostly due out of the Chargers need to put the ball in the air. Drew Brees could not work his magic on this day as he threw for 192 yards on 22 of 35 passing with 2 interceptions and one touchdown. The Chargers were dreadful on special teams again this week and are looking to rebound in every phase.

"We had a bad day, and a lot of guys don't want to have this taste in their mouth,'' running back LaDainian Tomlinson said. "I will bet anything we will bounce back and play well next week."

Added Ryan McNeil: "I guarantee you you'll see a better football team in all phases when we play next week against the Rams."

In the Rams' three-game winning streak, Faulk's carries-per-game average has more than doubled. Faulk has gained 571 yards in 85 attempts and has 16 catches for 132 yards during that stretch.

The Chargers will need to establish themselves early and throw the ball deep to take some pressure off Tomlinson. The special teams will again get extra reps, but as Coach Schottenheimer stated, "We may not have available to us right now the players that we need to have to get it done in that one phase."

5 keys to a Charger Victory

1. Stop Faulk. With Kurt Warner out the Rams have finally figured out that getting Faulk the ball as much as possible is the way to win. The Rams are 19-0 when Faulk rushes for over 100 yards.

2. Win the first half. Make Bulger have to come from behind to win the game. The Bolts need to control the tempo of the game and score early. By making Bulger have to make plays it takes the ball out of the hands of Faulk and mistakes will happen.

3. Get Tomlinson involved. Tomlinson needs to be a factor in the running game and the passing game. LT is just as deadly as a receiver as he is in the backfield.

4. Throw deep. The Chargers have not thrown deep all year long. Tim Dwight is a speedster; let's see him racing down the sidelines to catch a bomb.

5. Special Teams. Fix it, change it, make it work. Throw some specialty plays in for the kick return game. Somehow give it a spark to get the Bolts better field position.

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