Have the St. Louis Rams peaked already? Here we are, entering Week 6, and I already feel like we've seen the best the Rams have to offer.
Now we'll see if this young team can overcome adversity and compete for the NFC West crown. Wait, let me clarify, the offense has and will continue to face adversity, the defense has no excuse and needs to get its act together.
It was clear the offense couldn't fully operate the way it needed to after Mark Clayton went down. Injuries didn't allow the Detroit Lions to put up 44 last week, awful play did.
Yes, Clayton is gone for the season, but Danny "typical white guy wide receiver" Amendola is still there. He's a star. I've been shouting this since training camp. He is every adjective used when describing white receivers in the NFL.
*For a great piece on white WRs in the NFL go here: http://www.threewaychili.com/bengals-2010/september/the-most-important-rule-in-football-white-receivers-must-only-be-compared-to-other-wwrs.html
Last week against Detroit, Sam Bradford threw to Amendola a WHOPPING 19 times. He finished with 12 receptions for 95 yards, which is 7.9 yards per catch. What's shocking to me is the fact that Bradford threw a total of 44 passes and 19 were to Amendola. That's 42 percent of his throws to one guy. And that one guy caught 52 percent of his completed passes. That doesn't seem very efficient to me.
The San Diego Chargers are the second ranked defense in the NFL; they are going to be all over Amendola like white on rice. Bradford has had tough tasks in each game, but this by far will be his toughest. Pat Shurmur better be ready to throw the kitchen sink at the Chargers defense. If having the second ranked defense doesn't make the Chargers a formidable opponent, then I think the fact that they have the top ranked offense in the NFL will.
Vincent Jackson who?
San Diego has the best offense in the NFL despite missing their best player in WR Vincent Jackson. The main reason, Philip Rivers. Rivers has been a beast in 2010. He's thrown the most TDs in the league, the most yards, and ranks third with a 105.4 QB rating.
If the Rams have a saving grace, it's that Rivers is much better at home than on the road.
Home: 75.5, Away: 58.2
Rivers is statistically a first and third quarter quarterback. Based on the stats, he's vulnerable in the second and fourth quarters.
First Quarter: 75.7 percent, Second Quarter: 56.6 percent, Third Quarter: 68.3 percent, Fourth Quarter: 55.8 percent
First Quarter: 2/0, Second Quarter: 4/2, Third Quarter: 3/0, Fourth Quarter: 2/2
First Quarter: 129.4, Second Quarter: 92.8, Third Quarter: 134.1, Fourth Quarter: 78.6
So there you go coach Spagnuolo, I've just laid out most of your defensive game plan. Rivers plays poor when he's tired and thrives when he's fresh. Throw everything you have at him before half and down the stretch.
Rams defenders will be hungry after getting toasted last week. Let them eat, let them attack Rivers with blitzes from all sides. When he goes down, pin him down.
I can't guarantee it will work, but I can guarantee you that if Shaun Hill and the Detroit Lions can put up 44, then Rivers and the Chargers can put up 84.
Stat of the Day:
Steven Jackson needs 141 rushing yards to pass Eric Dickerson as the Rams all-time leading rusher.
I'll be tweeting throughout the game on Sunday. Follow me on Twitter: @RamsReport