Today kicks off the much heralded stretch of the Rams' schedule with four tough games in row, and only one of them at home. Granted a break with Seattle's injuries, the Rams need to at least split these four games and come out of a rough month with a 6-4 record. That will a) legitmize them in the eyes of the league and those getting paid to watch, keeping them from being totally written off as the byproduct of a soft NFC West schedule, and b) that record will keep them in the hunt for the playoffs.
San Diego's defense has lots of speed and skill, some of which is helped by tained substances, and the lead the AFC in sacks. Because Bulger and the passing game will be essential to putting points on the board (witness the Huard performance against the Chargers last week), stopping the pass rush is a must. With the bye week, pass protection, something was truly awful against the Seahawks with 6 sacks allowed, became a major focus for the players on that side of the ball. Blocking assignments will be just as important as WR routes, with everyone chipping in. There will be NO margin of error this week.
The Rams need a win and a Seattle loss to grab uncontested control of the NFC West. Before KC's back up QB was injured this week, I would have said a Seahawks loss was a foregone conclusion, but now it's essentially a preseason game, and who the hell knows how that will turn out.
Football is full of cliches, propelling meathead coaches into the stratosphere of speaking fees with their uncanny ability to recite them to corporate drones at the Holiday Inn conference center, and the Rams are in a situation where a cliche applies. The Rams have to take control of their own destiny and get the win today, everything else will just have to sort itself out.