The Sports Report: Chargers double up on Raiders, 28-14
Howdy, I’m your host, Houston Mitchell. Let’s get right to the news.
Sam Farmer on the Chargers: The lightning crackled, thunder rumbled, and a light rain fell over Inglewood. The kickoff of Monday night’s AFC West showdown between the Chargers and Las Vegas Raiders was postponed 35 minutes, as SoFi Stadium is still considered an open-air venue even if it’s only exposed on the sides.
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Once the game started, a true whether delay.
No one knew whether the Raiders would show up.
They finally did – cutting the Chargers’ lead to a touchdown in the second half – but it wasn’t enough, as Los Angeles scored again in the fourth quarter to pull away for a 28-14 victory.
More evidence that this is going to be a wild, back-and-forth tussle within the division.
Could these really be the same Raiders who were 3-0 for the first time since their Super Bowl season of 2002? The same ones who in their two home games scored 33 and 31 points and rolled up 988 yards of offense?
What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas.
In the first half, the Raiders mustered just one first down and saw their 51 yards of offense wiped out by 53 yards in penalties. They generated zero yards of offense in the first quarter – zero! – and averaged 2.1 yards per play in the first half, compared to 6.0 by the Chargers.
The Raiders once revered the Vertical Stretch. Monday night, the Vertical Stench.
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Gary Klein on the Rams: No time to look back.
The Rams have only a few days to prepare for Thursday night’s NFC West road game against the Seattle Seahawks, so players and coaches did not spend much time reflecting on their defeat to the Arizona Cardinals.
“For now, it’s really turn the page to Seattle and everything you can do to cram information for that,” offensive lineman Andrew Whitworth said Monday. “And also, most importantly, get your body ready.”
The Rams’ 37-20 defeat dropped their record to 3-1 overall and 0-1 in the division.
After the loss, Rams cornerback Jalen Ramsey said he understood the benefit of Thursday night games from a television ratings and NFL marketing perspective. But he is not a fan of having only a few days between games.
“I never liked quick turnarounds, win, loss or whatever,” he said.
The quick turnaround does, however, offer one benefit, coach Sean McVay said.
“We’re excited about the opportunity to respond, and so that’s what we’re looking to do,” he said Monday, adding, “It was not the outing that we wanted from anybody, myself included, but fortunately we’ve got a short week to be able to dust ourselves off, get back up and get ready to roll.”
The Seahawks are 2-2 and 1-0 in the division after defeating the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday.
Jorge Castillo on the Dodgers: The two pitchers went to dinner together two weekends ago in Arizona, where they were wrapping up what likely would be their final regular-season trip as teammates. They reminisced about a friendship that began 15 years earlier across the country at the lowest rung of minor league baseball, in another galaxy from the stardom that awaited them in Los Angeles. Time flew.
“I love Clayton, man,” Kenley Jansen said. “We talked a little bit about it, how awesome it is to play with each other, how grateful we are.”
It began in Florida in 2006. Clayton Kershaw was a first-round pick from Dallas. Jansen was a catcher from Curaçao. It was Jansen behind the plate when Kershaw made his professional debut in the Gulf Coast League. Four years later, after moving from behind the plate to the mound, Jansen earned his first major league save in his second career appearance in a 1-0 win that Kershaw started.
This October is probably their last together.
“You don’t have time to say goodbye because we’re going to be in the playoffs, which is a great thing,” Kershaw said. “But I think everybody kind of understands the situation next year.”
UCLA MEN’S BASKETBALL
Ben Bolch on the Bruins: Mick Cronin has relived his most magical season multiple times, rewatching every moment of every game, with one exception.
“I just hit pause,” Cronin said Monday of his routine for withstanding the agony of Jalen Suggs’ 40-foot bank shot that sunk UCLA at the end of a Final Four loss to Gonzaga. “Things that don’t matter — social media comments, half-court bank shots. There’s nothing I’m going to learn from watching that.”
As for his team’s encore, the Bruins coach is eager to press play. Every player is back from the unexpected run to a national semifinal, making UCLA a fashionable pick to return to college basketball’s biggest stage. Several media outlets have picked the Bruins No. 1 or No. 2 in their preseason rankings, creating a welcome buzz.
Bubba Wallace became just the second Black driver to win at NASCAR’s top Cup Series level when rain stopped Monday’s playoff race at Talladega Superspeedway.
Wallace had driven through a crash and to the front of the field five laps before the second rain stoppage of the race. NASCAR tried to dry the track for nearly 45 minutes, but called things off as sunset approached and the rain showing no sign of ceasing.
Wallace, who had been waiting atop his pit stand, celebrated wildly with his crew when the race was called. Wallace is in his first season driving for 23X1 Racing, a team owned by both Denny Hamlin and Michael Jordan.
Wallace broke down in tears after he returned to his parked No. 23 Toyota. The car number was picked for co-owner Jordan, who wore 23 in the NBA.
“This is for all the kids out there that want to have an opportunity and whatever they want to achieve, and be the best at what they want to do,” Wallace said as he choked back tears. “You’re going to go through a lot of (BS). But you always got to stick true to your path and not let the nonsense get to you.
“Stay strong. Stay humble. Stay hungry. Been plenty of times when I wanted to give up.”
Wallace is the first Black driver to win at NASCAR’s elite Cup level since Wendell Scott in 1963 — a race where he wasn’t declared the victor for several months. NASCAR at last presented Scott’s family with his trophy from that race two months ago.
Thuc Nhi Nguyen on the Sparks: Sparks star Nneka Ogwumike won the WNBA’s Kim Perrot Sportsmanship Award for the third consecutive time, the league announced Sunday, making her the first player to win the award in three consecutive seasons.
Ogwumike received 19 of 49 votes for the award that honors a player who exemplifies the ideals of sportsmanship on the court, including ethical behavior, fair play and integrity. The Atlanta Dream’s Elizabeth Williams finished second with eight votes.
As the WNBPA president, Ogwumike has been a leading force in the league’s social justice campaigns, which focused on health equity for Black women this season after players championed racial justice and the #SayHerName campaign last year.
Bill Dwyre on the Angels: In Anaheim, right down the street from the happiest place on Earth, rests one of the saddest. It is known as Angel Stadium. Once upon a time, long, long ago, they played real, competitive, major league baseball there.
The current team has continued a recent tradition of sad-sack performing. The 2021 Angels held Fan Appreciation Night last Saturday, and one wonders what they could possibly have given to the patient and faithful that would be a fair measure of the team’s gratitude for paying to watch this frequently grisly show.
Actually, on this Fan Appreciation Night, the Angels came through nicely, gifting the 30,221 in the stands a 14-1 win over playoff contender Seattle. More likely, the fans had come just for the postgame fireworks.
If this team were playing in Philadelphia, and it held a fan appreciation celebration after a season like this, the players and management would need guard dogs and bullet proof vests. But this is Anaheim and the Angels, where there seems to be mostly shrugs, even encouraging words, when the team does something mildly positive, such as approaching the .500 mark. It did that dozens of times this summer before settling into its real level, a handful of games below that standard of mediocrity.
For the Angels, the weather is always perfect, the stadium remains beautiful and well maintained, and the hot dogs taste pretty good. Wins and losses seem less of a big deal. This will be the seventh consecutive season without a playoff berth, and that means a steadily lowering bar of expectations. Plus, a die-hard baseball fan, one who thinks that winning a lot and getting into the postseason is important, can just go to a Dodgers game.
THIS DATE IN SPORTS
1900 — Britain’s Harry Vardon wins the U.S. Open golf title, beating J.H. Taylor with a 313 total at the Chicago Golf Club.
1985 — Eddie Robinson becomes college football’s winningest coach as Grambling beats Prairie View A&M 27-7. It’s Robinson’s 324th victory, one more than Paul “Bear” Bryant had before he retired from Alabama after the 1982 season.
1991 — Fresno State ties an NCAA record for most points in a quarter, with 49 in the second period as it pounds New Mexico 94-17. Fresno State’s Derek Mahoney ties an NCAA record with 13 extra points.
1994 — The NBA shortens the 3-point distance to a uniform 22 feet.
1996 — Byron Hanspard rushes for 287 yards, his fifth straight 200-yard game this season, to lead Texas Tech to a 45-24 win over Baylor.
2001 — Barry Bonds sets a new mark for home runs in a single season, hitting Nos. 71 and 72, but San Francisco is eliminated from the playoffs with an 11-10 loss to the Dodgers.
2001 — The Mariners win their 115th game of the year to become the winningest team in American League history, passing the record the Yankees set three years earlier.
2005 — Daniel Alfredsson scores twice in the final 6 minutes of regulation and once during the first shootout in NHL history, leading Ottawa to a 3-2 win over Toronto.
2006 — Brendan Shanahan of the New York Rangers becomes the 15th player with 600 goals in the NHL when he scores twice in a 5-2 win over Washington.
2008 — Peyton Manning turns a colossal collapse by the Houston Texans into a stunning victory for the Indianapolis Colts. The Colts score 21 points in a late span of 2:10 — two touchdowns thanks to fumbles by Sage Rosenfels — then intercepts Rosenfels’ last-ditch comeback attempt for a 31-27 win.
2013 — Eighth-ranked Florida State stays undefeated in Atlantic Coast Conference play with a 63-0 victory over No. 25 Maryland. Maryland matches the largest losing margin by a ranked team. UCLA beat No. 11 Texas 66-3, on Sept. 13, 1997.
2013 — Marcus Mariota throws five touchdown passes and runs for two scores as No. 2 Oregon routs Colorado 57-16. The Ducks reach the 50-point plateau for a school record fifth straight time. Oregon have scored at least 55 points in all of its games under first-year coach Mark Helfrich.
2014 — Brian Hoyer’s 6-yard touchdown pass to Travis Benjamin with 1:09 left rallies the Cleveland Browns from a 25-point deficit to beat the Tennessee Titans 29-28. It’s the largest comeback in league history by a road team.
2014 — Denver’s Peyton Manning was 31 of 47 for a career-high 479 yards with four TDs, including the 500th of his career, along with two interceptions to help the Broncos beat Arizona 41-20.
2015 — San Jose Sharks forward Raffi Torres is hit with the longest suspension in NHL history when the league banned him for the first 41 games of the season for an illegal check to the head of Anaheim’s Jakob Silfverberg during an Oct. 3 preseason game.
2017 — Connor McDavid, Alex Ovechkin, Wayne Simmonds and Brandon Saad each record a hat trick in his team’s season opener. It’s the first time four different players score at least three goals in his season opener in 100 years, since the NHL’s first two games back in 1917.
Supplied by the Associated Press
Barry Bonds hits his 71st home run. Watch it here.
Until next time...
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