The Sports Report: Last place Rams lose game and Cooper Kupp

J.J. Watt sacks Rams quarterback John Wolford.
(Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

Howdy, I’m your host, Houston Mitchell. Let’s get right to the news.

From Gary Klein: Cooper Kupp sat hunched on the Rams bench, right elbow on his knee, his head dejectedly in his hand.

A few moments later, the star receiver stood and then limped on an injured ankle up the tunnel to the locker room.

Kupp’s day was over.

The Rams’ season might be as well.

A 27-17 defeat to the struggling Arizona Cardinals on Sunday — the Rams’ third loss in a row — dropped their record to 3-6 and sent them spiraling to last place in the NFC West.

“Not a lot of positives that you can take away from this,” said coach Sean McVay, whose team has lost five of its last six games, “There’s just a lot of different reasons that we’re in this position.”


Kupp, the reigning NFL offensive player of the year, has been one of the few bright spots this season. He was injured in the fourth quarter when he rolled under a Cardinals defensive back on an incomplete pass near the Rams sideline.

“It didn’t look good,” McVay said when asked for an update, “It didn’t sound good.”


Elliott: Sean McVay can’t see which way is up after being ‘humbled’ by loss to Cardinals

Photos | Rams’ struggles continue in loss to Cardinals

Enjoying this newsletter? Consider subscribing to the Los Angeles Times

Your support helps us deliver the news that matters most. Become a subscriber.


As part of our look back at 75 years of the Lakers, we want you to tell us who you believe are the 10 greatest Lakers of all time. Minneapolis and Los Angeles are included, so don’t hesitate to put someone like George Mikan on your list. Compile your list of the 10 greatest Lakers, in order from 1 to 10, and email it to Our team of experts voted on players only, but you can include nonplayers, so if you think Chick Hearn or Jerry Buss or heck, even Dancing Barry, deserve a spot in the top 10, feel free to vote for them. You have until Dec. 1 to vote. First place on your ballot will receive 12 points, second place nine, third place eight points, etc. The readers’ top 10 will be announced soon after voting closes.


From Dan Woike: Sunday, no matter the 116-103 Lakers win over the Brooklyn Nets, was about the could-haves.

The Lakers and the Nets helped reshuffle the future of the NBA in the summer of 2019, the Nets adding Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving, the Lakers pairing Anthony Davis with LeBron James.


It was expected that these teams would play against each other in the most meaningful games, some of the most talented players to ever play in separate conferences separated by an entire continent. Those odds only increased when the teams added James Harden and Russell Westbrook, respectively.

If they could have stayed healthy, if the teams could have avoided the off-court drama, the flawed free-agent signings and the wrong trade targets — Sunday could have been an NBA Finals rematch or preview.


From Jeff Miller: They led from the first four minutes until the final eight minutes while injury riddled and undermanned, on the road against an opponent with a deeper, more dynamic roster.

But the Chargers still lost 22-16 to the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday night, the NFL not a place where attaboys matter much.

“We didn’t come here to get a pat on the back for playing hard,” coach Brandon Staley said. “That’s not what this team is about. We came here to win tonight. ... Now, we didn’t win. But the effort and the physicality — the toughness of our team — that was good enough.

“That was what I expect in terms of going nose to nose with a good team. Our group didn’t back down tonight. Our team was the aggressor. We just didn’t go down in the second half.”


Justin Herbert goes from efficient to ineffective after helmet hit derails momentum


From Ben Bolch: On a wonky night for UCLA, its defense giving out yardage like Rose Bowl flea market flyers and its offense a beat off its usual rhythm, one thing remained constant.

Coach Chip Kelly repeated his refrain about everyone picking their heads up in December to see whether their accomplishments over the course of the season were good enough.

Thanks to what happened on a frigid night at the Rose Bowl that chilled the Bruins to their football core, it might not be.

Before Saturday, UCLA was on track for a New Year’s Six bowl game. A few more wins and it could have ended that epic Rose Bowl game drought that goes back to 1999 or been selected for the Cotton Bowl as a gratifying consolation prize. Even the College Football Playoff remained a dreamy but not out-of-the-question possibility.

Now, after a horrid 34-28 loss to Arizona, the Bruins are on pace for a few other holiday destinations. San Antonio for the Alamo Bowl? El Paso for the Sun Bowl? San Diego for the Holiday Bowl, should bowl organizers be in a forgiving mood after the Bruins’ last-minute pullout a year ago?


McCollough: UCLA’s choke job robs L.A. of grand return to college football’s big stage


The UCLA women’s basketball team improved to 3-0 as Charisma Osborne scored 29 points and grabbed 10 rebounds in Sunday’s 95-83 win over Troy.

Osborne was 11-for-17 from the field and was one of five Bruins to reach double-digit scoring.


1943 — Sid Luckman of the Chicago Bears becomes the first pro to pass for more than 400 yards (433) and seven touchdowns in a 56-7 victory over the New York Giants.

1964 — Gus Johnson and Walt Bellamy become the first NBA teammates to score 40 points apiece as the Baltimore Bullets beat the Lakers 127-115. Johnson has 41 points, Bellamy 40.

1964 — Detroit’s Gordie Howe becomes the NHL’s all-time goal-scoring leader, including playoffs, with his 627th career goal. Howe beats Montreal’s Charlie Hodge in a 4-2 loss.

1965 — Gary Cuozzo, subbing for injured Johnny Unitas, throws five touchdown passes to lead the Baltimore Colts to a 41-21 victory over the Minnesota Vikings.

1966 — Muhammad Ali knocks out Cleveland Williams in the third round to retain the world heavyweight title in Houston.

1970 — Forty-three members of the Marshall football team die when their chartered plane crashes in Kenova, W.Va.

1993 — Don Shula breaks George Halas’ career record for victories with No. 325 as the Miami Dolphins defeat Philadelphia 19-14. Shula’s record: 325-153-6 in 31 seasons with Baltimore and Miami; Halas, 324-151-31 in 40 seasons with Chicago.

2004 — Chicago’s 19-17 win over Tennessee marks the second time an NFL game ended in overtime on a safety.

2004 — John and Ashley Force become the first father-daughter combo in NHRA history to win at the same event in the season finale. John Force races to his 114th Funny Car victory, and his 21-year-old daughter takes the Top Alcohol class at Pomona Raceway.

2009 — Toby Gerhart rushes for 178 yards and three touchdowns as Stanford annihilates Southern California 55-21. It’s the most points ever conceded by the Trojans, who played their first game in 1888.

2009 — Daniel Passafiume sets the NCAA record for most receptions in a single game, catching 25 passes for Division III Hanover College. Passafiume finishes with 153 yards receiving and two touchdowns in a 42-28 loss to Franklin.

2010 — John Force wins his NHRA-record 15th Funny Car season championship, completing an improbable and emotional comeback from a horrific accident in Dallas three years ago that left the 61-year-old star’s racing future in serious jeopardy. Force becomes the oldest champion in NHRA history on the same day that the series crowns its youngest champion, 20-year-old Pro Stock Motorcycle rider LE Tonglet.

2010 — The New York Jets defeat the Browns 26-20 in overtime at Cleveland Browns Stadium. The Jets, who won 23-20 in OT at Detroit’s Ford Field last week, are the first team in NFL history to win road games in overtime in consecutive weeks.

2015 — Navy quarterback Keenan Reynolds breaks the NCAA record for career rushing touchdowns, upping his total to 81 with four scores in the No. 22 Midshipmen’s 55-14 over SMU.

2015 — Kellen Dunham scores 24 points and No. 24 Butler breaks four school records in a 144-71 trouncing of The Citadel. The 144 points are the most points scored by a team in a men’s college basketball game featuring two D-I schools since TCU beat Texas-Pan American 153-87 in 1997.

2017 — Grayson Allen — Duke’s lone senior — scores a career-high 37 points, freshman Trevon Duval has 17 points and 10 assists, and the top-ranked Blue Devils beat No. 2 Michigan State 88-81 in the Champions Classic in Chicago. Wendell Carter Jr. adds 12 points and 12 rebounds, helping Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski improve to 12-1 in his career against Michigan State.

Compiled by the Associated Press

And finally

Daniel Passafiume sets the NCAA record for receptions. Watch and listen here.

Until next time...

That concludes today’s newsletter. If you have any feedback, ideas for improvement or things you’d like to see, email me at, and follow me on Twitter at @latimeshouston. To get this newsletter in your inbox, click here.