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The Sports Report: Rams don’t look super in loss to Buccaneers

467510_SP_0929_rams_bucs3_WJS.jpg
Jared Goff walks off the field after fumbling the ball late in the fourth quarter.
(Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)

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

RAMS

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have not made the playoffs since the 2007 season. They came to the Coliseum on Sunday with a 1-2 record. But the Rams spotted the Buccaneers 21 points and could not recover in a 55-40 loss before 68,117.

Rams quarterback Jared Goff had three passes intercepted and also had a fumble returned for a touchdown as the Rams suffered their first loss of the season with a Thursday night game at the Seattle Seahawks coming up next.

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Todd Gurley rushed for two touchdowns and Marcus Peters returned an interception for a touchdown but it wasn’t enough save the Rams.

Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston had an outstanding performance, passing for 385 yards and four touchdowns, two to receiver Chris Godwin, one to tight end Cameron Brate and another to receiver Mike Evans.

Winston, the No. 1 pick in the 2015 NFL draft, completed 28 of 41 passes and beat the Rams with short, intermediate and long completions. Godwin caught 12 passes for 172 yards.

The Rams’ loss was reminiscent of a 27-20 loss to the Washington Redskins in Week 2 of 2017, McVay’s only other early-season defeat at the Coliseum.

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Goff completed 45 of 68 passes for a career-best 517 yards and two touchdowns. But his four turnovers doomed the Rams.

Read the rest of Gary Klein’s game story by clicking here.

RAMS SCHEDULE

All times Pacific. Radio: 710 ESPN, 93.1 JACK FM

Rams 30, at Carolina 27

at Rams 27, New Orleans 9

Rams 20, at Cleveland 13

Tampa Bay 55, at Rams 40

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Thursday at Seattle, 5:15 p.m., Fox, NFL Network

Oct. 13 vs. San Francisco, 1 p.m., Fox

Oct. 20 at Atlanta, 10 a.m., Fox

Oct. 27 vs. Cincinnati, 10 a.m., CBS (in London, counts as home game for Rams)

Nov. 10 at Pittsburgh, 1:15 p.m., Fox

Nov. 17 vs. Chicago, 5:15 p.m., NBC

Nov. 25 vs. Baltimore, 5:15 p.m., ESPN

Dec. 1 at Arizona, 1 p.m., Fox

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Dec. 8 vs. Seattle, 5:15 p.m., NBC

Dec. 15 at Dallas, 1:15 p.m., Fox

Dec. 22 or 23 at San Francisco, TBD

Dec. 29 vs. Arizona, 1:15 p.m., Fox

CHARGERS

What Philip Rivers lacked in mobility he made up for in creativity, the 37-year-old Chargers quarterback turning Sunday’s game at Hard Rock Stadium into an afternoon at the improv.

Rivers went off schedule on a pair of first-half touchdown passes to Troymaine Pope and Austin Ekeler in a 30-10 victory over the Miami Dolphins — flicking a sidearm pass under the arms of a defender and to an unsuspecting Pope for a 13-yard score, and throwing across his body and on the run to Ekeler for an 18-yard score.

The heavy-legged Rivers will never be compared to Patrick Mahomes and Deshaun Watson for his scrambling ability, but he showed again why he can still compete in the same league as those young gunslingers.

Rivers completed passes to nine teammates while going 24 for 30 for 310 yards and a 131.9 quarterback rating. He became the ninth quarterback in NFL history to win 120 regular-season games.

“Hey, he’s a playmaker, man, whether you see it or not,” Ekeler said of Rivers. “Mahomes is a different type of playmaker, but Phil is in the same category for us. He makes it happen.

“I’ve seen him throw in every single direction. When I first got here, he was throwing sidearm, and I was like, ‘What the heck?’ But he works on it. We have drills where he works on sidearm throws and everything.”

Read the rest of Jeff Miller’s game story by clicking here.

By the way, for some reason I listed the Chargers as “San Diego” when I listed the TV schedule in yesterday’s newsletter. See, what happened was, I was a victim of the Thanos Snap and was out of commission when they moved. That’s my story until I come up with a better one.

CHARGERS SCHEDULE

All times Pacific. Radio: KFI-AM 640, KFWB-AM 980

at Chargers 30, Indianapolis 24 (OT)

at Detroit 13, Chargers 10

Houston 27, at Chargers 20

Chargers 30, at Miami 10

Sunday vs. Denver, 1 p.m., CBS

Oct. 13 vs. Pittsburgh, 5:15 p.m., NBC

Oct. 20 at Tennessee, 1 p.m., CBS

Oct. 27 at Chicago, 10 a.m., Fox

Nov. 3 vs. Green Bay, 1:15 p.m., CBS

Nov. 10 at Oakland, 5:15 p.m., Fox, NFL Network

Nov. 18 vs. Kansas City, 5:15 p.m., ESPN (at Mexico City, counts as home game for Chargers)

Dec. 1 at Denver, 1:15 p.m., CBS

Dec. 8 at Jacksonville, 1 p.m., Fox

Dec. 15 vs. Minnesota, 5:15 p.m., NBC

Dec. 22 or 23 vs. Oakland, TBD

Dec. 29 at Kansas City, 10 a.m., CBS

DODGERS

The Dodgers defeated San Francisco on Sunday, 9-0, for their 106th victory, surpassing the 135-year-old franchise’s record set by the 1953 Brooklyn Dodgers. (Of course, what’s rarely mentioned is Brooklyn did it in 154 games, compared to 162 for this year’s team.)

“I’m going to take a moment to appreciate what we did as an organization,” manager Dave Roberts said. “When you’re talking about the regular season and all those great teams in Dodgers history, it takes a lot to accomplish what we accomplished as a group, as an organization, and there’s a lot to be said for that. Very proud of everyone, top to bottom.”

The Dodgers also set a franchise mark for run differential (plus 273) and won the National League West by a record 21 games. They will play Game 1 of the National League Division Series on Thursday against the winner of Tuesday’s wild-card game between the Washington Nationals and Milwaukee Brewers.

“It’s cool,” Dodgers left-hander Clayton Kershaw said. “It’s a lot of wins. Let’s try to win 11 more.”

The top priority for Los Angeles on Sunday was Rich Hill. Last year, Hill found out he was starting the regular-season finale against the Giants (77-85) less than 24 hours before the game. The stakes were different then. The Dodgers needed to win to avoid the wild-card game.

On Sunday, the left-hander was making his second start since re-injuring the medial collateral ligament in his left knee in an attempt to convince his superiors he is fit to pitch in the playoffs. Hill offered a strong case with three scoreless innings. He allowed one hit, walked two, and recorded four strikeouts. He appeared more comfortable throwing his 49 pitches than he did during his start Tuesday. Afterward, he threw another 15 pitches in the bullpen.

Roberts said he is “feeling really good about” Hill starting Game 4 of the NLDS if necessary.

Read the rest of Jorge Castillo’s game story by clicking here.

ANGELS

Angels manager Brad Ausmus has heard the rumors regarding his future in Anaheim. He dismissed them before Sunday’s season-ending 8-5 loss to the Houston Astros at Angel Stadium.

“I have a contract,” he said. “That’s the only thing I know.”

Ausmus was named the Angels’ manager last October, a few weeks after Mike Scioscia stepped down from the post he had held for 19 seasons. Ausmus was highly regarded by general manger Billy Eppler, who hired Ausmus as a special assistant in November 2017.

Yet speculation that Ausmus was on his way out began as soon as it became evident that Chicago Cubs manager Joe Maddon, 65, would not have his contract extended. Maddon was with the Angels for 31 years as a coach and interim manager before taking the helm of the Tampa Bay Rays in 2006. Maddon managed the Cubs to the 2016 World Series title.

The Athletic reported last week that the Angels would entertain the idea of replacing Ausmus if Maddon became available. The Angels have not made any public comments regarding Ausmus’ status. Eppler, who is under contract for at least one more year, is set to speak with reporters Monday.

Ausmus is signed through 2021.

“I’ve kind of learned to shrug those things off,” said Ausmus, who previously managed the Detroit Tigers from 2014 to 2017. “There was a point in Detroit in 2015, my second year there, it came out that I was being fired. I was there for two more years. So you learn to take it with a grain of salt.”

Read the rest of Maria Torres’ story by clicking here.

Also: Angels broadcaster Mark Langston says ‘life is different’ after cardiac emergency

LAKERS

Avery Bradley has been the defensive standout of Lakers training camp so far.

“He’s the guy that everybody’s talking about,” coach Frank Vogel said. “Anthony and LeBron look imposing together, that lineup today looked imposing together. We’ve got two of the best players in the world competing together and all anybody’s talking about is Avery Bradley’s tenaciousness.”

Bradley was one of the Lakers’ trial starters Sunday, joining Dwight Howard and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope as the teammates of James and Davis. They dominated practice, in Vogel’s opinion, in no small part because of Bradley.

“We saw a mismatch, in LeBron and Anthony’s team really sort of had their way with the other teams,” Vogel said.

So far training camp is going according to plan for the combo guard, who has lofty goals for the season.

“This is a whole new opportunity for me to prove myself each and every night,” Bradley said. “There’s no bigger stage than this. Each and every night, every opportunity I get I’m gonna try to prove, to show the world I’m the best perimeter defender in the NBA.”

CLIPPERS

The Clippers had the most lethal bench in the NBA last season, led by the dynamic duo of veteran guard Lou Williams and young center Montrezl Harrell.

The Clippers’ reserves led the league in bench scoring (53.2) and assists (10.8), and they were second in rebounds (20.0).

Yet as productive as they were for the Clippers during a surprising 2018-19 season that saw them reach the playoffs against long odds of that occurring, this current group of role players could potentially make L.A.’s bench even more potent.

Williams led the Clippers and all NBA reserves in scoring at 20 points per game. Harrell was third on the team in scoring and third in the league among reserves at 16.6 points per game.

“What Trez and I did last year was very special,” Williams said Sunday at the Clippers’ media day. “But I look forward to building with this new group of guys and seeing what we can do.”

JaMychal Green re-signed with the Clippers to play his role as a backup center and power forward who can defend and stretch the floor with his shooting.

Guard Landry Shamet, who was acquired last season from the Philadelphia 76ers before the trade deadline, could come off the bench and provide a lift with his exceptional shooting. He shot 42.2% from three-point range with the Clippers and 76ers.

Forward Maurice Harkless, swingman Rodney McGruder and shooting guard Jerome Robinson also could play big roles for the Clippers off the bench.

TODAY’S LOCAL MAJOR SPORTS SCHEDULE

All times Pacific

No games scheduled.

BORN ON THIS DATE

1926: Baseball player Robin Roberts (d. 2010)

1932: Former Dodger Johnny Podres (d. 2008)

1970: Former Clipper Eric Piatkowski

1972: NFL player Jamal Anderson

1980: Tennis player Martina Hingis

1981: Gymnast Dominique Moceanu

DIED ON THIS DATE

1998: Baseball player Dan Quisenberry, 45

2012: Figure skater Barbara Ann Scott, 84

AND FINALLY

Johnny Podres pitches the Dodgers to victory in Game 7 of the 1955 World Series. Watch it here.

That concludes the newsletter for today. If you have any feedback, ideas for improvement or things you’d like to see, please email me at houston.mitchell@latimes.com. If you want to subscribe, click here.


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