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The Sports Report: Rams have no answer for Lamar Jackson and the Baltimore Ravens

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Lamar Jackson evades a bunch of Rams in the first quarter.
(Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)

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

RAMS

Fans booed as the Rams left the field at halftime. They booed after their first possession of the second half.

What remained of a crowd of 72,409 just didn’t seem to have the energy to do it again when the game, mercifully, ended.

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The public address announcer might have tried to fire up the Rams faithful with a “Whose house? Rams house,” cheer, but on Monday night, Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson owned the Coliseum and embarrassed the Rams.

The second-year pro was every bit as good as a frontrunner for the NFL most valuable player award should be in sending the Rams to a 45-6 defeat before a “Monday Night Football” television audience.

Jackson passed for five touchdowns and once again put the Rams teetering on the brink of falling out of playoff contention less than a full season after playing in the Super Bowl.

The Rams, who fell to 6-5, probably have to win their remaining five games – and get some help from other teams -- to make a third consecutive postseason appearance.

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That seems about as likely as it would have been for former Rams cornerback Marcus Peters not to celebrate after his fourth-quarter interception.

The Rams play the improved Arizona Cardinals on Sunday on the road. The Seattle Seahawks come to the Coliseum before the Rams travel to play the Dallas Cowboys and then the San Francisco 49ers. They conclude the season at home against the Cardinals.

“You can’t run away from the problems that we did have,” coach Sean McVay said, “but allowing it to set ourselves back is what this team will not do.”

Monday night’s defeat harkened to an early season loss at the Coliseum.

After starting the season with three victories, the Rams lost to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 55-40, at the Coliseum. Initially dismissed as an anamoly, it instead began what turned into a three-game losing streak.

On Monday night, Jackson was even more impressive against than Rams than Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston. His performance might have eclipsed Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson’s outstanding game against the Rams.

The Rams defense has been stout the last four games, but it was no match for Jackson and a team that improved its record to 9-2 with its seventh consecutive victory. In the fourth quarter, Ravens fans were chanting, “M-V-P.”

Jackson completed 15 of 20 passes for 169 yards, and also rushed for 95 yards in eight carries.

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Running back Mark Ingram rushed for 111 yards and a touchdown in 15 carries and also caught a touchdown pass.

For the Rams, quarterback Jared Goff completed 26 of 37 passes for 212 yards, with two interceptions and running back Todd Gurley rushed for 22 yards in six carries.

“We just got to get ready for Arizona,” Gurley said. “Thank God it’s Thanksgiving, so hopefully we forget about this loss by Thursday.”

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RAMS SCHEDULE

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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

at Seattle 30, Rams 29

San Francisco 20, at Rams 7

Rams 37, at Atlanta 10

Rams 24, Cincinnati 10 (at London)

at Pittsburgh 17, Rams 12

at Rams 17, Chicago 7

Baltimore 45, at Rams 6

Sunday at Arizona, 1 p.m., Fox

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

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

Dec. 21 at San Francisco, 1:15 p.m., NFL Network

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

LAKERS

LeBron James had 33 points and 13 assists, and the Lakers won in San Antonio for the second time this season with a 114-104 victory Monday night.

“Every quarter is its own game for me. I read and react to the quarter – see what’s going on. Some quarters it’s a physical game going downhill. Some quarters I start going to the perimeter. Sometimes I go to the mid-range. Sometimes I go to the post,” James said. “Just for me, every quarter is its own game and you just try to read and react and not predetermine what you’re going to do.”

Physically rested from the summer and as mentally sharp as ever, James again insisted that he’s never felt better on the court. And the numbers? They back that up.

“He was unbelievable,” Vogel said. “I gave him opportunities to get a quick blow around timeouts if he wanted to, but he said he was good and fresh. He dominated the action. He was quarterbacking us on the defensive end and made every play offensively.

Anthony Davis added 17 points and 12 rebounds for the Lakers (15-2) in his final game before returning to New Orleans on Wednesday.

LaMarcus Aldridge had 30 points and DeMar DeRozan added 22 for the Spurs (6-12).

James finished 13 for 24 from the field and four for seven on three-pointers in 35 minutes.

KINGS

Patrick Marleau scored at 2:35 of overtime to give the surging San Jose Sharks a 4-3 win over the Kings.

Timo Meier scored twice and Erik Karlsson had a goal and an assist for the Sharks, who have won nine of 10. Kevin Labanc added two assists, and Martin Jones made 33 saves.

Anze Kopitar, Dustin Brown and Adrian Kempe scored for the Kings, who have lost three of four. Jonathan Quick stopped 21 shots.

Marleau scored when Quick tried to knock away a deflected shot by Labanc, only to send it to the veteran forward for a shot into an open net.

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DUCKS

Ryan Getzlaf had a goal and an assist, John Gibson made 23 saves and the Ducks ended the New York Islanders’ 17-game point streak with a 3-0 victory.

The Islanders hadn’t lost in regulation since Oct. 11 against Carolina.

The Islanders had a 16-5 advantage in shots during the first period and a 26-23 edge in the game, but couldn’t find a way to beat Gibson, who earned his first shutout of the season.

The Ducks put the game away late in the third period when Cam Fowler and Ondrej Kase scored just more than a minute apart. Anaheim ended its three-game losing streak and a five-game skid at home.

UCLA BASKETBALL

Jake Toolson scored 20 points, TJ Haws added 15 and Brigham Young knocked off UCLA 78-63 in the opening round of the Maui Invitational in Lahaina, Hi.

BYU (4-2) made up for a size disadvantage against UCLA with ball movement and good perimeter shooting. The Cougars hit 62% from the floor, nine of 18 threes and used a pair of big runs to pull away in the second half.

Jules Bernard had 16 points and Cody Riley added 12 for the Bruins.

UCLA (4-2) shot well early in both halves but went cold late to lose its second straight to a smaller-conference school.

DODGERS

If Rich Hill is going to extend his major league career with the Dodgers or another club, he will have to overcome another obstacle. The left-handed pitcher underwent primary revision surgery last month to repair a tear in the ulnar collateral ligament in his left arm and will not be ready for the start of next season, according to a person with knowledge of the situation.

Hill missed nearly three months in 2019 after suffering a flexor tendon strain in June. He re-injured his left knee in his first start back from the injured list, but returned 12 days later and was put on the Dodgers’ postseason roster. He logged 8 1/3 innings across four starts between the regular season and playoffs following the forearm injury. He finished the regular season with a 2.45 earned-run average and 72 strikeouts to 18 walks in 13 starts.

He is a free agent after having his three-year, $48-million contract expired. He turns 40 in March. As the season wound down, he insisted he wanted to continue his career. He said he would welcome a return to Los Angeles, where he spent the last 3 1/2 seasons. Last month’s procedure complicates matters.

Like Tommy John surgery, primary revision surgery is performed to fix a tear in the UCL. It is less intrusive and requires a shorter rehabilitation period, but Hill’s age and injury history — which includes his Tommy John surgery in 2011 — could shrink his market.

Read more

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USC FOOTBALL

Michael Pittman Jr. was named one of three finalists for the Biletnikoff Award, given to the nation’s top wideout. Oklahoma’s CeeDee Lamb, who’s averaging 21.5 yards per catch, and LSU’s JaMarr Chase, who leads all Power Five receivers in yards and touchdowns, also were named finalists.

Pittman is second in the nation in catches (95) and eighth in touchdown catches (11). No USC receiver has matched those marks since Nelson Agholor in 2014.

But it was Pittman’s consistency that made his senior season truly special. He scored in eight of 12 games. He caught at least six passes in nine. He dropped just two catchable passes, according to Pro Football Focus.

The last USC receiver to win the Biletnikoff was Marqise Lee in 2012, when he caught 118 passes for 1,721 yards and 14 touchdowns.

The award will be announced Dec. 12.

UCLA FOOTBALL

After what coach Chip Kelly called his “best game since he’s been a Bruin,” sophomore quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson didn’t appear to practice during the open viewing period Monday as UCLA (4-7, 4-4 Pac-12 Conference) prepares for its season finale Saturday night against California (6-5, 3-5) at the Rose Bowl.

Thompson-Robinson, who missed UCLA’s loss to Oregon State on Oct. 5 with an ankle injury, was sacked in the fourth quarter against USC on Saturday. He grimaced as he hobbled off the field, limping as he had done through most of the 52-35 loss. He still passed for 367 yards and three touchdowns against one interception and rushed for 64 yards and a touchdown. His 431 yards of total offense were the second most for a UCLA player against USC behind Tommy Maddox’s 445-yard effort in 1990.

CHARGERS

All-Pro safety Derwin James returned to practice for the first time in more than three months and appears on course to make his season debut Sunday at Denver.

“Hell, yeah,” he said when asked whether he would be ready to play this week. Then, asked about the potential of rust, James added: “I’m not worried about it. Let’s go.”

Coming off a rookie season in which he established himself as one of the NFL’s most dynamic and versatile defenders, James suffered a stress fracture of the fifth metatarsal in his right foot in mid-August.

TODAY’S LOCAL MAJOR SPORTS SCHEDULE

All times Pacific

Clippers at Dallas, 5:30 p.m., Fox Sports Prime Ticket, AM 570

UCLA (basketball) vs. Chaminade at Lahiana, Hi., 2 p.m., ESPN2

BORN ON THIS DATE

1878: Cyclist Marshall Taylor (d. 1932)

1908: Baseball player Lefty Gomez (d. 1989)

1913: Runner Foy Draper (d. 1943)

1941: Former Dodger Jeff Torborg

1943: Football player Jan Stenerud

1950: Former Dodger Jorge Orta

1952: Tennis player Wendy Turnbull

1953: Football player Harry Carson

1955: Former Dodger Jay Howell

1956: Race car driver Dale Jarrett

1962: Former Angel Chuck Finley

1964: NFL player Jeff Jaeger

1969: Basketball player Shawn Kemp

1971: Boxer Winky Wright

AND FINALLY

Chuck Finley gets four strikeouts in one inning. 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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