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L.A’s two pro football teams meeting in a pre-season game at the Coliseum on August 26th. The Chargers won, 21-19. Photo courtesy of boltsfromtheblue.com
LOS ANGELES RAMS – 2017 SEASON TO DATE
Record: 6-2, first place in the NFC West
Jared Goff, QB: 60.2% completions, 2.030 yards passing, 13 TD, 4 INT
Todd Gurley II, RB: 686 yards rushing, 4.3 ypc, 7 TD / 29 receptions, 338 receiving yards, 3 TD
Robert Woods, WR: 31 rec, 451 yards, 2 TD
Cooper Kupp, WR: 26 rec, 370 yards, 3 TD
Marc Barron, LB: 50 tackles, 2 INT
Alec Ogletree, LB: 37 tackles, 2 sacks
Aaron Donald, DT: 4 sacks
Greg Zuerlein, K: 24-25 field goals, including 3-3 from 50 yards=plus
Johnny Hekker, P: 47.1 yards per punt
Key Stat: Defense has ten interceptions, two of them going for touchdowns
Last Game: Beat the New York Giants in East Rutherford, NJ, 51-17
Next Game: vs the Houston Texans at the L.A. Memorial Coliseum, November 12th, 1_00 p.m.
Highlights from the Rams’ latest game, their 51-17 beat down of the New York Giants. Courtesy of YouTube.
A Few Thoughts:
What a difference a year makes – at least to this point!
Last season at this time this newly returned after 21 years to the Southland team was just getting started with a devastating losing streak that didn’t exactly endear them to the fans who were welcoming them home.
This season their offense, which was the worst in the NFL a year ago, has done a complete 180 degree turn around, led by a quarterback who has shown why he was the number one overall draft pick in 2016.
And which is a significant factor in surpassing the four wins of a year ago.
To put it bluntly, Jared Goff has grown up, his career day against the Giants yesterday – his 311 yards and four touchdowns, including scoring throws of 52 and 67 yards – an illustration of that.
As for the rest of the season, it will be a bit of a challenge.
Among the eight remaining games are a trip to Minneapolis to play a solid Minnesota Vikings team, a home contest against a good 6-2 New Orleans Saints team,
And what more or less all Rams consider as the game of the year, a date with a Philadelphia Eagles team whose 8-1 record is the best in the NFL, complete with their (to put it mildly) intense fan base on December 10th.
Coach Sean McVay has done a very good job in his first year as an NFL head coach, especially when you consider that he’s barely in his 30’s.
If he and his team can get through the back half of this schedule with at least four or five wins and finish with a 10-6 record if not an 11-5 mark,
Then – and dare I say it after so many years of futility – a playoff berth is a very realistic possibility.
SET TO OPEN IN 2020: The future home of the Rams and the Chargers, on the former site of Hollywood Park Race Track in Inglewood, CA. Image courtesy of denverpost.com
All right, let’s move on to the newest new team in town, the…
LOS ANGELES CHARGERS – 2017 SEASON TO DATE
Record: 3-5, tied for third place in the AFC West
Phillip Rivers, QB: 60.5% completions, 2,028 yards passing, 13 TD, 6 INT
Melvin Gordon, RB: 526 yards rushing, 4.0 ypc, 4 TD / 30 receptions, 235 yards, 4 TD
Keenan Allen, WR: 40 rec, 548 yards, 1 TD
Hunter Henry, TE: 23 rec, 312 yards, 2 TD
Hayes Pullard & Jahleel Addae, LBs: 38 tackles each
Joey Bosa & Melvin Ingram, DEs: 27 tackles, 8.5 sacks each
Last Game: Lost to the New England Patriots, in Foxboro, MA on October 29th
Next Game: at the Jacksonville Jaguars in Jacksonville, FL on November 12th
Highlights from the Chargers’ most recent win, a 21-0 shutout of the Denver Broncos at StubHub Center on October 22nd. Courtesy of YouTube.
A Few Thoughts:
I’ve got to credit new coach Anthony Lynn and his team for fighting back to win three straight games after that horrendous 0-4 start.
To be honest, I – and I’m sure most football fans in general – thought that those Chargers were headed for a 2-14 or a 3-13 season at best.
But if it wasn’t for that hard-fought but still a loss to the defending Super Bowl champions, who are in the midst of the latest pro football dynasty, the Bolts would be 4-4 right now.
I admire Phillip Rivers for still being able to do his job, and do it well with his 13 touchdown throws so far, at age 36. I just hope his head is OK after so many years of taking all that pounding.
Indeed, if I were Lynn and the Charger brass, I would focus on drafting a quarterback next year, someone who can learn under Rivers and eventually take over when he retires.
That QB may be playing twenty-something miles away in Westwood, as being Rivers’ apprentice and being mentored by him would be the perfect situation for UCLA’s Josh Rosen.
If I were the Chargers, I’d try to trade up so I could take him.
But that bridge should be crossed when they eventually get to it, as the remaining eight games provide an opportunity for this team to finish at least 8-8 if not better; I’m sure those Chargers are chomping at the bit to get revenge on the Cleveland Browns, who will be at StubHub Center on December 3rd, got their only win at the expense of the Chargers last year, and are winless and hapless again this year.
After this bye week that they’ve just had, the Chargers’ upcoming games against the Jaguars and the Buffalo Bills will tell me a lot as to where they will end up in tier first season in L.A.