Monday Morning Coffee

Rams' Jared Goff plays well, but starting job still uncertain - Los Angeles  Times

January 18, 2021

That was a tough loss for the Rams on Saturday against the Packers. Ironically, it was the defense that didn’t come through this time, but that’s what happens when Aaron Donald is injured and can only play 51% of the snaps. That can’t happen against Aaron Rodgers. Still, the season went much better than most of us thought. Cam Akers looks like he can be an elite running back, and the combination of a healthy Donald and Jalen Ramsey is a championship defense. Jared Goff played fine, but his relationship with Sean McVay isn’t fine. McVay lies about everything, most notably the health of his players. However, for some reason he doesn’t lie about his relationship with Goff. McVay said he’s the quarterback “right now”. That’s like saying “she’s my girlfriend right now until I find somebody hotter.” Somebody needs to tell McVay that he’s stuck with Goff for at least another year, and that DeShaun Watson isn’t walking through that door.

Elsewhere around the Divisional Weekend games, the Bills took down the Ravens, but that game was awkward. The Ravens don’t pass, the Bills don’t run, and none of the kickers can kick. Watching that game was like watching an awkward middle school dance. Thanks to Lamar Jackson, not only was that game less competitive than we thought, but we had to deal with a bunch of poop memes when he left the game. The Chiefs got by the Browns, and still managed to do so after Patrick Mahomes suffered a concussion. Did every kicker in the NFL get drunk this weekend prior to taking the field? Apparently the Chiefs are so good, they can overcome all that, but their opponents can’t overcome the refs officiating the game like the survivors in the movie Bird Box. The Bucs topped the Saints, and Michael Thomas disappeared liked Jimmy Hoffa, while Drew Brees threw the ball like Drew Barrymore, in another disappointing playoff loss for New Orleans. In all seriousness though, my hat goes off to Drew Brees on an incredible career if in fact it was his last game. Of course Tom Brady tried to high-five the referee after all they’ve done for his career.

As for the Chargers, they have hired Brandon Staley, the Rams defensive coordinator as their next coach. Staley did a nice job with the Rams this past season, but this feels like a weird hire the Bolts made for all the wrong reasons. Now that the Chargers have a young and dynamic franchise quarterback, you would think they would hire and offensive coach that has developed quarterbacks. Eric Bieniemy, the Chiefs OC, would make even more sense because he’s an offensive coach that knows their division rivals so well. Not only did they pass on him, but they also passed on Bills OC, Brian Daboll, who developed Josh Allen. It’s like the Chargers said they don’t want to wait for the season to end for those coaches, they don’t care about developing Herbert, and they care only about a cheap coach while sticking it to the Rams as well. That is the typical Dean Spanos mentality that makes this a typical Spanos hire. Not what you want to hear if you’re one of the five Charger fans that actually go to their games.

To the NBA, where the Lakers are still rolling. They have the best record in the league and their 3-point shooting is looking like that of the Splash Brothers. Their defense has been so good, not only are they shutting down their opponents, but they are also shutting down their haters on Twitter. The real question though is how threatened should they feel about the Nets, after assembling their own big three. The answer is not threatened at all for now. Heck, the Clippers are a greater threat to the Lakers than the Nets. Acquiring James Harden is a social experiment just as much as a basketball experiment. They’ve acquired all three types of Brooklyn guy: weird skiny guy, a guy with a beard, and a guy obsessed with astrology and conspiracy theories. Usually when you put three top 20 players together they end up in the finals, but this time I’m skeptical.

As for the Clippers, they are still looking good. Winners of 7 of their last 10 games, and very much a contender in the Western Conference. However, Paul George is already taking a victory lap three weeks into the season. He claims he’s “back with vengeance”, and that last season everybody saw his weaknesses. That’s not true because I only saw accountability as his weakness, and didn’t see any strippers, but that is a well-documented weakness of his. Maybe if PG just changed his self-proclaimed nickname to “Preseason P” it would be more appropriate. It’s the same story every year: Play well early, say it’s finally the year you’ll succeed, fail in the playoffs, find an excuse, then start the cycle all over and claim it’s revenge season. Show me when it matters!

Last week Alabama won the College Football National Championship. That is the least surprising thing I’ve heard in my life. Devonta Smith was putting up numbers that you couldn’t even put up playing Madden on easy mode, and it was in the 1st half. He was great, but I’ve seen better defense at the Capitol than what we saw on the field last Monday night. Before you tell me that Notre Dame doesn’t belong in the playoff again, remember that the Irish and Crimson Tide were actually the closest playoff game we had this season. Nick Saban is awesome and arguably the greatest ever, but the sport needs him to go away to level the playing field. By the way, Saban was probably in the office at 7 am the next morning, since he has a psychopathic work ethic. We don’t need the playoffs expanded. We need Alabama, and even Clemson and Ohio State to come back to the pack.

Speaking of College Football, now that Urban Meyer has been hired by the Jaguars, USC Football fans can only wonder what could have been. The Pac-12 desperately needs the Trojan program to become a powerhouse again to give the conference credibility. Not to mention the Trojan faithful are tired of achieving nothing but mediocrity. Meyer may not be a great fit in the NFL, but he could have turned the USC program into the powerhouse they were back in the Pete Caroll days. Clay Helton said he sees an upward trending football program. That’s like the Captain of The Titanic saying he saw the iceberg. The expectations aren’t simply to win a mediocre conference. It’s to win National Championships, or at minimum contend for them. I’m not sure Carol Folt or Mike Bohn understand this either. Until that happens, don’t expect much to change.

Watching UCLA Basketball is like watching “the Bizarro World” episode of Seinfeld. They are starting to look like a juggernaut on offense, averaging 86 points per game in their last two games, but a work in progress on defense. A defensive work in progress is the last thing you would expect from a Mick Cronin team, but they made the Washington Huskies look like the Golden State Warriors on Saturday at home. In any case, the Bruins are still undefeated in the conference, and in sole possession of 1st place. It’s their best start in 26 years. The bad news is that Steve Lavin jinxed them though by saying they are National Title Contenders. Over the years it feels like when Lavin says something about UCLA on National TV, it’s like a guy talking about his ex-girlfriend, saying nice things about her, but you’re not really convinced he’s saying those things out of sincerity.

The Dodgers lost a couple of players last week, including pitchers Alex Wood and Pedro Baez. Woods signed with the Giants, and Baez with the Astros. I wish them both well, but certainly not any of their scum bag teammates, especially those cheating Astros. For Baez, I guess the Astros figured he would have been pretty good against them if they weren’t cheating. His contract is really for one year, but it will take him two years to get through since Baez pitches like a human rain delay.

As for the Angeles, they signed Kurt Suzuki to shore up their catching, but still need lots of pitching. Everybody has been saying they need pitching, yet it’s still not happening. I’ve decided that Arte Moreno would rather inject himself with COVID-19 before paying big money for a pitcher. Way back in 2003 when he purchased the team, Moreno went on record to say he did not like to spend big money on starting pitchers, since they only play every five days and are injury prone. That doesn’t give me any optimism that they’ll address this problem they’ve had for years.

Finally, the Bachelor is back tonight and went down last week. I don’t know what Victoria’s skincare routine is, but it’s more toxic than the environment she’s creating on the show. She may also have the ugliest dress in bachelor history. Somebody convince me that she wasn’t actually at the Capitol two weeks ago. Did she really say “oil and vinegar”? That’s salad dressing. Where’s Bennett and his emotional intelligence book when you need him? It wasn’t all Victoria, but unfortunately, much of the episodes significance revolved around her. Ok Matt, we get it, you’re cut. You don’t need to spend the whole show walking around without your shirt off, making every man alive feel terrible about their New Years dieting resolutions. Matt vowing to take care of Bri to her mom when they’ve known each other for two hours is pretty hilarious. How did the producers decide to leave us on a cliffhanger, then spoil the cliffhanger with a preview? Couldn’t Sarah have waited until later in the season to get hammered and blackout? It’s only the 2nd episode!

Matt James "The Bachelor"

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