November 7, 2022
There’s so much disappointment in this edition of Monday Morning Coffee, so I guess let’s get to it. We’ve gotta start with the Rams, whose offense suddenly looks like it’s coached by Jeff Fisher. If it’s not Cooper Kupp finding a way to get open, they have absolutely no chance of getting the ball down the field. You can only give Tom Brady so many chances to beat you at the end of the game, and even this depressed version of Tom Brady will dismantle you if you give him the chance. I don’t necessarily think at 3-5 their season is over given that the NFC is softer than Charmin, but I don’t see any solutions in sight to turn this thing around. The offensive line is dreadful, there is no running game, and no other vertical passing threat. I’m not even sure OBJ is interested in this group anymore, knowing how much they are struggling.
The Chargers managed to pull out a win yesterday against the Falcons. As usual, it was a complete sea of crazy at the end of a Charger game. Austin Ekeler nearly fumbled the game away, but the Bolts recovered a Falcons fumble on the same play. As insane as it is to trust the Chargers, they are just a game behind the Chiefs in the AFC West, which is somewhat miraculous given that they have been ravaged by injuries. They’ve also been ravaged by bad kickers over the years, but not yesterday. Of course it took a kicker named “Dicker” for them to actually overcome their kicker curse.
Elsewhere around the NFL, the Eagles had another game that was a cake walk, this time against the Texans. The NFL has basically granted them bye weeks until the Super Bowl. Tua led the Dolphins to another win, and he’s been amazing in every game that he hasn’t died in this year. The Bengals destroyed the Panthers and Joe Mixon destroyed you in fantasy if you had to play against him. Aaron Rodgers is probably ready for that Jeopardy gig as the Lions handed the Packers another loss. Kirk Cousins beat his former team, well sort of since they have a different name now. The Raiders lost to the Jags, and the silver and black are more like the black and blue this season. The Seahawks wrecked the Cardinals, and now we all have to take Seattle for real again. The Chiefs outlasted the Titans, and at this point, I’m convinced Patrick Mahomes could throw to you and I as his receivers and still win football games.
To the NBA, where the Lakers are sinking like the Titanic and we’re only 9 games into the season. They are 2-7 after yesterday’s loss to the Cavs. This time you can’t really blame Lebron, AD, or Westbrook, because they all put up numbers. The rest of the team should probably be playing in the Chinese Basketball Association. Rob Pelinka should be embarrassed by the lack of shooting he has assembled around this squad. Darvin Ham is calling out his role players to contribute more, but they probably don’t even belong in the association at this point. Kendrick Nunn, Pat Bev, and Damian Jones are basically unplayable at this point. Their defense has to be absolutely perfect to overcome this offensive ineptitude. However, the cold hard truth is that if Lebron, Russ, and AD are no longer good enough to overcome these roster flaws as they were years ago, then is it really worth it to double down on this group and try to make a trade to help them? The answer is probably no, but I’m not so sure Rob Pelinka and Jeanie Buss feel that way.
Meanwhile, the Clippers fell to 5-5 yesterday after losing to the Jazz. The Bigger concern for the Clips though is that Kawhi Leonard is basically a 1099 employee at this point, and barely even a part-time player if we’re being honest. What turned into a couple of days of load management for his knee has now turned into no timetable for his return according to Tyronn Lue. There’s clearly a lot more going on with his knee than the Clippers are letting on, but that’s also because they are the Clippers and people just don’t care about them the way they care about the Lakers and Lebron James. Still, with all the depth that the Clippers have, I expected better than 5-5.
To baseball where we shouldn’t be petty about it. Congratulations to the Astros for winning their FIRST EVER World Series Championship. The 2017 Astros are cheaters, but they have nothing to do with the 2022 Astros, who didn’t cheat, as far as we know yet. It is going to be extra suspicious though when the Dodgers have to sign Carlos Correa and he goes 0-20 in the postseason. Speaking of the Dodgers, free agency gets underway on Thursday, and they will have some decisions to make. My expectation is that Clayton Kershaw, Tyler Anderson, and Tommy Kahnle will be re-signed. After that all bets are off.
In College Football, USC survived their showdown against Cal on Saturday night. If there’s one thing the Trojans need to be concerned about it’s their defense. They were able to stop the run, but the Golden Bears shredded the Trojans secondary, giving up over 400 yards through the air. That could be trouble if USC has any hope of leap frogging a couple of teams and getting to the CFP. In fact, they should probably be nervous about their games against the Bruins and Fighting Irish, since both are physical football teams that have been pushing offensive lines around. It’s basically all on Caleb Williams to provide the fire power every game, or else this teams hopes are sunk. Nevertheless, USC fans can’t complain from where they were a year ago.
As for the Bruins, they are nipping at the Trojans heels in the AP Poll, moving up to #9. They had some problems of their own against Arizona State, but Dorian Thompson Robinson looked like he was ready for the Olympic hurdle event the way he was leaping over defenders. The Bruins will have to survive one more trap game, this time against Arizona next weekend at the Rose Bowl. They will also have to get some help from their Pac-12 friends like Washington, Utah, and Oregon State in handing Oregon a loss or two in the next few weeks. “Friends” is probably too strong of a word though after UCLA and USC are electing to leave the conference in a couple of years.