October 10th, 2022
The Rams look pretty awful right now. Yesterday, SOFI Stadium turned into AT&T Stadium West. Meanwhile, the Rams offensive line provided as much protection as a busted condom. The Cowboys defense was all over LA, who’s offense is like an NBA team without three-point shooting at this time. In other words, no deep threat. Cooper Kupp is as close as it comes to that, but there is nobody else that can even get open, and without an offensive line, there is no running game either. Allen Robinson is getting paid boat loads, and he can’t even get open. At this point, the offensive line needs some in-season re-tooling, and LA needs to call OBJ immediately and sign him. The only good news for the Rams is really that the rest of the NFC isn’t that good right now. Does anybody rally believe that the Eagles or Vikings are legit? I certainly don’t.
Meanwhile, the Chargers came up with a victory against the Browns, but it looks like they are coached by a buffoon. What in the hell was Brandon Staley thinking, going for it on 4th down, where all he had to do was punt to seal the game? This guy must have been playing Madden on Play Station a few too may times. This dude needs to basically issue an apology letter to everybody on his team for putting them in a position to lose that game. They should force him to stay in a three star hotel in Cleveland for an extra night and fly home on Spirit Airlines the next day punish him. Otherwise, a spectacular effort by Justin Herbert and Austin Ekeler to get another win.
Elsewhere around the NFL in Week 5, the Broncos and Colts game was so bad on Thursday night that everyone is going to cancel their Amazon Prime subscription after having to endure that game. The Packers flew all the way to London just to lose to Daniel Jones and the Giants. The Steelers fought harder protecting Kenny Pickett than they did in their loss against the Bills. The Jaguars and Texans played in a game that Houston won, but frankly, should have been aired on Comedy Central. The Jets hammered the Dolphins, who are running out of quarterbacks. The Lions remembered that they are only the Lions in their loss to the Patriots. Tom Brady found the win column on the field when the Bucs beat the Falcons, but he’s losing the battle off the field in his marriage. I still have no idea why he wants to play football after all he’s accomplished.
To baseball, where the Dodgers and Padres will meet in the NLDS beginning tomorrow night at the Ravine. Yes, this is a better matchup for the Dodgers than the Mets, but don’t be fooled by the regular season domination. The Boys in Blue will have their work cut out for them to advance to the NLCS again. The extra days off will definitely benefit the pitchers, but it’s the hitting that concerns me. I’m pretty much assuming that when it comes to hitting elite pitching, it’s all going to come down to Mookie and Freddie. Trea Turner has been a bust in the playoffs historically, and I think if we’re lucky we get occasional hits from the likes of Will Smith, Gavin Lux, or Justin Turner. Notice I didn’t even mention Cody Bellinger. This is about being able to manufacture offense against elite pitching, so we’ll see if the Dodgers are able to do that to advance. Let’s be real….if the Dodgers are going to win the World Series, they will have to run the gauntlet against the Padres, Braves, and then the Astros. Can they do it? Sure. They’ll have their work cut out for them though.
Meanwhile, the Angels season came to an end last week, and we got some interesting news. Phil Nevin had the “interim” tag removed from his title, and will now return as the skipper of the Halos for at least one year. That of course means that you can be sure nobody is going to be spending any money this offseason on improving the ball club. Even Shohei Ohtani’s $30 million is just making it easier to trade him if they need to because it creates cost certainty for teams that want him. Best case scenario for the Angels is to sell the team by the time spring training starts, and then maybe by the deadline, they can start making some real moves. It’s going to take some time unfortunately, which they don’t have with Trout and Ohtani.
In the NBA, I don’t love drawing any significant conclusions from preseason basketball, but the Lakers effort and intensity has been much improved from last season. I’ve seen ball movement, more focus on defense, and role players that seem halfway decent around Lebron James and Anthony Davis, in the limited preseason minutes that we’ve seen from them. Russell Westbrook doesn’t even look like the disaster he was last season, albeit, still a very poor fit for this team. I’d still trade him if I could. As for the Rob Pelinka extension, I don’t think it’s unreasonable, even though most Laker fans want the guy ejected from the universe. Yes, he made a poor trade for Russell Westbrook, which has hurt the team, ultimately sacrificing the wing depth and defense with KCP and Alex Caruso. However, he did the salary cap gymnastics to get Lebron here, made the AD trade, put together a good supporting cast in 2020 and 2021, and he got Lebron to sign an extension. I can’t blame him Lebron and AD got hurt in 2021. Also, don’t underestimate the importance of building a relationship with Klutch. If you want to criticize him, you can criticize him for being hated, which makes it difficult to do deals. However, if you look around the league, most GMs haven’t accomplished what Pelinka has. You’re just a Laker fan and aren’t used to that.
In College Football, USC found the win column again on Saturday night against Washington State. The Trojans are now 6-0 heading into a big showdown with Utah next week. WSU isn’t a bad team, but USC’s offense looked a little sluggish again at times, before breaking it open late. Nobody is going to be terribly upset where USC is, given how bad things were last year. However, they probably aren’t the 7th best team in the country, as the AP Poll indicates. Frankly, there’s a lot of teams in that poll like Kansas, James, Madison, and NC State, that shouldn’t even be ranked in the top 50. They might as well start calling this the “Friends With Benefits” poll, based on how well the opponents you beat fare later on.
Then there’s UCLA, who continues to shock the world, all the way up to #11 in the aforementioned, “Friend With Benefits” poll. Dorian Thompson Robinson and Zach Charbonnet have been running the ball right down opponents throats, and the offensive line has been obliterating everyone. Suddenly, Chip Kelly doesn’t look so bad to everyone. Of course, nobody really expected DTR to become a potential Heisman Trophy Candidate in the last three weeks, but here he is. Now UCLA has a bye before they take on Oregon. Of course everybody wants an undefeated showdown between UCLA and USC in a few weeks, but we still have a lot to get through before that happens.
Finally, House of The Dragon went down last night on HBO. Spoiler alert for those of you who have yet to see it, so read no further if you plan on watching it later. You knew it was gonna happen, but finally Viserys died. I’m shocked he lasted this long, given how he looked two episodes ago, which was 10 years ago. I think it’s safe to say that Daemon took “keep my wife’s name out yo mouth” to a whole new level. Even Will Smith would have been shocked by that. When Daemon helped Viserys to the throne and placed his fallen crown on his head, that was a touching moment. For the last few episodes we thought he was trying to take his crown, but in the end, he had his brothers back all along. Alicent actually thought for a hot second that Viserys wanted her rapist son to be King. All this bullshit really started because Aegon was the most popular baby name in Westeros. Now that Viserys is dead, you know all hell is going to break loose, especially within these two families. They may be talking a good game as far as playing nice, but make no mistake about it, it’s going to get nasty again real quick. I can’t believe there are only two episodes left in this season. I don’t even know that they can cover enough ground in two sixty minute episodes, unless they turn this into what we saw in the last season of Game of Thrones. Either way, I’m excited to see it.