MM Coach: Rams, Bolts are starting slow

PHILLIP RIVERS had a brief but impressive stint in the Chargers loss to the Seahawks on Sunday (Wikipedia photo).

Week One of the NFL pre-season is in the books and neither “local” team had a very impressive 2017 debut. The Rams won a sloppy 13-10 game over the Dallas Cowboys and the Chargers got flattened by the Seattle Seahawks.

Since all four teams used second-team and rookie players liberally, this is not necessarily a sign of things to come. But here are a few takeaways …

  • Jared Goff did OK in his brief appearance with the Rams, but Sean Mannion looked a lot better. If the Rams are willing to let Goff come along slowly – despite the cash and media attention devoted to him – they might be smart to have Mannion start at QB and let a better-seasoned Goff be the Man of the Year for 2018.
  • The Chargers looked pretty awful, but their attendance was worse. In the 37,000-seat StubHub Center in Carson, only 21,000 tickets were sold. That’s less than one-third of the fans that showed at the Coliseum for Saturday’s Rams game. The original L.A. Chargers played one season in the City of Angels in 1960, and then decided it was foolish to try to compete with the Rams. Too early to tell, but could history be repeating itself?
  • On the plus side for the Chargers, Phil Rivers made a brief but impressive appearance, completing 5-of-6 passes for 56 yards and a touchdown. Still some life in the old boy (35) yet.

Who’s on first? How about seventh? has the onerous task of trying to rank and rate high school football teams from across the state and nation. It’s a tough job, but since Americans love to rate and rank, here’s how our local teams are stacked up in the pre-season California list.

Edison is seventh in the state, followed by Huntington Beach (106th), Pacifica (125th), Orange (151st), Westminster (156th), Garden Grove (172nd), Marina (181st), Fountain Valley (190th), La Quinta (240th), Rancho Alamitos (260th), Ocean View (281st), Santiago (341st), Los Amigos (345th) and Bolsa Grande (372nd).

Now, the standings are not based on votes from coaches or sports writers – i.e., people who have actually seen any of these teams or players – but instead on a formula taking into account previous records, strength of opponents, etc. In other words, guesswork.

Angels one-third of the way to playoffs?

As long as we’re reflecting on guesswork, let’s take a look at’s projections of the chances of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim making it into the post-season via a wild card spot.

After winning six games in a row and moving into the second wild card position, their chances are rated at … wait for it … 32.4 percent. Not that great, but, hey, only a week ago, their chances were put at 10 percent.

The Dodgers, of course, are rated at 100 percent, and have been since June 16. So a Freeway World Series is pretty unlikely. On the other hand, the last (and only) time the Halos made it to the Series (and won it) was in 2002 when they qualified as a wild card entry. Stranger things have happened.

Monday Morning Coach is written by Pete Zarustica





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