Questions on the minds of area sports fans going into the weekend just past:
Question 1: How will exiled former Ram Jared Goff do playing for the first time back in Los Angeles with his new team, the winless Detroit Lions?
Question 2: How will highly successful new Ram Matthew Stafford play against his former team – the Lions – who did him the biggest favor in Michigan history by trading him to sunny L.A.?
Question 3: Does Dodger Manager Dave Roberts deserve a contract extension after his team lost in the National League Championship Series to the Atlanta Braves?
Sports Monday has the answers:
Answer 1: He was OK … sort of like he played the last two seasons as a Ram. We even saw him run once! For three yards. He did pass for 263 yards and a touchdown, but he was intercepted twice, which is never a good ratio. If not for four field goals by Austin Seibert, the game – a 28-19 win by the Rams – would have been a rout.
Answer 2: Stafford clearly won this duel, although he’s not much more nimble of foot than Goff (minus two yards rushing). Three touchdowns, no picks and 327 yards. “Am I happy it’s over?” said Stafford. “Yeah. Just glad to put the storylines away and go out and play football the rest of the year.”
Answer 3: Are you kidding? After winning the World Series last season and posting 112 victories this year, Roberts deserves anything he asks for. If he was managing the Angels, he’d be Skipper-For-Life.
Not quite what they hoped for
Is there such a thing as a moral victory in big league sports? Probably not. UCLA’s 34-31 loss to 10th-ranked Oregon had some nice moments including an early 14-0 lead and a strong closing effort. But the end result is another loss for Coach Chip Kelly, who needs an exceptional showing to avoid getting moral victories for another school.
“It was a huge opportunity,” said Kelly after the close loss. “We just came up a little short, so we still have to take the same approach.”
Well, the next – and perhaps last – opportunity for the Bruins/Kelly will come on Nov. 20 when UCLA plays rival USC. Whoever wins this one will feel much better about two relatively disappointing seasons, but the thrill would be strongest in Westwood, where the Victory Bell has been absent since after the 2012 victory.
Also in sports …
- The 2021 World Series starts on Tuesday with the Atlanta Braves visiting the Houston Astros. It’s difficult to care much …
- After two losses, the Los Angeles Lakers got their first win of the 2021-22 season on Sunday, beating the Memphis Grizzlies 121-118.
- Anaheim’s Ducks are off slowly for this 2021-22 NHL season, posting a 2-3-1 record, worth five points and a tie for fourth place in the Pacific Division. The Los Angeles Kings are doing worse, going 1-3-1 (three points) for sixth place.
Calendar for the week ahead
- Los Angeles Rams at Houston Texans Sunday at 11 a.m.
- Los Angeles Chargers host New England Patriots Sunday at 1:05 p.m.
- UCLA football at Utah on Saturday at 7 p.m.
- USC football hosts Arizona on Saturday at 4 p.m.
- Anaheim Ducks will host the Winnipeg Jets on Tuesday, and then the Buffalo Sabres on Thursday, then visit the Golden Knights in Las Vegas on Friday, and then return home on Sunday to host the Montreal Canadiens.
- Los Angeles Kings visit St. Louis today (Monday), then return home on Thursday to host the Winnipeg Jets and on Friday the Montreal Canadiens. The home series continues on Monday against the Buffalo Sabres.
- Los Angeles Lakers will visit the San Antonio Spurs on Tuesday, then travel to play the Oklahoma City Thunder on Wednesday. They’ll be home on Friday to host the Cleveland Cavaliers and on Sunday against the Houston Rockets.
- Los Angeles Clippers will host the Cleveland Cavaliers on Wednesday then travel to Oregon to play the Portland Trailblazers on Friday.
“Sports Monday” is written by Pete Zarustica.