Here-There-Everywhere on a busy football weekend.
CHARGERS…..Continued on the track to get home field advantage for a wildcard playoff berth, destroying an awful Arizona Cardinals franchise. But still ahead, road games at Pittsburgh-Denver-Kansas City.
WIN-BUT-LOSS….Taking the joy out the victory on Sunday was the ugly looking knee injury suffered by RB-Melvin Gordon, leg whipped by a defensive tackle, while running a reverse, in a blowout win. Primary question, why was he in the game after the Chargers had reeled off 35-points in a row? It looked as if it were a hyperextended knee, the way he landed after getting kicked by a defensive lineman, who had been sent spinning after a crushing block. There is ligament damage
SAME OLD-SAME OLD…..Amazing number of empty seats, highest priced seats, at Stub Hub Center…..one whole side of stadium from 20-yard line to other 20-yard line….had probably only 50% of seats filled….Despite the greatness of Rivers and the explosiveness of the Chargers offense, fans are not turned on by what is on the field?
INJURY SCOREBOARD….No Corey Liuget, no Brandon Mebane, no Denzel Perryman. That looks like a troubled formula for the Chargers defense heading for the final five weeks of the season. That’s a lot of run stuffing defensive talent. Joey Bosa is back and seems to be coming around post-foot injury.
ROLLING RIVERS….Brilliant, that’s all you can say about Philip Rivers exhibition against awful Arizona. He completed 25-passes in a row, 25 yes, setting an NFL record once held by Mark Brunel of Jacksonville. He also set an NFL completion percentage record, (92%) going (28-for-29) on the day.
AZTECS AWFUL….Historically, Rocky Long’s football teams have gotten better and better as the season wore on, a sign of good coaching and a team coming together. No this year, as they stagger to the finish line, losing 4-of-5 down the stretch. The offensive line, the defensive secondary, the lack of playmaking wide receivers, and an off discipline problem. They wind up with a 3rd tier bowl berth, but have some real evaluation to do this off season, as to why this went off track.
USD UNIQUE….Their post season drive ended when Nicholls State piled up 606-yards with its read-option offense running the Toreros out of the playoffs. But it does not take away the specialness of QB-Anthony Lawrence, who ended his career with (12,266Y-120TDs), amazing for an unrecruited talent from Grossmont High.
USC….A (5-7) season is never acceptable at Heritage Hall, but this season was a learning curve season for Trojans QB-JT Daniels. He played so well, for being so young, a (3,300) yard passing season with a lot of young teammates around him. The freshman QB has lots of upside. USC now needs to get more quality players around them. Clay Helton will be given next yer to grow this program.
UCLA….Making progress or just treading water? The Bruins finished (3-9) in year one of Chip Kelly’s regime. The Bruins did it with two transfer players who now leave, QB-Will Speight (Michigan) and RB-Josh Kelly (UC-Davis). So it’s hard to determine how really good the talent level is. Kelly will get lots of time to grow the program. What Kelly needs to go is grow his relationships in the LA market, with the alumni, boosters and the media. He doesn’t seem to care.