“Teams in Town-This-That-The Other”
Writing memos about what I’ve seen-what I think about our teams
CHARGERS…You may be impressed with the season Philip Rivers has had, but the way they lost to Baltimore, and how poorly they played in Denver, casts a shadow as to how far they can go in postseason. The offensive line is leaking oil and the consistent big plays have disappeared. Melvin Gordon tweaked his ankle at the end of the ugly win in Denver and LB-Jatavious Brown went out with an ankle too. The Bolts seem to think TE-Hunter Henry is ready to be activated off IR-but how many big plays do you expect from him after missing the entire season? Next up the road game in Baltimore, against the number one defense in the NFL, in their stadium. And if that’s not enough, QB-Lamar Jackson continues to pile up impressive numbers running the Baltimore run-pass option offense, that had nearly 300-yards rushing on Sunday against Cleveland. The Broncos hand delivered a plateful of mistakes in the loss in Denver:
..Botched an onside kick to start the game;
..Fumbled a lateral pass that resulted in a TD;
..Dropped two likely TD passes;
..Dropped 6-passes in all.
..Threw a pick in the end zone..
..Threw an interception on a 2-point conversion
..Fumbled a kick return
..Fumbled a shotgun snap
..Wiped out a 54Y-TD run and a 28-yard pass on back to back plays with holding calls.
The Chargers didn’t really do enough to win, but the Broncos wouldn’t allow the Bolts to lose.
AZTECS….Just ridiculous all this criticism of Rocky Long late season SDSU football swoon. I do expect some assistant coaching changes, but big issue was a lot of injuries and a lot of really young players forced on the field. I was stunned State signed just 1-local recuit of the 13-they inked in the early signing period. The Pac 12-swooped in and took a few marquee names. Maybe just a down year in San Diego for D-1 recruits.
HOLIDAY BOWL…This is not a sexy matchup equal to the days when Steve Young-Ty Detmer-Barry Sanders came here. It’s not BYU-Penn State-Oregon-Washington State sexy. But the Northwetern-Utah matchup is a good one, led by two of the nations vastly under-rated head coaches in Pat Fitzgerald and Kyle Whittingham. Northwestern beat Iowa-Wisconsin-Michigan State. The Utes knocked out USDC-Stanford-Oregon, and won 9-games despite losing both their starting QB-Ty Huntley and RB-Zach Moss.
PADRES…Funny Christmas card put out by frustrated baseball fans….”Padres have opened trade talks with _____, expressing interest in _____, but not willing to give up ______. Still a 96-loss roster here heading to New Year’s day.
AZTECS…A hideous loss at San Diego State, letting Brown, Ivy League Brown, go on a (26-0) scoring run in the first half. SDSU was down (50-22) at halftime to a team that does not give out athletic scholarships. This loss on top of Maui Classic blowouts, the loss to USD, and more. Here comes Mountain West play too. Why do I get the feel Jalen McDaniels and the next coming of the disappointing Malik Pope. So much for Brian Dutcher’s ‘sunshine statements’ about 10-days of good practices..young guys bonding…Growing young talent…Lots of potential but not very consistent.
USD….Bring on the West Coast Conference. They have 11-wins marching thru a tremendously tough non conference schedule, with a roster loaded with seniors. A special season here even with Gonzaga and some tough WCC schools on the schedule.
UCLA…This looks to be a nitemare of a season for Steve Alford. 6-losses in last 9-games…5-blowout losses from 14-to-31 points this year. Young team, injured team, team that has not recovered from the mess a year ago with the China shoplifting incident with the Ball family.
UCLA…Add to the substandard first season for football coach Chip Kelly, and you wonder if AD-Dan Guerrero should be feeling heat, lots of heat?
JANUARY…Intersting month ahead…just 5-weeks before the San Diego Fleet, then the San Diego Strike Force, open this football seasons. The Fleet haven’t done much marketing, and no press conferences in town. The Strike Force don’t start till late February, and will be going head to head with the Fleet for fans-sponsors. Maybe they all become active once the calendar turns to January.
GULLS…This has been a hard start to the season, so many young kids, and so many callups from the parent Anaheim Ducks. Aside from Denver University star Troy Terry, it has been slow growth for the other young kids, Sam Steel, Isac Lundestrom (0-goals) so far.
SOCKERS-SEALS….The tradition of great success of the San Diego Sockers will alway be part of our fabric. Disappointed the ownership has not marketed what continues to be a good product on the field. It’s almost an after thought in our community now. Indoor lacrosse has great potential, with the explosive growth of the sports on the West Coast. Shall be interesting to see if the sport catches hold. Again you have to market yourself outside of your own building.