Rams Game Against Seattle Has Playoff Implications
December 5, 2019
The Rams need a win against Seattle Sunday at 5:20 p.m. at the Coliseum if they expect to stay in the race for a wild card playoff spot. They are 7-5 and the division leaders in the four Western Conference divisions receive automatic playoff spots.
Right now the division leaders are Seattle at 10-2 in the West, Dallas at 6-6 in the East, New Orleans at 10-2 in the South and Green Bay is 9-3 in the North. Teams fighting for the two wild card spots are San Francisco (10-2), Rams (7-5), Minnesota (8-4) and Chicago at 6-6.
To beat Seattle on Sunday the Rams will need to keep Seattle's offense off the field. To do that they will have to be able to run and pass the ball against a very good Seahawk defense. Rams running backs Todd Gurley II and Malcolm Brown will have to be at their best and quarterback Jared Goff will also need to play a very good game and make the right decisions. On the defensive side of the ball the Rams still have Aaron Donald on the defensive line.
The Chargers loss another winnable game last Sunday against the Denver Broncos. The final score was 23-20. The 4-8 Chargers have lost eight close games this year. They are out of the playoff race and they may need to look for another quarterback. Phillip Rivers is still a good quarterback but some teams in football need good quarterbacks that are more mobile to reach the next level. They travel to Jacksonville Sunday to face the Jaguars at 1 p.m.
The Lakers are dropped to the number two spot in the NBA rankings behind Milwaukee at press time (Tuesday). The Bucks were 18-3 and the Lakers were 17-3. This month they will play nine road games against some good teams. They started the month off with a loss to Dallas last Sunday. "It's part of growing together, how you respond to a loss," said Laker head coach Frank Vogel last Sunday. "I believe in our guys. There is no body we can't beat."
Laker forward Kyle Kuzma has struggled at times this year after having a great season last year had this to say after their loss to Dallas, "It's always been about us. We know who we are. We are a veteran team and we know what we need to do."
The Clippers are currently 15-6 and they start a six game road trip Friday against Milwaukee. Their next home game is against Phoenix on December 17, at 7:30 p.m. Now that Paul George is in the starting line up the Clippers are one of the best teams in the NBA.
"As a staff we know we have a long way to go and we will get better," said Clipper head coach Doc Rivers before their game against Washington last Sunday. "The record I am very happy with but we still are not together yet and I think that is the positive thing so far."
The USC and UCLA men's basketball teams are playing above average basketball right now. The Bruins are 5-3 and the Trojans are 6-2 at press time. UCLA has a home game on Sunday at 2 p.m. against Denver and the Trojans next home game is Sunday, December 15, at 3:30 p.m. against Long Beach State.
The USC and UCLA women's volleyball teams start NCAA Tournament play Friday. The 17-13 Trojans face 31-1 Stephen F. Austin in Waco, Texas and if they win that game they will probably battle the host team, 25-1 Baylor. The 19-11 Bruins will face Notre Dame in Madison, Wisconsin on Friday.
This sports column is dedicated to former Observer Editor and Sports Editor Mitch Chortkoff.