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The Chargers have taken their fans on a rollercoaster ride all season, starting out 2-3 before winning back-to-back games and then losing four of five, but it has mercifully evened out. After 14 games, the Chargers are 7-7 and their (slim) playoff hopes are still alive after an upset over the Broncos in Denver Thursday night. For all of the records Peyton Manning has been breaking with the Broncos this season, Philip Rivers has been just as good for the Chargers.
San Diego has won two consecutive games for only the second time this season, but they’ll likely need to stretch it into a four-game winning streak and a 9-7 final record if they want a shot at the postseason. That sounds tough, and it is. But it’s not out of the realm of possibility. Not with the way that Rivers, Ryan Mathews and Keenan Allen have been performing on the offensive side of the ball, and how good the defense has looked in its last few games.
It’s important not to overestimate the Chargers. On Sunday, they beat up on a bad New York Giants team. Last night, they faced a veteran Broncos team that is fighting injuries and didn’t need a victory. In both games, San Diego won because they were the hungrier team. When they’re facing the Chiefs in a Week 17 game that could now be very important for both franchises, the result might be different.
You’re reading the Sports Report, our weekly compilation of news and information for the San Diego sports fan.
Not Much Action for the Padres
• Earlier this week, I looked at the current Padres roster for the 2014 season and wondered whether they had enough talent to win or if they’re stuck in no-man’s land. It’s become painfully obvious that the Padres were not intending on making a splash, via trade or free agency, during Major League Baseball’s “Winter Meetings.”
• The Padres traded away long-reliever/spot-starter Anthony Bass to the Houston Astros for a player to be named later, which turned out to be left-handed relief pitcher Patrick Schuster. That’s fairly major, right? No? OK, well how about …
• San Diego is attempting to outbid the Cleveland Indians for 36-year-old Joaquin Benoit, who could potentially replace Luke Gregerson as the team’s setup guy out of the bullpen. Now, Benoit has a history of shoulder injuries, but he’s posted a 1+ WAR in three of his last four MLB seasons. No? Relief pitching isn’t getting the blood pumping, huh? Well …
• After the Seattle Mariners made Robinson Cano the most well-paid second baseman of all time, the Padres, Mets and Yankees contacted Seattle about unloading Dustin Ackley in a trade. Ackley was a star prospect in the Mariners system just a few years ago, finishing sixth in the voting for AL Rookie of the Year in 2011, but spent most of last season as a utility player. I’m not sure where Ackley would fit into the Padres’ plans, but the kid still has a ton of potential and could make it a lot easier for the Padres to eventually deal Chase Headley.
SDSU Athletics Goes Undefeated for the Week
• The SDSU men’s basketball team made it through one of the tougher part of their schedules this week, winning five games over the span of 11 games. They topped it off with an impressive comeback win over the Washington Huskies. Now they have 10 days off before taking on Southern Utah.
• For racking up a 7-1 record, with their only loss coming against the No. 6 Arizona Wildcats, the Aztecs are ranked in the Top 25 in both the Associated Press rankings and the Coaches Poll.
• Some SDSU fans had fretted the football team might not be invited to a bowl game. But the Aztecs are headed to the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl to take on the University of Buffalo Dec. 21.
Stories You May Have Missed
• The biggest news to come out of MLB’s Winter Meetings wasn’t the gigantic deal for Cano, nor was it Curis Granderson moving across town to the Mets. It wasn’t even the $20 million that 40-year-old Bartolo Colon got from the Mets. No, it was Sandy Alderson’s revelation that collisions between catchers and baserunners, often thought of as the most exciting play that one could during a baseball game, will no longer be allowed. That’s all the details that we have so far, as MLB doesn’t even seem to know how to clarify its own position on the matter yet, but this is obviously a response to the type of injuries received by Buster Posey and Yasmani Grandal in recent seasons.
• It’s time for the NCAA to start paying collegiate athletes, and any arguments that have been made to the contrary are absurd.
• Grantland’s Jonathan Abrams compares Andre Igoudala to Scottie Pippen, and explains why “Iggy” might be the final piece of the puzzle for a championship run by the Golden State Warriors.
• GIF of the Week:If you haven’t yet seen it, here’s what Matt Prater’s record-setting 64-yard field goal looked like last Sunday.
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