The Morning Report
Get the news and information you need to take on the day.
There is one week left in the NFL’s 2013 regular season and, somehow, the Chargers still have a chance of making it into the playoffs. After soundly beating the Oakland Raiders last week, San Diego’s third consecutive win, the Chargers look like a dangerous team that nobody wants to face in the postseason.
But to make it into the playoffs, the Chargers will need some help. First, they’ll need the Cincinnati Bengals to beat the Baltimore Ravens, and for the New York Jets to upset the Miami Dolphins. Then, they’ll need to win their final game against the Chiefs to finish the season 9-7. That shouldn’t be too difficult, as the Chiefs have no incentive to win and will likely play their backups for most of the game to avoid injuries to their starters. If the Dolphins or Ravens win before the Chargers and Chiefs kick off, however, Mike McCoy’s team won’t have anything to play for either.
It’s easy to look back at the mistakes the Chargers coaching staff made this season, mistakes that they continue to make, and think that the team could have had nine or 10 wins and a locked-in playoff spot already. All the Chargers can do now, though, is hope learn from those mistakes and pray that things go their way Sunday. All of Southern California will be watching the score of all three critical games, waiting to see whether the Chargers might return to the playoffs for the first time since 2009.
You’re reading the Sports Report, our weekly compilation of news and information for the San Diego sports fan.
SDSU Puts Finishing Touches on Fine Football Season
After a slow start to the season, the San Diego State Aztecs won eight of their last 10 games and salvaged the season for Rocky Long. After losing the New Orleans Bowl in 2011 and the Poinsettia Bowl in 2012, Long finally got a bowl win in the form of a 49-24 victory over Buffalo in the Idaho Potato Bowl on Saturday. Junior running back Adam Muema was the star of the game, running for 229 yards and three rushing touchdowns in what could end up being his final college game if he decides to enter the NFL Draft.
I wish I could tell you that the game was exciting, but it wasn’t. The Aztecs just kept scoring and scoring and Buffalo couldn’t keep up.
• San Diego Padres GM Josh Byrnes did some low-level cleanup to the bottom of his roster this week, trading away Jesus Guzman for utility man Ryan Jackson. There are plenty of players who duplicate what Guzman offered on the Padres roster already, but not a lot who offer above-average defense at the middle-infield spots. This isn’t a game-changer, but it’s a solid trade.
• Mark Kotsay, a pinch-hitter and occasional starter for the Padres over the last two seasons, has joined the organization as a special assistant after retiring as a player. This is becoming a regular occurrence for the Padres, who employ Trevor Hoffman as a special assistant and recently lost special assistant Brad Ausmus, who accepted a job as manager of the Detroit Tigers.
Stories You May Have Missed
• The San Diego State basketball teams has won eight consecutive games and are big favorites against Encinitas’ St. Katherine College Friday night. As long as they can get by the Firebirds, whose program in is its first year, the only thing standing between the 20th ranked Aztecs and the 16th ranked Kansas Jayhawks will be a New Years Day match-up against Colorado State.
• GIF of the Week: During “sudden death” overtime, Coyotes goalie Mike Smith lost the puck and got back in the net to defend wherever it might be coming from. The problem? The puck was in his pants, and his move back into the goal gave the opposing Sabres the win.
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