Discover more from The Morning Column presented by The Sporting Tribune
All smiles after Raiders thrash Giants in Pierce’s coaching debut
The Las Vegas Raiders snapped a two-game losing streak in routing the New York Giants 30-6 Sunday at Allegiant Stadium.
Good morning and welcome to The Morning Column presented by The Sporting Tribune. Please subscribe if you haven’t done so already. It’s free and will be delivered to your inbox every weekday morning. OK, let’s get to it!
1. All smiles after Raiders thrash Giants in Pierce’s coaching debut
The Las Vegas Raiders snapped a two-game losing streak in routing the New York Giants 30-6 Sunday at Allegiant Stadium, writes The Sporting Tribune’s Steve Carp.
Delicious ironies aside, Antonio Pierce came to Allegiant Stadium Sunday with his game face on, just like he has done every week for the last two years.
But this time was different. He was no longer just a cog in a sputtering machine. He was now at the control of the switch, determined to get things running right.
The former All-Pro linebacker who won a Super Bowl ring with the New York Giants, stood across the way from his old team. Frankly, it wouldn’t have mattered who the opponent was. Pierce has one task before him — to help clean up owner Mark Davis’ mess and make the Las Vegas Raiders competitive, if not relevant over the second half of the 2023 NFL season.
2. Ducks hit jackpot against Vegas, extend winning streak to six games
The Ducks kept their winning streak going with another comeback, this time over the Vegas Golden Knights, writes The Sporting Tribune’s Derek Lee.
The Ducks faced off against the Golden Knights once again, hoping to fare better than their 4-1 defeat in their season opener last month in Nevada. John Gibson made his first start in nearly a week after leaving last Monday’s game in the first period with an upper-body injury. Alex Killorn officially made his Ducks debut after suffering a fractured finger during one of Anaheim’s preseason games.
Vegas was coming off a 7-0 domination of the Colorado Avalanche last night and had a bit more pep in their step to start against Anaheim, jumping out to a 5 to 0 shots on goal advantage midway through the first period. Four odd-man rushes in the first helped the Golden Knights jump out to a 1-0 lead, with Jack Eichel driving past a stumbling Jackson LaCombe before feathering a pass over Ilya Lyubushkin’s stick to Ivan Barbashev––who finished past Gibson..
3. Rams humbled in 20-3 loss to the Green Bay Packers
The Rams went 0-2 on the road, but will have the bye week to regroup before facing the Seattle Seahawks for the second time this season, writes The Sporting Tribune’s Lauren Jones.
The Los Angeles Rams faced a challenging road trip and came up short with a 20-3 loss against the Green Bay Packers on Sunday. While the outcome was disappointing, there were significant takeaways from the game that shed light on the team’s strengths and areas for improvement.
Despite this being the Rams’ third consecutive loss, the defense showed up in a major way. One of the most prominent highlights of the game was the exceptional performance of the Rams’ defense, which held the Packers scoreless in the first quarter and helped keep the team in the game early on.
“I was proud of the way our defense played today. They kept us in the game, the continued to battle, then it kinda got away a little bit at the end,” head coach Sean McVay commented.
4. LAFC advances to Western Conference Semifinal following Vancouver sweep
Maxime Crépeau saves LAFC from conceding and Denís Bouanga scores lone goal to sweep the Whitecaps as LAFC heads to the Western Conference Semifinal, writes The Sporting Tribune’s Chandrima Chatterjee.
Maxime Crépeau’s night against his former club, the Vancouver Whitecaps could not have been scripted any better as he held a clean sheet against them to make LAFC’s lone goal of the night from Golden Boot winner Denís Bouanga the winner and guaranteed their advancement into Western Conference semifinal.
Exactly one year ago, Crépeau suffered the biggest setback of his career when he broke his leg during the 2022 MLS Cup Final and was in the hospital watching as his teammates finished the hard-fought duel against Philadelphia Union to win the coveted final prize, the MLS Cup.
After many months of recovery, Max has been working towards the playoffs form with diligence and focus. Against Vancouver in the game 2 of the first round of the playoffs, Crepeau made five saves, his highest of the year during which he has kept 3 clean sheets in nine overall matches. And, he did so through a roar of boos and jeers from the overwhelmingly loud home crowd, an attendance breaking record for BP Place of over 30,000 roaring fans.
5. The San Diego Wave lose in the semifinals again
The Wave made it to the semifinals in their first two seasons but lost both times, writes The Sporting Tribune’s Kamran Nia.
The San Diego Wave began their inaugural NWSL season in 2022 and made it to the semifinals before losing to the Portland Thorns. But in 2023, they returned with a vengeance, winning the NWSL Shield and returning to the semifinals. They were 5-1-1 in their final seven matches as they carried momentum. It looked like no team could slow them down.
Also giving the Wave a boost were their fans. They led the league in attendance during the regular season, and Sunday’s semifinal environment against the OL Reign was even more lively. Snapdragon Stadium was packed with supporters as San Diego rallied behind their NWSL team. Fans stood on their toes in standing-room sections, trying to catch a glimpse of the match, as most seats were filled. They waved their pink rally towels as they gave their favorite team a boost.
Despite a club and playoff record crowd of 32,262, the Wave were eliminated in the semifinals, just like they were in their first year. They fell to Reign, 1-0, as the Reign were tough to break down defensively.
6. USC fires defensive coordinator Alex Grinch
USC finally parted ways with defensive coordinator Alex Grinch after USC gave up 52 points to Washington and 49 points to Cal, writes The Sporting Tribune’s Josh Fisher.
The prayers of the USC fans have been answered, as the program has relieved Defensive Coordinator Alex Grinch of his duties.
As stated many times, Grinch is a great guy, always open and kind to the media, but his production on the field has been very costly to the title aspirations for the USC program. Going through every game in his tenure, dating back to his first season in Southern California last season, Alex Grinch’s defense has cost USC countless games. In this season alone, had they made a stand against Utah and held Washington to at least 150 yards rushing, let alone 250-plus, Grinch would have a job, and USC would be in the mix for a National title shot. The USC defense was a bottom-15 unit in the Nation in rushing yards allowed, surrendering 186.5 yards on the ground per game.
7. Odds and Ends presented by Circa Sports
Here are some odds at Circa Sports if you’re thinking about placing a wager today:
8. Ticket Time presented by Golden Gate
Here are the “get in” prices for tickets if you’re thinking about going to a game Wednesday.
7:00 p.m. - LA Kings at Golden Knights - $73
9. On the Air presented by The D Las Vegas
Here are the game times and television channels for professional teams in the region today.
4:30 p.m. – Lakers at Heat – NBA TV
4:30 p.m. – Clippers at Knicks – Bally Sports West
5:15 p.m. – Chargers at Jets – ESPN
10. The Arash Markazi Show presented by The Sporting Tribune
Listen to The Arash Markazi Show presented by The Sporting Tribune on The Mightier 1090 ESPN Radio in Southern California, 98.5 The Bet in Las Vegas and the Hawaii Sports Radio Network 95.1 FM and 760 AM in Hawaii. You can also listen to the show on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Play and Stitcher. You can also watch every Friday on BLEAV on FuboTV.
Thank you for reading. Please click below to subscribe to The Morning Column presented by The Sporting Tribune. It’s free and will be delivered to your inbox every weekday morning.
That’s it for today. Talk to you on tomorrow!