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The Sports Report: Rams and Chargers win

Howdy, I’m your host, Houston Mitchell. Let’s get right to the news.

RAMS

On a night when the Rams entertained an enthusiastic Wembley Stadium crowd by pulling off a double-reverse flea-flicker pass for a touchdown, they also had reason to celebrate.

Cooper Kupp amassed a career-best 220 yards receiving, Jared Goff passed for two touchdowns, Todd Gurley ran for a touchdown and the defense did not allow a point in the second half as the Rams defeated the Cincinnati Bengals, 24-10.

The Rams did not win a title. They did not even ensure they would make the playoffs. But their victory before a crowd of 83,720 improved their record to 5-3 heading into next week’s open date. And it positioned them at the season’s midpoint to remain a factor in the NFC West.

For a franchise coming off a Super Bowl appearance, that does not qualify as a major — or minor — milestone. But it is a far better position than what the Rams were staring at two weeks ago when they were mired in a three-game losing streak and watching the San Francisco 49ers and Seattle Seahawks establish themselves as front-runners in the division.

The Rams defeated the Falcons in Atlanta, and then stayed over in Atlanta for three more days before traveling to London to play the winless Bengals.

“Put a lot of miles behind us and it’s only going to be better for us later down the road,” safety Marqui Christian said.

After losses against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Seahawks and 49ers, the Rams clearly benefited from games against the struggling Falcons and Bengals, who exited Sunday with a combined record of 1-15.

But Rams coach Sean McVay liked much of what he saw the last two weeks.

“We did a good job of responding from some adversity,” he said. “We’re where our record says we are, but we want to be able to look at ourselves and figure out what can we do to just consistently have good, clean performances.”

Read more

Sam Farmer: Cooper Kupp has huge hands in Rams’ victory over Bengals

Rams’ super sub Josh Reynolds replaces injured Brandin Cooks and burns Bengals

Andrew Whitworth completes NFL sweep as Rams defeat his former team, the Bengals

RAMS SCHEDULE

All times Pacific. Radio: 710 ESPN, 93.1 JACK FM

Rams 30, at Carolina 27

at Rams 27, New Orleans 9

Rams 20, at Cleveland 13

Tampa Bay 55, at Rams 40

at Seattle 30, Rams 29

San Francisco 20, at Rams 7

Rams 37, at Atlanta 10

Rams 24, Cincinnati 10 (at London)

Nov. 10 at Pittsburgh, 1:15 p.m., Fox

Nov. 17 vs. Chicago, 5:15 p.m., NBC

Nov. 25 vs. Baltimore, 5:15 p.m., ESPN

Dec. 1 at Arizona, 1 p.m., Fox

Dec. 8 vs. Seattle, 5:15 p.m., NBC

Dec. 15 at Dallas, 1:15 p.m., Fox

Dec. 22 or 23 at San Francisco, TBD

Dec. 29 vs. Arizona, 1:15 p.m., Fox

CHARGERS

The Chargers saw their flustering, maddening three-game losing streak suddenly end with a 17-16 victory when Chicago’s Eddy Pineiro missed a 41-yard field goal as time expired.

The win also halted a stretch in which the Chargers had dropped five one-score games in a row and came a week after they lost in Tennessee when two plays initially ruled as possible game-winning touchdowns in the final minute were reversed by replay.

“We just needed a win, any way,” quarterback Philip Rivers said. “35-0. 2-0. 3-2 or 17-16.”

Entering this game, the Chargers seemingly had sabotaged their season, going 2-5 largely because of a lack of execution made more significant by a seemingly unending parade of injuries.

But on Sunday, it was the Bears who turned the ball over twice in the fourth quarter, couldn’t make the most vital defensive stop when necessary and ultimately went down because their kicker couldn’t produce.

“At this point, I’ll take anything,” running back Austin Ekeler said. “We’ve been on the other end of that type of game. We’re taking anything in the ‘W’ column right now.”

Read more

Chargers couldn’t catch or run the ball, but escaped Chicago with a win anyway

Chargers believe pressure — not good luck — explains opponents’ missed field goals

CHARGERS SCHEDULE

All times Pacific. Radio: KFI-AM 640, KFWB-AM 980

at Chargers 30, Indianapolis 24 (OT)

at Detroit 13, Chargers 10

Houston 27, at Chargers 20

Chargers 30, at Miami 10

Denver 20, at Chargers 13

Pittsburgh 24, at Chargers 17

at Tennessee 23, Chargers 20

Chargers 17, at Chicago 16

Sunday vs. Green Bay, 1:15 p.m., CBS

Nov. 10 at Oakland, 5:15 p.m., Fox, NFL Network

Nov. 18 vs. Kansas City, 5:15 p.m., ESPN (at Mexico City, counts as home game for Chargers)

Dec. 1 at Denver, 1:15 p.m., CBS

Dec. 8 at Jacksonville, 1 p.m., Fox

Dec. 15 vs. Minnesota, 5:15 p.m., NBC

Dec. 22 or 23 vs. Oakland, TBD

Dec. 29 at Kansas City, 10 a.m., CBS

Sunday’s NFL scoreboard

Rams 24, Cincinnati 20 (at London)

Chargers 17, at Chicago 16

Philadelphia 31, at Buffalo 13

Seattle 27, at Atlanta 20

at Detroit 31, NY Giants 26

at Tennessee 27, Tampa Bay 23

Green Bay 31, at Kansas City 24

at Indianapolis 15, Denver 13

at New Orleans 31, Arizona 9

at Jacksonville 29, NY Jets 15

at San Francisco 51, Carolina 13

at New England 27, Cleveland 13

at Houston 27, Oakland 24

Read all about them here.

Tonight’s schedule

Miami at Pittsburgh, 5:15 p.m., ESPN

LAKERS

Toward the end of the game, a glitch in the in-arena scoreboard at Staples Center caused the score to read Lakers 120, Hornets 10.

It wasn’t quite that bad for Charlotte, but a fourth-quarter deluge by the Lakers might have seemed that lopsided.

LeBron James pulled up to hit a three-pointer to give the Lakers a 19-point lead early in the fourth quarter. He ran back down the court with his hand still posed as it was when the ball left it. Then play stopped and he looked to the crowd, urging them to cheer louder.

The Hornets proved a pesky opponent for about three quarters of Sunday night’s game, then the Lakers asserted their dominance, winning 120-101 to improve to 2-1 this season. Anthony Davis scored 25 points in the first half, near-single-handedly keeping the Lakers in the game and led all scorers with 29 points. Davis, James and Dwight Howard all had double doubles. James scored 20 points with 12 assists and Howard scored 16 points with 10 rebounds.

WORLD SERIES

Scheduled Game 5 starter Max Scherzer had to sit and watch because of neck spasms as his Washington Nationals lost to the Houston Astros, 7-1, giving the Astros a 3-2 lead in the best-of-seven World Series.

Scherzer’s replacement, Joe Ross, allowed a two-run home run to Yordan Alvarez, a former Dodger farmhand, in the second inning and another to Carlos Correa in the fourth. Those were the only runs he gave up in five innings, but Gerrit Cole’s performance rendered the effort insufficient.

Cole, an impending free agent from Orange County, suffocated the Nationals. He surrendered one run on three hits across seven innings. He struck out nine and walked two.

The Astros slammed the door shut with Yuli Gurriel’s RBI single in the eighth inning and George Springer’s two-run blast in the ninth.

WORLD SERIES SCHEDULE

All times Pacific. All games on Fox.

Game 1: Washington 5, at Houston 4

Game 2: Washington 12, at Houston 3

Game 3: Houston 4, at Washington 1

Game 4: Houston 8, at Washington 1

Game 5: Houston 7, at Washington 1

Game 6: Tuesday, Washington at Houston, 5 p.m.

Game 7*: Wednesday, Washington at Houston, 5 p.m.

*-if necessary

COLLEGE FOOTBALL

Heading into an off date for both teams, LSU flip-flopped with Alabama to become the new No. 1 in the Associated Press college football poll. The Tigers received 1,476 points, two more than Alabama, for the closest margin between first and second since No. 1 Florida State was two points ahead of Auburn on Oct. 5, 2014.

No. 3 Ohio State was not far behind with 1,468 points. Eight points separating first from third is the fewest in the regular season since Dec. 3, 1979, when No. 1 Ohio State was 10 points ahead of No. 3 USC, with Oklahoma in between, two back of the Buckeyes.

Alabama received the most first-place votes this week with 21. LSU and Ohio State both got 17 first-place votes while No. 4 Clemson received seven.

AP top 25

1. LSU (17 first-place votes), 8-0, 1,476 points (ranked 2 last week)

2. Alabama (21), 8-0, 1,474 (1)

3. Ohio State (17), 8-0, 1,468 (3)

4. Clemson (7), 8-0, 1,406 (4)

5. Penn State, 8-0, 1,302 (6)

6. Florida, 7-1, 1,226 (7)

7. Oregon, 7-1, 1,108 (11)

8. Georgia, 6-1, 1,093 (10)

9. Utah, 7-1, 1,032 (12)

10. Oklahoma, 7-1, 1,017 (5)

11. Auburn, 6-2, 910 (9)

12. Baylor, 7-0, 882 (14)

13. Minnesota, 9-0, 778 (17)

14. Michigan, 6-2, 744 (19)

15. SMU, 8-0, 666 (16)

16. Notre Dame, 5-2, 563 (8)

17. Cincinnati, 6-1, 524 (18)

18. Wisconsin, 6-2, 513 (13)

19. Iowa, 6-2, 456 (20)

20. Appalachian State, 7-0, 393 (21)

21. Boise State, 6-1, 280 (22)

22. Kansas State, 5-2, 218 (not ranked)

23. Wake Forest, 6-1, 200 (25)

24. Memphis, 7-1, 188 (not ranked)

25. San Diego State, 7-1, 50 (not ranked)

Dropped from rankings: Texas 15, Iowa State 23, Arizona State 24

Others receiving votes: Texas 49, Navy 43, UCF 33, Washington 19, Texas A&M 14, USC 11, Louisiana Tech 6, Indiana 4, Oklahoma State 1, Pittsburgh 1, Iowa State 1, North Dakota State 1

KINGS

Dylan Strome had two goals and an assist to help the Chicago Blackhawks beat the Kings 5-1.

David Kampf and Drake Caggiula also scored to help the Blackhawks bounce back after they were shut out in Carolina on Saturday and managed just two goals in their previous three games.

Robin Lehner made 38 saves and lost a bid for his first shutout with Chicago when Sean Walker scored early in the third period.

Jack Campbell blocked 21 shots as Los Angeles lost its third consecutive game and second in two nights, after falling 5-1 at Minnesota on Saturday.

DUCKS

Nicolas Roy scored his first career NHL goal and the Vegas Golden Knights beat the Ducks 5-2 on Sunday night.

Roy, making his first appearance as a member of the Golden Knights, showed off his blazing speed when he split two Anaheim defenders and slipped a shot through Ducks goaltender John Gibson’s pads for what turned out to be the game-winning goal.

Vegas moved ahead of the Ducks and into sole possession of second place in the Pacific Division. The Golden Knights have 16 points, one point behind first-place Edmonton. The Ducks have 14 points.

HORSE RACING

Santa Anita, struggling to regain public confidence with safe racing during its fall meeting, had a sixth horse fatality at the track since Sept. 18 when Bye Bye Beautiful, a 2-year-old filly, broke down on the backstretch Sunday and was euthanized.

Bye Bye Beautiful was running in a six-furlong maiden special weight race when she suddenly seemed in distress and jockey Tiago Pereira pulled her up. It is the second fatality in three days and third since Oct. 19.

“After being pulled up past the 1/2-mile pole, Bye Bye Beautiful was immediately evaluated by a team of on-track veterinarians, led by Santa Anita Park veterinarian Dr. Dana Stead, and transported in the equine ambulance,” Santa Anita said in a statement. “Dr. Stead observed that the filly had suffered a right forelimb lateral condylar fracture with medial sesamoid involvement and, because of the severity of the injury, made the decision to humanely euthanize the horse.”

GOLF

Tiger Woods won the Zozo Championship in Japan to tie Sam Snead’s PGA Tour record of 82 victories.

Woods, 43, played the final seven holes Monday in the rain-hit tournament, completing a three-under-par 67 to beat local favorite Hideki Matsuyama by three strokes at Accordia Golf Narashino Country Club.

“It’s just crazy. It’s a lot,” Woods said. ”I’ve been able to be consistent most of my career. Today was one of those days where I was able to pull it out.”

Woods had arthroscopic surgery on his left knee two months ago — his fifth on the same problem joint. He was making his first start in his 23rd season on the PGA Tour.

“I can still manage my way around the golf course,” Woods said. ”I know how to play. I was able to do that this week.”

Most PGA Tour victories

1. Sam Snead, 82

1. Tiger Woods, 82

3. Jack Nicklaus, 73

4. Ben Hogan, 64

5. Arnold Palmer, 62

6. Byron Nelson, 52

7. Billy Casper, 51

8. Walter Hagen, 45

9. Phil Mickelson, 44

10. Cary Middlecoff, 40

TODAY’S LOCAL MAJOR SPORTS SCHEDULE

All times Pacific

Charlotte at Clippers, 6:30 p.m., Prime Ticket. AM 570

BORN ON THIS DATE

1922: Basketball coach Butch van Breda Kolff (d. 2007)

1926: Baseball commissioner Bowie Kuhn (d. 2007)

1934: Runner Jim Beatty

1937: Basketball coach Lenny Wilkens

1949: Decathlete Caitlyn Jenner

1963: Hockey player Kevin Dineen

1964: Former Dodger Lenny Harris

1964: Figure skater Paul Wylie

1965: Football player Mark Carrier

1966: Football player Steve Atwater

1972: Football player Terrell Davis

DIED ON THIS DATE

2006: Basketball coach Red Auerbach, 89

2006: Boxer Trevor Berbick, 52

AND FINALLY

Rams vs. Bengals highlights. Watch them here.

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