IN THE WAKE OF THE WEEK: Raiders shine in primetime; Kings have knack for the comeback
FAIRWELL TO OAKLAND: The perfect send-off for Oakland Raiders fans! It is a nifty 27-14 win over an unprepared and poorly disciplined Denver Broncos squad on Monday night. The chances are slim that the Raiders will return to Oakland next season. Mark Davis wonders why he should play another season in a city that has filed a legal action against him.
THE FINAL TOLL ON EX-RAIDER PLAYERS: Going into the final week, traded star Khalil Mack has 12.5 sacks and six forced fumbles, which is No. 1 in the NFL. Amari Cooper’s eight games with the Dallas Cowboys have seen him rack-up 694 yards and six touchdown receptions. Both cast-offs will see playoff action and have been brilliant additions to their teams.
49ERS CLOSE: The red zone again spells doom for San Francisco in their 14-9 loss to the Chicago Bears. Their inability to reach the end zone has been a year-long issue. Three trips earn but nine points. The defense gets the job done, but Nick Mullens fails on the final drive when he easily could have run for a first down. Injuries plague the 49ers in this contest. Don’t expect much on Sunday as they close it out vs. The Rams.
PLAYOFF PICTURE ILLUMINATES: Seattle makes it in as a wild card. New England, Chicago, the L.A. Rams, and New Orleans clinch their division championships. The most exciting match-up tomorrow will see Indianapolis and Tennessee compete for a final wild card spot. The NFL must be pleased as with their postseason as it poses dramatic combinations.
LONG-SHOT BUT PROVOCATIVE: If the L.A. Rams met the L.A. Chargers in the Super Bowl it would be an all-Los Angeles game. The irony is that the Chargers are playing in a 20,000 seat soccer stadium and the Rams play in the spacious Coliseum where visiting fans often outnumber L.A. fans. Not likely to happen, but it would present a tantalizing scenario.
KINGS TRAIL, WIN LATE: It cannot continue. However, for now it worked. The Sacramento Kings go down by 19 points in contests vs. Memphis and New Orleans as well as 16 vs. the L.A. Lakers only to surge to wins. They are finding ways to win and stand at an astounding 19-16. The win vs. L.A. comes down to one successful 3-pointer for the 117-116 victory. This is a big area sports surprise.
SPORTS ODDITY: Tell me how the Golden State Warriors give up 18 3-pointers to the L.A. Clippers but still win the game! It is a 129-127 win when Steph Curry executes a lay-up with .5 seconds remaining. Is DeMarcus Cousins the final piece to getting back on track? Be patient as it may be a while before we find out.
WARRIORS TIDBIT: Golden State has lost four home games in regulation so far this season. All of them have been by 20-plus points! An alarming trend or just taking the night off?
BURNS SHINES: In his 1,000th milestone game, Brent Burns gets the game winner in a huge 4-2 win vs. the Anaheim Ducks. He is the first star of the game as the Sharks keep pace in the Pacific Division.
COME ON, KING JAMES: Is LeBron James exempt from public scrutiny? To his 45.8 million Instagram followers he shares lyrics from a rapper’s song that includes, “We been getting that Jewish money. Everything is Kosher.” How does he get away with that? The normal athlete would be run out of town. Common sense eluded him. Disgusting!
MILLEN’S CHRISTMAS GIFT: Matt Millen who starred for the San Francisco 49ers and Oakland Raiders got a special Christmas gift on the eve of the religious holiday. He is blessed with a perfect match for a new heart at Newark Beth Israel Hospital. He has been struggling for months, but gets a new lease on life.
IRONIC TWIST: Is it ironic that The First Responder Bowl between Boise State and Boston College is cancelled due to lightning?
Jim Adams is a regular contributor to The Union. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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