oregonsports news

Herbert gets taste of NFL struggle

OS Pro Feed - Mon, 09/21/2020 - 7:31am
The Chargers were poised to win in his first start, but ... By Cliff Pfenning, Oregonsports.com Justin Herbert attempts a pass during Sunday's game. AP photo

Former Oregon football great Justin Herbert had a near-fantastic introduction to the NFL Sunday, nearly leading the Los Angeles Chargers past the defending Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs in a surprise start, including leading his team to a touchdown on his opening drive in the league.

Trouble is, the outcome was a loss in overtime, and it showcased why the Chargers are likely to help him to a shorten career, one marked by continued disappointment often regardless of his progress and skill.

The Chargers are just not a good team, and the franchise hasn't been much of a marquee franchise since former Oregon great Dan Fouts played there from 1973 to 1984 - twice reaching the AFC championship game. The team has played in the Super Bowl just once, losing to San Francisco in 1994.

Herbert and his team performed well enough to win - they made it to overtime. But almost is still a loss, and for reasons easy to point to starting with Herbert. In one of the key plays of the game, with his team leading in the third quarter and nearing a first down after scrambling from the pocket, Herbert chose to throw a long pass against his body into a bull market of KC defenders. It turned into an interception at the 5-yard line, which the Chiefs and quarterback Pat Mahomes turned into a 95-yard touchdown drive in just six plays to tie the game at 17.

The Chargers then had a spectacular 17-play drive that lasted more than 10 minutes. But, with first down at the KC 4, the Chargers ran twice up the middle for no yards and Herbert got sacked leading to a 23-yard field goal. KC then drove for a field goal that tied the game at the end of regulation.

LA's play calling coddled Herbert to an amazing degree, even though he finished by completing 22 of 33 passes for 311 yards and one 14-yard touchdown pass that gave the Chargers a 14-6 halftime lead. Almost all of the passes Herbert completed were shorter than 10 yards with extra yards produced by the receiver. That's play-calling for an untested rookie, which is a good thing on the Chargers' part.

The Chargers produced 482 yards of offense - an amazing total for any team in any game. But, they scored only 20 points - a head-scratcher of an outcome.

LA's defense even performed admirably. Despite giving up 414 yards of offense, it stymied Mahomes time and again. But, the Chargers were called for offsides numerous times, which benefitted the Chiefs time and again, including wiping out an interception in the fourth quarter.

The biggest play-call of the game for LA might easily have been fourth-and-1 at the Chargers' 34 on the first drive of overtime. With CBS color commentator urging LA coach Anthony Lynn to throw caution to the wind and go for the first down, which I was basically screaming for at my home office, Lynn chose to punt and the Chiefs drove for a winning field goal. Granted the field goal was a 58-yard attempt, but that's the difference in the two franchises these days. The Chiefs do what's needed to win, while the Chargers do what's needed to almost win.

And, this is inspite of the Chargers winning in their season opener on the road in Cincinatti 16-13, against first-time starter Joe Burrow. The win was with veteran Tyrod Taylor at quarterback and featured the team racking up 362 yards. Again, though, the team scored just 16 points.

LA is headed for a one frustrating season, and without Taylor getting hurt what fans saw Sunday is likely to be the biggest highlight of Herbert's rookie season, which featured short-pass completion after short-pass completion. At least, though, receivers caught the passes, something that dogged former Oregon great Joey Harrington in his career with the Detroit Lions.

Good luck Justin. Hopefully, Sunday's game is the start of a great career with a franchise that desperately needs the results of a quarterback having a great career - turning almost wins into actual wins.

 

Categories: oregonsports news

Herbert gets taste of NFL struggle

BLOG Cliff Pfenning - Mon, 09/21/2020 - 7:27am
Mon, 09/21/2020 - 7:27am Cliff Pfenning Offline Last seen: 2 days 10 hours ago Joined: 2010-07-01

Former Oregon football great Justin Herbert had a near-fantastic introduction to the NFL Sunday, nearly leading the Los Angeles Chargers past the defending Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs in a surprise start, including leading his team to a touchdown on his opening drive in the league.

Trouble is, the outcome was a loss in overtime, and it showcased why the Chargers are likely to help him to a shorten career, one marked by continued disappointment often regardless of his progress and skill.

The Chargers are just not a good team, and the franchise hasn't been much of a marquee franchise since former Oregon great Dan Fouts played there from 1973 to 1984 - twice reaching the AFC championship game. The team has played in the Super Bowl just once, losing to San Francisco in 1994.

Herbert and his team performed well enough to win - they made it to overtime. But almost is still a loss, and for reasons easy to point to starting with Herbert. In one of the key plays of the game, with his team leading in the third quarter and nearing a first down after scrambling from the pocket, Herbert chose to throw a long pass against his body into a bull market of KC defenders. It turned into an interception at the 5-yard line, which the Chiefs and quarterback Pat Mahomes turned into a 95-yard touchdown drive in just six plays to tie the game at 17.

The Chargers then had a spectacular 17-play drive that lasted more than 10 minutes. But, with first down at the KC 4, the Chargers ran twice up the middle for no yards and Herbert got sacked leading to a 23-yard field goal. KC then drove for a field goal that tied the game at the end of regulation.

LA's play calling coddled Herbert to an amazing degree, even though he finished by completing 22 of 33 passes for 311 yards and one 14-yard touchdown pass that gave the Chargers a 14-6 halftime lead. Almost all of the passes Herbert completed were shorter than 10 yards with extra yards produced by the receiver. That's play-calling for an untested rookie, which is a good thing on the Chargers' part.

The Chargers produced 482 yards of offense - an amazing total for any team in any game. But, they scored only 20 points - a head-scratcher of an outcome.

LA's defense even performed admirably. Despite giving up 414 yards of offense, it stymied Mahomes time and again. But, the Chargers were called for offsides numerous times, which benefitted the Chiefs time and again, including wiping out an interception in the fourth quarter.

The biggest play-call of the game for LA might easily have been fourth-and-1 at the Chargers' 34 on the first drive of overtime. With CBS color commentator urging LA coach Anthony Lynn to throw caution to the wind and go for the first down, which I was basically screaming for at my home office, Lynn chose to punt and the Chiefs drove for a winning field goal. Granted the field goal was a 58-yard attempt, but that's the difference in the two franchises these days. The Chiefs do what's needed to win, while the Chargers do what's needed to almost win.

And, this is inspite of the Chargers winning in their season opener on the road in Cincinatti 16-13, against first-time starter Joe Burrow. The win was with veteran Tyrod Taylor at quarterback and featured the team racking up 362 yards. Again, though, the team scored just 16 points.

LA is headed for a one frustrating season, and without Taylor getting hurt what fans saw Sunday is likely to be the biggest highlight of Herbert's rookie season, which featured short-pass completion after short-pass completion. At least, though, receivers caught the passes, something that dogged former Oregon great Joey Harrington in his career with the Detroit Lions.

Good luck Justin. Hopefully, Sunday's game is the start of a great career with a franchise that desperately needs the results of a quarterback having a great career - turning almost wins into actual wins.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Categories: oregonsports news, Wire

Thorns roll in PDX return

OS Pro Feed - Sun, 09/20/2020 - 3:22pm
Portland beats Utah 3-0 at Providence Park Staff Report

PORTLAND - Sophia Smith made her debut for the Portland Thorns as memorable as possible in a 3-0 victory over the Utah Royals as part of the NWSL Fall Series Sunday.

Smith, the top overall pick in the 2020 NWSL Draft, scored in the 72nd minute off an assist by Meghan Klingenberg to boost Portland to a 2-0 lead. The Thorns, who got on the board in the 35th minute off a goal by Simone Charley, added the closing score in the 81st when Lindsey Horan put one home unassisted.

Portland continues the Fall Series Sept. 30 with a home match against the Seattle Reign.

The Thorns dominated much of the match starting with possession - 62-38 percent. They also featured nine corner kicks to just three for Utah.

The three goals surpassed the total the team managed in five matches during the Challenge Cup in July, when it scored just twice altogether.

 

Categories: oregonsports news

The Pac-12 should hold off and own spring football

BLOG Cliff Pfenning - Sat, 09/19/2020 - 8:35am
Sat, 09/19/2020 - 8:35am Cliff Pfenning Offline Last seen: 2 days 10 hours ago Joined: 2010-07-01

In the coming week, the presidents of the 12 colleges that make up the Pac-12 conference (they're now often being referred to as CEOs), will meet to discuss restarting the football season before October ends, like the CEOs of the Pac-12s brother/sister the Big-10 have done.

When they meet, hopefully they'll move off that topic and to a better one - owning spring football.

The Pac-12 should skip fall football and own spring football as it would be the lone major conference playing at that time.

Who really cares about the national championship anyway? It's the confernence title that matters most.

The Pac-12 should skip fall football for 2020, and own spring football, getting back to the 2021 season in fall.

 

Categories: oregonsports news, Wire

Timbers move big step closer to playoffs

OS Pro Feed - Thu, 09/17/2020 - 10:30am
Portland thumps San Jose 6-1 in final road match Staff Report Yimmi Chara (left) celebrates with Diego Valeri after scoring Saturday night. AP photo

Finally, the Portland Timbers put their offense and defense together at the same time - and historic fashion.

Despite having just 38 percent of possessions Saturday night, the Timbers scored a franchise record six goals and thwarted host San Jose time and again on the way to a 6-1 win in MLS action.

Diego Valeri scored twice and had an assist as the team topped its previous high late in the match.

Portland's win moved it into a tie for fourth in the Western Conference standings with two matches remaining, both at home.

"It was a wonderful match, regardless of the score," Portland coach Gio Savarese told media via virtual contact.

Portland improved to 5-4-3 for 18 points, while San Jose fell to 2-5-5, 11 points. The Earthquakes, who trailed just 2-1 at halftime, were 10 days removed from a 7-1 shellacking in Seattle.

In between San Jose's two defensive blowouts, the team scored a pair of draws, including 1-1 against Portland Wednesday. A number of changes in the starting rotation by both teams saw a seesaw match until Valeri broke the tie in the 25th minute with a penatly-kick goal after a handball was called. Moments later, Jeremy Ebobise headed home a long pass from Jorge Villafana to double the lead. 

San Jose answered in the 44th minute with a Carlos Fierro score and put consistent pressure on Timbers goalie Aljaz Ivacic, but he made a number of highlight-reel saves to keep the Earthquakes at bay. Starting his first match for Portland, Ivacic recorded three saves.

Valeri scored again in the 57th minute on an assist from Diego Charra and the route was on after San Jose responded with four substitutions - all offensive-minded players for defensive players. The Timbers got goals from Yimmi Chara, Julio Cascante and Jaroslaw Niezgoa in the remaining time to surpass its previous MLS high of five goals scored against Minnesota to open the 2017 season.

Portland plays host to Seattle Wednesday, and Vancouver Sunday. The Sounders lead the Western Conference with 21 points, while the Whitecaps won for the third time in four matches with a 2-1 decision at Real Salt Lake Saturday and moved into a tie for seventh place, with the top eight teams reaching the playoffs.

The Timbers edged Seattle 2-1 on Sept. 6 in Seattle two weeks after losing 3-0 at home. They have not played Vancouver this season.

 

PORTLAND 1, SAN JOSE 1

Sept. 16, 2020

In the long-term view, the Portland Timbers only have to qualify for the MLS playoffs to be a contender for the 2020 league tournament.

In the short-term view, though, the frustration from recent results leaves plenty of hardcore fans to wonder how the team will be competitive for any playoff results, especially after such a strong performance at the league’s MLS is Back tournament in August.

Portland struggled to a 1-1 draw with host San Jose Wednesday, earning one point in the Western Conference standings to remain tied for fifth with both Los Angeles clubs needing only to finish eighth to reach the playoffs.

The draw, however, came only a week after the Earthquakes lost 7-1 to Seattle, and days after the team failed to score against the LA Galaxy - in a 0-0 draw. San Jose has allowed three or more goals in three of its five games since the league returned to regular-season play. 

Yimmi Chara scored his first goal of the season off a feed from brother Diego to put Portland up 1-0 in the 33rd minute, but San Jose tied the match with a score by Vako off a feed from Chris Wondolowski.

San Jose dominated possession (63-37 percent) and shots (19-6), causing goalkeeper Steve Clark to make five assists, including a dazzing one in the final minutes. Most of San Jose’s possessions (75 percent) were spent in the Timbers side of the field.

The draw improved the Timbers to 1-3-2 since its return, but continued a familiar pattern of game-play where they create a lead, but cannot hold it. Portland has scored first in four of its six matches, including Wednesday’s match, but managed a win in just one. Those stats include giving up two goals in extra time in a 4-4 draw with Real Salt Lake two weeks ago.

Portland (15 points) plays at San Jose again Saturday with its final two matches at home against Seattle and Vancouver.

San Jose (12) and Vancouver (11) occupy the bottom two spots in the Western Conference standings.

Houston and RSL are tied for eighth at 14 points, with Colorado at 13.

 

Categories: oregonsports news

Wed, 12/31/1969 - 5:00pm
RSS feed