It’s pretty fair to say that Philip Rivers had a game to forget on Thursday night. Just a few days removed from the Los Angeles Chargers’ domination of the Green Bay Packers, they came out and played a bit of a ‘dud’ as they fell 26-24 to the Oakland Raiders. As a result, the Raiders have moved up to a 5-4 and the Chargers are at 4-6, making a potential path to the playoffs that much tougher for them. Rivers ended up completing just over half of his passes for 207 yards and three interceptions. He also had two touchdowns, but that wasn’t nearly enough to make up for his errors. Melvin Gordon did have a good game running the ball, picking up 108 yards and a TD on 22 carries. It was the other running back, Josh Jacobs, though that had the last laugh. His touchdown scamper from 18 yards out proved to be the winning TD of the game with just over a minute left on the clock. It marks the second time in five weeks that the Raiders had beaten the Chargers late in the game, and it gives them a bit of control and hope in the AFC Wild Card picture.
After sitting out on Wednesday night against the Milwaukee Bucks due to the dreaded “load management,” Kawhi Leonard made a double statement on Thursday night as his Los Angeles Clippers took on the Portland Trail Blazers. Not only did he score 27 points, 18 of which came in the decisive fourth quarter and grab 13 rebounds, but he also made it clear that he would not be changing his approach in the future following the 107-101 victory. After the game, he said he would keep on doing his resting as needed, just as he did last season with the Toronto Raptors as they went on to win the NBA title. It was not the first time that Leonard had letdown a bit in the early going. He missed 10 of his first 13 shots, perhaps due to rustiness, but rebounded in a big way in the final quarter. He also played great defense in the final period, helping shut down Portland’s Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum. They both had 22 points apiece in the loss.
Tiger Woods made history yet again on Thursday when he selected his four at-large picks for the Presidents Cup roster. For the first time since 1963 when Arnold Palmer captained the team, the captain will feature as a playing member as well. Woods, who comes off the back of a win in Japan in the Zozo Championship that saw him tie Sam Snead at the top of the all-time PGA Tour wins list, also picked Tony Finau, Gary Woodland, and Patrick Reed to take on the international team in Australia in December. Woods cited the other players wanting him to play and the fact that Freddy Couples kept prodding him for doing it.