Morning sports update: Chargers left tackle Russell Okung called out Roger Goodell

Plus: Looking ahead to the Chargers, a former Patriots player reacts to the tipped Bears field goal, and more.

Roger Goodell Patriots NFL Super Bowl
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell speaks during a news conference after the football league meeting in Irving, Texas, on Dec. 12, 2018. –AP Photo / LM Otero

The Patriots will play the Chargers on Sunday, Jan. 13, at 1:05 p.m. The matchup was determined by Sunday’s wild-card game between the Chargers and Ravens, which Los Angeles won in Baltimore, 23-17.

In the other game on Sunday, the defending Super Bowl champion Eagles stunned the Bears, winning dramatically in Chicago, 16-15.

The Celtics host the Nets tonight at 7:30 p.m., while the Bruins welcome the Wild to TD Garden on Tuesday at 7 p.m.

Russell Okung thinks the NFL is against the Chargers: After he was called for another potentially ruinous penalty during the Chargers’ eventual win over the Ravens in Sunday’s wild-card game, Los Angeles left tackle Russell Okung had strong words for NFL commissioner Roger Goodell.


“Roger Goodell doesn’t want us to come home,” Okung told reporters. “That’s all I can say.”

It’s a thinly veiled reference to the fact that the Chargers have been playing home games in the 27,000-seat ROKiT Field at StubHub Center while awaiting the completion of the new Chargers-Rams stadium, which is set to open in 2020.

Okung was also called for a fourth quarter holding penalty against the Ravens during the regular season two weeks before their playoff clash. The mistake proved costly, as tight end Antonio Gates fumbled on the next play as Los Angeles tried to make up the yardage.

Other penalties in the game helped contribute to a 22-10 loss that proved decisive in the Chargers not getting home-field advantage in the playoffs.

Now, with the Chargers set to visit Gillette Stadium to play the Patriots, it’s worth wondering if Goodell will attend. The NFL commissioner was at both of the NFC games over the weekend.

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Chargers throwback: The last time the Patriots and Chargers played, referees made an inadvertently synchronized safety call. NBC Sports Boston’s D.J. Bean had fun with it.

An interesting note on the Chargers’ game plan:


Eagles defensive lineman Treyvon Hester tipped Cody Parkey’s attempted field goal: The Eagles prevailed 16-15 in an aptly named wild card game on Sunday. The Bears attempted a last-second field goal, but it was tipped before hitting both the upright and crossbar, then bouncing out. Former Patriots defensive lineman Chris Long gave a shoutout to his teammate for the subtle, season-saving play.

On this day: In 1963, Browns owner Art Modell fired legendary coach Paul Brown. Aside from seeing him as an early innovator in the NFL, Bill Belichick also has this career history in common with Brown: Modell also fired Belichick (three decades later) while the Browns were in the midst of moving to Baltimore.

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And Jan. 7, 2006 was notable for multiple reasons. First, Liverpool’s Xabi Alonso helped to end an FA Cup matchup with Luton Town by scoring from inside his own half with the opposing goalkeeper upfield to try and score:

Later in the day, the Patriots defeated the Jaguars 28-3 in an AFC Divisional Game, with Willie McGinest setting the NFL postseason single game sack record, totaling 4.5 against Jacksonville.

Daily highlight: Eagles play-by-play announcer Rickie Ricardo’s Spanish call of the Bears’ missed field goal is worth a listen.