Jimmy Garoppolo gets his first big test against a good defense after going 3-0 in his first three starts with the 49ers.


Another team from LA, another matchup lopsided in favor of the visitors. Jared Goff and Todd Gurley will be in great positions to succeed against the Tennessee defense, while the Titans don’t have the same rushing efficiency and firepower to get the better of the Rams’ defense.

Derek Carr and Jack Del Rio aren’t the aggressive, finishing QB-coach combination they were a year ago. The Eagles with Nick Foles and Doug Peterson are pretty much the same team they were with Carson Wentz and Pederson. The Raiders’ defense will have no answers, and the offense will struggle once Marshawn Lynch is contained.

According to Gutekunst, one of the first pieces of advice that Thompson offered after getting the job on Sunday was to smile more at his first press conference.

John Gutekunst told his son to be humble, and to make sure that he takes care of his staff.

Now, you know, on Mondays after watching our game, the younger Gutekunst said, he’ll tell me some other things.

The run-blocking remained solid to prop up Elliott replacements Alfred Morris and Rod Smith, but Prescott faced more discomfort in key stretches of key games. The Cowboys were often rendered one-dimensional in the atypical way, as running from either their backs or Prescott sometimes was their only source of offense. In a complementary game, those issues were exacerbated by problems at another position.

Prescott still threw to Bryant often but the catches didn’t come close to matching the targets, and the big plays and red-zone scoring prowess were few and far between. As the Cowboys’ go-to wide receiver turned 29 in November, his decline continued through December. So much for being healthier and re-booted for Prescott in Year 2.

When the L.A. Clippers lost both of their top point guards and then lost Blake Griffin and went on a skid, we wrote them off. It turns out that was premature. L.A. has won six of seven and is just a game out of the playoffs in the West!

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He was traded to Phoenix in June


In terms of basketball, Rose is still solid as an attacker with the ball in his hands. He finished in the top 20 among all players in terms of possessions in the pick-and-roll (7.5 per game) and scored at a rate of 0.90 points per possession in such situations, not far behind the likes of Jimmy Butler (0.91), Goran Dragic (0.93) and C.J. McCollum (0.94). Rose also averaged 10.1 points per game in the paint, tied with Russell Westbrook for the third-best mark among NBA guards behind DeMar DeRozan (10.3) and Giannis Antetokounmpo (13.1).

He’s not 2010-11 Derrick Rose — and he never will be again — but he did enjoy a bit of a resurgence last season with the Knicks in the scoring (18.0 points per game, highest since 2011-12) and efficiency (47.1 field-goal percentage, highest since 2009-10 and 47.7 effective field-goal percentage, highest since 2011-12) departments. Running Rose out with the second unit as a playmaker could benefit the Cavs’ “Big Three” down the road, allowing them to get precious rest (particularly James, who led the league in minutes at 32 years old).

“Gene Shue is a clown whose only ambition is to caddie for (owner) Harold Katz,” Barkley said. “I was good enough to lead us to the championship of the division two years ago, before they made all the changes … I have no respect for Gene Shue. He’s just a robot. He doesn’t do his job. He’s just a caddie, that’s what he’s good for.”

After a blowout loss at Golden State with nine games left in the 1991-92 misery, one player was telling Bob Ford of the Inquirer that Barkley “plays for himself,” a notion Barkley would shrug off by saying, “I don’t have to defend myself against anybody. I don’t have time to play games with these Plain Cheap Jerseys guys. If somebody’s got to be to blame, I’ll take the … blame.”

He was traded to Phoenix in June. He had gotten what he wanted. He’d whined his way Rugby Cheap Jerseys out of town.