IN THE WAKE OF THE WEEK: 49ers shine down the stretch; Lakers in a tailspin | TheUnion.com

IN THE WAKE OF THE WEEK: 49ers shine down the stretch; Lakers in a tailspin

Jim Adams
Sports Columnist

ANOTHER WEEK, ANOTHER UPSET: The San Francisco 49ers end the season on a super roll! The pass game nets 292 yards in this 34-13 season finale upset of the Los Angeles Rams. A five-game win streak to close out the season. Great promise for 2018 after Jimmy Garoppolo is the straw that stirs the drink! Best trade in years.

GAROPPOLO TRADE: It is revealed that New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady actually orchestrated Garappolo going to the 49ers. Coach Bill Belichick was opposed. However, Brady wins out as Belichick emerges "furious and demoralized." Garoppolo was viewed as the QB of the future. However, Belichick loses out.

GOODWIN CONCUSSED: It was a violent helmet-to-helmet hit delivered by the Rams' Blake Countess that rendered Marquise Goodwin unconscious in Sunday's game. Goodwin is transferred to the hospital where all tests prove negative for a more serious injury. How does the NFL prevent blows like this? There needs to be more consequences for the offender.

DEL RIO OUSTED: One year after leading the Raiders to the playoffs, Jack Del Rio is out as head coach. The carousel of Oakland coaches keeps turning. It will be the prelude to Jon Gruden's return. When will Mark Davis figure it all out? Maybe never.

DESTINY REALIZED: The Cleveland Browns entered the record books with an 0-16 season. It was the crowning blow in another poor effort vs. the Pittsburgh Steelers. A lot of late chances, but terrible execution. They emerge 1-31 over the last two seasons. Give them credit. They earned it.

DURANT ON "D": Yes, Kevin Durant is averaging around 26 points a game. However, he is aligning himself as the Defensive Player of the Year in the NBA. Last year's winner, Draymond Green, notes, "The way he's been playing on the defensive side of the ball is spectacular."

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LAKERS TAILSPIN: After losing 11-of-12, the LA Lakers fall to near the bottom of the NBA. They are simply not meeting expectations. A 37-point loss at Staples to the Thunder on Wednesday night. First round find Kyle Kuzma exclaims, "We gave up." It was their eighth straight loss. They are a floundering squad. Lonzo Ball has exhibited limited talents for his rookie year. He is currently out with an injury, left to smile in the second row. Coach Luke Walton caught in the middle of the firestorm.

GOLDEN KNIGHTS INDEED: The NHL's Vegas Golden Knights have shocked the hockey world. Deservedly in first place in the Pacific Division with a 12-0-1 run. Will Lady Luck continue to bless Vegas? The second half of the season will be telling.

WORLD JUNIORS: Some say it is the way it should be played. The big Canada vs. USA game is played outdoors in Buffalo, New York. The Canadians amass a tidy 3-1 lead. The never-say-die Americans come back in a driving snowstorm to tie. Canada never scores in the shootout while the Americans net two and are 4-3 winners! USA, USA, USA. A classic.

NINERS DILEMA: 49ers Safety Eric Reid is a starter. He is ready to test free agency. San Francisco could sure use him. However, he was an anthem protester. Here is the crossroad. Do other teams entertain his services or is he shunned like Colin Kaepernick? It will be an interesting equation.

Jim Adams is a regular contributor to The Union. He can be reached at adamses@inreach.com.

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