IN THE WAKE OF THE WEEK: Smith shines in KC as 49ers flounder
LIBERATION: How good must Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith feel these days? He runs in for a touchdown on Monday night. The Chiefs are 4-0. He is achieving notoriety as one of the NFL’s best quarterbacks? None of it could have been possible if the San Francisco 49ers had not cast him aside in favor of Colin Kaepernick. The 49ers struggle to score touchdowns while Smith excels. Kaepernick is long gone and unemployed. Ah, what could have been in San Francisco.
49ERS CLOSE: It is a loss in overtime and this one has to hurt. As in the Seattle game, it was the one team who scored the lone touchdown who won. The 49ers run the clock down in the extra period and take the lead with 2:24 to play. However, the Arizona Cardinals come back with a late TD to win 18-15. It is a sad reminder that the 49ers have scored a touchdown in only one of four games. The defense performs well, but the offense cannot get the ball into the end zone. Reasons for optimism, yes. However, Brian Hoyer going 24-for-49 just does not cut it.
RAIDERS BIG LOSS: Amari Cooper with but two catches and an offense that struggled most of the day spells an Oakland loss to the Denver Broncos. The worse news is that quarterback Derek Carr departed in the second half with a fracture in his back. He will be out 2-6 weeks. E.J. Manuel goes 11-for-17 for 106 yards in the 16-10 loss. A late interception ruins the hopes for Oakland. The big question that emerged is how Manuel can maneuver this team through the adversity.
BRUINS TO BE CHALLENGED: Bear River has excelled in their non-league games. Ah, it is a boat load of great promise. They seem solid in almost every aspect of their game. Yet, Colfax will pose a definite challenge along with Placer. Both with solid programs, they appear poised to make it a thrilling challenge. Lincoln also could be a red-letter date. They played well against Nevada Union and will bring a strong squad into this season. Each week will be an interesting journey while opening at Lincoln last night.
MINERS FALL TO DEL ORO: Yes, it was a 42-19 loss to the Golden Eagles. However, the offense had a decent night and, despite the score, the defense played well. Always a tough task at Del Oro and still winless in the SFL over the last several season, the Miners forged to an early lead but fell short down the stretch. It has been a long series of games on the road. Last night really was a “Homecoming” of sorts.
JUDGE IS A REFRESHING STAR: He steps into the bright lights of baseball and pleasantly, approachably topples records. The New York Yankees’ Aaron Judge breaks Mark McGuire’s single season home run record for a rookie with 52. He also broke the 96 year-old mark of Babe Ruth when he launched his 33rd of the season at Yankee Stadium. It has been an excellent season for Judge, including winning the Home Run Derby at the All-Star Game, and he surely holds a bright future.
SOUR START: After a 4-2 preseason, the San Jose Sharks started it for real. The good news: San Jose’s Kevin Labanc scored two goals Wednesday night. The bad news: Labanc was in the penalty box for three of the Philadelphia Flyers goals. A team that made no moves during the summer after a first round exit from the playoffs (except for the loss of Patrick Marleau to free agency), they are a question mark for 2017/18.
“THE VOICE” SILENCED: Dave Strader passes at the age of 62 on Sunday from bile duct cancer. A brilliant past with ESPN, Fox and NBC. He struggled through 2017, but emerged late in the season to broadcast several games. However, the summer was tough on him, and this Hall of Fame broadcaster loses his final battle. He is an NHL personality who will be sorely missed.
Jim Adams is a regular contributor to The Union. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Grass Valley native Brad Sweet drove past the competition and into victory lane last week, snapping his longest winless streak of the season.