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Chip Kelly dominates in debut, 49ers beat Rams 28-0

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Chip Kelly
Chip Kelly

Quarterback Blaine Gabbert and newly minted 49ers head coach Chip Kelly dominated the Rams on Monday night, 28-0.

SANTA CLARA, Calif. — Jeff Fisher was out-coached, outplayed and dominated in nearly every facet of Monday night’s contest against the 49ers, his Rams were shutout, 28-0.

Chip Kelly, don’t get too excited. This time last year, Jim Tomsula had his first win of the season, in the same stadium, and on the same night of the week. However, it was the 49ers first shutout victory since a 2012 34-0 win over the New York Jets. This year’s season-opening, prime-time victory might be eerily similar to last year’s 20-3 tromping of the Minnesota Vikings, but a smothering defense and pass-rush surely stood alone and shined bright for San Francisco to separate this contest from last.

The 49ers rushed for 150 yards in total, 123 of which came during the first half of play. An 11-yard dash from Carlos Hyde and another 3-yard scramble from Shaun Draughn were enough to send the Red and Gold to the locker room with a 14-0 lead at the half.

Blaine Gabbert, making his first season-opening start since 2013, finished the contest 22 of 35 for 170 yards and one touchdown before being replaced by backup Colin Kaepernick with just 2:31 remaining on the clock.

Gabbert’s passing performance was showcased with an 18-yard reception to wideout Jeremy Kerley under a 4th-and-6 scenario from the Rams 39, it was his second-longest completion of the night. In the fourth quarter, Gabbert connected with Quintton Patton from 35 yards out, that 77-yard drive ended three plays later after he then found Vance McDonald for another touchdown.

Carlos Hyde would cap off the night’s scoring with his second touchdown of the evening after an 80-yard drive. He’d finish the game with 88 rushing yards on 23 carries.

If being shutout weren’t bad enough, there was little, if anything at all, to report in terms of offensive progression for Los Angeles. The unit were limited to a total of 10 first downs and 186 yards of offense in the contest. Of their 14 offensive possessions, 11 ended if punts — the Rams first six possessions all ended in punts, with the exception of one, which was intercepted by 49ers linebacker NaVarro Bowman.

Rams starting quarterback Case Keenum ended the night 17 of 35 for 130 yards and the aforementioned interception. Running back Todd Gurley finished with 47 yards on 17 rush attempts.

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Kyle Shanahan confirms the 49ers have moved on to Trey Lance

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SANTA CLARA (Diya TV) — Trey Area is officially here. On Tuesday, San Francisco 49ers HC Kyle Shanahan proclaimed in a press conference that the team has moved on from former starter Jimmy Garoppolo and is looking towards Trey Lance, the 2021 3rd overall pick out of North Dakota State. A massive trade up during the 2021 offseason led to the selection of Lance as the Niners had to mortgage their short term future to potentially secure their long term future.

During the season however, Garoppolo had taken the reins with Lance only seeing time on the field when Garoppolo was hurt. Lance himself also had to deal with injuries but was able to start two games. The Niners made the big trade-up because of Garoppolo’s inconsistency in play and health. A big statement from Shanahan ended any doubts about Lance being the starter or a potential QB battle in camp: 

“We have moved on to Trey. This is Trey’s team. That’s nothing against Jimmy. We made that decision a year ago and we’re going with that. We’re not going to mess around with that anymore. Jimmy understands that fully. That’s a business decision and that’s what makes it not awkward. Jimmy knows we’re going with Trey. Trey knows we’re going with Trey and our team does, and everyone likes both of those guys.”

– HC Kyle Shanahan

It is the end of an era for Jimmy Garoppolo in San Francisco. After the Niners traded a 2nd round pick for him, he enjoyed successful years with the team, including 2019 and 2021 which saw the Niners make it to the final four (and a Super Bowl appearance in 2019). Ultimately, the team felt they needed an upgrade at the sport’s most important position and are now making the switch. 

As for potential trade suitors for Garoppolo, keep an eye on the Seattle Seahawks. It would be tough to negotiate with a division rival but if Seattle eats most of Garoppolo’s salary while sending over a high value pick, a deal could get done. Another likely situation is the Niners waiting for a starting QB to get injured in camp (it happens every year) as this will give them an avenue to trade Garoppolo for the value they seek. 

The Niners have officially ushered in a new era and are setting their sights on a bright future led by Trey Lance.

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Basketball

India Rising puts forth valiant effort in loss to Boeheim’s Army in TBT

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SYRACUSE (Diya TV) — With The Basketball Tournament commencing, most eyes have been set on Boeheim’s Army and their path to repeating as champions. However, their first match provided an opponent true to its name: India Rising. 

While one may look at the 90-62 score and disregard the India Rising squad, when watching the game, the team did truly give Boeheim’s Army a run for their money in the first half. Facing a team full of guys who played under one of the greatest basketball coaches ever, Jim Boeheim, India Rising jumped out to an early 5-0 lead and was able to keep pace with Boeheim’s Army for a substantial amount of time. Most people may have written them off early but they kept fighting. They had a clear cut goal to bring attention to basketball players of Indian descent by pulling off a cinderella win and carve a path for themselves. It is clear that they put in their full effort to try and realize those goals.

In the second half, Boeheim’s army was able to pull away but India Rising had made their message clear: Indian ballers should not be overlooked. The box score does not paint the real picture of how much heart, determination, and grit India Rising displayed to get more recognition. General manager Gautam Kapur and head coach Ajay Sharma have done an excellent job overseeing the initiative and giving the best Indian hoopers a chance to shine on a big stage. 

In a 64 team tournament, India Rising stood out and gave a near-professional squad a tough time. For what this team set out to achieve, no heads should be hung low. India Rising should be getting the recognition they so rightfully deserve.

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Sharks make Mike Grier the first Black GM in NHL history

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SAN JOSE (Diya TV) — There is a changing of the guard in San Jose and one that has made NHL history.

The San Jose Sharks have formally announced Mike Grier as their new General Manager, making the 14-year NHL veteran the first African-American to hold such a position over the NHL’s lengthy history. After the resignation of former GM Doug Wilson and the relieving of previous head coach Bob Boughner and his coaching staff, wholesale changes were bound to happen. The franchise, still without a Stanley Cup, hopes to move in a new direction and regain the success they once had.

Grier is part of a family of sports executives as his father, Bobby, has worked as a director of scouting and player personnel with the NFL’s New England Patriots while his brother, Chris, is currently the GM of the Miami Dolphins. The new Sharks GM will follow in his family’s footsteps after playing professional hockey for more than a decade. 

As a member of the Edmonton Oilers, Washington Capitals, Buffalo Sabres and San Jose Sharks, Grier played a total of 1060 games across 14 years. After retiring in 2011, he sought out coaching roles with the Chicago Blackhawks, New Jersey Devils and New York Rangers, before ultimately getting the monumental callback from the San Jose Sharks which would change NHL history. 

One of the primary tasks for Grier as a GM will be finding a new head coach for a franchise in search of stability on the bench. From there, the rebuild will be strenuous with many current Sharks players getting older with the need to infuse younger talent. The Sharks will be picking at 11th overall in the 2022 NHL Entry Draft, affording Grier the opportunity to select a potential franchise cornerstone.

After being sunk in no man’s land, the Sharks decided to make a large-scale change to create a new identity and reach the goal of lifting Lord Stanley for the first time.

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