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For now, the offense is working. In some ways, things are not so different. The Clippers are still playing at a slightly below-average pace — even after misses — and minimizing turnovers, hallmarks of a Paul team. They are tossing almost exactly the same number of passes as they did last season.

But the touches and time of possession are spread out more evenly, and the Clips are running like bananas when Griffin rests, per NBA.com. That makes intuitive sense: When your best one-on-one weapon in the half-court hits the pine, run like hell so you don’t have to play in the half court at all.

The glow of Blake Griffin’s game winner at the buzzer in Portland on Wednesday faded with a loss to Detroit on Saturday, their first of the season. The Clips still own the NBA’s best defense by a considerable margin. They can get greedy this week, with four games at home. The first will be against the Warriors, against whom the Clippers are 1-11 since defeating the Dubs in a first-round playoff series in 2014.

“I always tried to push him as a little kid to play soccer, and it was strange, he didn’t like it,” says Roque Ortiz, Andres’ father. “Then all of a sudden when he was in middle school, he started to get interested in football, and he came home complaining, Oh, why you didn’t teach me football?”

Although he’s just 5’9” and 160 pounds, Ortiz knew he had a good arm, from playing some flag football at recess. He wrote down his position as quarterback at the very first meeting and has been the Panthers’ starter ever since.

But it’s easier to make an educated guess which owners want Goodell to push harder to get players to stand: Dallas, Washington and Houston, certainly.
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Going into Week 7, before he had to miss the game against his former team, the Titans, with an ankle injury, McCourty was Pro Football Focus’ highest-graded overall corner this season. Given he’s 30, it would merely be a short-term move for the Chiefs, but one that would also net another developmental QB project in return. Marcus Peters and McCourty would give the Chiefs one of the league’s best cornerback duos and erase a big weakness.

As much as Andy Reid and the Chiefs’ coaching staff have raved about Mahomes and his arm, Kizer’s skill set is better suited for a Smith successor. Mahomes needs to be on the field somewhere soon, and the Browns might as well take a chance on a fourth QB. It’s clear they have already lost patience with Kizer.

As I talked about last week, there is a complete culture change under Brian Kelly from last season. It’s neat to see successful leadership at work. Brandon Wimbush continues to improve as a passer and Josh Adams has impressed me lately at running back. Confidence is growing for this team, as it took care of business at home against NC State on Saturday.

If the Astros win: Get the party started in H-Town! Over the past 55 years, Houston’s baseball experience has included the opening of the wondrous Astrodome in 1965, 12 postseason appearances, a pennant in both the National and American leagues and a list of stars that includes Nolan Ryan, Jose Cruz, Cesar Cedeno, J.R. Richard, Mike Scott, Roy Oswalt and the Killer B’s: Craig Biggio, Jeff Bagwell and Lance Berkman. One thing Houstonians have never seen: a World Series championship. And there wouldn’t be a more appropriate time for it than in the aftermath of the devastation from Hurricane Harvey.bills_012