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11mESPN.com

Broncos leap Patriots for No. 1 in Power Rankings

The Broncos, one of five unbeaten teams, regain leaguewide bragging rights by taking over as the No. 1 team in this week's NFL Power Rankings.

Blaine Ohigashi/Getty Images
2hBob Pockrass

Dale Jr. increases activity, continues to improve

Dale Earnhardt Jr. continues to put himself in situations to help him rehabilitate from a concussion that will keep him out of a race car for at least the remainder of the 2016 season.

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Gordon honors Fernandez, then homers (1:33)
USA TODAY Sports
4hDan Szymborski

Which team has a brighter future: Cubs or Red Sox?

There is all this talk about how bright the North Siders' five-year window is ... but things in Boston could be even brighter. Some next-level projections will determine which team is better.

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Yankees and Blue Jays clear the benches twice (0:59)
Kirby Lee/USA TODAY Sports
3hAdam Rittenberg

What in the world is going on at USC?

Clay Helton billed himself as the no-Hollywood coach, but his first year at USC has had more drama and plot twists than expected, leaving many to wonder about his future with the Trojans.

AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez
32m

Jackson, McCaffrey clear Heisman favorites

Louisville quarterback Lamar Jackson and Stanford running back Christian McCaffrey are by far the top two candidates for the Heisman Trophy after four weeks.

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Kellerman: OBJ needs to get temper tantrums under control (1:51)
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First look at UFC superfight: Alvarez vs. McGregor (1:22)
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LeBron admits fearing for his son's life (2:25)
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Draymond: I don't want to win 74 games (0:52)
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1dBill Barnwell

Stacking the NFL's best defenses

Teams that have started Joe Flacco, Trevor Siemian, Carson Wentz, Sam Bradford, Shaun Hill, Jimmy Garoppolo and Jacoby Brissett have a combined ZERO losses. It's a time to praise defenses.

Aaron Doster/USA TODAY Sports
1hMatt Bowen

Trevor Siemian can be upgrade at QB for Broncos

Denver opened up its offense, and Trevor Siemian delivered in Week 3. The Broncos might actually be better at QB in 2016 than they were during their Super Bowl run, writes Matt Bowen.

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Mike Reiss ESPN Staff Writer 

Patriots QB Jimmy Garoppolo walked through locker room during media access period. He is not wearing any sling to aid his injured right shoulder.

NFL 

Mike Reiss ESPN Staff Writer 

Patriots QB Jacoby Brissett, who injured his right thumb on Thursday, is present in the locker room today during the time reporters are present. He does not have any protective covering over his right thumb.

Matt Fortuna ESPN Staff Writer 

Brian Kelly on postgame remarks: "I don't know that I was that tough on the roster as much as I was tough on my coaches. I think when you tell your coaches that they're on a job interview for the rest of the season, that seems to be tough, moreso than saying there's a standard of play at a particular position. You guys can interpret it anyway that you want. I don't think I'm too tough on them. … It still falls on me, this team's not playing well. It's my fault. I have to find solutions to it. After a game when you're frustrated with the play, everybody is on notice, I made that pretty clear." Kelly adds that it all starts with him, the head coach.

NCAAF 

Matt Fortuna ESPN Staff Writer 

Brian Kelly on defensive changes: "We're going to play with enthusiasm, we're going to play with the passion I said was missing. Made changes accordingly to bring that back. That will begin to show itself. You're going to see a lot more players playing. There's going to be some depth, some camaraderie. We need to get that morale up on defense and we'll do that with a lot more players involved in what we're doing on a day-to-day basis."

NCAAF 

Adam Rittenberg ESPN Staff Writer 

Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly says QB DeShone Kizer will start against Syracuse but is not meeting the standard of play he set last year. Kelly said all positions would be evaluated after Saturday's loss to Duke.

NCAAF 

Joe McDonald ESPN Staff Writer 

Team Canada's Brent Burns discusses the Centennial Anniversary of the NHL and which sweaters are his favorite.

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NHL 

Joe McDonald ESPN Staff Writer 

Despite missing the start of NHL training camps due to the World Cup of Hockey, players said it's easy to keep their focus on the championship round. Sidney Crosby concurs.

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NHL 

Mike Reiss ESPN Staff Writer 

Patriots DE Chris Long draws a big media crowd and calls the Bills a "physical team" and a good challenge for team's run defense.

NFL 

Bob Holtzman ESPN 

Bengals TE Tyler Eifert has hinted he may play Thursday vs Miami, but I'm told he is not expected to return this week. A team source says a week 5 return is possible. Eifert has not participated in a full practice yet and has not done any 11-on-11 work.

NFL 

Chris Forsberg ESPN Staff Writer 

Celtics huddle up after their first training camp practice of the year.

NBA 

Greg Ostendorf ESPN Staff Writer 

There are still remnants of burnt toilet paper on one of the oak trees at Toomer's Corner more than two days after somebody lit it on fire following Auburn's 18-13 win over LSU.

NCAAF 

Scott Burnside ESPN Senior Writer 

Logan Couture of Team Canada discusses keeping the focus on the World Cup of Hockey final against Team Europe while keeping up with training camp happenings in San Jose.

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NHL 

Scott Burnside ESPN Senior Writer 

Good morning Sidney Crosby.

NHL 

Mark Saxon ESPN Staff Writer 

There has been a rush to judgment to blame Yadier Molina for his inability to throw out runners this season, but Cardinals pitchers haven't given him much of a chance. Here is Jaime Garcia discussing his problems with the running game.

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MLB 

Adam Schefter ESPN Senior Writer 

Colts placed outside linebacker Trent Cole on injured reserve.

NFL 

Joe McDonald ESPN Staff Writer 

Brent Burns said it's good to play a couple of "playoff games" before the season starts. "It's been a great tournament," he said.

NHL 

Joe McDonald ESPN Staff Writer 

Team Canada ready for its morning skate as it prepares for Team Europe in the first game of best-of-three World Cup of Hockey championship series at Air Canada Centre in Toronto.

NHL 

Chris Forsberg ESPN Staff Writer 

It remains to be seen if Celtics can live to to lofty expectations this season, but their hair game should rank near top of the league.

NBA 

Joe McDonald ESPN Staff Writer 

NHL to unveil Centennial Anniversary plans today.

NHL 

David M. Hale ESPN Staff Writer 

Is Deshaun Watson running less this year? Through 4 games in 2015, Watson had 35 rushes, not counting sacks. Through 4 games this season, he has 33. Doesn't seem like much of a change, but here's why that's actually a huge difference… In 2015, Clemson's offense had run 289 plays through four games. This year, that number is 323. In addition, just six of Watson's rushes last season were a scramble (as opposed to a designed run), while nine have been this year. When accounting for those differences, Watson ran by design once every 10 offensive plays last year. This year, he's doing so every 14 plays, or approximately 40 percent less. And while Watson is running less often, he's also running less effectively. Last year, he averaged 5.94 yards per run through four games. This year, just 4.03 — a 32 percent drop. That can almost entirely be explained by the offensive line. Watson's yards-per-rush (not counting sacks) average before contact has been cut nearly in half, from 4.09 per carry to 2.24. Taken together, Watson's overall rushing production — fewer attempts, less yards-per-rush — is down about 43 percent from the first four games of last season.

NCAAF 

Darren Rovell ESPN Senior Writer 

BREAKING: Warriors co-owner Peter Guber & Wizards and Capitals owner Ted Leonsis have purchased esports franchise Team Liquid.

Jared Shanker ESPN Staff Writer 

Against FBS teams, no program is worse defending the pass statistically than Pitt, which ranks 128th in yards per game (441.7). Oklahoma State and North Carolina can really sling the ball around, but Pitt coach Pat Narduzzi blames details in the secondary, too. "When you face a good football team, the attention to detail and fundamentals have to be perfect," Narduzzi said. He added Pitt will simplify defensively.

NCAAF 

Leo Spall Deputy Editor 

Rory McIlroy says he wants to win this Ryder Cup more than his previous three because of his close relationship with Darren Clarke. He met Europe's captain when celebrating his 10th birthday at Portrush in Northern Ireland.

Golf 

Bob Harig ESPN Senior Writer 

This seems appropriate for Rory McIlroy after his big haul on Sunday in Atlanta where he won the FedEx Cup. The photo is courtesy of Ian Poulter who is A vice captain for Europe.

Golf 

Todd Archer ESPN Staff Writer 

Dallas Cowboys owner and general manager Jerry Jones had no update on the status of wide receiver Dez Bryant while speaking on 105.3 The Fan in Dallas. Jones said he was not sure if Bryant had an MRI on his knee but he could have one today. Jones said left guard La'el Collins is "less likely" to have surgery on his big toe but did not have a timetable for a return. Jones said it will be a pain tolerance issue.

NFL