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TABLE OF CONTENTS

September 04, 2006 | Volume 105, Issue 9

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Joey Porter Cover - Sports Illustrated September 04, 2006

September 04, 2006 | Lineups compiled by David Sabino
How They'll Finish PROJECTED RECORD

September 04, 2006 | Paul Zimmerman
The starting lineup makes this club the AFC team to beat! (It's a different story if stars like Daunte Culpepper go down)

September 04, 2006 | Paul Zimmerman
Jangled nerves in Foxborough? Hardly obvious on first look--but closer inspection reveals some trouble in football paradise

September 04, 2006 | Paul Zimmerman
While quarterbacking remains the talk of the town, it's the high-impact special teams that could spark a resurgence

September 04, 2006 | Paul Zimmerman
The new coach made his name patching up the Patriots' defense, but the holes in this team won't be easily filled

September 04, 2006 | Michael Silver
The coach's future is uncertain, but the quarterback of the Super Bowl champs will leave no doubt who's boss on the field

September 04, 2006
Little Bigs

September 04, 2006 | Bill Syken
Starting with the passer, the retooled roster is a Who's Who of onetime stars. The question is, How much do they have left?

September 04, 2006 | Bill Syken
Forget about the high-powered offense for a minute. Even if Carson Palmer comes back strong, is the defense up to snuff?

September 04, 2006 | Bill Syken
Roster turnover has produced hope for the 3-4 defense and-smile if you've heard this one before-stability at quarterback

September 04, 2006 | Peter King
The team that always produces regular-season pyrotechnics looks for ways to keep from petering out in the playoffs

September 04, 2006 | Peter King
The "reward" for last year's big success is a tougher schedule, but this team-eager to go deeper in the playoffs-can handle it

September 04, 2006 | Peter King
Bring Vince Young along slowly? Don't count on it. He'll get a sniff of the action early, and then ... let's see what happens

September 04, 2006 | Nunyo Demasio
While Mario Williams is a quick fix on D, there's a lot of work involved (new system, new players) with repairing the offense

September 04, 2006 | Jeffri Chadiha
The AFC runners-up got a big-play threat in Javon Walker, the missing ingredient in their drive to the Super Bowl

September 04, 2006 | Jeffri Chadiha
There will be Law and order on defense with the arrivals of a Pro Bowl corner and a coach who made his name as a DB

September 04, 2006 | Jeffri Chadiha
The future is riding on the right arm of Philip Rivers-and for a guy who's thrown only 30 NFL passes, he isn't worried

September 04, 2006 | Jeffri Chadiha
Back in Silver and Black, Art Shell is cracking the whip, and the Hall of Fame tackle is starting with the offensive line

September 04, 2006 | Michael Silver
There's plenty of coaching brainpower and player talent on board, but now it's a matter of making it all fit together

September 04, 2006 | Michael Silver
For a big postseason drive, a consistently dominant defense and the development of Manning the Younger are paramount

September 04, 2006 | Jeffri Chadiha
They took a big chance on the game's most controversial player, but if all goes well, the potential payoff is huge

September 04, 2006 | Michael Silver
Happiness is life without T.O. But how long will the smiles last if Donovan McNabb doesn't get the help he needs?

September 04, 2006 | Tim Layden
Coach Lovie Smith continues to emphasize defense, but it's time for Rex Grossman and the offense to pull their weight

September 04, 2006 | Tim Layden
The Motor City makeover brings a new coach, a new offense, a new quarterback and-most important-a new attitude

September 04, 2006 | Tim Layden
It's a clean slate (well, almost) for a new coach who has big plans for the offense and for keeping the players in line

September 04, 2006 | Tim Layden
Brett Favre takes one more shot, but glory will be elusive unless the line, the back and the wideouts all come through

September 04, 2006 | Peter King
A team that was one healthy back short of the Super Bowl last year will go all the way if its ground game stays potent

September 04, 2006 | Peter King
The Chris Simms--led offense needs a fast start to work out the kinks and gear up for a brutal second-half schedule

September 04, 2006 | Peter King
They have a running problem, and it's not Michael Vick. The defense has to do a better job of stopping ballcarriers

September 04, 2006 | Peter King
Their return to the Big Easy and the debut of Reggie Bush have fans buzzing; if only there were more to be excited about

September 04, 2006 | Peter King
Losing the league's best guard is a serious blow to the ground game-not serious enough to deny a third straight division title

September 04, 2006 | Nunyo Demasio
The Greatest Show on Turf is sticking closer to earth as a new coach puts a renewed emphasis on rushing and defense

September 04, 2006 | Nunyo Demasio
There's a phoenix rising from a new nest in Glendale, though it must learn to run before it can fully take wing

September 04, 2006 | Terry McDonell
SI's coverage goes deeper

September 04, 2006 | Nunyo Demasio
A new coordinator and additional playmakers help the offense, but this club is still taking only baby steps back to respectability

September 04, 2006 | Rick Reilly
Be glad you do not live in Schaumburg, Ill.

September 04, 2006 | Rick Reilly
Exclusively on Verizon Wireless V CAST and SI.com.

September 04, 2006
Philadelphia Story

September 04, 2006 | Steve Rushin
My people perish for lack of knowledge," says Dikembe Mutombo, paraphrasing the Old Testament, from whose pages he seems to have sprung, like some prophet from a pop-up Bible.

September 04, 2006 | Alan Shipnuck
Absolutely, say Tiger Woods and others who worry that high-tech golf equipment--and the threat of steroids--are hurting the game

September 04, 2006
WHO'S Hot

September 04, 2006
Won By Marco Andretti, the Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma. Marco, 19, the grandson of Indy legend Mario Andretti and the son of Andretti Green Racing co-owner Michael Andretti (above left, with Marco...

September 04, 2006
144.85 Diagonal length, in feet, of the new scoreboard at Texas's Royal-Memorial Stadium; nicknamed Godzillatron, it's the world's largest high-definition video display.

September 04, 2006
HOW MANY times have you finished a workout, swigged a sports drink and thought, I wish this were brinier? O.K., never, but you're probably not an NFL player. On a brutally hot Texas afternoon in...

September 04, 2006 | Tom Verducci
Baseball's internal steroid probe may be little more than hype

September 04, 2006 | Richard Deitsch
The actress (Fever Pitch) costars in the upcoming poker drama Lucky You

September 04, 2006 | Adam Duerson
Seventeen is a sweet age for the Gretzky clan. In 1978 Wayne Gretzky signed his first pro contract, for $1.75 million with the WHA's Indianapolis Racers. Now his eldest daughter, Paulina, is...

September 04, 2006 | Adam Duerson
There is no questioning the bravery of Belgium's Johan Vervoort, even if he did back down from this challenge. Vervoort and 80 others hurled themselves off the 1,381-foot Kuala Lumpur Tower, the...

September 04, 2006 | Adam Duerson
English Premier League players are storing stem cells from their children's umbilical cords to use as treatment if the players suffer career-threatening injuries.

September 04, 2006 | Adam Duerson
BOBBY BOWDEN, 77-year-old Florida State coach, on whether he keeps tabs on Penn State's Joe Paterno, 79, in their race for the top spot on the alltime wins list:

September 04, 2006 | Chris Mannix
What to watch and watch for

September 04, 2006
William Wynne

September 04, 2006
To submit a candidate for Faces in the Crowd, go to SI.com/faces.

September 04, 2006
Baseball

September 04, 2006 | Albert Chen
Value Judgment The race for this year's American League MVP is wide open--and a few teams have more than one worthy candidate How odd is this year's race for the American League's Most...

September 04, 2006 | Albert Chen
SI asked general managers and executives from 11 AL teams to pick their top MVP candidate from each of four contenders: the Red Sox (David Ortiz or Manny Ramirez); the Twins (Joe Mauer or Justin...

September 04, 2006 | Tom Verducci
BACK OFF ON A MANAGER WITH BACKBONE

September 04, 2006 | Richard O'Brien
Imperfect 10th Matt Kenseth won at Bristol, but his teammate Mark Martin slipped to the brink of losing his place in the Chase

September 04, 2006 | Richard O'Brien
After qualifying for the Chase in 2004 and 2005, Jeremy Mayfield (right) has endured, as NASCAR folk might put it, one of them annus horribilis deals in 2006. After the first 21 races of the...

September 04, 2006 | Chris Ballard
Shane's Worlds Nearly left off the U.S. national team-by his college coach, no less-Shane Battier has grown into an invaluable starter

September 04, 2006 | Chris Ballard
Despite scoring the big free-agent coup of the summer by signing Ben Wallace, the Chicago Bulls are at least a year away from contending for a title for these reasons.

September 04, 2006 | Phil Taylor
Signal Switch After calling an audible and naming Rudy Carpenter his starting QB, Arizona State coach Dirk Koetter is taking heat

September 04, 2006 | Phil Taylor
Sam Keller wasn't the only high-profile player to transfer right before the season began. Former Texas running back Ramonce Taylor (right)--who had 15 touchdowns as a sophomore in 2005--left...

September 04, 2006 | PETER KING
A team jumping from worst to first isn't so rare anymore, which means everyone's preseason playoff hopes aren't crazy at all. It really is anybody's ball game

September 04, 2006 | PETER KING
AT SEASON'S START, every NFL club has playoff hopes, the optimism ranging from realistic expectations of 14-2 and home field advantage to wishful thinking about 8-8 and the sixth wild-card spot....

September 04, 2006 | MICHAEL SILVER
Yeah, his bark is bad--but his bite is worse, which is what makes voluble All-Pro Joey Porter not just the most quotable but also the most feared player in football

September 04, 2006
They are the next generation of NFL superstars, nine players coming off big years in which they revealed extraordinary talent that has placed them among the elite

September 04, 2006 | JEFFRI CHADIHA
Larry Johnson's transformation from enigmatic malcontent to maturing leader has been as quick and dramatic as one of his bursts up the middle

September 04, 2006 | DAVID SABINO
Summer Studs Despite the common perception, sometimes a player's preseason success does translate to regular-season success

September 04, 2006 | JEFFRI CHADIHA
THE LATEST NEWS YOU CAN USE

September 04, 2006 | JEFFRI CHADIHA
MATCHUP OF THE WEEK They were among the elite receivers of the 1990s before they fell on tough times. Still, though long in the tooth, these two former Buckeyes speedsters are making a fantasy...

September 04, 2006 | ERIK BARMACK
The same personalities pop up at draft after draft. Recognizing their foibles will give you an edge

September 04, 2006 | GENE MENEZ
Sure, they're a bit of a gamble, but these five players are primed for their big breakout. If your bet on one or more of them pays off, you could be sitting pretty come December

September 04, 2006 | GENE MENEZ
Let's Play Two The upstart Twins followed up a big win with their raucous fantasy football draft

September 04, 2006 | Brian Cazeneuve
The U.S. women are so deep in talent that the competition to go to the worlds has never been fiercer

September 04, 2006 | Franz Lidz
A third brother having earned his stripes, the Paganellis are the first trio of siblings to officiate in the NFL

September 04, 2006 | Franz Lidz
Family connections abound among NFL officials. Here are some other father-son or brother acts who whistle while they work.