Running is the past. Passing is the future. With completion percentages across the league continuing to rise, your average handoff seemed destined for the dustbin of inefficient history, nestled in between the midrange jumper and the sacrifice bunt.
You won’t win your fantasy league at the draft, but you can make it much more difficult to win a trophy if you don’t get your roster off to a strong start. One way to do that is to make sure you get maximum value out of your first three draft picks.
SANTA CLARA, Calif. — Cool scene at 49ers camp Sunday afternoon: Two young towheads, maybe 6 and 3, one wearing a Jerry Rice “80” jersey and one wearing a Jimmy Garoppolo “10” jersey, waiting for Jimmy Garoppolo Himself to come down the autograph line after a training camp practice.
“A few major donors have called me,” one longtime booster said. “They’ve all expressed that basically DJ is getting made to hang out to dry and that some of these so-called athletes are looking for participation trophies. Life is not about participation. It’s about learning life skills.
Is Sam Darnold going to save the Jets? Who knows. Will he save … the world? It’s still too early to tell.
Of all the players who seemed to play football with a passion and joie de vivre, Batistuta seemed among the most passionate and joiest de vivrest. Those lusty shots, those screaming celebrations, those goals. But, it seems, he wasn’t especially keen on football.
Football as we know it is done, because the lawyers are here. When the lawyers arrive, things as you know them are over. After making an initial beachhead with concussion lawsuits in the NFL, The Lawyers (capital letters necessary) are pushing inland and making great, great gains.
I decided not to hold a press conference because I didn't want to have to say things that were cliché. I've done enough of that since I've been playing football. I actually didn't really plan on saying anything about my retirement at all. I just kind of wanted to disappear.
One of my earliest assignments as an associate producer at NFL Films, the cinematic and mythmaking arm of professional football, was to splice together montages of the best plays, catches, bloopers, and hits from the week’s games, and synchronize them to the stirring orchestral themes for which th
My son and I were discussing the Carolina Panthers’ Luke Kuechly, who had just spent three hours terrorizing the New Orleans Saints during a typically disjointed Thursday-night game. Everyone loves Kuechly because he doesn’t just play middle linebacker.
In January 2016, Kansas City Chiefs lineman Laurent Duvernay-Tardif suffered a concussion in the first half of a playoff game against the Houston Texans.
I was strapped to a stretcher in the back of an ambulance, still in full uniform. Shoulder pads, helmet — everything except for my face mask. The trainers had taken that off while I was still lying on the field in front of 81,000 people at Lambeau.
There is a point of view among some soccer fans that the sport is unassailably other. I assume that since I used the word “soccer” in the first sentence, those fans are gone now, and I can talk to the rest of you.
Click here for all our Week 1 coverage. Back when I was running Grantland and believed that everyone loved the National Football League, I emailed Robert Mays and demanded a daily countdown to the 2013 NFL season.
I n early 2007, Brandissimo was a fledgling youth marketing agency with a corporate frat house vibe.
Positional distinctions are disappearing. Rushing yards are losing meaning. And offensive and defensive schemes are shifting from game to game — if not drive to drive.
GLENDALE, Ariz. — Scenes from a beautiful and dramatic and sometimes incompetent debacle, the best really bad game I have ever seen: Cardinals 6, Seahawks 6. Other side of the field.
It's clear that the sport of football needs to change. And the $64,000 question, my friends, is simple: "how?" Something is terribly wrong. The writing's on the wall: youth participation in the sport is down, thanks in large part to their parents' concern for their health.
Here at FiveThirtyEight, we tend to think statistics can add to our understanding of sports.
Let’s just get this out of the way: Football, as a game, is really kind of dumb. Eleven men on each team line up, run into each other, fall down, get up, and do it again. Sometimes someone throws the ball, sometimes someone catches it and keeps going in the direction the ball was headed.
NFL broadcasts and coaching news conferences are full of football proverbs. Very often, these are simply explanations for a why a situation demanded avoiding risk, or at least delaying it. And very often, the numbers -- while not perfect -- tell us otherwise.
Flurries outside my window in New York late Sunday night. It’s beginning to look a lot like the pennant race, with quite a few teams we didn’t see coming. Such as:
If Football—that is, the American National Football League football—used the same naming scheme as “Dungeons & Dragons,” we’d call it “Beer Commercials & Cheerleaders.” Like dungeons and dragons, beer commercials and cheerleaders are two things that not everyone likes.
Fantasy football and I have been dancing for three decades now and I can tell you, there are things we cannot explain. There is an ebb and flow to fantasy that is hard to explain if you are not in it, but it is very real, it is very beautiful and, man, can it be very frustrating.
We are living in the golden age of failed completions, a statistic as grim as it sounds. Tracked by Football Outsiders, failed completions occur when a team doesn’t get 45 percent of the yards it needs on first down, 60 percent on second down, and 100 percent on third or fourth down.
Adapted from Slow Getting Up: A Story of NFL Survival from the Bottom of the Pile (Harper). After the last game of every season, we came into work for an exit physical.
It's not easy to beat Tom Brady in the playoffs, but the blueprints on how to pull it off aren't hard to find. Just about every team who has managed to take down the Patriots over the past decade has done so with pass pressure.
Dwight D. Eisenhower thought that football was the best sport for young men to play because it was the closest sport to war. Football’s similarity to battle also explains why it has made for such excellent fodder for movies through the decades.
ORLANDO, Fla. — U.S.A. Football, the national governing body for amateur football, intends to introduce a drastically altered youth football game in response to declining participation and increasing public belief that the game is not safe for children to play.
You learned it quite early on. If someone tugged at your sleeve, or touched your back, or whiffed a kick close enough to your shin, you immediately slowed down and tripped yourself. Then you glanced at the referee and said, “Porra, falta, caralho!” (roughly, “Fuck – foul, dammit!”).
GREEN BAY, Wis. — Look around this classic old football town. It’s changing—in a big way. There’s a new luxury hotel, Lodge Kohler, across the street from Lambeau Field, a cornerstone to a new year-round fun-and-games Titletown District. (Bocce. Sled hill. Big park. Apartment complex.
The first time I came across the phrase “expected goals” was in November 2015. I had disappeared into a Twitter wormhole and when I emerged I was on a site called Statsbomb and an article entitled “Leicester City and their Trip to the Kamikaze Zone”.
To the public, one of the mysteries of the NFL is the game plan, the weekly and oft-times encyclopedic secret document each team uses to strategize against that week’s foe.
On a rain-soaked field of artificial turf, the Washington State University Cougars, a team inscribed in the annals of college-sports infamy for suffering one of the worst four-year records in the history of NCAA Division I football — with only nine wins between 2008 and 2011 — are lin
The first rule of Marcus Mariota is that he does not talk about himself. He can do many things—roll out and throw across his body, hang in the pocket and zip the ball down the field, run past linebackers when he must—but self-praise is not one of them.
The first project I officially worked on inside football didn’t involve statistics, but it did involve analysis. My task was to take all the video for teams we knew were unusually good at set pieces, analyse what they were doing, and build a guide of best practices.
LONG BEACH, Calif. — If Ed Cunningham had not already seen enough, he would be back in a broadcast booth on Saturday afternoon, serving as the color analyst for another top college football game televised on ABC or ESPN. It is the work he has done each fall for nearly 20 years.
In April, Lisa Kerney, a SportsCenter anchor, sent a tweet to her husband Patrick, a former top NFL defensive end, about their 5-year-old son.
Timmy Jernigan had been a member of the Eagles for about two hours when an unknown number lit up his phone. Not recognizing the area code, the defensive tackle ignored the call. Seconds later, his cell buzzed with a text message: Yo, it’s Cox.
There’s a pall over the Bay Area this morning.
Those were the words of NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock as Texas A&M phenom Myles Garrett crossed the finish line of the 40-yard dash in a staggering 4.64 seconds on Sunday, putting a bow on the show that most scouts expected he’d put on here at Lucas Oil Stadium.
The smart people in 2011 said the bounty Atlanta GM Thomas Dimitroff paid the Browns to move up 21 spots in the draft to pick Julio Jones was excessive. Two ones, a two and two fours is quite a premium to move from 27 to six.
This week the Cleveland Browns will decide which, if any, of the top quarterback prospects to acquire with the first pick in the NFL draft. There are four leading contenders, and the team has been evaluating them in detail for more than a year.
As he drove into Memphis in March 2004, Tom Lemming thought that everything about Michael Oher, including his surname, was odd. He played for a small private school, the Briarcrest Christian School, with no history of generating Division I college football talent.
The British started it. New Zealand's largest newspaper is deeply conflicted. With the World Cup underway in Brazil, should The New Zealand Herald refer to the "global round-ball game" as "soccer" or "football"? The question has been put to readers, and the readers have spoken.
I remember my first meeting with the chairman when I arrived at Leicester City this summer. He sat down with me and said, “Claudio, this is a very important year for the club. It is very important for us to stay in the Premier League. We have to stay safe.” My reply was, “Okay, sure.
From Duluth west to Moorhead, from Warroad up near the Manitoba border south to Albert Lea, on the road to Iowa, the good people of Minnesota are in pain this morning. That is nothing compared to the pain of Blair Walsh.
A timeout for the Houston flood before we get to the rest of the column... The more images we see from Texas, the more harrowing Hurricane Harvey and its aftermath looks. Some around the country wonder, “What can we do?” J.J. Watt wondered, and then he did something.
The mother walks through the midnight darkness of the upstairs hallway in their New Jersey home, pushing open the door to her only child's bedroom. She checks his closet—sometimes she'll put on his clothes to feel close to him, to smell him, to be with him—and then examines his books on a shelf.
There are 1.27 million lawyers in the United States, one for about every 300 Americans — about 400,000 more of them than there are doctors. Their work is rarely glamorous, and especially for those just starting out in the profession, it can be grinding and repetitive.
On a Monday afternoon nearly two years ago, a woman in her mid-forties settled into a long Metro ride, Dupont Circle to Landover, bound eventually for FedEx Field.
On the surface, the Redskins’ decision to eschew a long-term contract extension for Kirk Cousins, trade a third-round pick (plus cornerback Kendall Fuller) for Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith, and then give Smith the big-money, long-term deal Cousins should have earned over the past two
On Sunday, the Seattle Seahawks walked all over the Denver Broncos, 43-8, to win Super Bowl XLVIII. Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson passed for 206 yards, ran for 26 more, threw two touchdowns, and made National Football League history.
Saturday, 6:30 a.m., two NFL general managers and good friends on the phone, trying to finish a trade. The subject of sleep comes up.
This article will delve into an oft-neglected area in tactics theory: the half-spaces. In our analyses we have often made reference to them. We are also frequently asked what the half-spaces are and what their purpose is and I want to devote myself to answering that question here.
This story appears in ESPN The Magazine's August 31 NFL Preview Issue. Subscribe today! ONE DAY IN April, the NFL asked Chris Borland to take a random drug test.
PHOENIX — Paul DePodesta, the Cleveland Browns’ trump card on the rest of the NFL. Nice fellow. Harvard guy, and, to his credit, doesn’t intimidate you with his Ivy League brain. Fifteen months into the new job after two decades with five Major League Baseball teams. Nowhere to go but up.
With Peter King on vacation until July 25, this week’s Monday Morning QB guest columnist is Pro Football Talk founder Mike Florio. Peter and Mike work together on NBC’s Football Night in America on Sunday nights during the season, and Mike also hosts PFT Live weekdays on NBC Sports Radio.
As we near the end of a strange Week 4 in the NFL (margins of victory this weekend: 31, 24, 28, 24, 3, 7, 6, 21, 19, 13, 5, 21), let’s take stock of the race that’s looking very fun, and very different than usual: the NFL MVP race.
No new news about the status of a certain 49er quarterback—Sunday was very quiet in the Colin Kaepernick derby—but we do have some information about the first pick in the 2016 draft. Specifically: The Titans might have some action on the No. 1 slot.
Attention, NFL fans: Don't get excited if your team rules the month of August. (And don't be sad if they stink.) The preseason doesn’t matter. We run through the same stuff every year, only with different faces. There’s the bad team that looks great in meaningless action.
Trades to move up, deals to slide down and the selection of a player not even on the board. John Lynch’s first draft had everything, including historical parallels that gave the rookie GM goose bumps.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. — The most illuminating moment of the Eagles’ enchanted season was a Week 3 play ridiculed in Philadelphia but celebrated here by a small cadre of people who recognized its significance almost immediately.
What did you know, and when did you know it? Offensive lineman D'Brickashaw Ferguson, a 10-year Jets veteran, said he didn’t fully grasp the risks until he saw Concussion. Linebacker Chris Borland, then with the 49ers, didn’t know that minor hits cause damage, too.
HIS BOSSES WERE furious. Roger Goodell knew it. So on April 1, 2008, the NFL commissioner convened an emergency session of the league's spring meeting at The Breakers hotel in Palm Beach, Florida. Attendance was limited to each team's owner and head coach.
OXNARD, Calif. — This is going to be a great column. Springsteen and U2 are in it. Can’t a guy hit his musical go-tos with his first column of training camp?
We love the game. We love the players, too, even when they scare us.
a. Great to see you back in the studio, Chris Mortensen. c. Great idea by Fox, getting Michael Bennett to share his social thoughts on Sunday. From the sound of it, seems like it will be an every Sunday segment on its pregame show.