Football season is over, which means that I am forced to fill the gaping void in my life with booze, drugs, utterly worthless draft speculation, whatever has been gathering dust on the DVR, and (oh God) family interaction.
Behind John Lynch’s desk in Santa Clara, there are a number of bottles of wine, each one wishing him luck in his new venture as the 49ers general manager. That he got them from agents is one surprise from his first three weeks on the job.
Many NFL teams script their first 15 (or more) plays before a game starts to focus on getting a few fundamental concepts right.
BATON ROUGE — It’s 6:19 a.m. on the last Monday in January — or more specifically, 47 hours and 41 minutes until the official start of National Signing Day — and the LSU Football Operations Center is already buzzing.
By now a few million Americans have met “Rick,” the aide-de-camp who carries the nuclear “football” for President Trump, and Richard DeAgazio, a Mar-a-Lago Club member who posted a selfie of the two on his Facebook page. The entire Saturday evening in Palm Beach, Fla.
A word of caution: free agency is a tricky trade. Players often reach this status because they're overpriced to begin with; if they weren't, they'd be re-signed by their own team (and some here will, including via the franchise tag).
I can fake it with a stranger, but I don’t feel a passion for the beautiful game. Can Scotland’s superfans show me the way? It was the first day of the season, an hour until kick-off.
The Falcons offense came out of nowhere to put up mind-blowing numbers during the 2016 season. Which groups are only a few pieces away from making a similar jump next fall?The 2016 Falcons offense was one of the most efficient units the NFL has ever seen, leading the league in scoring (33.
Zero-point-two percent. Two in a thousand. The New England Patriots stunned the St.
SOMEWHERE IN MONTANA — This was the most amazing thing about the two hours I spent with 39-year-old Tom Brady on Sunday afternoon in a cabin (well, it’s called a cabin, but the getaway area for the Brady clan is pretty darned we
Tom Brady’s ultimate victory is over the whole dumb, stick-a-needle-in-it NFL culture. A 39-year-old man completed the greatest comeback in Super Bowl history, and he walked off the field without a limp or a chip on his shoulder.
The greatest comeback ever, the top-10 most crucial coin flips, why Mark Wahlberg really left the game early, and more in a mega–“DO YOUR JOB!” mailbagYou’re tired of Boston teams winning titles. You’re tired of Brady and Belichick. I get it.
Las Palmas’s former Spurs and Portsmouth midfielder talks about fighting racism, speaking at the UN and waking up one day ‘looking like 50 Cent: that’s not me’ “I was so nervous. I was sweating. My legs were trembling.
What happened on Sunday night in Super Bowl LI will lead to many books, Mark Wahlberg’s next movie, some babies named Tom or Brady, and a few statues and new street names across New England. It will alter the fortunes of nearly everyone who stepped onto the field at NRG Stadium.
This piece was updated after publication. There were sights — the tears and the thousand-yard stares — that would have seemed unthinkable even an hour earlier. Eyes were red. Hugs were given. Most attempts at consolation fell short.
If you’re a Chargers, Vikings, Eagles, or Bills fan, fear not. Whether or not your team adds an impact rookie or signs a big-time free agent, 2017 is bound to be a better year than 2016.The Patriots won the Super Bowl because they had a disciplined, no.
As Lady Gaga took the stage at halftime of Super Bowl LI, the Falcons were well on their way to capping off a near-flawless postseason run. Up 21–3 and set to receive the second-half kickoff, they were on pace to annihilate New England’s no. 1 scoring defense.
In a league that tends toward volatility, the few franchises that can maintain any sense of consistency are usually the ones who also find the most success. The Patriots are the model, but what about everyone else?The NFL is designed to make stability elusive.
Even before they won their fifth Super Bowl together, Bill Belichick and Tom Brady were the twin pillars of the greatest dynasty in NFL history.
The record-setting comeback gave Tom Brady and Bill Belichick their fifth title — and fans the perfect cap to a thrilling stretch of sportsWe’ve seen the Patriots win before.
Many NFL teams script their first 15 (or more) plays before a game starts to focus on getting a few fundamental concepts right.
From the Patriots’ comeback to the Chargers’ epic collapses, win probability took hit after hit this NFL season, but the folks behind the metrics aren’t panickingLeicester City, Brexit, and Donald Trump have made this a weird stretch for math.
On Monday, I wrote about the Patriots’ Super Bowl comeback through the eyes of Tom Brady as part one of a two-part story. Part I is heavy on the play-by-play of the comeback, a rare peek into how Brady thinks on the field.
Given that Tom Brady and Bill Belichick have led the New England Patriots to seven Super Bowls over 17 years, you might expect to find some emotional complexity at the heart of their partnership, if not a bond.
What are each team’s top priorities this offseason following New England’s historic comeback in Super Bowl LI?It’s been more than 48 hours since Super Bowl LI ended, and I’m still not entirely sure what happened.
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — The Super Bowl MVPs were leaving the team cafeteria when Bill Belichick stopped them for an impromptu coaching moment that neither could have anticipated. This was during training camp in August 2005, six months after New England had won its third championship in four years.
Sure, the Patriots made a lot of great plays Sunday night — they had to in order to pull off the greatest comeback in Super Bowl history. But if I had to pick the one that won them the game, I’d pick a play by Matthew Slater.
The Falcons blew the Super Bowl in spectacular fashion, but their shame provides three valuable lessons for future Patriots foesThe Atlanta Falcons could not pinpoint exactly what went wrong in Super Bowl LI, when they blew a 25-point lead, failed to secure the first title in franchise history, and
I was chastised by a few people—including co-workers—for being critical of the 2013 draft class in March and April of that year. And my stock response was that, from everything I’d heard, 2014 would make up for the lack of talent in 2013. We know how that turned out.
It will take a while, and some reflection, to put these New England Patriots into historical perspective.
Some footballers have the privilege of working under gifted tacticians and thoroughbred winners during their careers, but it’s the intuitive ones who take it upon themselves to become students. Antonio Conte was both influential and influenced during his decorated playing career at Juventus.
HOUSTON -- During the buildup to Super Bowl LI, someone asked Tom Brady what he thought a fifth Super Bowl ring might mean to his personal legacy. He listened politely, making eye contact to convey he was taking the question seriously, then scoffed at the request to mull such a nebulous thing.
Before a Monday Night Football game in Minneapolis in October, Steve Young seems to be doing the typical work of an ex-quarterback.
“I can’t help but ask, one day many years later, when you find your previous awareness, cognition and choices are all wrong, will you keep going along the wrong path or reject yourself?” — Gu Li, a 9-dan Go champion, after losing to AlphaGo, Google’s nigh-unbeatable deep learning AI.
New England’s Martellus Bennett and Devin McCourty say they won’t come to the White House — but the ceremonial visit means more to Donald Trump than to the PatriotsWhen teams win national sporting championships, they usually get a few things. They get big, gaudy rings. They get a trophy.
This story appears in the Feb. 13, 2017, issue of Sports Illustrated. Subscribe to the magazine here. Inside the Patriots’ locker room on Sunday night, Tom Brady sits down at his locker, at once surrounded and alone.
This is exactly what the Patriots head coach does that separates him from the rest of the NFL — expect nothing less at the Super Bowl on SundayFor the next five days, bet on hearing dozens of football talking heads declare that Bill Belichick’s defense wants to take away what Atlanta’s of
Tom Brady leads the New England Patriots to the greatest comeback in Super Bowl historySubscribe to NFL Films: http://goo.gl/XJTggLStart your free trial of NFL Game Pass: https://www.nfl.com/gamepass?campaign...Check out our other channels:NFL Network http://www.youtube.com/nflnetworkNFL http://www.
Bill Belichick is obviously a football coach of many talents. He has a unique ability to identify players who can help his team win. He motivates his players in various ways that are not always apparent but are usually successful. He prepares his team like no other coach in football.
huck Blazer looked out the window of his $18,000-a-month Trump Tower apartment, with its view of New York's Central Park. Most tourists on Fifth Avenue below could only dream of his kind of high-rise life. But after years of lavish excess, he was no longer fixated on the trappings of his success.
Mourning is good. Mourning is necessary. Falcons fans: Mourn over one of the worst losses in sports history. I know bad losses, as a pre-World Series glory years Red Sox partisan.
Two years ago, Memphis Depay was the great Dutch attacking talent. Having scored for fun in the Eredivisie with PSV Eindhoven, he joined Manchester United at the age of 21. But in last month's transfer window, United dumped him on Olympique Lyon, who may yet come to regret the purchase.
No team has ever come back from a deficit of more than 10 points to win a Super Bowl, and the Patriots found themselves trailing the Atlanta Falcons 21–0 and 28–3. They needed magic to make a comeback. This qualifies as magic, right?
As you may have heard by now — perhaps from the eardrum-shattering sound of New England Patriots fans booing Roger Goodell — the Patriots are Super Bowl champs, having rallied back from a 28-3 deficit to beat the Atlanta Falcons 34-28 on Sunday.
The New England Patriots' pair of two-point conversion attempts in the fourth quarter of Super Bowl LI proved to be critical in their comeback win over the Atlanta Falcons. Let's go back to the two play calls to draw up how each went down.
In a chummy conversation with Bill O’Reilly aired during the Super Bowl pregame show, the president made predictions about Mexico and the big game — and one curious comparison to RussiaIf Joe Buck had done play-by-play of Bill O’Reilly’s Super Bowl interview with Donald Trump, it would
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.
The Bills aren't likely to pick up Tyrod Taylor's option. Plus, new head coach Sean McDermott could switch things up on offense. There's an argument to be made that the Bills are only a quarterback away from the playoffs, and Tony Romo could make this a win-win for both parties.
The entry point of Tom Brady’s professional football career made sense late Sunday night, as he stood on the podium and confetti fell on his shoulders and he cradled another Lombardi Trophy, the totem of his fifth Super Bowl title. NFL teams passed on Brady 198 times in the 2000 draft.
Neither Marouane Chamakh nor Park Chu-Young occupies a particularly prominent place in Arsenal’s history. The former, a dilettante Moroccan striker, spent three years at the club after joining in 2010.
HOUSTON — It was over. You thought it. The Falcons thought it. Everyone on the planet Earth thought it. But we all forgot, in that moment, something vital. The Patriots had the best quarterback to ever play the game. They may had the best athlete in American sports history.
Hans Nijland, general director of FC Groningen, is talking about the rapid rise of Luis Suarez from a chubby teenager in the Dutch club's white-and-green strip to arguably the best striker in the world. He uses the two words that perhaps best summarize Suarez in general.
Zac Easter texted his girlfriend shortly before 10 A.M. He typed as he drove, weaving Old Red, his cherry red 2008 Mazda3, down the wide suburban boulevards of West Des Moines. He'd already been awake for hours, since well before sunrise. At 5:40 A.M.
In 2009 a group of young Icelandic football coaches travelled to England to study for their Uefa coaching licences. The trip involved a stop at Reading, where the Icelanders were excited to see at first hand the progress of Gylfi Sigurdsson, Iceland’s own 18‑year‑old creative midfield jewel.
The true football nous on the board disappeared with David Dein and it is questionable whether anyone at Arsenal is qualified to choose a successor to a manager more powerful than any other in the world It is 21 years since anyone at Arsenal has had to contemplate appointing a manager.
Every Super Bowl loser wants a do-over, but no team has had as disastrous an ending as Atlanta had in the final nine minutes of Super Bowl LI. If the Falcons were given 1,000 do-overs, they would have been expected, according to ESPN’s win probability model, to win the game 996 times.
You won’t convince many BVB fans that Leipzig are good for football but on a tempestuous night at the Westfalenstadion they were good for their team Die Gelbe Wand, the famous yellow wall, is never less than vocal but on Saturday it spoke loudest without the aid of air or lungs.
One of the biggest reasons the Atlanta Falcons improved from an 8-8 season in 2015 to the Super Bowl is offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan's ability to mesh his creative playbook with the high-level talent on the roster. The Falcons led the league in scoring during the regular season (33.
The myth that centres are outdated and English has been debunked with Serie A and La Liga matches showing as many as the Premier League When football overtook Catholicism as my religion, around the time I was 11 or 12, I quickly discovered three new stations of the cross at Kenilworth Road.
And you’re seeing the effects on the field. The players are younger than ever, the football is worse than ever, and the causes aren’t going away.If you’re worried about the level of play in the NFL, you have an unlikely ally: coaches and executives.
There is only one word to describe what happened Sunday night, on Super Bowl Week eve: wow. The 49ers hired Pro Football Hall of Fame finalist John Lynch to be their general manager, shocking the football world, as the partner for likely new Niners coach Kyle Shanahan.
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — In 2004, when the Patriots were at the height of their dynasty, they put out word that they had an opening for a “coaching assistant,” an entry-level position.
It is the sort of question often asked of Super Bowl contestants who grew up in football-rich California, a question usually eliciting answers filled with legends and lore. Who’s the greatest high school player you’ve ever seen?
HOUSTON — Look at him. He seems so nice. Two hours ago, Tom Brady was barking orders and sweating bullets. Now, he is no longer dressed like a quarterback, having tossed his No. 12 New England Patriots jersey aside long enough for someone to steal it.
Hoffenheim’s Julian Nagelsmann on the club’s undefeated start, the limits of science, and the necessity of playing attractive soccerJulian Nagelsmann makes Sean McVay look weathered, and compared to the 29-year-old German, Luke Walton might as well be Red Auerbach.
Early during tonight’s game, Google’s ad for the Google Home aired on millions of TVs. We’ve actually seen the ad before: loving families at home meeting, hugging, and being welcomed by the Google Assistant. Someone says “OK Google,” and those familiar, colorful lights pop up.
André Schürrle embarked on a powerful, driving run down the left wing, and lifted a hopeful ball towards the six-yard box, picking out the awaiting Mario Götze.
This story appears in the Jan. 23, 2017, issue of Sports Illustrated. Subscribe to the magazine here. Every weekend Tom Brady plays another football game. Every weekend he throws more passes to more receivers.
Sagging ratings, national controversy, horrifying head injuries, shameless greed: The conversation about the NFL has officially changed. Is it too late to fix it?By Bill Simmons and Malcolm GladwellSimmons: “Is he crying?”“He’s just having trouble breathing. He’s disoriented.
It’s understandable when a stunning event overwhelms a career-defining event, the way it did in Super Bowl XLIX eight days ago.
Coverciano outside Florence has been the nerve centre of the Italian game for almost 60 years and the reverence in which it is held by many seems to have had a positive effect on plenty of its graduates As long as he doesn’t blow it, and nothing in his record suggests that he will, sometim
Tomorrow, when you come home from playing football, there will be a lot of people in your house. Your uncles, friends of your family and some other people you won’t recognize will be in the kitchen. At first, you’ll think you’re just late for the party.
On 7 July this year, Raffaello Bucci’s body was found at the bottom of the so-called “viaduct of suicides”. Just a day before, he had been interviewed by police investigating links between football and organised crime.
TONY DUNGY WON A SUPER BOWL as a player for the 1978 Steelers and as head coach of the 2006 Colts. He is an accomplished football man and, as a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame class of 2016, owns the sartorially dubious mustard-colored jacket to prove it.
Should the Pats trade Gronk? What was Tom Brady’s greatest playoff game? And how should Brady handle Roger Goodell if he beats Atlanta?I have very few rules in life, but here’s one of them: if the Patriots make their seventh Super Bowl with the same quarterback and the same coach, I have to wri
On October 4, 1986, the University of Alabama hosted Notre Dame in a game of football. Notre Dame had won the previous four contests, but this time Alabama was favored. It had a stifling defense and a swift senior linebacker named Cornelius Bennett.
Fifteen years ago, Drew Bledsoe’s injury altered the NFL. But don’t call him a modern-day Wally Pipp: Since retiring from football, the former quarterback has built a blissful wine-, snow-, and family-filled life. After living his dreams, he’s living the dream.
You can argue about climate change or what causes it, but you cannot argue with hail. It hits Wylie like something out of the Bible: stones that could slay Goliath breaking through roofs and landing in living rooms, shattering windows and destroying cars.
Air yards have been around for a long time. Elias Sports Bureau has been tracking complete and incomplete air yards on passes since 2006. Analysts like Chase Stuart and Brain Burke have both done informative analysis on air yards from the quarterback’s perspective.
This story appears in ESPN The Magazine's February 6 Super Bowl Preview Issue. Subscribe today! Tom Brady is addicted to playing catch. Ask any of his friends or teammates and they will testify to this. He loves playing catch the way some people love fly-fishing.
What ever happened to Joseph Randle? Fifteen months ago Randle, not Ezekiel Elliott, was the Dallas back ripping off chunks of yards behind that awesome O-line. Then came a possible concussion, an array of off-field misdeeds and massive confusion about it all
Here at FiveThirtyEight, we tend to think statistics can add to our understanding of sports.
FOXBOROUGH, Ma. — Chris Long had a decision to make last spring. At 30 years old and several seasons removed from a spate of double-digit sack campaigns, he knew he wanted to leave the Rams, who hadn’t reached the playoffs in his eight NFL seasons.
Hashtags were in 30% of Super Bowl 51 ads, down significantly from 45% last year. More ads used URLs than hashtags for the first time since Marketing Land has measured them, 41% in all.
The Super Bowl is Sunday, with the Atlanta Falcons and New England Patriots vying for the championship.
The company that makes the coin and sells replicas has a past it would rather forget. Just before the start of Super Bowl XLII, as he stood on the 50-yard line of the University of Phoenix Stadium in front of 70,101 impatient fans, head referee Mike Carey was nervous.
Good coaching requires discipline, intelligence, and a little luck. It also requires, in the case of the Patriots head coach, a knack for insult comedy.On a hot Massachusetts practice field in the summer of 2014, an NFL rookie quarterback couldn’t stop fumbling the snap.