deep dive

A Matchup Nightmare

Russell Wilson finally started targeting Jimmy Graham, but the Seahawks’ offense isn’t maximizing the true value of its greatest asset

The Patriot Weakness

In addition to Tom Brady and Bill Belichick, all of New England’s recent Super Bowl teams have another thing in common: strong secondary play. Here’s why a depleted unit could cause problems for the Pats this season

A Complicated Conversation on Russell Wilson's Impact

He is a Super Bowl winner and compensated like one of the league's best players. But is the Seahawks quarterback simply a complementary cog on a well-balanced team? Everything depends on how you look at it

Can Gore Get the Colts Up and Running?

There is reason to be concerned that the savvy veteran, a between-the-tackles runner, will have many of the same issues recent Colts runners have had. Of course, with Andrew Luck under center, it might not matter

Denver's Defense Key to Another Playoff Run

For the first time in Peyton Manning's career, the veteran QB can rely on his defense to carry more of the burden than the offense. The Broncos are ripe with playmakers on that side of the ball, making January football very likely

Big D Could Rise Again

The Cowboys have all the parts to make a Super Bowl run, but their formula comes with a lot of caveats

He’s No Regular Joe

His postseason record is the best among active QBs not named Tom Brady. He possesses top-of-the-line size, arm strength and accuracy, and he’s one of the most astute at picking apart defenses. When will people realize Joe Flacco is one of the NFL’s superstars?

The Panthers Will Run for Their Lives

The Panthers found their way late last season with a diverse, collegiate style rushing attack. With their top perimeter receiving threat out for the season and pass protection still a major issue, expect Carolina to rely heavily on Cam Newton’s legs for 16 games this year

Carson Palmer, the Cards and an Offense on ‘Empty’

How Bruce Arians’ system thrives on spread concepts and big plays, and why the return of a healthy Carson Palmer makes them one of the league’s most dangerous offenses again

Lions and Life After Suh

A year ago the Lions rode Matthew Stafford’s late-game heroics and a dominating defense to the playoffs. Stafford and a potentially high-powered offense return, but Detroit’s defense is in deep trouble after losing the one man who made them go against the run and the pass

The Evolution of Big Ben

With the defense in a transition state, the Steelers are relying heavily on an offense that's transformed into the league's best. At the helm is QB Ben Roethlisberger, who guides a unit teeming with young, rising stars

Maxwell? Smart

The Eagles’ man coverage was exposed last season, so Chip Kelly turned to the guy who gave Philly’s offense fits. Here’s why Byron Maxwell, a former sixth-round pick, became one of the NFL’s highest-paid corners

Rex Ryan Has Found the Next Darrelle Revis*

* For now, Revis remains in a class of his own. But our prediction for the 2015 season: Stephon Gilmore will prove to be one of the NFL’s elite cornerbacks and the cornerstone of the Bills’ defense

Chiefs Getting Wide Right

After trotting out the worst receiving corps in football last year, the Chiefs finally made the move to add a legitimate No. 1 wideout (Jeremy Maclin) to Alex Smith’s underrated stable of weapons

Philip Rivers Plays QB in Its Purest Form

Though he lacks the playoff pedigree, the Chargers quarterback is a top-tier talent who can take an NFL franchise to the Super Bowl. It all starts with his magical footwork in tight spaces

On Bill O’Brien and Those Overachieving Texans

No coaching staff got more out of less last year than that Texans. But with Arian Foster out and still no clear answer at quarterback, is a great scheme plus J.J. Watt enough to earn a Wild-Card spot?

Fixing Colin Kaepernick

The 49ers’ QB has fundamental flaws in his game. If he can’t take the next step, he may end up joining the mass exodus in San Francisco