Raj Mehta/USA TODAY Sports
38mBill Barnwell

Stafford's star turn a reminder: Don't write off QBs too soon

Matthew Stafford's past 16 games haven't just been the best of his career; they have vaulted him into the conversation of elite NFL quarterbacks. Others can follow.

Scott Halleran/Getty Images
3hTim MacMahon

Sources: Rockets execs tried to cut Howard's role

Former Rockets interim coach J.B. Bickerstaff resisted the wishes of GM Daryl Morey and owner Leslie Alexander regarding a drastic reduction in Dwight Howard's playing time, sources told ESPN.

Greenberg gives Fitzpatrick the 'just shut up' award (1:27)
Indians looking to match Cavaliers' title with one of their own (1:00)
Cardinals, Seahawks each miss game-winning field goals (0:57)
Stephen A. says 'bravo' to Redskins losing to Lions (2:16)
Kaepernick not sure why ratings would go down because of protest (0:39)
Tempers flare during wild hand at World Series of Poker (1:02)
ESPN Illustration
13mScott Burnside

Power Rankings: Habs are riding high

The Canadiens are cruising -- with Connor McDavid and the Oilers, and Steven Stamkos and the Lightning hot on their heels. Meanwhile, the Maple Leafs seem destined to blow big leads every game.

Maddon's tactics have not changed since beginning of season (2:41)
Elsa/Getty Images
3hPaul Lukas

The Fall Uni Classic

Here are a few things you should pay attention to when you tune in to the World Series this week.


Max Olson ESPN Staff Writer 

Texas coach Charlie Strong is 3-4 for the third straight season. An honest assessment from him on Monday: "We've worn that cliche out that we're so close."

Austin Ward ESPN Staff Writer 

New signs have been added to the locker-room doors at Ohio State as it tries to turn the page after the upset loss to Penn State.

Tim McManus ESPN Staff Writer 

Eagles cornerback Ron Brooks ruptured his right quad tendon against the Vikings, Doug Pederson announced. He will have surgery soon and is out for the year. The Eagles recently brought rookie corner CJ Smith up from the practice squad. Will be on lookout for additional help.

Rob Demovsky ESPN Staff Writer 

Packers CB Damarious Randall (groin) underwent surgery over the weekend, according to league sources. It's not expected to be season ending, but he will miss a few more games. More details to come.

Austin Ward ESPN Staff Writer 

Urban Meyer wanted to let the loss "hurt for a while," but now Ohio State is moving on with all of its goals still in reach. "I don't think we played our best game," Meyer said. "But when you lose a game, accept it, move on and get ready for the next one."

David M. Hale ESPN Staff Writer 

Clemson OC Tony Elliott on Florida State's defense: "They've simplified and just let their athletes go out and play. They look a lot different than the first few games."

Jenna Laine ESPN Staff Writer 

As Niners head coach Chip Kelly said, the Bucs played a lot more man-coverage than they expected yesterday, which allowed Colin Kaepernick to use his legs. It also meant he had to be tighter on his throws. "You're not throwing into windows. You're throwing into one man."

David M. Hale ESPN Staff Writer 

Clemson's Wayne Gallman said "I wanted someone to hurt him" after NC State's Dravious Wright delivered a hit that knocked Gallman unconscious. Gallman said he thought the hit was targeting, but he was told the ACC reviewed the play and said otherwise.

David M. Hale ESPN Staff Writer 

Clemson RB Wayne Gallman says he'll be ready to play vs Florida State. "I'm fine, I'm ready to go," he said. Gallman says he went through the concussion protocol last week and expects to be full-go in pads for Thursday's practice.

David M. Hale ESPN Staff Writer 

Wayne Gallman says Dravious Wright's hit on him that resulted in a concussion was, in his mind, intentionally dirty. "He led with his helmet," Gallman said. The play did not result in a penalty. Gallman said he was knocked unconscious and does not remember anything until he got back to the training room.

Austin Ward ESPN Staff Writer 

Can Ohio State bounce back quickly? Historically, Urban Meyer's teams have proven pretty resilient, losing consecutive games just four times during his 15-year career. The Buckeyes have done that just once since he arrived, losing to Michigan State and Clemson at the end of the 2013 season.

Jesse Rogers ESPN Staff Writer 

The Cubs arrived in Cleveland last night and will workout this afternoon at Progressive Field at approximately 4 EST. Rosters aren't due until Tuesday morning but their Game 1 starter, presumably Jon Lester, along with Joe Maddon will hold press conferences before the Cubs take the field today.

David Newton ESPN Staff Writer 

Panthers quarterback Cam Newton returns from bye week ready to go.

David Newton ESPN Staff Writer 

Panthers cornerback James Bradberry (toe) is back after missing the past two games.

Justin Verrier ESPN Staff Writer 

The Pelicans have waived Alonzo Gee, meaning Lance Stephenson has made the final roster.

Chris Forsberg ESPN Staff Writer 

The Boston Celtics held a groundbreaking ceremony Monday at the site of their new practice facility in Brighton, Massachusetts. The new facility will be called The Auerbach Center at New Balance World Headquarters. If you zoom in on the banners in the design you'll notice a 2017 world championship banner hanging to the far right.

Jeremy Fowler ESPN Staff Writer 

With 344 rushing yards and 245 receiving yards through four games, Steelers RB Le'Veon Bell is pacing for 2,356 total offensive yards over a full season's work. That would be 73 short of Marshall Faulk's total yards record of 2,429.

Chantel Jennings ESPN Staff Writer 

Oregon running back Royce Freeman said he was fine after the Ducks' loss to Cal, but he certainly didn't look fine. He rushed the ball 15 times for 10 yards. The junior hasn't really looked like himself since the Nebraska loss (with the exception of the Wazzu game when he rushed for three TDs and 138 yards on 19 carries).

Darren Rovell ESPN Senior Writer 

Get-in for WS Game 1 is hovering around $730, the cheapest since Cubs clinched. With volume selling, don't expect it to go much lower.

Darren Rovell ESPN Senior Writer 

The NBA has sold the official hat designation to New Era, which already has similar deals with MLB & the NFL.


Darren Rovell ESPN Senior Writer 

Mountain Dew signs Kyrie Irving as a national spokesman, joining Russell Westbrook. Brand is owned by Pepsi and Kyrie already has "Uncle Drew" deal.


Dana O'Neil ESPN Senior Writer 

Houston's Kelvin Sampson said the Big 12 expansion chatter turned into an "avalanche" after Cougars beat Oklahoma, and a constant question on the recruiting trail. He added that while no one can tell a league how to run their business, he wishes it had been handled differently.


Dana O'Neil ESPN Senior Writer 

At American media day. Cincinnati picked to win the league, with Bearcats Troy Caupain and Memphis' Dedric Lawson named preseason co-players of year.

Sheil Kapadia ESPN Writer 

The Seahawks managed just two field goals on 13 offensive possessions during their 6-6 tie to the Cardinals. Both teams missed chip shot field goals in overtime, seemingly trying to hand the game to each other. This week must be about finding answers on offense. Russell Wilson is clearly still not 100 percent, and the offensive line was shaky. The Seahawks will look to come up with fixes before next week's game against the Saints.

Darren Rovell ESPN Senior Writer 

While he doesn't offer it, Wynn sports book director Johnny Avello says he makes the true odds of an NFL game ending in a tie at 275 to 1.