NFL Preview: Five Words to Describe Every Team This Season
Welcome to the Weekend Read. This week we dish just five words on every NFL team, dig up a photo of the 1941 Bears and run through our favorite stories of the week.
• How JuJu Smith-Schuster is dominating on the field, loving life, and using his status as a social media star to spread the fun to fans of all ages. (By Michael McKnight)
• By and large, Clemson football players say they embrace the program's deep religious culture fostered by Dabo Swinney. But as a public university, is it crossing a line? (By Tim Rohan)
• Pete Alonso is bringing as much cheer to the Mets’ clubhouse as he is power to New York's lineup. (By Stephanie Apstein)
• The wild story behind LSU's 2016 pursuit of Tom Herman includes a fateful Thanksgiving game, a secret 'spy,' a plane that never left the runway and more. (By Ross Dellenger)
• Justin Verlander’s no-hitter wasn’t some anomaly or some last gasp of greatness. We are watching one of the rare masters. (By Tom Verducci)
A Bite-Sized Take on Your Favorite Team
The NFL season is finally here! You've probably read countless stories already that began by saying "The NFL season is finally here!" but this time we really mean it. Packers-Bears is in the books, and now we've got 265 games left before the Super Bowl. I was asked to give you a preview of every NFL team, but let's be honest: 1) You're already sick of reading NFL preview content; 2) There's enough other stuff in this newsletter to spend your time reading. So here are just five words on all 32 teams.
Arizona Cardinals: Will faster plays mean wins?
Atlanta Falcons: Good team but tough division
Baltimore Ravens: Lamar can’t run 30 times
Buffalo Bills: Let’s learn more about Allen
Carolina Panthers: NFC contender if Cam's healthy
Chicago Bears: Still thinking about the doink(s)
Cincinnati Bengals: Finally an overdue fresh start
Cleveland Browns: America’s New Team might deliver
Dallas Cowboys: Paying stars, now all-in
Denver Broncos: Is Joe Flacco the answer?
Detroit Lions: Clearly fourth in strong division
Green Bay Packers: World is watching Rodgers’s audibles
Houston Texans: Best in post-Luck South
Indianapolis Colts: Good, but Brissett ain’t Luck
Jacksonville Jaguars: Is a new QB enough?
Kansas City Chiefs: Best QB, maybe best team
Los Angeles Chargers: Regression coming even with Gordon
Los Angeles Rams: McVay too young for hangover?
Miami Dolphins: Miami, you’re on the clock
Minnesota Vikings: Will probably end in heartbreak
New England Patriots: Why should 2019 be different?
New Orleans Saints: Changed that rule, at least
New York Giants: Eli era ends in 2019
New York Jets: Not a disaster, so, progress!
Oakland Raiders: Who the hell even knows
Philadelphia Eagles: If Wentz's healthy, NFC’s best
Pittsburgh Steelers: First time under the radar
San Francisco 49ers: No ACL excuses this year
Seattle Seahawks: Usually better than people think
Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Last year for Jameis? Decisions...
Tennessee Titans: Last year for Mariota? Decisions...
Washington Redskins: Strong contender for worst franchise
Vault Photo of the Week: Jump for Joy, Football's Back
With the Bears hosting the first game in the NFL's 100th season, let's roll it back 78 years to a championship season for Chicago. The 1941 squad went 10–1 en route to beating the Giants 37–9 in the December title game. That same month is when the photo above was captured, featuring QB Sid Luckman striking a pose with his teammates as they took on an All-Star team in the Polo Grounds to benefit the Navy Relief Fund.
Editor’s note: What kind of stories and content would you like to see in the Weekend Read? Let's chat at SIWeekendRead@gmail.com.