Friday January 8th, 2016

Here is a roundup of's 10 most popular stories this week. Be sure to read to the bottom for a bonus story from the SI Vault.

How Texans Crafted Plays for Their Season's Biggest Game

Darren Carroll for Sports Illustrated

The Texans gave Sports Illustrated unprecedented access to their strategy for one of the biggest games in team history. Go behind the scenes and see how Houston developed the gameplan that propelled it into the playoffs. By Greg A. Bedard.

The NBA's Most Understated Star

Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

He's the best player on one of the top teams, but he's never mentioned in the same breath as LeBron James, Stephen Curry or Kevin Durant. Kawhi Leonard has been the second-best player in the league this season while offering a master class in the power of restraint. By Rob Mahoney.

Can Moneyball Fix the Browns?

Paul J. Bereswill/AP

Desperate to address organizational chaos, Browns owner Jimmy Haslam hired Paul DePodesta of Moneyball fame to reshape the woeful Cleveland franchise. But do baseball's analytics translate to the NFL? By Tom Verducci.

Alabama's Freshman Phenom

Ron Jenkins/Getty Images

Calvin Ridley didn't turn heads with just his dynamic skill set alone. Instead, he made his mark with a willingness to learn, an uncommon attribute among highly touted freshmen. By Zac Ellis.

Go Big or Go Home

Christian Petersen/Getty Images

With the league trending toward dink and dunk in recent years, three of the NFL’s best offenses are taking a different tack: big throws, big risks, big plays and big wins. By Robert Mays.

Adrian Peterson on Fatherhood, Forgiveness and Loss

Todd Rosenberg for Sports Illustrated

The Vikings running back looks back on the fateful day when he was indicted by a grand jury on child-abuse charges that would change his legacy forever. By Greg Bishop.

Hall Hopes Bleak for Bonds, Clemens

The Sporting News/Getty Images

With Hall of Fame voters changing, 2016 was supposed to be the year that Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens finally made progress on getting elected. Instead, they were stuck in Hall of Fame purgatory once again. By Tom Verducci.

How Boeheim Spent His Suspension

Gregory Heisler for Sports Illustrated

Jim Boeheim was exiled for nine games, beginning Dec. 4. That meant no texting, emailing, carrier-pigeoning or mind-melding with his staff or players for 32 days. What'd he do during that time? By Jack McCallum.

Dan Quinn's Coaching Carousel

With five head coaching interviews coming up, Quinn had to find a way to focus on getting his team, the Seattle Seahawks, to the Super Bowl. His solution: cutting himself off from the Internet. By Don Banks.

A History of LeBron's Activism

AP Photo/David Zalubowski

In LeBron James's 2014 essay in Sports Illustrated, he said he felt a duty to use his platform to help others. While James hasn’t said much about the death of Tamir Rice, he has spoken out on controversial issues in the past. By Xandria James & Kayla Lombardo.

SI Vault: The Life of an NBA Player on a 10-Day Contract

Christian Petersen/NBAE/Getty Images

In 2010, Zabian Dowdell rejected a $750,000 contract in Europe and took $13,000 from the Tulsa 66ers of the Development League because Tulsa offered something Europe did not: the possibility of a midseason NBA call-up. By Lee Jenkins.

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