Oakland Raiders defensive end Khalil Mack is featured on the cover of the first issue of Sports Illustrated crafted by the staff of The MMQB.
The MMQB's Peter King and his staff took over production of the magazine for this week, putting together an issue filled with the types of in-depth stories about professional football that have made his site so successful as it enters the fourth NFL season since its creation.
"A long time ago I was told the most important thing about this job is to take people inside the game in fresh and surprising ways," King writes in his editor's letter. "I'd be pleased if, after you've finished this issue, you felt we accomplished that goal."
In this week's magazine, Robert Klemko explores why the path Mack took to the NFL made him better than the players drafted above him—including Jadeveon Clowney. Andy Benoit writes about how Rob Gronkowski's party bro reputation has masked the fact he is the brainiest tight end in football. Jaguars defensive end Jared Odrick writes a first-person account in defense of Colin Kaepernick's national anthem protest in the name of social justice.
Other stories include dispatches about Seahawks wide receiver Doug Baldwin, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, Bills running back LeSean McCoy and more. The MMQB writers also give you a personal look at the first weekend of the NFL season, from Jets coach Todd Bowles reflecting on the 9/11 attacks to Eagles defensive end Connor Barwin commuting to Lincoln Financial Field for his team's season opener.
Many of the stories will be featured on TheMMQB.com in the coming week, and King invites readers to share requests for future coverage with firstname.lastname@example.org.