Lineup

September 03, 2006

NFL '06PREVIEW
66 Believe
A team jumping from worst to first isn't so rare anymore, which meanseveryone's preseason playoff hopes aren't crazy at all
By PETER KING

73 EverybodyWins
O.K., so 16--0 is probably out of reach, but here's a best-case scenario foreach team ... which, if you're a Jets fan, may be just 8--8
By PETER KING

80 Play Loud
Yeah, his bark is bad--but his bite is worse, which is why the always quotableAll-Pro Joey Porter is the most feared man in football
By MICHAEL SILVER

86 JustArrived
Say hello to the next generation of NFL superstars--nine players coming off bigyears in which they revealed extraordinary talent
Photographs by ROBERT BECK

94 Back in theOpen
Larry Johnson's transformation from malcontent to leader has been as quick anddramatic as one of his bursts up the middle
By JEFFRI CHADIHA

102 ScoutingReports
For each team, the starting lineup, schedule, a breakout player to watch andanalyses by an SI writer and an opposing team's scout

Departments

12 Leading Off

24 Letters

29 Air andSpace
Dikembe Mutombo embraces a continent of orphans by Steve Rushin

32 Scorecard
• MLB steroid probe--Bud lite?
• Putting the brakes on power golf

44 Faces in theCrowd

206 Life ofReilly
Fantasy baseball becomes reality--and it's a nightmare by Rick Reilly

Inside ...

50 Baseball
• The AL has too many MVPs

56 MotorSports
• Bristol done Mark Martin wrong

58 ProBasketball
• Shane Battier's very hot summer

62 CollegeFootball
• Arizona State runs a QB reverse

Cover

PHOTOGRAPH BYMICHAEL O'NEILL

INSET PHOTOS:Robert Beck (Hasselbeck); Simon Bruty (McNabb); Peter Read Miller (Brady); AlTielemans (Favre); Donald Miralle/Getty Images (Culpepper); James D.Smith/WireImage.com (Bledsoe)

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>>U.S.OPEN

Roger Federer isthe favorite in the men's draw, but this U.S. Open belongs to Andre Agassi(right), who's calling it quits after 20 years. For Jon Wertheim's thoughts onAgassi's farewell, a gallery of Andre's top 10 career moments and coverage ofthe two-week tournament, go to SI.com/tennis.

>>NASCAR

With his victory atBristol on Saturday, Matt Kenseth (left) became one of the first drivers tolock up a spot in the 10-man Chase for the Cup. Go to SI.com/nascar forcoverage of the final two races leading to the Chase and for SI.com'spredictions on who's likely to win this year's points championship.

>>PROFOOTBALL

Get the latestupdates and the best stories about each NFL team, including the San DiegoChargers and LaDainian Tomlinson (right), at SI.com's new team pages atSI.com/football/nfl/teams. Also, check out a gallery of the league's bestquarterback--wide receiver tandems at SI.com/nfl.

>>COLLEGES

SI.com's StewartMandel had Notre Dame in the No. 2 slot in his preseason power rankings. Willthe Irish still be there after their Sept. 2 game against Georgia Tech? Checkout Mandel's new rankings every Tuesday, his mailbag on Wednesdays and hisblogs (updated five times a week), all at SI.com/collegefootball.

PHOTORYAN SCHICK PHOTORON LEBLANC/WIREIMAGE.COM (TWINS)50 JUSTIN FOR ALL Joe Mauer may win the AL battingtitle, but Minnesota teammate Justin Morneau (34) will give him a run for the league MVP award. THREE PHOTOSMICHAEL J. LEBRECHT II/1DEUCE3 PHOTOGRAPHY (KENSETH); BOB MARTIN (AGASSI); PETER READ MILLER (TOMLINSON)

HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
OUT
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
IN
Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)