An army of first-year standouts isn't just winning starting jobs; it's takingthe NFL by storm
by Peter King
57 The Awards
Marques Colston (12) heads SI's squad of impact rookies
Dr. Z's All-Pro notebook includes plenty of surprises
by Paul Zimmerman
66 Least to Beast
Louisville has helped put the once-dormant Big East on the football map
by Tim Layden
72 The Loud Man
The Kings' Sean Avery has made enemies with his mouth; now he's winningadmirers with his play
by Michael Farber
The Gospel According to
The Ravens' linebacker has a story to tell, of pain caused and pain endured
by S.L. Price
19 Air andSpace
A top student-athlete at Oklahoma turns father-athlete
by Steve Rushin
• Lance Armstrong's new wheels
• The NBA gets really technical
• A Negro leaguer dies at 111
34 Faces in theCrowd
104 Life ofReilly
Tiki Barber gets a retirement bashing to remember
by Rick Reilly
Wake Forest: ACC champion?!
Does anybody want the Heisman?
94 The NBA
The Mavs' inauspicious start
Sad day at the Breeders Cup
Floyd Mayweather Jr.: unbeatable
PHOTOGRAPH BYMICHAEL O'NEILL
INSET PHOTOS:David E. Klutho (Manning); Damian Strohmeyer (Barber)
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Does Shaquille O'Neal (left) still qualify as one of the NBA's top 15 players?Are the Sixers for real? Go to SI.com/nba every Thursday for the latest PlayerPower Rankings and get updated Team Power Rankings every Monday.
Will New England finally win its first title? Or will Dwayne De Rosario (right)and the Dynamo give Houston the MLS Cup in its first season in its new city?Get coverage of this Sunday's MLS final from Grant Wahl and Greg Lalas atSI.com/soccer.
> >COLLEGE HOOPS
Hoops Architecture is the subject of SI.com's college basketball preview. LukeWinn delves into the myriad approaches that coaches have taken in constructinga winner at SI.com/collegebasketball, from Florida's emphasis on versatile bigmen to Hofstra's reliance on its diamond-in-the-rough guards.
While the Colts make another run at a perfect season, their run defense ischasing a less flattering piece of history, writes SI.com's Peter King. Alsofind out which quarterback is King's MVP front-runner (hint: see right) inMonday Morning Quarterback at SI.com/nfl.
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IMAGING PLEASEDARKEN BEHIND CAPTION AND ADD SOFT SHADOWS BEHIND THE SILOS
JOHN W. MCDONOUGH (RIVERS)
58 LET IT FLOW In his first season replacing the ultrapopular Drew Brees, Philip Rivers (17) has won over the Chargers with his energy and 96.7 passer rating.
MICHAEL O'NEILL (LEWIS)
BOB ROSATO (COLSTON)
GREG NELSON (NOWITZKI)
94 WORK FOR DIRK The Mavericks lost their first two games, but Dirk Nowitzki says defending their Western Conference crown is a welcome challenge.
BOB ROSATO (SHAQ)
SCOTT BALES/ICON SMI (DE ROSARIO)
JOHN BIEVER (BREES)