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DEPARTMENTS

6 Leading Off

12 Letters

17 Scorecard

The plane crash that rocked Russia's KHL

27 Faces in the Crowd

29 Just My Type

Clay Matthews on Suh, Raji and Vick

BY DAN PATRICK

30 Inside ...

College Football

Why UCLA doesn't win

Baseball

The NL's Cy Young?

NFL

Super Mario's start

88 Point After

A twist in conference realignment

BY PHIL TAYLOR

FEATURES

40 | PRO FOOTBALL

COWBOYS-JETS

The Ryan twins set the tone for the season with a wild opening-week showdown

By Lee Jenkins

46 RAVENS-STEELERS

Baltimore's win over its fierce rival sent a message to the NFL: adapt or die

By Damon Hack

• THE PACK HAS RELOADED

54 | COLLEGE FOOTBALL

VANDERBILT

The only SEC team that everyone can love is 2--0

By Michael Rosenberg

62 | BASEBALL

JUSTIN VERLANDER

Detroit's ace is having a year MVP voters can't ignore

By Ben Reiter

68 | BOXING

FLOYD MAYWEATHER

The unbeaten champ faces an unthinkable possibility: defeat

By Chris Mannix

72 | TENNIS

U.S. OPEN

Rain and schedule changes made this the Outrage Open

By S.L. Price

NASCAR 2011 CHASE PREVIEW

JUNIOR JOHNSON

The old hero holds forth on the state of the sport he and his rivals created

By Lars Anderson

P. 76

• JIMMIE JOHNSON'S PLAN

• WILD CARDS WITH A CHANCE

SCOUTING REPORTS

"When Serena Williams brandished her racket at chair umpire Eva Asderaki and snarled, "I hate you!" she put a face on a tennis fortnight that for sheer negativity had no equal.

—S.L. Price, on Williams (right) and the U.S. Open tournament

P. 72

This week SI has three covers: Tigers ace Justin Verlander, the Jets and the Ravens.

ON THE COVER

PHOTOGRAPHS BY TOM DAHLIN (VERLANDER), BOB ROSATO (RAVENS) AND DAMIAN STROHMEYER (JETS); INSET: RUSSELL LABOUNTY/AUTOSTOCK (48 CAR); JARED C. TILTON/GETTY IMAGES FOR NASCAR (99 CAR); NIGEL KINRADE/AUTOSTOCK (24 CAR)

Please Recycle This Magazine Remove Inserts or Samples Before Recycling

PHOTO

DAMIAN STROHMEYER (JETS)

NEW YORK'S FINEST Before their game on Sunday, Mark Sanchez (6) and his Jets teammates paid tribute to those lost on 9/11.

PHOTO

BOB ROSATO (DICKSON)

RAVENS TE ED DICKSON

PHOTO

SIMON BRUTY (WILLIAMS)

FOUR PHOTOS