EXTRA: PATRIOTS RUN!
Move over, Tom Brady, there's a new game in Foxborough: the running game. As NFL nation prepares for this weekend's divisional playoffs, SI staff writer Ben Reiter takes a look at the matchup between the Patriots (12--4) and the Texans (13--4) and examines how running back Stevan Ridley(page 54) and New England's scaled-back aerial attack will fare against Houston's smothering defensive front. The combination of Ridley and backs Danny Woodhead, Brandon Bolden and Shane Vereen rushed for 2,089 yards and 21 touchdowns in 2012 and brought balance to an offense hobbled by injuries to tight ends Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez. For complete coverage of the NFL playoffs, go toSI.com/mag
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SI DIGITAL BONUS
Life and Sudden Death
From the SI Vault: Oct. 25, 1999
The '82 playoff game between the Chargers and the Dolphins wasn't a war, exactly, but it did change a few people's lives.
BY RICK REILLY
People can't seem to make up their minds whether Shanahan was wrong to risk RG3's health or made a strategic error. I disagree w/ both.
Other than Luck's playoff debut, Lewis's retirement, Pagano's return to Balt., Arians's illness, Caldwell vs. Colts, this game has no storylines.
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Classic Photos of Ray Lewis
SI looks at rarely seen images of the future Hall of Famer, who, after 17 years as one of the most feared linebackers in the NFL, announced he will retire at the end of the season, saying, "It's time for me to make a new legacy." See more exclusive photos of your favorite athletes atSI.com/mag
CHRISTOPHER LEE/THE FA VIA GETTY IMAGES (RIDLEY)
MICHAEL O'NEILL (LEWIS)
DAVE CROSS (DIGITAL BONUS)