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NFL PREVIEW 2017

Features

32 The Patriots Problem

Do the Texans, with their five-across D, have the key to toppling New England?

By Andy Benoit

41 Hater Nation

Football USA is still figuring out how to process the power of the Patriots

By Peter King

46 David Johnson

His mutantlike skills spring from the receiver's unlikely path to stardom

By Greg Bishop

56 Mike Zimmer

The Vikings' coach is working to make good on an old promise

By Michael McKnight

62 Scouting Reports

Analysis of every team, plus fearless postseason predictions

By Andy Benoit

104 Encore Performances

Adrian Peterson is trying to prove that NFL running backs can have second acts

By Jenny Vrentas

112 Read-Option

What happened to the offense of the future? How did it fall so far so fast?

By Albert Breer

120 The Tao of Z

Uncovering the lost memoirs of an irreverent football writer

By Paul Zimmerman

Departments

4 SI Digital

6 Leading Off

14 Inbox

17 Scorecard

28 Faces in the Crowd

128 Point After

Greg Bishop: An athlete and a young fan help one another

SI HAS REGIONAL COVERS THIS WEEK:

Photo Illustrations byBRYCE WOOD

BRADY COMPOSITE: BOB ROSATO, DAMIAN STROHMEYER, STREETER LECKA/GETTY IMAGES; RODGERS COMPOSITE: SIMON BRUTY, AARON M. SPRECHER/AP; JOHNSON COMPOSITE: SCOTT BOEHM/AP AND RALPH FRESO/GETTY IMAGES; WATT COMPOSITE: CHARLES KRUPA/AP AND DAVID J. PHILLIP/AP; NORM HALL/GETTY IMAGES (49ERS); JONATHAN DANIEL/GETTY IMAGES (BEARS); SAM CRAFT/AP (BENGALS); PETER AIKEN/GETTY IMAGES (BILLS); LARRY FRENCH/GETTY IMAGES (BROWNS); JASON MILLER/GETTY IMAGES (BROWNS); PHELAN M. EBENHACK/AP (BUCCANEERS); STACY REVERE/GETTY IMAGES (CARDINALS); RICK SCUTERI/AP (CHARGERS); JAMIE SQUIRE/GETTY IMAGES (CHIEFS); AARON ONTIVEROZ/THE DENVER POST/GETTY IMAGES (COLTS); RONALD MARTINEZ/GETTY IMAGES (COWBOYS); PATRICK SMITH/GETTY IMAGES (DOLPHINS, REDSKINS); DREW HALLOWELL/PHILADELPHIA EAGLES/GETTY IMAGES (EAGLES); MIKE EHRMANN/GETTY IMAGES (FALCONS); KATHY WILLENS/AP (GIANTS); PAUL JASIENSKI/AP (JAGUARS); EVAN PINKUS/AP (JETS); JIM ROGASH/GETTY IMAGES (LIONS); ANDY CLAYTON-KING/AP (PACKERS); DANNIE WALLS/ICON SPORTSWIRE/CORBIS/GETTY IMAGES (PANTHERS); JOE SARGENT/GETTY IMAGES (PATRIOTS); ERIC LUTZENS/THE DENVER POST/GETTY IMAGES (RAIDERS); KELVIN KUO/AP (RAMS); MADDIE MEYER/GETTY IMAGES (RAVENS); WESLEY HITT/GETTY IMAGES (SAINTS); GRANT HALVERSON/GETTY IMAGES (SEAHAWKS); AL BELLO/GETTY IMAGES (STEELERS); ANDY LYONS/GETTY IMAGES (TEXANS, TITANS); HANNAH FOSLIEN/GETTY IMAGES (VIKINGS)