Justin Edmonds/Getty Images
36mBill Barnwell

Barnwell: Patriots still positioned for Super Bowl run

The Patriots suffered a loss Sunday night, but not the worst kind, given encouraging news on Gronk. The focus now should be on getting in position for January, writes Bill Barnwell.

Kobe's top ten plays of his career (2:46)
Kirby Lee/USA TODAY Sports
34mNBA Insiders

5-on-5: Kobe's best, worst, all-time ranking

How high does Kobe Bryant rank among the all-time greats? What memory stands out the most? Our Insiders discuss the best and worst of the Lakers legend.

Rewind: Kobe Bryant's 81-point night (2:35)
Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE/Getty Images
4hJ.A. Adande

Adande: Why Kobe was so important to the NBA

Kobe was the bridge from the Jordan era to the likes of LeBron, Durant and Curry, imparting the lessons of His Airness to the next generation of stars.

Not Ray Lewis on how to stop Cam Newton from dabbing (1:52)
15hRob Demovsky

Rodgers pans team's prep, denies players meeting

Speaking to reporters Sunday, Aaron Rodgers was critical of the Packers' preparation and denied the assertion made during an NBC telecast that the team recently held a players-only meeting.

Gasol shoots header into the basket (0:20)
AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar
18hJon Gruden

Gruden: Manziel can still be Browns' future

Not only should the Browns keep Johnny Manziel, but they should also make a strong effort to develop the recently demoted quarterback into their 2016 starter, Jon Gruden writes.

AP Photo/Ted S. Warren

Kapadia: Seahawks' Wilson taking the lead

Russell Wilson threw five TD passes Sunday while dealing with flu-like symptoms. Considering the Seahawks' larger health issues, he's going to have to keep it up.

57mMike Sando

Sando: Seattle still searching for old identity

The Seahawks went to the past two Super Bowls with an elite defense and an offense built around a punishing run game. But Seattle's winning formula has now changed for good, writes Mike Sando.

Osweiler not trying to take too much credit for win (0:55)
Highlights: NY Red Bulls 1-0 Columbus Crew (2:03)
Highlights: FC Dallas 2-2 Portland Timbers (2:25)
David Sherman/Getty Images

Warriors F Barnes to miss at least three games

Harrison Barnes will miss at least three games with an ankle injury, which means the undefeated Warriors will try to continue their perfect start without their third-leading scorer.

Howard posterizes Porzingis on alley-oop (0:22)
Jordan with the back-to-back air balls (0:32)
Grizzlies pull away late to push 76ers to 0-18 (0:50)


Pats injuries have piled up this season

Injuries have ravaged the Patriots in 2015, and Sunday night's loss to the Broncos was no different as TE Rob Gronkowski and LB Donta Hightower both left with knee ailments. In fact, ESPN's Mike Reiss counts 16 significant injuries to the Pats 53-man roster this season. Next man up?

Not Ray Lewis on stopping Cam's dabbing

"He got your wife dabbing. He got your kids dabbing. He got coach Roy Williams from the Chapel Hill Tar Heels dabbing. Stop this man from dancing!"


Rice RB gives powerful postgame speech

Rice senior RB Luke Turner, who received just one Division I offer after he broke his leg in high school, gave a powerful reminder of how strong the coach-player relationship can be when speaking to reporters Saturday. Watch his emotional speech

Rice University

Habs goalie Price out 6 weeks

Canadiens G Carey Price will miss at least the next six weeks with a lower-body injury, according to the team. Price, who was originally injured Oct. 29, will not require surgery. Backup Mike Condon is 8-2-3 for the league-leading Habs.

Bayless fired up about refs in Pats game

Skip wants to give credit where it's due to a Broncos squad that played a great game but ... "My final score of that game is Refs 30, Tom Brady 24."


Happy Birthday, Bo Jackson!

Bo turns 53 today, and on this date in 1987, he set the Raiders single-game rushing record by running for 221 yards and three touchdowns in a 37-14 victory over the Seattle Seahawks.

Dick Downey/AP Photo

Denver gets Brady back for Facebook post

Before playing the Broncos Sunday night, Tom Brady posted a photo of himself on Facebook riding a bucking bronco. After the Broncos beat the Pats, Denver did a quick edit on Brady's photo. Feel the burn

Denver Broncos/Facebook

Schad: Clay Helton earned this

USC chose not to hire a big name from outside the program, which shows Joe Schad just how well the players have embraced Helton.


Mike Wells ESPN Staff Writer 

Third time is not the charm for Ahmad Bradshaw. Colts place him on injured reserve. Bradshaw suffered a wrist injury against Tampa on Sunday. Colts re-sign Zurlon Tipton

Olney on top 10 shortstops in MLB

How good is Astros SS Carlos Correa? Buster Olney puts the 21-year-old No. 1 on his list of the best shortstops in MLB. The other nine (Insider)

USA TODAY Sports, AP Photo

Kobe Bryant's Top 10 plays

Forget the guy who shot 4-of-20 last night. Black Mamba has more than made up for it over the course of his Hall of Fame career.


Gasol has fantastic H.O.R.S.E. shot

Sure, this header into the basket didn't count for Marc Gasol and the Grizzlies. But we're still pretty impressed.


Rewind: Kobe Bryant's 81-point night

Take a trip back to Jan. 22, 2006 when Stuart Scott brought us all the highlights of Kobe Bryant's 81-point performance against the Raptors.


Dwight Howard's thoughts on Kobe Bryant

It's no secret Howard and Bryant have a somewhat frosty relationship. So when asked if he had learned anything from his former teammate, Howard laughed and said: "Awww man. We're going to go to the next question." But he also praised Kobe saying "[He's] one of the greatest to play the game."

Richard Mackson/USA TODAY Sports

Barnwell: Pats still positioned for SB run

The Patriots lost their first game of the season Sunday, and added a few players to an already-packed injury list. But Bill Barnwell isn't giving up on New England. Still SB contenders

Andy Cross/Getty Images

Andrea Adelson ESPN Staff Writer 

Justin Fuente made it clear during his news conference Monday the only job he wanted was Virginia Tech; athletic director Whit Babcock made it a mutual admiration society when he said Fuente was the only coach he targeted. Fuente said there were two reasons he wanted the job, replacing Frank Beamer: "What it has been, what it can be and the community that comes with it" plus "the best defensive coordinator in the country" in Bud Foster.

Doc: Next season in doubt for Graham

Dr. Mark Adickes uses Giants WR Victor Cruz's prolonged recovery from a torn patellar tendon to explain why he's worried about Seahawks TE Jimmy Graham, who suffered the same season-ending injury Sunday.


Ted Miller ESPN Staff Writer 

USC made it official Monday that Clay Helton will become the Trojans head coach, dropping his "interim" tag. So his status will be secure in advance of PAC-12 title game against Stanford. Interesting call from embattled athletic director Pat Haden. Helton has players support and he projects stability. He's not a young hotshot type like Kiffin and Sarkisian. On the other hand, he's not a choice that will energize the fan base, which was hoping for a big name. First question is how team handles business vs Stanford. Second is how Helton deals with a staff he inherited.

Clay Helton, USC sign multi-year deal

USC AD Pat Haden announced a multi-year agreement with Helton, who guided the Trojans to a 5-2 record as interim head coach this season. USC is playing Stanford Saturday in the Pac-12 title game.

Kirby Lee/USA TODAY Sports

Fury calls Klitschko's camp 'cheats'

Tyson Fury told reporters in England he refused to drink water after beating Wladimir Klitschko on Saturday for fear of being drugged. "I went home dehydrated before I even touched anything, I was so frightened of being drug tested and failing the drugs test," said Fury, the new world heavyweight champ.


Ted Miller @TedMillerRK

Clay Helton officially announced as USCs next head coach, dropping interim from title in advance of Pac-12 championship game vs. Stanford

Mark Richt: 'I'm really at peace'

Richt joined Georgia AD Greg McGarity at a press conference to discuss the coach's firing: "Expectations have been built to the point if you don't win a championship, things are miserable around here," said Richt, who demonstrated class and grace in the face of bad news.

Todd Kirkland/Icon SMI