Justin Edmonds/Getty Images
3hBill 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 10 plays of his career (2:46)
Kirby Lee/USA TODAY Sports
2hNBA Insiders

5-on-5: The best and the worst of Kobe Bryant

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
6hJ.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)
Keyshawn: We got it right (2:00)
AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar
20hJon 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.

Gasol shoots header into the basket (0:20)
17hRob 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.

Belichick stares down reporter (0:19)
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.

3hMike 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.

Sunday sounds from around the NFL (0:56)
#MLBFrontOffice: Zimmermann sets mark (1:07)
Jamie Squire/Getty Images
10mDavid Schoenfield

Where will Johnny Cueto end up signing?

Johnny Cueto reportedly turned down a six-year, $120 million contract offer. So what would it take to sign him and who's going to step to the plate?

2hPaul Lukas

Uni Watch 2015 Holiday Gift Guide

In this year's Uni Watch Holiday Gift Guide, Paul Lukas provides some cool sports-themed gift ideas for the rabid fan in your life -- from books to bottle openers to drinking straws.

Osweiler not trying to take too much credit for win (0:55)


Kentucky hoops still No. 1 in AP top 25

The Wildcats received 59 first-place votes to remain in the top spot. Maryland and Michigan State check in at No. 2 and 3, respectively. They were the only others schools to receive first-place votes with the Terps getting four and the Spartans two. Complete rankings

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.


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

David Newton ESPN Staff Writer 

Courtland Finnegan will wear No. 26 for the Panthers. "I got Rod Woodson," Finnegan said.

Time to add Capela to fantasy lineups

Joe Kaiser on the Rockets' Clint Capela, owned in just 25 percent of ESPN leagues: "The 21-year-old big man has recorded double-doubles in each of the last three games that he's played at least 25 minutes." Underowned, overowned options

Troy Taormina/USA TODAY Sports

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.


Why to watch Ravens-Browns on MNF

The Ravens and Browns may be a combined 5-15 this season, but that doesn't mean their Monday night matchup will be a dud. All 10 of the Ravens' games have been decided by 8 points or less, including a 33-30 loss to the Browns in Week 5. Lots of close MNF games

AP Photo/Gail Burton

Red Sox nab former Yankee Chris Young

Boston has reached an agreement with the free-agent outfielder on a multi-year contract, pending a physical, according to ESPN's Jerry Crasnick and multiple reports (first reported by Fox Sports). Young had a .320 OBP and 14 HRs in 318 at-bats last season for New York.

Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports

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!"


Russell Wilson has a happy birthday

Wilson put up 34 ESPN standard fantasy points on Sunday, his 27th birthday. It's the third-best fantasy performance by a player on his birthday since 1960. Week 12 fantasy fallout

Scott Olmos/USA TODAY Sports

Ethan Sherwood Strauss ESPN Staff Writer 

Either this is Steph Curry warming up, or a knight from the Middle Ages

Rob Demovsky ESPN Staff Writer 

Never seen this before: For the first time since he signed with the Packers in 2014, Julius Peppers is not practicing and presumably will appear on the injury report for the first time since he's been in Green Bay.

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.


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

Clock mismanagement hurts Pats in loss

Trent Dilfer breaks down how clock mismanagement contributed to the Patriots' 30-24 loss to the Broncos.


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

Saban's shadow looms large over SEC

Mark Richt is out at Georgia, and Les Miles was nearly let go at LSU, even though both have won more than 70 percent of their games. The reason: Nick Saban, who is 35-5 in his last 40 games against SEC foes. Beat 'Bama or bust

AP Photo/Brett Davis

Phil Sheridan ESPN Staff Writer 

Chip Kelly says he did not talk to USC about its coaching job. He was not in Philadelphia Friday, he said. "I've never been involved" with another job since joining Eagles, Kelly said.

Oklahoma now alone at No. 3

The Sooners own sole possession of third place in ESPN's rankings after sharing with Michigan State last week. That's a product of their 58-23 thumping of Oklahoma State, which ended their regular season. Power Rankings

Nick Friedell ESPN Staff Writer 

Bulls head coach Fred Hoiberg was asked if Kobe Bryant was the closest player to Michael Jordan that he had seen: "I think so," Hoiberg said. "Kobe, what he accomplished, the way he did it, the way he scored it, the tough shots that he hit, the fadeaways, the athleticism he did it with, the grace, yeah, I think he probably is the closest thing to Michael."

Uni Watch: 2015 Holiday Gift Guide

NHL onesies, Tecmo Bowl NFL t-shirts, college-themed sneakers and painted baseballs are among Paul Lukas' top options for those fans who are looking beyond the usual hats and jerseys. Shop 'til you drop

Courtesy of Hockey Sockey

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

Where will Johnny Cueto end up signing?

David Schoenfield writes: "My guess is that American League teams will be more hesitant to sign him after his poor results with the Royals, so my five top potential destinations are all National League teams." Bound for NL West?

Jamie Squire/Getty Images

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