Kirby Lee/USA TODAY Sports

Steelers wild about Bell, beat S.D. on final play

Le'Veon Bell scored a touchdown out of the Wildcat formation as time expired Monday night, lifting the Steelers past the Chargers.

9hDavid Schoenfield

Monday's Top 5: A day of big bats

Oh, just another day with four playoff games, hours upon hours of hours of baseball excitement, and plenty of offense.

AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh

Stark: Cubs rock Wrigley in historic Game 3 win

Cubs fans came to see Jake Arrieta dominate. He didn't. But what Chicago saw instead was its team hit a record six home runs and take a 2-1 NLDS lead over the Cardinals, writes Jayson Stark.

Greg Shamus/NBAE/Getty Images
10hDave McMenamin

J.R. Smith buys cotton candy from Cavs bench

One of five Cavs sitting out a preseason game, J.R. Smith flagged down a cotton candy vendor and apparently treated the son of golfer Jason Day.

Eichel fires a laser (0:24)
USA TODAY Sports, AP Photos
20hMike Sando

Sando: Ranking the NFL's six unbeaten teams

Through five weeks, nearly 20 percent of the league remains unbeaten. Mike Sando ranks the unblemished, starting with a close call at the top between the Patriots and Packers.

Twellman: Klinsmann can't lose the locker room (2:28)
Could Ray Rice fill RB void in Kansas City? (0:38)
AP Photo/Gary Landers
17hJohn Clayton

Clayton: Andy Dalton playing faster than ever

Andy Dalton is playing faster than ever -- releasing the ball earlier and reading defenses faster -- and it's made the Bengals a more dangerous team offensively.

Donovan tips NYRB, LA Galaxy for MLS Cup final (5:23)
ESPN Illustration

2015-16 NBA Preview

We're rolling out our Insider forecasts from now until opening night. We begin with two franchises -- the 76ers and Timberwolves -- that hope some young stars can break them out of the basement.


For J.R. Smith, game time = cotton candy time

The guard sat out for his 2nd straight preseason game because of a sore hamstring but didn't stay out of the spotlight. Smith flagged down a cotton candy vendor and, unbeknownst to his coach, obtained the snack and munched on it during the game. May have gifted treat

Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Rousey confirms relationship with Browne

Undefeated UFC bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey confirmed that she has been dating UFC heavyweight Travis Browne. "I don't talk about my personal life much, that's why it's called 'personal life,'" Rousey told ESPN in a statement Monday. "It's true that Travis and I are in a relationship." Story

Kevin Mazur/WireImage

AL pennant odds have Toronto as favorite

From Westgate Las Vegas:

  • Toronto: 13-10
  • Kansas City: 2-1
  • Texas: 9-2
  • Houston: 5-1

AP Photo/LM Otero

NL pennant odds have Chicago as favorite

From Westgate Las Vegas:

  • Chicago: 3-2
  • New York: 2-1
  • Los Angeles: 4-1
  • St. Louis: 9-2

Jerry Lai/USA TODAY Sports

Pele: Messi is best player in past decade

World Cup legend Pele endorses Barcelona and Argentina forward Lionel Messi as the best player of this generation.


5 reasons why Andy Dalton could win MVP

Scoff if you like. But the Cincinnati QB is one of three quarterbacks in NFL history to pass for more than 1,500 yards and have a TD-to-INT ratio better than 5-to-1 through their teams' first five games. The other two, Peyton Manning in 2013 and Aaron Rodgers in 2011, went on to win the MVP award. 4 more reasons

Andy Lyons/Getty Images

SportsCenter @sportscenter

Steve Spurrier is the only person to win the Heisman Trophy (1996) and coach a Heisman Trophy-winning player (Danny Wuerffel, 1996).

Spurs are best across sports

The Spurs have never won back-to-back NBA titles, but for the second consecutive year they top ESPN The Magazine's Ultimate Standings, which ranks every franchise in the four major North American professional sports. No. 1 to 122 ranked

ESPN.com Illustration

The importance of the assist

Kirk Goldsberry writes for Grantland: "[S]hots that immediately follow passes are much more likely to go in the hoop than their unassisted counterparts. The best kinds of shots result from teamwork, and the worst kinds are a result of selfishness." The next shooting revolution

AP Photo/David Goldman

Kevin Seifert NFL Nation 

NFL continues to examine Qualcomm Stadium clock malfunction this morning. Expecting some reaction today. Outcome of game fortunately unaffected, but consecutive gaffes under glare of Monday Night Football games is troubling.

Marshawn Lynch expected back Sunday

The Seahawks RB has missed the last two weeks with a hamstring injury but is likely to play Sunday against Carolina. Said coach Pete Carroll: "[Lynch] had a good workout [Monday] and he should be on track [to return to practice on] Thursday."

Joe Nicholson/USA TODAY Sports

Ranking the NFL's six unbeaten teams

The biggest decision comes at No. 1, where there's a close call between the Packers and Patriots. The superb 6 (Insider)

USA TODAY Sports, AP Photos

David Newton ESPN Staff Writer 

Panthers linebacker Luke Kuechly has been cleared from the concussion protocol to practice today, a league source told ESPN.com. Kuechly has been out since suffering a concussion late in the first half of the Sept. 13 opener.

Rich Cimini ESPN Staff Writer 

The retiring Steve Spurrier didn't last long in the NFL, but it was long enough to create bad blood with the Jets. In 2003, the Redskins were dubbed the "Jetskins" after signing 4 of their free agents, including Laveranues Coles. Spurrier and Jets assistant Mike Westhoff had a heated exchange at a Miami restaurant when Spurrier bragged he was going to steal more free agents from New York.

NFL Week 5 in emojis

Sarina Morales recaps the week with the help of her trusty emojis and says it's a really bad idea to make Tom Brady angry.


Unpredictable Spurrier turned predictable
College Football 

But Paul Finebaum recounts for Mike & Mike a quote regarding Steve Spurrier: "'Blindfolded with his back to the wall, hands tied behind him, Steve Spurrier would be a two-point favorite at his own execution.'"

College Football 

Shaq on current state of the Lakers

"When you mean 'turn it around,' do you mean a championship? Because that's done. That's not happening unless they make a miraculous trade and get four new people. Who do they have on the Lakers? I'm not sure. I'm not joking. Do they even have anyone to trade that somebody would want?" Lakers' new reality

Sport Science: Fournette's dominance
College Football 

LSU star Leonard Fournette is fast. How fast? He can make a cut faster than the blink of an eye.

College Football 

Carter: Will Grier's suspension too harsh
College Football 

Cris Carter compares the Florida QB's suspension to that of pro TE Antonio Gates. Said Carter: "I think that rule is a little severe for a college kid."

College Football 

How Grier loss impacts Florida
College Football 

The numbers show that the play of Florida QB Will Grier was a huge factor in the Gators' 6-0 start. But now he's suspended, and Florida has to figure out how to keep winning without him. Impact (Insider)

Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports
College Football 

Hewitt to be honored at Australian Open

Former world No. 1 Lleyton Hewitt, now ranked No. 296, will receive a wild-card entry into January's Australian Open. The 34-year-old Australian, who finished runner-up in 2005, is likely to retire after next season.

Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Maisel: Steve Spurrier opened up SEC
College Football 

When Spurrier arrived at Florida, passing was an admission of weakness in the SEC. By 1990, the Fun 'n' Gun had arrived. Florida not only went 9-2, but the Gators did it while throwing for 290.6 yards per game. SEC's football evolution

Scott Halleran/Getty Images
College Football