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Judy Battista

Judy Battista


Judy Battista joined NFL Media in August 2013 after almost 15 years with the New York Times, where she covered the NFL nationally since 2004. Battista also served as a reporter for Newsday and the Miami Herald. In her role as NFL Media reporter, Battista writes stories for NFL.com and appears on NFL Network programming.
December

PHILADELPHIA -- Tony Romo's T-shirt read "Execute," which, a scant season ago, might have elicited a morbid John McKay-esque joke about what some people would have been in favor of doing to Romo and the Dallas Cowboys after another late-season unraveling.... more

Aaron M. Sprecher/NFL Patriots coach Bill Belichick shows off his Bose headset during a frigid game. FRAMINGHAM, Mass. -- For the first few weeks of the season, the engineers at Bose headquarters cringed each time Chuck Pagano slammed his... more

Judy Battista highlights the storylines and factors to pay attention to in Week 15, beginning with a division marked by futility and continuing below with 10 more things to watch . It took just a few hours Tuesday to sum up the chaos and confusion, the... more

PHILADELPHIA -- The boom is back for the Seattle Seahawks, but the best time for a critique is in the middle of a loud, crowded celebration. And Richard Sherman is not entirely satisfied. Philadelphia's first touchdown , which came off a short field... more

Judy Battista highlights the storylines and factors to pay attention to in Week 14, beginning with an unlikely career renaissance and continuing below with 10 more things to watch . Before his career retrospective was reduced to an inglorious... more

The beauty of late-season football is that every team looks more like itself: more complete in the best cases, often more flawed, but always more true. The long weekend of games that set up the final month of the 2014 regular season was no different, and... more

November

In her decision to vacate Ray Rice's indefinite suspension, Judge Barbara S. Jones leveled an indictment more damning than her finding that NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell acted arbitrarily in handing Rice a second, harsher suspension after the video of... more

Judy Battista highlights the storylines and factors to pay attention to in Week 13, beginning with the Green Bay Packers' deep-threat extraordinaire and continuing below with 10 more things to watch . To Jordy Nelson, this all has a simple explanation,... more

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- The smile spread across Jerry Jones' face as he held court in the middle of the locker room. This is his little ritual, almost always in good times -- and often in bad, too, though this was most definitely one of the good ones.... more

Judy Battista highlights the storylines and factors to pay attention to in Week 12, beginning with the ever-evolving New England Patriots and continuing below with 10 more things to watch . After Jonas Gray scored the second of his four touchdowns... more

In trying to sort through the policy machinations and personal and political motivations surrounding Adrian Peterson, as well as the super-heated atmosphere in which the NFL suspended him for the rest of the season on Tuesday, one thing has remained... more

INDIANAPOLIS -- Jonas Gray approached his locker and the unfamiliar sight of a cluster of reporters waiting for him and staring at his backpack and lip balm and blurted out, "You stole my secrets!" The Patriots let the secret out Sunday night,... more

Judy Battista highlights the storylines and factors to pay attention to in Week 11, beginning with the NFL's aerial evolution and continuing below with 10 more things to watch . When Andrew Luck and the Indianapolis Colts face the New England Patriots... more

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. -- When the Kansas City Chiefs completed their first comeback this season from a double-digit deficit to beat the Buffalo Bills 17-13 Sunday , running back Jamaal Charles was thinking about Indianapolis. The Colts were the opponent... more

Judy Battista highlights the storylines and factors to pay attention to in Week 10, beginning with Big Ben's recent offensive explosion and continuing below with 10 more things to watch . Just before training camp began this summer, Ben Roethlisberger... more

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Maybe Peyton Manning hadn't heard Patriots fans chanting "Bra-dy's bet-ter" late in the fourth quarter while he sat on the bench in the cold. He almost certainly wouldn't have cared even if he had, although he did glare into the crowd... more

October

Judy Battista highlights the storylines and factors to pay attention to in Week 9, beginning with Manning-Brady XVI and continuing below with 10 more things to watch . FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- The less glamorous reality of one of football's greatest... more

The 2014 NFL season is at the halfway point, and while there are some who would surely like a do-over (we're looking at you, Rex Ryan), some teams are already contemplating playoff seeding rather than ceding the season. Below is a look at who stands... more

Judy Battista highlights the storylines and factors to pay attention to in Week 8, beginning with a surprising strength for Indianapolis and continuing below with 10 more things to watch . On a snowy January afternoon nearly three years ago, a week... more

DENVER -- Perhaps the most relieved person in Denver on Sunday night -- after Peyton Manning -- was Joe Horrigan, the longtime spokesman for the Pro Football Hall of Fame who was charged with bringing back the football that Manning would throw for his... more

Judy Battista highlights the storylines and factors to pay attention to in Week 7, beginning with an emerging terror at the tight end position and continuing with 10 more things to watch below . Each week, the cut-up arrives for Julius Thomas of... more

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- In another season, in a different circumstance, Rex Ryan might have seen the game for what it was: a rebound effort against the most important rival, led by a poised, confident quarterback that should provide a sliver of optimism for... more

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- On the field after the game, Rex Ryan shook Peyton Manning's hand and said something Manning was probably uncomfortable hearing. "It's been an honor," Ryan told Manning. Perhaps Ryan was just verbalizing what most opponents... more

Judy Battista highlights the storylines and factors to pay attention to in Week 6, beginning with the renaissance of a high-profile division and continuing with 10 more things to watch below . Antrel Rolle, the New York Giants safety who talks as hard... more

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- For a few weeks, it had felt like perhaps it was time to finally believe our eyes when the New England Patriots played. Maybe they really had been outclassed in personnel; maybe the one person who had elevated the Patriots for 13... more

Judy Battista highlights the storylines and factors to pay attention to in Week 5, beginning with the reunion of two fine football minds and continuing with 10 more things to watch below . It was only a few weeks before he would be released by the... more

September

Aaron Rodgers told everyone to R-E-L-A-X last week, and that turned out to be good advice. After all, even in the eternally unpredictable NFL -- the Arizona Cardinals and Cincinnati Bengals, once league laughingstocks, are now the only undefeated teams... more

Judy Battista highlights the storylines and factors to pay attention to in Week 4, beginning with one purported contender's Achilles' heel and continuing with 10 more things to watch below . Randy Cross still watches the San Francisco 49ers closely... more

PHILADELPHIA -- You couldn't blame the Washington Redskins if they looked across the field during a feisty, vicious road loss  and wondered if -- maybe hoped -- that is where they were heading. Kirk Cousins only made trickier what now seems like will... more

NEW YORK -- There was real news to come out of NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell's tense press conference Friday. The personal conduct policy -- previously the exclusive domain of the commissioner's office, to the constant dismay of players who bitingly... more

Week 3 of the 2014 NFL season is finally here -- and as she does every week, Judy Battista highlights the storylines and factors to pay attention to, beginning with a new lease on life for the Buffalo Bills franchise and continuing with 10 more things to... more

When Bill Polian was in his final months as president of the Indianapolis Colts and scouting players for the team to take with what would become the first overall pick of the 2012 NFL Draft -- a selection that Polian's successor, Ryan Grigson, would end... more

One of the biggest surprises of the opening weekend of the 2014 season was the uncharacteristic meltdown -- melt might be the operative word here -- of the New England Patriots, who relinquished a 10-point halftime lead, were shut out in the second half... more

It was difficult to watch the Dallas Cowboys' opening day debacle and not wonder two things: 1) Was Jerry Jones thinking about the quarterback who got away ? 2) What is there to think about the quarterback he is tied to? Everybody had a good chuckle... more

DENVER -- Last March, when John Elway introduced his prized free agent DeMarcus Ware, which followed by only a few minutes the introduction of his other prized free agent Aqib Talib, which came not long after the introduction of the very first prized free... more

For months, we expected the Denver Broncos' regular-season opener against the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday night to be a referendum on John Elway's offseason efforts to toughen up the Broncos as they try to become the first Super Bowl loser to return to... more

SEATTLE -- This is not something you hear from a team that just played its first game after winning the Super Bowl. "Everything is finally clicking. Everybody is on the same page." Now they're clicking? Apparently so for the Seattle Seahawks... more

Drew Brees watches quarterbacks differently than the rest of us do, of course, with a far greater understanding of the fine points of their performance and an empathy for the conditions that shape their careers. The New Orleans Saints star pays close... more

August

In his defeat, Michael Sam still scored a small victory Saturday afternoon. His release from the St. Louis Rams as they set their roster was strictly a football decision, with Sam a victim of numbers on a team that probably had only one open spot on a... more

It might appear as if Johnny Manziel -- and his pro day with a president , his friendships with Floyd Mayweather, Justin Bieber and LeBron James, his maybe/almost/can you imagine near-miss as the Dallas Cowboys' draft pick , his inflatable swan -- owned... more

Almost immediately, the NFL realized it had made a mistake in suspending Ray Rice for just two games in late July for his involvement in a domestic violence case. By the time Commissioner Roger Goodell arrived in Canton, Ohio, for the Hall of Fame... more

This was two weeks ago and already the Cleveland Browns were frustrated. Training camp had reached the dog days, a quarterback competition was in full, not-terribly-reassuring swing and still the Browns were waiting on Josh Gordon. They knew then... more

The most important preseason games are over and with just 10 days to go until the regular season begins, a clearer-eyed assessment of teams is replacing the optimism that greets the opening of training camps. In a lot of cases, that's good. If, for... more

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Victor Cruz was posing for pictures in the locker room Friday night, as sure a sign as any that things are slowly getting back to normal for the Giants. There wasn't much that anybody would want a souvenir of this preseason from... more

LANDOVER, Md. -- The highlight of the night for the Cleveland Browns' starting offense Monday, the night on which their quarterback competition was supposed to be culminating, was a field goal. On a drive that featured no completions. On a drive that... more

BEREA, Ohio -- When finally a quarterback question came Saturday morning -- after those about Buster Skrine, Desmond Bryant, Josh Gordon and a raucous practice fight delayed the inevitable -- Cleveland Browns coach Mike Pettine began to answer, then... more

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- It was just another chilly practice late last October, and Philadelphia Eagles coach Chip Kelly was fretting about what he called "instability" among his quarterbacks. Michael Vick's hamstring was balky again, sending the starter to... more

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- The New York Jets hope to come out of the preseason with what the Indianapolis Colts have had for two years -- a never-in-question, never-out-of-the-game quarterback around whom to build. The Jets got to see what that is like up... more

CANTON, Ohio -- Back in the spring, when the NFL decided to experiment with its extra point, it must have imagined something better than this: kickers booming their extra points in the first game of the season, making a mockery of the greater distance and... more

CANTON, Ohio -- The gold jacket hung a little loosely on his shoulders as the other Hall of Famers rose to applaud Jim Kelly. The multitudes of Buffalo Bills fans, who had made the trip for Andre Reed's enshrinement, roared when he was introduced before... more

Only a few days had passed since he'd been elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2001, and Mike Munchak was still numb. He was in Hawaii for the Pro Bowl, and at a meeting that brought the full class together for the first time, someone was going... more

July

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Rob Gronkowski's arrival on the field at New England Patriots training camp was greeted by the loudest cheers of an overcast Thursday morning, appropriate for a person who possesses so much of the team's offensive dynamism in his... more

With the end to the offseason of the inflatable swan , NFL training camps are opening. That means two things. The part of the year that makes coaches and general managers most nervous -- when they have less contact and less control over players, sending... more

June

PITTSBURGH -- In the soaring old cathedral and on the steaming gridiron, Pittsburgh marked the inevitable passage of time this week. Churches and football fields are both places for worship in this city. The bishop who led Tuesday's funeral mass for... more

Of all the things that could have delighted Peyton Manning after Denver buried the defending champion Baltimore Ravens to open last season, it was the least-anticipated participant in the Broncos' 49-point offensive onslaught that brought the slyest... more

There wasn't much to the public profile of Chuck Noll, which is how he wanted it. He never accepted endorsement deals and didn't write a book detailing his coaching philosophies. The late Pittsburgh broadcaster Myron Cope dubbed him The Emperor, and that... more

The obituaries for the Atlanta Falcons' defense came soon after the team announced that linebacker Sean Weatherspoon, who tore his Achilles tendon while jogging during a workout with trainers this week, will miss the 2014 season. The loss of... more

INDIANAPOLIS -- The making from scratch of an NFL player begins at about 5:30 each morning at Erik Swoope's home near the Indianapolis Colts' training center. He prepares his own breakfast and then cues up his first tape session of the day -- usually not... more

In the first few hours after the San Francisco 49ers announced a new contract extension for Colin Kaepernick on Wednesday, it was easy to think that the Niners had made a considerable gamble -- to the tune of $61 million in guaranteed money -- that... more

May

Evan Pinkus/Associated Press Just seven weeks after undergoing ankle surgery, Eli Manning is getting into the groove of a new offense. EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- It was only a tiny jump pass and just a little rollout, but this is what... more

The first time Bill Parcells jilted the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, in 1991, he said the task of assuming complete control and rebuilding the franchise was simply too big. The second time he did it, little more than a decade later -- another jilting, different... more

Up until a few days before he died, Ralph Wilson, the late Buffalo Bills owner, talked about the draft -- he was intrigued by some of the safeties -- with the team's CEO, Russ Brandon. It seems ironic, then, that it was the Bills' draft that cast a light... more

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- Michael Vick would like to clarify something about his final season in Philadelphia, the one that began with him winning an open training-camp competition and effectively ended with an injury that allowed for the emergence of his... more

ATLANTA -- When the Seattle Seahawks won the NFC West with a 7-9 record in 2010, the question was whether a team with a losing record should be allowed to host a game against an opponent with a better mark. The Seahawks might have supplied the answer when... more

ATLANTA -- Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay, appearing in public for the first time since his March arrest for allegedly driving while intoxicated and possession of a controlled substance, declined to discuss his personal situation in a 12-minute... more

CINCINNATI -- Andy Dalton was already gone by the time reporters got into the Cincinnati Bengals' locker room this week. An intentional disappearing act or not, it was just as well. Brooks: Draft grades Bucky Brooks performs a division-by-division... more

NEW YORK -- Did you see the video of the moment Michael Sam heard Jeff Fisher tell him he was going to be a St. Louis Ram? When Sam folded into himself and began to weep, with exhaustion, probably, and also with relief? It was a seminal, if long overdue,... more

NEW YORK -- Johnny Manziel barely had time to shed his draft night angst at a late-night party before he received a good look at what he was in for at his new home, at the extreme expectation and staggering burden he will bear as the latest designated... more

NEW YORK -- Johnny Manziel was experiencing the 2014 NFL Draft in reverse. All around him in the green room, the camera would run to surround the table inhabited by the latest pick. They went to Jadeveon Clowney across a narrow aisle first, and Manziel... more

A general manager was trying to predict what would happen at the beginning of the 2014 NFL Draft this week, and he didn't sound much more certain than anybody else. "My best guess is, (Jadeveon) Clowney goes (No. 1), but I don't know who picks him,"... more

April

Peter Morgan/Associated Press After a disastrous 2013 season, 26-year-old QB Josh Freeman looks to prove himself worthy of starting once more. EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- It was difficult not to notice the dynamics at work when the New York... more

The making of the NFL schedule is what Howard Katz, the league's scheduling guru, has called his annual ritual of finding out how stupid he is. After more than two months of sorting through thousands of potential schedules, pondering logistics (stadiums... more

The Oakland Raiders are gathering to start their 2014 offseason program on Tuesday, a day that must feel to the denizens of the Black Hole like an annual leap of faith. Gone by that time will be Terrelle Pryor, the most recent in a long string of... more

The release of the 2014 NFL schedule is still at least a few days away, but the new season really begins next week, when every team will be back together for the start of offseason workouts. Offseason Dates The NFL offseason workout program calendar... more

Do you want a good guess at what Jim Harbaugh's offseason has been like? Let Marvin Lewis explain. Back in 2006, Lewis was in his fourth year as the Cincinnati Bengals' head coach, still relatively early in the turnaround that transformed the... more

By now it is plain what is happening to Chris Johnson, and what has happened to many running backs this offseason. The three-time Pro Bowl back has been devalued, his 28-year-old legs being viewed with about the same trepidation and suspicion as the... more

Wilfredo Lee/Associated Press A misconduct issue involving Richie Incognito (left) and Jonathan Martin put the NFL workplace under scrutiny. Nearly two dozen players, coaches, owners and top league and NFL Players Association officials met at... more

Lovie Smith finally got to move into his new home over the weekend, long after the billboards welcoming the Buccaneers' coach were erected along Tampa's congested roads, back when the other professional ballplayers in town were reporting for spring... more

The announcement Wednesday morning slipped in under cover of the news around DeSean Jackson. The New York Giants had signed defensive end Robert Ayers -- the 13th veteran added by the team in the three weeks since free agency began. In that way, it was a... more

March

The public courting of DeSean Jackson began in Washington, D.C. on Monday afternoon , not far down the road -- though a bit further in the NFC East standings -- from Philadelphia, where Jackson spent the first six seasons of his NFL career. But that... more

It was difficult not to feel the passage of time at the NFL Annual Meeting in Orlando, Fla., which concluded Wednesday. The newest wave of general managers looks younger than ever. And for the second time in a little more than two weeks, owners mourned... more

ORLANDO, Fla. -- Chip Kelly approached his table at the NFL Annual Meeting on Wednesday morning with a look of bemusement on his face. A few feet away, Pete Carroll and his Super Bowl championship drew a relatively small clutch of reporters at the NFC... more

ORLANDO, Fla. -- Bill Belichick at the NFL Annual Meeting is The Hoodie in repose: a flip-flop-wearing, fitness-tracker-bearing, Florida Gators-visor-clutching version of the sweatshirt-cocooned coach. But a few things about Belichick are inviolate, no... more

ORLANDO, Fla. -- The Miami Dolphins bullying scandal is continuing to reverberate through the league, with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell scheduled to meet with union leadership next month to discuss workplace culture. And as the NFL Annual Meeting opened... more

ORLANDO, Fla. -- Even before the NFL Annual Meeting moves into full swing Monday, the league's Competition Committee met Sunday to review what might turn out to be the least significant set of rules changes in several years. In recent years, owners have... more

Perhaps the New York Jets' signing of Michael Vick to push Geno Smith -- coupled with the long-anticipated end of the Mark Sanchez era -- will help fill the fans' bottomless vessel for action. Maybe general manager John Idzik's calm, measured... more

The big-ticket wave of free agency effectively ended over the weekend, and now the bargain-hunters -- and they are often one and the same as the smartest teams -- are picking through what is left. Just because the first week is over doesn't mean the... more

Let's start with a disclaimer: Remember Philadelphia's dream team. Vince Young's catchy nickname for the 2011 Eagles caught on in a way that the team's haul of free agents that year certainly never did. It still stands as a cautionary tale for those who... more

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- DeMarcus Ware did not even recognize cornerback Aqib Talib sitting a few rows behind him Wednesday morning, because after all, even NFL stars don't settle into first class expecting to see a potential new teammate a few seats away. But... more

EDITOR'S NOTE: Judy Battista wrote this piece before DeMarcus Ware agreed to a three-year contract with the Denver Broncos on Wednesday. Almost immediately after the Dallas Cowboys selected DeMarcus Ware in the first round of the 2005 NFL Draft, Bill... more

The football epitaphs for William Clay Ford Sr. will focus on the Detroit Lions' record in the 50 years he owned the team, the one playoff victory more than 20 years ago, the failure to reach a Super Bowl. Ford, who died Sunday at age 88, never knew the... more

Gary Wiepert/Associated Press The future fortunes of Fred Jackson's Buffalo Bills depend on fans' willingness to embrace the team. Even before the Buffalo Bills played their first regular-season game in Toronto just over five years ago, Scott... more

The NFL Competition Committee has discussed experimenting this preseason with a longer -- much longer -- extra-point try. According to one member, the committee's meetings this weekend included preliminary talks about placing the ball at the 25-yard line... more

February

Linemen often joke that holding happens on every play, but it doesn't get called. That might change soon. The NFL is considering a plan for the 2014 preseason that would add an eighth official to focus on interior line play, the league's head of... more

Tony Gutierrez/Associated Press Jerry Jones has presided over seismic growth since purchasing the Dallas Cowboys 25 years ago. Near the conclusion of the negotiations that ended the NFL's lockout nearly three years ago, New York Giants... more

When Jadeveon Clowney blazed through his 40-yard dash at the NFL Scouting Combine on Monday morning, clocking an official time of 4.53 seconds , he crystallized the Houston Texans' latest conundrum. There hasn't been any question that Clowney is the... more

The sordid behavior of the Miami Dolphins' locker room finally blasted, in all its cringe-worthy detail, into the public Friday morning , a rather classic case of bullying writ as large as the men whom attorney Ted Wells concluded perpetrated it. It... more

When Anthony Becht was a tight end prospect from West Virginia in 2000, he prepared for his workouts with NFL teams by training with a speed guru based in Chicago. The training was track-specific -- "Something I would never use on-field," Becht said --... more

Late Sunday night, the text from an NFL team's personnel executive arrived: "You grade and rank him like all the other DEs." Perhaps that executive is a Pollyanna for the shoulder pad set, hoping to see only smooth sailing through even the thorniest... more

Michael Vick spent part of Super Bowl week making the media rounds , essentially becoming a pitchman for a product that might've increased in value through relative dormancy. Vick, who turns 34 in June, remains one of the NFL's most compelling figures,... more

NEW YORK -- Malcolm Smith had been glancing at the shiny, silver football on a pedestal Monday morning. He took the keys to a new truck , answered a few questions, joked about being dressed for a trip to Disney World -- all in an early day's work for the... more

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- The woman in the orange hat pushed a small blanket toward him, and Peyton Manning paused and took the pen. He signed it, offered a small smile -- hers was much bigger -- and walked on, toward another small cluster of people with... more

JERSEY CITY, N.J. -- The jerseys that have piled up in his locker this week -- all with those polite but pointed notes from teammates "sign this for me" -- are just another reminder to Peyton Manning that the light he says he sees at the end of the tunnel... more

January

NEWARK, N.J. -- John Elway didn't have enough time with the one personnel expert whose insight he most wanted. The player whose transcendent moment came when he was racing the clock was unable to rewind it to grasp the wisdom he'd later need. And so... more

JERSEY CITY, N.J. -- One is so new that his curly hairstyle has elicited attention this week . The other is so familiar that he is asked incessantly about his exit plan , as if there is a rush to send him to his creeping retirement. Before the final game... more

There was a light dusting of snow on the field when the Denver Broncos resumed practice last week, perfect preparation conditions for a Super Bowl that will be unlike anything we've seen in a long time -- where mere visible-puff-of-breath cold will be... more

The Mannings have developed an extraordinary family routine for Super Bowls, in that any family that actually has the need for a routine surrounding the Super Bowl is extraordinary. Two years ago, when the New York Giants were preparing to face the... more

Sixteen organizations have been selected to receive grants of $300,000 to assist their research into tools to diagnose and treat brain injuries, including concussions. The grants come from the Head Health Challenge, a $20 million program launched last... more

The Denver Broncos surely had shaken the confetti from their hair and were watching by the time Richard Sherman tipped the potential game-winning touchdown pass into the air , sending the San Francisco 49ers' Super Bowl hopes spinning along with the ball... more

DENVER -- It was less than 18 months ago, after a training camp practice on a warm, late summer day, that Peyton Manning began a story. On NFL Network NFL Replay will re-air the Denver Broncos' 26-16 win over the New England Patriots in the... more

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- John Elway sat up in his box last Sunday , watching the Denver Broncos' lead wither away. Elway, of course, was the architect of many Broncos victories, and his career arc remains a romantic ideal: He retired after the 1998 season as a... more

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- The awkward exodus from New England is well behind Wes Welker by now, leaving in its wake only judgments about whether the Patriots' struggle to retool their offense would have been quite so grinding had the receiver remained. Maybe... more

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- Chris Harris Jr., the tape review shows, had just one substandard game this season, and it was against New England. In that late-November Broncos loss , Harris, Denver's best cover cornerback, frequently drew the unenviable matchup... more

DENVER -- Most of the stadium lights were already out Sunday night and the parking lots were emptying, but Peyton Manning was back briefly on the sideline in his suit, glancing over his shoulder, watching his son scamper around the end zone. It has been... more

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- The enduring visual of the Denver Broncos' most recent painful surprise was of Peyton Manning taking warmup throws on the sideline, glancing regularly, maybe a little longingly, toward the field. He paced, he stared, he put his hands... more

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- After the season ends each year, Peyton Manning takes his notebook to a meeting with his coaches. It is filled with his thoughts of the weaknesses he perceives in his game and the things he wants to work on in the upcoming offseason,... more

When the New Orleans Saints and San Francisco 49ers won their respective playoff games on last-second field goals this past weekend, they left the field with more than just divisional-round access. They took with them, once and for all, the idea that the... more

PHILADELPHIA -- Chip Kelly and Nick Foles were too new to the NFL this season to have reputations and reams of damning statistics to label them. They were blank slates and that was to their advantage last week. In the run-up to Saturday night's NFC Wild... more

The Philadelphia Eagles hold their daily news conferences outdoors, providing, when temperatures plummet, amusing shots of ski-capped reporters looking as if they are covering an event in the Ukraine while awaiting appearances from coaches and players... more

To understand how a single high school in an affluent community of Austin, Texas, could produce -- a decade apart -- the two quarterbacks who face off Saturday night in the playoffs , it might help to know the way in which this extraordinary intersection... more

December

The decision to fire -- or not fire -- an NFL head coach is fraught with myriad variables, from the sublime to the ridiculous. From the money remaining on his contract, to who ownership thinks it could lure, to how that young quarterback might be set back... more

In Dallas this week, the hope was that a doctor's shot injected into Tony Romo's back would relieve the pain caused by his herniated disk. In Green Bay, they gazed at scans, trying to determine if incremental healing of Aaron Rodgers' collarbone had... more

Throughout the season, with the defensive collapses and the head-scratching play-calling and the oddly timed votes of confidence , there has been at least one constant about the Dallas Cowboys: Tony Romo and his never-full landfill of blame. The... more

The New England Patriots are not given to introspection. Bill Belichick does not rank his victories in public and does not pronounce certain games more important than others. The next man up is king for the Patriots, the next game the only one that... more

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Three weeks ago, before the Carolina Panthers received a short-term reality check from the New Orleans Saints, Luke Kuechly pronounced a change in his teammate Cam Newton . Newton had thrown two interceptions against the Tampa Bay... more

Torrey Smith was just like everyone else Monday night , watching Justin Tucker line up for a 61-yard field-goal attempt with the Baltimore Ravens' season on the line. Unlike everyone else, Smith is a wide receiver for the Ravens, a team that has been as... more

It is tempting to watch the Dallas Cowboys with a hand over your eyes, peeking through splayed fingers, the way you view a horror movie. The Cowboys are nothing if not that right now, a slowly unspooling Nightmare In Jerry's World , starting out... more

MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. -- There was Tom Brady, slumped in a black metal chair in the hallway outside the Patriots' locker room, quietly holding his wife's hand and talking to his offensive coordinator. Brady had cursed on live television, and then cut his... more

In the first team meeting after the injury of a certain star player, New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick did not spend much time talking about the player who had been lost for the season, delivering a message that one player who was there summed up... more

The quote that will resonate from Mike Shanahan's shockingly raw news conference Wednesday, in which the Washington Redskins coach sought to address everything from his decision to deactivate Robert Griffin III for the rest of the season to his own job... more

The sense of doom began to set in early, even when things were deceptively perfect for the Carolina Panthers. They were churning out their methodical, clock-chewing drives, their defense had forced a three-and-out, and Drew Brees was on the sideline... more

Luke Kuechly showed up for work Monday morning and saw the latest sign of the Carolina Panthers' renaissance. There were a half-dozen other players gathered by his locker, hanging out together on a day off. Coach Ron Rivera had given the Panthers a... more

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The question was amusing for its bald honesty: Did Peyton Manning know how badly the Kansas City Chiefs and their fans wanted to beat him? Alex Smith will never inspire that kind of fear and loathing in an opponent's locker room or... more

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Only one week ago, as the Denver Broncos headed into a frigid Foxborough night, the hand-wringing was especially white-knuckled. The Broncos had lost to the New England Patriots and some of Peyton Manning's passes had fluttered in a... more

November

The New York Giants' season is probably over, but give them credit for one thing: Tom Coughlin is the rare coach to admit that he scoreboard-watches. In fact, Coughlin showed his team the standings each week, as a way to remind them that despite an 0-6... more

Many times, over many years, Peyton Manning has forced coaches to make gamble-the-reputation choices to combat him. Go for it on fourth-and-2 from deep in your own territory rather than trust your defense to stop him. Try an onside kick to open the... more

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- At some point, the trail of tail lights leaving the parking lots dimmed. But if those drivers, determined to beat the traffic home during a shocking blowout, had put their cars in reverse on the roads outside Gillette Stadium on... more

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Early on the morning after the New York Giants won their most recent Super Bowl, Tom Coughlin stood in a hotel ballroom and mused that he would soon enough be back on the hot seat. It probably would happen the following season, he... more

DENVER -- He was not going to discuss his health, but it was plain to see. Peyton Manning's ankles had been heavily taped Sunday night, concealing what appeared to be a brace on the right one, and the game plan was one of an immobilized quarterback. That... more

DENVER -- Perhaps when they meet again in two weeks in the cacophony of Kansas City, it will be different. Maybe Alex Smith will be able to squeeze more out of the Chiefs' moribund offense. Maybe K.C.'s defense will be able to use the crowd noise to help... more

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- A missed practice by Peyton Manning is a rarity, so unusual during his long, durable career that when it happened Wednesday , as the Denver Broncos were preparing for their biggest game of the season so far, it sent a brief shudder... more

You could have written the story of the Dallas Cowboys' season -- or, really, their recent history -- from just a brief glimpse at Tony Romo on Sunday night. Right before halftime against the New Orleans Saints , when an avalanche of points already had... more

From the very beginning, Chuck Pagano kept a depth chart beside his hospital bed. When the chemotherapy weakened him, Indianapolis Colts general manager Ryan Grigson would stop by and move the names to keep it current. The texts and phone calls from... more

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. -- In the cramped locker room after their ninth victory, the Kansas City Chiefs were talking about the little things. The ill-timed penalties. The dropped passes. The misfires from the quarterback. Besides running a perfect... more

October

PHILADELPHIA -- A few hundred miles away from here, the Buffalo Bills were waiting to find out if the quarterback who had been elevated from their practice squad earlier this year would be healthy enough to start this weekend against the NFL's only... more

As the Dallas Cowboys melted down Sunday afternoon , Dez Bryant launched into a frustration-fueled tirade . Despite substantial TV airtime of the incident, it was difficult to lip-read what the star wide receiver was screaming, what Jason Witten was... more

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- We saw, for a moment this week, a flashback to the old Rex Ryan , from the days before the vagaries of directing a teetering team under a new general manager sapped the New York Jets coach of his bluster and bravado. It was sparked... more

It has been almost two years since Jim Irsay mused aloud about what he was about to do: host a Super Bowl while preparing for the departure of the very reason the game had been given to Indianapolis. Irsay knew then what he had planned for Peyton Manning,... more

INDIANAPOLIS -- The tribute had been touching and blissfully brief, the reaction poignant. Peyton Manning's reintroduction to Indianapolis Colts fans probably was as special as he could have hoped for -- those in the crowd rose to cheer him, and they... more

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- There is a picture of Peyton Manning in the rear corner of the Lucas Oil Stadium press box. It's of his back, and he appears to be about to emerge from a tunnel into bright sunshine, the horseshoe still on his helmet, his relationship... more

The New England Patriots had a stunning statement victory over the New Orleans Saints on Sunday, and now they're preparing to play their most hated rivals, the New York Jets . That means a New England-centric mailbag, unfortunately without the lobster... more

The defining moment of Sean Payton's career -- the defining moment of the entire New Orleans Saints franchise, it turned out -- was his call for an onside kick to open the second half of Super Bowl XLIV . The rest is part of NFL lore: New Orleans... more

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- The state of the New England Patriots might have been summed up by a scene Sunday night. The dozens of reporters waiting for Kenbrell Thompkins in the din of a victorious Patriots locker room were spilling over into another player's... more

Maybe you would be offended at the disrespect that being one of the biggest underdogs in history signals. At the questions about whether Peyton Manning should even play in Sunday's game or just take the week off. At the dispatch from the Broncos' Twitter... more

The NFL's Tuesday announcement that it is adding a third game to the International Series at London's Wembley Stadium next year generated lots of questions and, more importantly, a good excuse to go listen to The Clash's "London Calling" (you should be... more

The play seemed to move in slow motion, like one of those movie scenes when you can sense the outcome and long to jump up to implore the actor not to go down that dark hallway or try to start his car. Before Danny Trevathan had even completed his dive... more

INDIANAPOLIS -- It all began a year ago this past weekend, it turns out, when Chuck Pagano left his team to seek cancer treatment and the Colts crawled to their locker room at halftime trailing the Green Bay Packers by 18 points. Had the shell-shocked... more

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- The scoreboard watching already has begun. This practice usually does not start until December, when the playoff spots are being doled out, picking up urgency as the desperation grows. But on Wednesday, Giants coach Tom Coughlin... more

This is something of a relief: There were a lot more questions this week about the NFC North than the NFC East. Let's hear it for good teams. Several of you -- like Eric Speck -- asked if Matt Cassel is the answer for the Minnesota Vikings. (You'll note... more

The play that will haunt the Atlanta Falcons this week, maybe this season, is the one constantly rerun in Sunday highlights: an airmailed, across-the-body Matt Ryan pass that sailed well over a wide-open Roddy White at the 3-yard line on fourth down.... more

September

When Mark Sanchez finally is released by the New York Jets after this season, with the $8 million that forestalled their divorce in his pocket and his labrum repaired by surgery , the quarterback's tenure in Gotham will be summed up with a series of... more

When Peyton Manning emerged from a cold tub late Monday night, shivering and trying to catch his breath in the middle of a news conference, it was a rare uncomfortable moment in the Denver Broncos' otherwise steely-eyed assault on defenses. Really, this... more

Elise Amendola / Associated Press NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell is dealing with many league issues, from player safety to season structure. The NFL continues to consider changes to its season structure -- from altering the preseason to... more

What we learned from reading this week's mailbag was pretty simple: Three games is enough time for panic and despondency to set in. Consider the New York Giants, who, at 0-3, already have sent at least a few fans peering into the abyss. Like Closet Righty... more

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- The New York Giants have a clock, just outside their main locker room, that counts down the days until Super Bowl XLVIII will be played at the end of the season in MetLife Stadium. On Monday, it read 131 days, which might seem... more

INDIANAPOLIS -- It is tempting to think that the Andrew Luck who alighted on the NFL last season, who is now perhaps its best young quarterback, emerged fully formed from Jim Harbaugh's Palo Alto laboratory. That, of course, is not wholly true.... more

INDIANAPOLIS -- The mood at the Colts' facility early Wednesday was somber, which is what happens when the head coach starts his press conference by announcing the surprising news that another player -- in this case, tight end Dwayne Allen -- is done for... more

Fans are a lot like coaches. They spend a lot more time worrying about the things that go wrong than they do celebrating the things that go right. For instance, this week's mailbag questions: Got Qs about Week 3? #AskJudy ! @judybattista Is the NFC... more

In the video the Miami Dolphins posted of their postgame locker room Sunday, coach Joe Philbin could be seen incongruously using note cards for his jubilant remarks. In front of a giddy-looking owner and a gleeful reminder of some of the team's glory... more

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- This was Peyton Manning in discomfort, no glimmer of a smile, little hint of happiness. Such is the toll these Manning Bowls take on him and his family, that the awkwardness of defeating his brother's team could dull even a... more

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Eli Manning grimaced this week at the mention of the Manning Bowl, and he probably isn't the only one to have done so, not even in his own family. There isn't much new to say about the Manning brothers as they prepare to play each... more

Your team so upsetting you could use a stay on a psychiatrist's sofa? Consider something cheaper and more fun: our weekly mailbag. Come here for answers to your football questions, but also for catharsis. We're looking at you, eternally-suffering Jets... more

The good news finally arrived for the Green Bay Packers on Monday night, a few hours after the clipped press conferences and the somber reconstructions, after the fight techniques were helpfully relayed from San Francisco and the defense could finally... more

DENVER -- The very first pass Peyton Manning threw in Denver seems a long time ago now -- two years, a few neck procedures and a crushing playoff loss separating the toss that nosedived into the ground at Coors Field during a private throwing session and... more

When the New York Jets and the Buffalo Bills finally named their starting quarterbacks this week, they reaffirmed a trend that even the historic game by Peyton Manning in Thursday's regular-season opener couldn't refute: The NFL is in the midst of a... more

In the hours after a settlement in the mammoth concussion lawsuit against the NFL was announced last week -- as retired players tried to figure out what it would mean for their care, as league executives exhaled at a significant threat removed -- a more... more

August

By Judy Battista In a conversation last winter, an NFL executive asked a reporter what the league needed to do to get better. The answer was an obvious one: Settle the mushrooming concussion lawsuits. No rules change, no television deal, no superstar... more

Predicting the 2013 NFL season Will Tom Brady be the MVP? Can the Bengals be stopped? Who will rise in the NFC East? Our analysts look into the future. More ... Each year, it feels like the run-up to the new NFL season grows longer and busier.... more

BALTIMORE -- The sulk has been sidelined, the towel thrown in. If there is good news to be gleaned about the Carolina Panthers offense this preseason -- and there has not been much so far -- it is that it has given quarterback Cam Newton plenty of... more

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Perhaps a primer on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' offense is in order. The team whose identity was for so long wrapped around its defense now possesses an upper-echelon offense, which ranked ninth in total yards, 10th in passing yards... more

LATROBE, Pa. -- When Troy Polamalu was still an emerging player in the NFL, Jerome Bettis, his veteran Pittsburgh Steelers teammate, gave the safety a bit of advice. Make sure the injuries you suffer during the season, Bettis warned, are completely erased... more

The New York Jets went back to practice Sunday, the rookie quarterback who many in the organization dearly hope can win the starting job limping along as surely as their chances for a clean resolution to a competition that has been tellingly tight.... more

When Bill Belichick strode to his lectern on July 24, handed his visor to an assistant and began one of the most somber -- and candid -- news conferences of his career, he provided an inadvertent display of one of the most important lessons from the... more

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