Sports Editors:
Football Editors:
Digest of NFL preview stories for the weekend of Aug. 30-31. Questions should be directed to John Affleck at (212) 621-1630. For repeats, call the service desk: 1-800-838-4616.
ALBANY, N.Y. - A year ago, anyone suggesting Eli Manning was among the NFL's top quarterbacks would have been ridiculed. This year, one televised analysis of QBs began by listing them from the top: ``Tom Brady, the Mannings ...'' The plural includes Eli, of course. That's what being a Super Bowl MVP will do for a player. By Football Writer Dave Goldberg. AP Photos NY180-182 of Aug. 27.
ALAMEDA, Calif. - The defensive coordinator was fired until the owner said he wasn't. The head coach wanted to be fired, while the owner wanted him to resign. The $55 million wide receiver got beat up and robbed in Las Vegas and then wanted to retire in training camp before being talked out of it by the owner. That's just a few of the oddities that went on this offseason for the Oakland Raiders. By Josh Dubow. AP Photo planned.
CINCINNATI - The electronic billboard message went up almost as soon as Chris Henry signed his contract.
``CHRIS HENRY AGAIN?'' the black-and-orange message flashed along a busy interstate. ``ARE YOU SERIOUS?'' Yes, the receiver who had repeatedly embarrassed the Cincinnati Bengals was back with the team. Owner Mike Brown was serious about giving Henry what amounted to a sixth chance, even though the head coach didn't want him and a local judge had deemed him a ``one-man crime wave.'' By Joe Kay.
GREEN BAY, Wis. - After shaking off a month's worth of turmoil, Aaron Rodgers has emerged as a steady, poised player - and, quite possibly, a pretty good quarterback. A talented defense is trying to shake off a preseason filled with injuries and inconsistency to assume the leadership role coach Mike McCarthy has given them. And don't forget about running back Ryan Grant, or a group of receivers that's hard to cover and even harder to tackle. In short, the Green Bay Packers are moving forward without No. 4. By Chris Jenkins. AP Photo NY183 of Aug. 27
h ``America's Team.'' Imagine then the surprising comment by Stephen Jones, the team's vice president and owner's son, ``It's been uneventful, hasn't it?'' By Stephen Hawkins. AP Photos NY184-187 of Aug. 27
NEW YORK - On Dec. 28, 1958, the Baltimore Colts beat the New York Giants 23-17 in overtime for the NFL title. It's since been dubbed ``the greatest game ever played'' and certainly, it was thrilling and important. But there have many games that could compete for the title. Here are some of them. By Football Writer Dave Goldberg. AP Photos NY177-179 of Aug. 27

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