For decades, the NFL has taken many measures to make sure talent is spread around the league evenly and that every team can have a fighting shot. It's natural, then, for teams to try almost anything, no matter how wild, to gain the slightest advantage.
This season, however, at least three teams have decided to tackle one of the simplest competitive issues imaginable: making sure their players get enough sleep before games.
The Baltimore Ravens and San Francisco 49ers spent the summer tearing through sleep studies—some of them commissioned by the U.S. military—looking for ways they might help their players improve their performance by sleeping more like teenagers. "We've looked at quite a few of them," said San Francisco coach Jim Harbaugh.