Football Ops

Football Ops

Protecting the integrity of the greatest game.

NFL Ops: Honoring the Game

It's our responsibility to strengthen the sport.

League Governance

Ensuring a consistent and fair game that is decided on the field, by the players.

NFL Rules Enforcement

Ensuring that players conduct themselves in a way that honors the sport and respects the game.

Fines & Appeals

The NFL's schedule of infractions and fines, and a process for appeal.

Economic & Social Impact

Honoring the league’s commitment to serve the communities where the game is played.

The NFL Ops Team

Meet the people behind NFL Operations.

The Game

The Game

Learn about the people, the jobs and the technology that deliver the best game possible to NFL fans across the U.S. and around the world. 

Gameday: Behind the Scenes

Countdown to kickoff: how NFL games happen.

Technology

In the NFL, balancing technology with tradition.

Impact of Television

How television has changed the game.

History of Instant Replay

Upon further review…

Creating the NFL Schedule

It takes hundreds of computers and four NFL executives to create the NFL's 256-game masterpiece.

The Players

The Players

Learn how NFL players have changed over time, how they’re developed and drafted and how the league works with them after their playing days are over.  

Evolution of the NFL Player

Creating an NFL player: from “everyman” to “superman.”

Development Pipeline

Supporting the next generation of players and fans.

Getting Into the Game

Preparing players of all ages for success at football’s highest level.

The NFL Draft

Introducing the next wave of NFL superstars. 

NFL Player Engagement

A look at the programs the NFL and its partners provide to help every player before, during and after his football career.

NFL Legends Community

Celebrating, educating, embracing and connecting all former NFL players with each other, their former teams and the league.

The Officials

The Officials

Discover the evolution of professional officiating, the weekly evaluation process and how the NFL identifies and develops the next generation of officials.

In Focus: History of the Official

“One thing hasn’t changed: the pressure. It will always be there.”

Inside NFL GameDay Central

The latest information from the NFL's officiating command center.

These Officials Are Really Good

Every week, officials take the field ready to put months of preparation, training and hard work on display, knowing that the whole world — and the Officiating Department — is watching.

Officiating Development

Officiating an NFL game takes years of training and experience. 

The Rules

The Rules

NFL Football Operations protects the integrity of the game by ensuring that the rules and the officiating are consistent and fair to all competitors.

In Focus: Evolution of the NFL Rules

The custodians of football not only have protected its integrity, but have also revised its playing rules to protect the players, and to make the games fairer and more entertaining.

2016 NFL Rulebook

Explore the official rules of the game.

NFL Video Rulebook

NFL SVP of Officiating Dean Blandino explains NFL rules with video examples.

2016 Rules Changes and Points of Emphasis

NFL Overtime Rules

NFL Tiebreaking Procedures

The NFL's procedures for breaking ties for postseason playoffs.

Signals Intelligence

The NFL's familiar hand signals help fans better understand the game.   

Stats Central

Stats Central

Go inside the game with the NFL's official game stats.  Sort the stats by season or by week.

Chart The Data

Chart and compare the NFL Football Operations stats you're looking for with the NFL's data tool. 

Weekly Dashboard

Get a snapshot of the current NFL game stats, updated weekly during the regular season.

In October, the NFL and United Way will team up for the 18th annual Hometown Huddle, a league-wide day of service. NFL coaches, players and executives will give back in their communities by building fitness zones and playgrounds and hosting youth football clinics. All 32 NFL teams will help kids to get active for 60 minutes a day as part of NFL PLAY 60, the league’s youth health and wellness campaign.

Now in its 43rd year, the NFL-United Way partnership connects NFL PLAY 60 with United Way’s goal to get more young people healthy and active. United Way — established in more than 1,200 communities across America — is creating healthier communities by increasing access to nutritious foods, creating more opportunities for physical exercise and play, and raising awareness about the benefits of living healthier lifestyles.

“We’re very proud of our longstanding partnership with United Way and the ways it continues to positively impact our youngest fans,” said NFL Senior Vice President of Social Responsibility Anna Isaacson. “Through platforms like Hometown Huddle, we’re able to encourage more youth across the country to PLAY 60 and live a healthy lifestyle.”

“We all win when we live united and our longtime partnership with the NFL is a great example of the good that comes when we work together towards a common goal,” said United Way Worldwide President and CEO Brian Gallagher. “By forging unlikely partnerships, finding new solutions to old problems and mobilizing the best resources, we’ve brought fun fitness programs to more than 35,000 kids across the nation.”

In addition to the efforts of the 32 NFL teams, New York-based NFL employees will join volunteers from United Way of New York City at East Success Gardens Park and Brooklyn Gardens Elementary to help transform outdoor learning spaces and host a PLAY 60 clinic. NFL employees in Culver City, California will lead a PLAY 60 clinic and deliver health and wellness kits to a local school.

The NFL and United Way invite fans to share how they lead healthy and active lifestyles by tagging @NFLPLAY60 and using the hashtag #HometownHuddle in images on social media. Photos will be featured on unitedway.org/play60.

NFL PLAY 60 brings together the NFL’s long-standing commitment to health and wellness with partner organizations to increase physical activity among youth. PLAY 60 is implemented locally through the NFL's in-school, after-school and team-based programs, and through thousands of PLAY 60 events annually.

To learn more about NFL-United Way partnership or NFL PLAY 60 visit unitedway.org/play60 and NFLRUSH.com/play60 or follow @UnitedWay and @NFLPLAY60 on Twitter.

TEAM

HOMETOWN HUDDLE ACTIVITIES

Arizona Cardinals

On Nov. 8, the Cardinals’ Hometown Huddle event will build a Community Garden for House of Helps in South Phoenix. The event will encourage Phoenix youth and families to get active for 60 minutes a day, and the food grown in the Garden will feed the South Phoenix Community. Cardinals ownership, coaches, players and front-office staff will participate in building the Community Garden and will host football-themed activities in support of NFL PLAY 60.

Atlanta Falcons

On Oct. 4, the Falcons and United Way engaged the community at 12 locations around Atlanta for Hometown Huddle. Current and former Falcons, Falcons Women’s Association members and United Way volunteers participated in community service engagements included reading to students, hosting a PLAY 60 camp, honoring teachers, serving food at a homeless shelter, delivering meals to senior citizens and visiting local children’s hospitals. Falcons Owner and Chairman Arthur Blank, and President and CEO Rich McKay also participated in the events.

Baltimore Ravens

On Oct. 17, the Ravens will host their fifth annual Ravens TEAM Challenge at Under Armour’s Banner Field in Baltimore City. Players will serve as team captains to the eight different youth teams — Relentless, Courage, Victory, Triumph, Conquer, Intensity, Loyalty and United. Ravens staff and members of the Lady Ravens, which includes coaches’ and players’ wives, will volunteer alongside United Way, M&T Bank and Under Armour staff. Under the guidance of Playworks Maryland, fourth- and fifth-grade students from Dr. Carter G. Woodson and George Washington elementary schools will participate in challenges such as kickball, dodgeball, ultimate football and relays. At the end of the event, one team will be declared TEAM Challenge champions and each student will receive a new pair of sneakers, provided by Under Armour.

Buffalo Bills

On Oct. 18, the Bills will partner with United Way of Buffalo and Erie County and American Dairy Association and Dairy Council to host a visit to a local dairy farm with 40 local students from a local school involved in the Fuel Up to Play 60 Farm to School Grant Program. The dairy farm visit will feature interactive stations where the students and Bills players will have the opportunity to feed calves and milk a cow. The visit will conclude with a healthy lunch.

Carolina Panthers

On Oct. 4, the Panthers partnered with the Southeast Dairy Association and the United Way of Central Carolinas to host a Day of Play at a local elementary school. More than 500 students participated with Panthers players, dairy farmers and United Way volunteers in football drills and activity stations. The team will award $30,000 in PLAY 60 grants to schools and youth service organizations across North and South Carolina to support youth health and wellness programs including playground refurbishments, purchase of physical education equipment or interactive fitness installations.

Chicago Bears

On Oct. 11, the Bears teamed with the United Way of Metropolitan Chicago, Bears Care and PNC for their Hometown Huddle event. The Bears and Bears Care contributed $40,000 to help complete a play space for El Valor, a multicultural, multipurpose organization that provides an array of inclusive, holistic services to more than 4,000 children, families and adults with disabilities annually. The new play space includes ADA-accessible play structures, an outdoor classroom and a small turf field. Bears rookies and alumni will help finish the project and present a check. Bears Care awarded El Valor a $50,000 grant to assist them in providing inclusive, holistic health and wellness education and activities to children and their families who receive services from the center.

Cincinnati Bengals

On Oct. 18, the Bengals will install a Challenge Course with artificial-turf flooring for all ages at the Ryan Sports Complex in Westwood, Ohio — the first such installation in the state. The Bengals will also:

·      Install a new playground structure for children of all ages

·      Incorporate four accessible fitness equipment structures around the existing walking track

·      Provide new basketball hoops and nets and repaint the basketball posts at Gamble Montessori School

·      Improve Gamble Montessori’s garden, where students learn to grow fruits and vegetables

·      Beautify the space with landscaping and hand painted bench seating

Cleveland Browns

On Oct. 18, the Browns and United Way of Greater Cleveland will build a new playground that includes ADA features and equipment for pre-K students at a local school, and they will refurbish the school’s existing play space. Volunteers will paint, prepare the space for new rubber surface installation, and add slides, swings, benches and a colorful mural. At Luis Muñoz Marín School, volunteers will help install a double slide, climbing ramp with cable, step climber, clover climber, rock climber, three stepping pods, hand-over-hand ladder, two decks and an ADA transfer position. Volunteers will paint murals, resurface the basketball court and add new benches, picnic tables and B.R.O.W.N.S. bike racks.

Dallas Cowboys

On Oct. 31, EverFi, the Dallas Cowboys, United Way of Metro Dallas (UWMD) and United Way of Tarrant County (UWTC) will launch Character Playbook, a new digital initiative that educates students on how to cultivate and maintain healthy relationships during their critical middle-school years. As part of the launch, the Cowboys, UWMD and UWTC will visit two schools — Staley Middle School in Frisco Independent School District and Workman Junior High School in Arlington Independent School District. The events will feature the Cowboys’ Rookie Club and special guests such as the mascot Rowdy. Cowboys players will engage with students in the new digital course in a computer lab setting and during a larger school assembly.

Denver Broncos

On Oct. 3, the Broncos hosted a PLAY 60 event with more than 300 kids from all branches of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Denver at the club’s UCHealth Training Facility. Broncos players assisted with PLAY 60 activity stations and all of the kids received a healthy dinner at the end of the event.

Detroit Lions

On Sept. 27, the Lions brought 30 students from Detroit to the Detroit Eastern Market to participate in PLAY 60 activities with Playworks Detroit, Lions players and Lions Legends. There was a question-and-answer session with the players, and the students received a tour and a shopping experience in the market. They also received a healthy lunch and heard from Lions executive chef Joe Nader about nutrition. 

Green Bay Packers

On Oct. 25, Packers players and employees, volunteers from the United Way of Brown and Door County, and representatives of the City of Algoma will add a warming shelter, benches and a final grade to a new ice skating rink to the grounds at Peterson Park. Students from Algoma High School’s Wolf Tech program have been designing and pre-fabricating panels and elements for the warming shelter. The ice skating rink will enhance Peterson Park’s winter activities and encourage kids and the community to get out and stay active in the colder months in Wisconsin.

Houston Texans

On Oct. 18, the Texans are partnering with the Houston Texans YMCA, Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Houston and the United Way of Greater Houston for a Hometown Huddle community service event at the Houston Zoo. The Texans will host 50 children for a fun-filled day of PLAY 60 activities and learning in the Houston Texans Enrichment Zone, created with a $300,000 gift from the Houston Texans Foundation to the zoo. The kids will enjoy breakfast and TORO’s Training Camp, an animal- and football-themed educational show. Following the show, the kids will participate in a PLAY 60 scavenger hunt around the zoo where a member of the Texans rookie class will greet them at each station. The kids will learn a fun fact about the player and an animal, and then do a PLAY 60 activity such as jumping jacks, jump rope, push-ups or hula hoops. Houston Texans cheerleaders and United Way volunteers will help each group make its way around the zoo.

Indianapolis Colts

On Oct. 18, the Colts and United Way of Central Indiana will team up with Indiana Wesleyan University to renovate a fitness room at the Finish Line Boys & Girls Club. The Colts-themed fitness room will be used by hundreds of youth each week, providing them with a fun and safe place to be active indoors. The room is now painted to resemble a Colts locker room and features new fitness equipment, three fitness stations and Colts memorabilia. Colts long snapper Matt Overton will host a ribbon-cutting ceremony to unveil the new fitness room as part of the team’s Hometown Huddle event.

Jacksonville Jaguars

On Oct. 18, the Jaguars and United Way of Northeast Florida will join together for community service projects in the New Town community that will focus on healthy living for children and their families, and will provide food resources that benefit the entire community. Projects will support the STEM Young Farmers club and will promote parent and community involvement.

Kansas City Chiefs

On Oct. 18, the Chiefs and United Way of Greater Kansas City will host the 11th annual Chiefs TeamSmile event from the Scout Investments Club Level inside Arrowhead Stadium. This outreach initiative — part of Kansas City Oral Health Care Day — will promote dental well-being and provide complementary dental services totaling more than $125,000 for area children. More than 300 Title I eligible youth will participate and receive dental screenings, education and select procedures. Attendees can participate in PLAY 60 activity stations and receive life-skills education. Chiefs punter Dustin Colquitt, the event’s spokesperson for the 10th consecutive season, will be joined on-site by teammates, Chiefs cheerleaders, Kansas City Ambassadors and the mascot KC Wolf.

Los Angeles Rams

On Oct. 18, the Rams will host a PLAY 60 event for children in London. Later in the season, the team will partner with the United Way of Greater Los Angeles to host a special Hometown Huddle for children from Heart of Los Angeles, a non-profit dedicated to giving some of Los Angeles’ most vulnerable youth a chance to succeed in life.

Miami Dolphins

In honor of Hometown Huddle, the Miami Dolphins will partner with United Way and PACER to host a Dolphins Blitz at Bob Graham Education Center on Oct. 18. During a Fins Frenzy event, kids will participate in fitness-oriented stations and learn the benefits of hydration and staying physically active. Miami Dolphins alumnus Twan Russell will highlight the importance of education, physical fitness and positive choices and the mascot T.D. will entertain the kids. In honor of UNITY day, there will be a UNITY station where kids will pledge against bullying and create crafts using positive words. Current and former players, the mascot and cheerleaders will be at the event.

Minnesota Vikings

On Oct. 18, the Vikings and United Way youth agencies will host a PLAY 60 and Life Clinic in the Vikings field house. Current and former players will run PLAY 60 drills and teach the youth about the importance of lifelong physical activity and character development. Each child will receive a Fit Kit from the Greater Twin Cities United Way.

New England Patriots

On Oct. 18, the Kraft family and New England Patriots Charitable Foundation are teaming with the United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley for their annual Hometown Huddle event. The Patriots and the United Way have selected the Greenwood Elementary School in Dorchester, Massachusetts as the recipients of a $5,000 grant to support renovations to its playground. Patriots players will visit the school to present the grant and will speak to students about the importance of living a healthy lifestyle at an assembly. After, the players will help with the landscaping and lead exercise stations for students around the playground.

New Orleans Saints

On Oct. 18, the Saints will create and enhance two areas of the Salvation Army’s Center of Hope in New Orleans, Louisiana, which provides a hot meal and overnight lodging for single adults, families, seniors and the disabled who have no other option for safe shelter. The facility houses more than 50 children and their families at one time who greatly appreciate the opportunity to have an exercise/recreation space in the facility. One area will be transformed into an indoor Youth Fitness Zone with Saints-branded hydraulic fitness machines, water rowers, treadmills and aerodynamic bikes. The Saints will provide a new television, Xbox with Kinect gaming console and fitness-inspired video games. The second room will be a creative arts room with a laptop station and educational software and board games. Both rooms will include Saints décor and furnishings. Saints players, Saintsations and staff will help engage the youth in their new fitness zone and creative arts room and teach them how to use the equipment properly. The kids will also take part in Saints Junior Training Camp drills with the team’s mascot.

New York Giants

On Oct. 17, New York Giants punter Brad Wing and offensive tackle Adam Gettis will lead a group from the Giants for a Hometown Huddle event at the Norman A. Bleshman Regional Day School in Paramus, New Jersey. The group will participate in a day of play and will unveil two new therapy bikes. The school, which participated in the Giants PLAY 60 Challenge earlier in the Spring, serves severely, multiple-disabled students aged three to 21. In addition, cornerbacks Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and Janoris Jenkins will participate in the NFL League Office’s Hometown Huddle event at Brooklyn Gardens Elementary in Brooklyn, N.Y. Later in October, members of the Giants will visit the Meadowlands YMCA to help install new playground equipment as part of a new community facility that will include the Mara Family Day Care Center, which will provide affordable, quality childcare and preschool education for working families.

New York Jets

On Oct. 25, the Jets, United Way of Northern New Jersey and NRG will team up to contribute $75,000 to install four multi-purpose game courts at four schools in the Bound Brook School District. The Jets 2016 Rookie Class will put the finishing touches on one of the courts and participate in multiple games with students.

Oakland Raiders

The Oakland Raiders will invite students from Garfield Elementary School in Oakland to take part in their First & Goal program which recognizes youth for their hard work, dedication to excel in academics and positive impact in their community. First & Goal provides students and school administrators the opportunity to attend a regular season home game at no cost, including free transportation to and from the game, a game ticket, lunch and a pre-game chalk talk with special guests.

Philadelphia Eagles

The Eagles organization and United Way will present ASAP/After School Activities Partnerships with a $5,000 check and support the kickoff of their Chess and Scrabble after-school program season on Oct. 24. Eagles players will be in attendance.

Pittsburgh Steelers

On Oct. 18, the Steelers will team with United Way of Allegheny County to exercise with students. Players, including United Way spokesman DE Cameron Heyward and the 2016 Steelers’ Rookies, will surprise students at a Pittsburgh school. The students will have a chance to exercise alongside the players and learn about the importance of including health and wellness into their plans for success.

San Diego Chargers

On Oct. 18, the Chargers will host a special PLAY 60 Jr. Chargers Camp at Challenger Middle School as part of Hometown Huddle. The Chargers first-round draft pick, DE Joey Bosa, will speak to the children about nutrition and fitness. Off-duty police officers, sheriff’s deputies, probation officers and other volunteers from the non-profit organization STAR/PAL, along with United Way volunteers, will be on hand to have fun with the kids and run the drills.

San Francisco 49ers

On Oct. 17, 49ers players and staff will bring the PLAY 60 movement to the students of Robert Sanders Elementary. 300 students will participate in football drills and recess activities to encourage 60 minutes of physical activity every day. The students will be equipped with new donated sports equipment for year-round use and enjoyment.

Seattle Seahawks

On Oct. 18, the Seahawks and volunteers from United Way of King County will visit the Southwest Boys and Girls Club as part of the annual Hometown Huddle. Seahawks Rookie Club, members of the Sea Gals and mascot Blitz will participate in a PLAY 60-themed assembly and reveal a large-equipment donation to support White Center Sea Hawks, the club’s youth football program. The equipment donation includes helmets, jerseys, mouth guards and additional gear. After the assembly, players and Sea Gals will interact with students, serve dinner and share tips on how to lead an active and healthy lifestyle. The Southwest Boys and Girls Club serves a low-income community in south Seattle where most children are on free or reduced lunches. The facility provides dinner, homework assistance, access to technology, a music studio, a teen center, a gym, gaming room, youth sports leagues and college preparation for 250 members.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

On Oct. 5, Glazer Family Foundation Co-President, Darcie Glazer Kassewitz and Buccaneers players — including Lavonte David, Kwon Alexander, Donovan Smith and Cameron Brate — joined more than 150 Buccaneers staff, cheerleaders, Captain Fear, United Way Suncoast volunteers and Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn, to renovate the Sulphur Springs Resource Center and K-8 Community School. The effort included painting picnic tables, benches, sidewalks and parking lots, installing new carpets, adding new landscaping and other facility improvements. Players led children through PLAY 60 drills, read to elementary school students and enhanced their physical education area. In addition, the Glazer Family Foundation Vision Mobile was on-site to provide eye examinations and prescription glasses to students in need.

Tennessee Titans

On Oct. 18, the Titans and United Way of Metropolitan Nashville are teaming up to inspire kids to learn while moving at this year’s Hometown Huddle event, and to upgrade the adjoining playground of Napier Elementary School and Napier Community Center. Volunteers from both organizations will use stencils and vibrant colors to create designs that inspire students to learn and move through games, increase physical activity time and make learning fun. Inside the community center, Titans players and cheerleaders will lead students through PLAY 60 obstacle courses and activities.

Washington Redskins

On Oct. 27, the Redskins and EverFi will partner to launch the Character Playbook program at a middle school in Loudoun County, VA.

Español