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.

2017 NFL Rulebook

Explore the official rules of the game.

NFL Video Rulebook

The NFL Video Rulebook explains NFL rules with video examples.

2017 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.

The NFL announced today its 17-week, 256-game regular-season schedule for 2017, which kicks off on Thursday night, Sept. 7 in New England and concludes on Sunday, Dec. 31 with 16 division games.

The season begins with the NFL’s annual primetime kickoff game. The opener on Sept. 7 on NBC (8:30 PM ET) will spotlight the defending champion New England Patriots hosting the Kansas City Chiefs at Gillette Stadium. 

Week 1 is a FOX national weekend with the key doubleheader game on Sunday, Sept. 10 (4:25 PM ET) featuring the Seattle Seahawks at the Green Bay Packers. Week 3 is the first CBS national weekend with the key doubleheader game showcasing the Cincinnati Bengals facing the Packers at Lambeau Field.  

NBC’s Sunday Night Football gets underway on Sept. 10 when the Dallas Cowboys host the New York Giants (8:30 PM ET) at AT&T Stadium.

NBC’s Sunday Night Football kicks off on Sept. 10 when the Dallas Cowboys host the New York Giants (8:30 PM ET) at AT&T Stadium.

NBC’s Sunday Night Football kicks off on Sept. 10 when the Dallas Cowboys host the New York Giants (8:30 PM ET) at AT&T Stadium.

Kickoff Weekend concludes on Monday, Sept. 11 with an ESPN Monday Night Football doubleheader. The Minnesota Vikings will host the New Orleans Saints (7:10 PM ET) in the first game followed by the Los Angeles Chargers visiting the Denver Broncos in the nightcap (10:20 PM ET).  

ESPN will televise one game each Monday night in Weeks 2-16. There will be no Monday night game on the final regular-season weekend (Week 17) to provide more flexibility for the scheduling of the opening weekend of the NFL playoffs. 

Learn about the NFL’s scheduling process.

A select number of games will be “cross-flexed,” moving between CBS and FOX to bring potentially under-distributed games to wider audiences. Some of those contests were announced today, including the Seahawks at the Giants (4:25 PM ET, CBS) in Week 7 and the Vikings at the Carolina Panthers (1:00 PM ET, CBS) in Week 14. Other “cross-flexed” games will be decided during the season. 

The regular season will conclude with Week 17 on Sunday, Dec. 31. For the eighth consecutive year, all 16 games scheduled for Week 17 are division contests, enhancing the potential for more games with playoff ramifications.

Other highlights of the schedule include:

In Week 2, the Atlanta Falcons will open their new home – Mercedes-Benz Stadium – on Sunday, Sept. 17 in primetime (8:30 PM ET, NBC) when they host the Packers in a rematch of last season’s NFC Championship Game. Earlier that day, the Chargers will make their return to Los Angeles as they host the Miami Dolphins at the StubHub Center (4:05 PM ET, CBS). 

The Patriots will host the Falcons in Week 7 on Sunday night, Oct. 22 (8:30 PM ET, NBC) in a rematch of Super Bowl LI, the first Super Bowl in NFL history to go into overtime. 

Thanksgiving will feature a tripleheader on Thursday, Nov. 23. The first game will send the Vikings to Detroit to face the Lions (12:30 PM ET, FOX) for the second consecutive year. The late afternoon game will feature the Chargers visiting the Cowboys (4:30 PM ET, CBS). The holiday concludes with the Washington Redskins hosting the Giants on NBC (8:30 PM ET). 

In Week 16, NBC’s Sunday Night Football game (Vikings at Packers) will move to Saturday night, Dec. 23 (8:30 PM ET, NBC) due to Christmas Eve and is not subject to flexible scheduling. Christmas Day will feature a doubleheader on Monday, Dec. 25 with the Houston Texans hosting the Pittsburgh Steelers (4:30 PM ET, NBC/NFLN/Amazon Prime) in the first game and the Oakland Raiders visiting the Philadelphia Eagles (8:30 PM ET, ESPN) in primetime.

The NFL’s international slate includes four games in London – the first time the league will play four games in the UK – and one in Mexico City. On Sunday, Sept. 24, the Jacksonville Jaguars will host the Baltimore Ravens at London’s Wembley Stadium (9:30 AM ET, distribution to be announced at a later date). The next weekend, on Sunday, Oct. 1, the Dolphins will host the Saints at Wembley (9:30 AM ET, FOX). In Week 7, the Los Angeles Rams will host the Arizona Cardinals at Twickenham Stadium on Sunday, Oct. 22 (1:00 PM ET, FOX). The following week, the Cleveland Browns will host the Vikings at Twickenham on Sunday, Oct. 29 (9:30 AM ET, NFLN). The NFL will return to Mexico City on Sunday, Nov. 19 (4:25 PM ET, CBS) when the Oakland Raiders host the Patriots at Estadio Azteca. 

The NFL has partnered with Amazon Prime this season and will once again use a “Tri-Cast” distribution model of broadcast (CBS/NBC), cable (NFL Network) and digital (Amazon Prime Video) for 10 Thursday Night Football games and a Christmas Day contest. CBS and NBC will each broadcast five Thursday Night Football games which will be simulcast on NFL Network and streamed to Amazon Prime members worldwide. NBC will also broadcast the Christmas Day game. CBS will start in Week 4 (Thursday, Sept. 28) when the Packers host the Chicago Bears. NBC’s Tri-Cast package begins in Week 10 (Thursday, Nov. 9) when the Seahawks visit the Arizona Cardinals. Additionally, NFL Network will also exclusively televise a seven-game schedule comprised of three Thursday Night Football games, three late-season Saturday contests and a Sunday morning London matchup.

The NFL’s 32 teams will each play 16 games over 17 weeks. Byes will begin in Week 5 and end in Week 11.

“Flexible scheduling” will be used in Weeks 10-15 and 17. Additionally, in Weeks 5-9, flexible scheduling may be used in no more than two weeks. In Weeks 5-15, the schedule lists the games tentatively set for Sunday Night Football on NBC. Only Sunday afternoon games are eligible to be moved to Sunday night, in which case the tentatively scheduled Sunday night game would be moved to an afternoon start time. Flexible scheduling will not be applied to games airing on Thursday, Saturday or Monday nights. A flexible scheduling move would be announced at least 12 days before the game. For Week 17, the Sunday night game will be announced no later than six days prior to Dec. 31. The schedule does not list a Sunday night game in Week 17, but an afternoon game with playoff implications will be moved to that time slot. Flexible scheduling ensures quality matchups in all Sunday time slots in those weeks and gives “surprise” teams a chance to play their way into prime time.

The playoffs will include four division winners and two wild cards from each conference. The playoffs begin with Wild Card Weekend on Saturday and Sunday, Jan. 6-7. The two division winners with the best records in each conference will earn first-round byes.  

Wild Card Weekend winners join the top two division champions in each conference in the Divisional Playoffs on Saturday and Sunday, Jan. 13-14. The AFC and NFC Championship Games will be played on Sunday, Jan. 21. The winners meet two weeks later on Sunday, Feb. 4 in Super Bowl LII at Minnesota’s U.S. Bank Stadium (NBC). 

The NFL is the only sports league that presents all regular-season and postseason games on free, over-the-air television in local markets. All postseason games are televised nationally. 

Westwood One will broadcast on radio all NFL primetime games, the three Thanksgiving Day games and the entire NFL playoffs.

For ticket information, fans may visit www.nfl.com/tickets.

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