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.

Social Justice

NFL COVID-19 Protocols

NFL Rules Enforcement

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

NFL Way to Play

Knees Bent. Pads Down. Head Up and Out.

The NFL and HBCUs

The NFL is proud of the HBCU professional football legacy.

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. 

Game Day: Behind the Scenes

Countdown to kickoff: how NFL games happen.

Game Day Assistants

See the NFL personnel at every game, what they do and you can identify them. 


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 five NFL executives to create the NFL’s 256-game masterpiece.

Big Data Bowl

The annual analytics contest explores statistical innovations in football — how the game is played and coached.

Youth Football

Promoting the values of football.

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 and services NFL Player Engagement provides to assist every player before, during and after his football career.

NFL Legends Community

Strengthening the NFL brotherhood.

NFL Total Wellness

NFL Total Wellness assists players, Legends and their families before, during and after their playing experiences.

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 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.

NFL Video Rulebook

The NFL Video Rulebook explains NFL rules with video examples.

2020 NFL Rulebook

Explore the official rules of the game.

2020 Rules Changes and Points of Emphasis

NFL Overtime Rules

Signals Intelligence

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

NFL Tiebreaking Procedures

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

NFL Rules Digest

A quick reference guide to the NFL rulebook.

Football 101

Football 101

Terms Glossary

Sharpen your NFL football knowledge with this glossary of the game's fundamental terms. 

Formations 101

See where the players line up in pro football's most common offensive and defensive formations.

Quick Guide to NFL TV Graphics

Understand what the graphics on NFL television broadcasts mean and how they can help you get the most out of watching NFL games.

NFL Instant Replay Process

The NFL’s instant replay review process focuses on expediting instant replay reviews and ensuring consistency. Learn how it works.

Stats Central

Stats Central

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

The Extra Point

Welcome to the Extra Point, where members of the NFL's football data and analytics team will share updates on league-wide trends in football data, interesting visualizations that showcase innovative ways to use the league's data, and provide an inside look at how the NFL uses data-driven insight to improve and monitor player and team performance.

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 Extra Point

Big Data Bowl Winning Paper Leads to New Drill at the NFL Combine

This past weekend at the NFL’s Scouting Combine in Indianapolis, defensive linemen were tested in a timed “Figure 8” drill (also called the “Hoop” drill). In a Figure 8 drill, linemen start next to one of two adjacent circles. They sprint halfway around the first circle, before making a complete loop around the second circle, then around the remaining section of the first circle ending back at the starting line. 

Check out LSU defensive end Rashard Lawrence in the clip below.

Lawrence also picks up and discards two towels on the ground. The towels mimic where the defenders’ hands often end up on a pass rush. 

Defenders are likely used to this drill from their high school or college practices, and with good reason — the path closely mimics player movement on the field.

Here’s how the Football Operations data and analytics team helped propose the Figure 8, with a hat tip to the College Division winners of the 2019 Big Data Bowl.

The 2019 winning paper, “Routes to Success,” was written by four students from Simon Fraser University — Dani Chu, Lucas Wu, Matthew Reyers and James Thomson. Though the original paper tracked the most common wide receiver patterns, the algorithm easily translates to other positions. Last summer, the students worked with the NFL Football Operations team to modify it for defensive linemen.

Using Next Gen Stats player tracking data, Chu, Wu, Reyers and Thomson generated the most common movements on run and pass plays for all positions on the field. Here’s an animation showing how all defensive end movement on pass plays can be grouped, initially from one for each team, to one for each of nine common movements, shown at the end of the animation.

The nine most common movements for defensive ends are shown below. For example, the most common defensive end movement (top left) is an outside pass rush, lasting an average of 4.38 seconds and ending around five yards upfield. Alternative paths are shown in the remaining clusters. For example, clusters seven and nine show the ends rushing upfield before sprinting sideways.

Look familiar? Most of the common patterns feature players moving in curved patterns — curved patterns that are also represented in the Figure 8 drill. Armed with this data, the NFL implemented a version of the Figure 8 drill at the International Combine in Germany before bringing it to Indianapolis this past weekend.

The Figure 8 was one of several new drills at the 2020 Combine. It was a concept that started with Next Gen Stats and came to fruition thanks to the hard work of students at last year’s Big Data Bowl.