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.

Return To Play

2020 NFL-NFLPA CBA: Need to know

Key takeaways from the 2020 Collective Bargaining Agreement 

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. 

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 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

The Biggest NFL Comebacks of the Last Decade

With only 11 postseason games left in the last season of the 2010s, let’s use our win probability model to look at which teams overcame the longest odds to win games over the last decade.

While Super Bowl LI provided the most memorable comeback of the last decade, with the New England Patriots erasing a 28-3 halftime deficit to upend the Atlanta Falcons, our model identified four other games where teams overcame longer odds to win. 

Here are the top 10 least likely comebacks of the decade. Details of each comeback are provided below.

1. Philadelphia Eagles vs. New York Giants, Week 15 2010. Comeback odds: 1 in 252.

With 8:17 remaining in the game, the Eagles trailed 31-10. A 65-yard touchdown pass, successful onside kick, and a Michael Vick touchdown run cut the deficit to seven with just over four minutes remaining. After a Giants drive stalled, the Eagles drove the length of the field to tie the game with 1:16 remaining. After another New York drive stalled, DeSean Jackson returned the ensuing punt 65 yards for the game-winning touchdown as time expired. The game became known as the “Miracle at the New Meadowlands,” and it’s our most surprising comeback of the 2010s.  

Here’s the win probability plot showing each team’s chances throughout the game. 

2. Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Carolina Panthers, Week 11 2012. Comeback odds: 1 in 165

With 1:02 left in the fourth quarter, the Buccaneers trailed 21-13 and had the ball at their own 20-yard line with no timeouts. Josh Freeman led an 80-yard touchdown drive — including a two-point conversion — to force overtime. Tampa won the game 27-21 with a touchdown on the opening drive of overtime.

3. New Orleans Saints vs. Washington Redskins, Week 11 2017. Comeback odds: 1 in 159

With 4:14 in the fourth quarter, Washington led New Orleans, 31-16. The Saints converted a big third down and eventually scored a touchdown to cut the lead to 31-23. A Redskins three-and-out was followed by another New Orleans touchdown and two-point conversion that tied the game. The Saints won in overtime, 34-31.

4. Detroit Lions vs. Dallas Cowboys, Week 4 2011. Comeback odds: 1 in 153

With 10:30 left in the third quarter, Dallas had the ball and a 27-3 lead. On the next play, Tony Romo threw a pick-six to make it 27-10. Another Romo pick, followed by a rejuvenated Lions offense scoring a touchdown, touchdown, field goal, and a touchdown on its second-half drives, led to a 34-30 Detroit win. This game is the only one on our list where the lowest odds of winning came in the third quarter.

5. New England Patriots vs. Atlanta Falcons, Super Bowl LI 2016. Comeback odds: 1 in 142

This game is known as the 28-3 comeback, but New England’s lowest odds of winning actually came with 8:31 left in the game. The Falcons had the ball and a 28-12 lead when Dont’a Hightower forced a fumble and a sack, which led to a New England touchdown and two-point conversion. Another sack and holding penalty ended another Falcons drive. The Patriots tied the game with another touchdown and two-point conversion and scored a touchdown on the first overtime possession to win 34-28.

6. Oakland Raiders vs. Cleveland Browns, Week 4 2018. Comeback odds: 1 in 141

With 1:41 remaining, the Raiders trailed the Browns by eight when they turned the ball over on downs. Oakland forced a three-and-out and got the ball back with 1:28 left. The Raiders drove downfield for a touchdown and two-point conversion to force overtime, where they won on a 29-yard field goal.

7. Seattle Seahawks vs. Green Bay Packers, NFC Championship 2014. Comeback odds: 1 in 136

At the 4:57 mark of the fourth quarter, the Packers had the ball and a 19-7 lead. After Seattle forced a three-and-out, a Russell Wilson touchdown cut the lead to 19-14 with 2:09 left. The Seahawks recovered an onside kick and drove down the field for a touchdown and a 22-19 lead with 1:19 remaining. The Packers kicked a field goal to force overtime, but Wilson connected with Jermaine Kearse on a 35-yard game-winning touchdown pass, which sent Seattle to Super Bowl XLIX.

8. Indianapolis Colts vs. Detroit Lions, Week 13 2012. Comeback odds: 1 in 99

With 4:24 remaining in the fourth quarter, the Colts trailed the Lions by 12 points. A Detroit drive stalled at midfield and Indianapolis forced a punt. An Andrew Luck touchdown pass made it 33-28 Lions with 2:39 left. Indy’s defense held and they got the ball back at their own 25 with 1:07 left and no timeouts. Luck led a game-winning drive that culminated with a touchdown pass to Donnie Avery as time expired.

9. Kansas City Chiefs vs. San Diego Chargers, Week 1 2016. Comeback odds: 1 in 89

With 12:53 remaining in the fourth quarter and the Chiefs trailing 27-10, Kansas City quarterback Alex Smith threw an interception. A missed Chargers field goal, and three straight scoring drives from Kansas City mixed with two failed San Diego drives led to the Chiefs tying the game with a minute left. Kansas City won the game in overtime. 

10. Denver Broncos vs. Miami Dolphins, Week 7 2011. Comeback odds: 1 in 80

With 5:50 left in the fourth quarter and the Broncos trailing the Dolphins 15-0, Denver punted the ball to Miami. After forcing a three-and-out, Tim Tebow led the Broncos on an eight-play touchdown drive to cut the deficit to 15-7. Denver recovered the onside kick and Tebow orchestrated a game-winning drive, culminating with a Broncos touchdown with 17 seconds remaining. Denver won in overtime.

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