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.

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.

Big Data Bowl

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

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.

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.

College All Star Games

Strengthening football and the community.

NFL Legends Community

Strengthening the NFL brotherhood.

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.

2019 NFL Rulebook

Explore the official rules of the game. 6.2.5

2019 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.   

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

Win Probability Models for Every NFL Team in 2019

In Football Operations, one of our primary roles as a data and analytics team is to supply the league with metrics that help us better understand the game. One framework that we often use is win probability. 

Models to estimate win probability have been around football for more than a decade, with several researchers (including Brian Burke, Trey Causey, and a trio of statisticians from Carnegie Mellon) having developed versions of their own. These models help assess each team’s chance of winning at any given point in a game.

Models use familiar inputs including score, down, distance, and field position, and also more subtle variables, including which team kicked off to start the game and the number of timeouts each team has left. During the 2019 offseason, win probability models were used by the National Football League’s Competition Committee to assess which penalty types have the biggest impact on game outcomes. In addition to penalties, we can use win probability formulas to derive metrics of game competitiveness and excitement.

The following chart highlight’s each team’s win probability curve through every game of the 2019 season (shown in gray), as well as an average win probability curve (shown for each team in its primary team color).

To find the teams that have played in the most exciting games, look for the grey curves with the biggest swings. Detroit, Indianapolis, Seattle and Tampa Bay have each averaged more than seven exciting plays per game — defined as those with at least a 10% swing in win probability — and their curves reflect that many games aren’t decided until the fourth quarter, when big swings in win probability tend to happen. Alternatively, most New England, Washington and Baltimore contests have been decided by the start of the fourth quarter and each of those teams averages fewer than four exciting plays per game.

We can also split into different time segments. On a per-quarter basis, no one has been better than Baltimore in the first quarter. The Ravens have typically started the second quarter with a 68% win probability, which implies that they earned an average of +18% in win probability per-game in the first quarter alone. Kansas City has dominated the second quarter (+17% per-game), Chicago has controlled the third quarter (+14%), and Green Bay has closed out games in the fourth quarter (+15%).

Which were the most exciting games of the 2019 season?

The Week 10 (link) Arizona and Tampa Bay game and the Week 5 (link) Rams at Seahawks game are tied as the most back and forth games, with the Week 14 thriller between San Francisco and New Orleans (link) right behind. And although it wasn’t as high scoring as those previous contests across the entirety of the game, Chicago’s win in Week 2 over Denver featured a flurry of changes near the end. In the final two minutes, there were five plays — a Denver fourth down conversion, Denver touchdown, Denver two-point conversion, Chicago completion into field goal territory, and a Chicago game-winning field goal — that swung each team’s chance of  winning the game by at least 25%; no game to date has had more than three such plays.

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