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.

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. 

Gameday: Behind the Scenes

Countdown to kickoff: how NFL games happen.


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.

Big Data Bowl

The inaugural 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.

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 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.

NFL Video Rulebook

The NFL Video Rulebook explains NFL rules with video examples.

2018 NFL Rulebook

Explore the official rules of the game.

2018 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.

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.

Big Data Bowl

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

The NFL’s Inaugural Big Data Bowl

Congratulations to the eight finalists for the NFL’s inaugural Big Data Bowl. The finalists, determined by a panel comprised of NFL staff and club analytic personnel, receive a 2-night trip to the NFL Combine in Indianapolis on Feb. 27, 2019. 

At the Combine, they’ll have an exclusive opportunity to present their findings to members of the NFL front office, team executives, industry-leading representatives and league sponsors. Two Grand Prize winners will receive four tickets to a 2019 regular season NFL game and a $1,000 gift card.

2019 Big Data Bowl Finalists

College Entry


  • Kyle Burris, Duke University – A trajectory planning algorithm for quantifying space ownership in professional football
  • Matthew Reyers, Dani Chu, Lucas Wu, James Thomson, Simon Fraser University – Routes to Success
  • Jack Soslow, Jake Flancer, Eric Dong, Andrew Castle, University of Pennsylvania – Using autoencoded receiver routes to optimize yardage
  • Peter Wu, Brendon Gu, Carnegie Mellon University – DIRECT: A two-level system for defensive interference rooted in repeatability, enforceability, clarity, and transparency 

Honorable mention: 

  • Charles Gelman, Duke University – Identifying best receiver-route combinations
  • Mitch Kinney, University of Minnesota – Untitled
  • Dylan Blechner, Zak Koeppel, Will Friedeman, Cameron Johnson, Syracuse University – Route clustering
  • Ali Kozlu, University of Pennsylvania – A framework for identifying route concepts using route trajectory data
  • Zach Start, Brandon Deflon, University of New Mexico – Q-Sep: The NFL’s Metric for Quantifying Route Quantity

Open Entry


  • Sameer Deshpande, Katherine Evans – Expected hypothetical completion probability
  • Cathy Ha, Lucas Calestini – Efficient speed usage and the impact of fatigue in speed performance: an exploratory study
  • Nathan Sterken – RouteNet: a convolutional neural network for classifying routes
  • Adam Vonder Haar – Exploratory data analysis of passing plays using NFL tracking data

Honorable mention: 

  • Kyle Douglas, William Haynes, Momim Ghaffar, Farzad Vafaee – Missed extra punts
  • Jesse Fischer – Identifying best receiver-route combinations
  • Jacques Kvam and Karl Pazdernik – Receiver-route combinations that maximize separation
  • Jason Phelps – Proof of concept for a receiver separation model using long short-term memory recurrent neural networks on Next Gen Player Tracking Data
  • Kevin Zatloukal and Ben Gretch – Unusual effectiveness of crossing routes