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 COVID-19 Protocols

Social Justice

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. 

Impact of Television

How television has changed the game.


In the NFL, balancing technology with tradition.

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

NFL Tiebreaking Procedures

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

NFL Rules Digest

A quick reference guide to the NFL rulebook.

Signals Intelligence

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

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.

In celebration of Black History Month, NFL Network takes an in-depth look at the legacy of Historically Black Colleges and Universities within the NFL in “Breaking Ground: A Story of HBCU Football and the NFL.” The documentary debuts Friday, Feb. 9 at 8 PM ET.

NFL legends and groundbreakers including Jerry Rice, Doug Williams, Mel Blount and Marquette King share their stories of the HBCU experience. Each player discusses the impact HBCUs had in not only shaping their football careers, but in laying the crucial foundation for what the NFL has become.

“HBCUs and their alumni have such a significant place within the history of the NFL," said Brian Lockhart, NFL Media Vice President and Senior Coordinating Producer of Original Content. "This was not only an important story to share with viewers, but vital that it be told firsthand through the voices of the men responsible for paving the legacy of HBCUs in the NFL.”

Through first-person interviews and profiles of four of the NFL's notable HBCU alums, “Breaking Ground” centers around Mel Blount's return to Southern University with his son Akil, and his reflections on his time there with his former teammates. The special weaves in the stories and reflections of Rice, Williams and King, who each look back on how attending an HBCU shaped their NFL journey.

“Breaking Ground” is narrated by HBCU alum and actor Chadwick Boseman (Howard University, '00), who stars in Marvel Studios’ “Black Panther.” Boseman received critical acclaim for his portrayals of Jackie Robinson in “42” (2013), James Brown in “Get on Up” (2014) and Thurgood Marshall in “Marshall” (2017).

"At the time, I was somewhat embarrassed that they were calling this rule 'The Mel Blount Rule.' My kids love it, and the older I get, the more I start to like it because you know, maybe I had some sort of impact on the game."

Mel Blount, Southern University

"It was my goal to make it in the NFL, I was destined for it. But I think the only way you have an opportunity is that you have to work for it. I think of Mississippi Valley State as a platform and I think it just showed me how you had to work to be successful."

Jerry Rice, Mississippi Valley State

"Every article in America was written about 'The First Black Quarterback,' 'Washington's Black Quarterback,' 'The Way of the Black Quarterback.' I didn't go to the Super Bowl as a black quarterback, I went to the Super Bowl as the Redskins' quarterback, who just happened to be black. At the same time, I understood the pride, the dignity and the history of what was about to happen."

Doug Williams, Grambling State University

"I do some extreme things, but I know that no other punter in the league is doing. And that's my goal because I just want to stand out. I want to be the best at what I do. Fort Valley State taught me to work real hard. If you decided to keep moving from every situation that was hard, you would never learn, you would never grow. I don't like taking the easy way out."

Marquette King, Fort Valley State

NFL Network’s celebration of Black History Month continues on Friday, Feb. 23 with an encore airing of Breaking Ground, plus “NFL Classic Games in Black History,” reliving Williams' Super Bowl XXII win over the Broncos and Super Bowl XLI — the first Super Bowl that featured two black head coaches, Lovie Smith of the Chicago Bears and Tony Dungy of the Indianapolis Colts. A new NFL 360 will focus on the importance of Black History Month in the NFL.