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.

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 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 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.

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.

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 NFL announced its 17-week, 256-game regular-season schedule for 2019, which kicks off on Thursday night, September 5, in Chicago and concludes with 16 division games on Sunday, December 29.

The league’s 100th season begins with the NFL’s annual primetime kickoff game. Two of the NFL’s oldest franchises renew one of the richest rivalries in sports when the Chicago Bears host the Green Bay Packers at Soldier Field on Thursday, September 5 (8:20 PM ET, NBC).

NFL100 Celebration

The Chicago Bears host the Green Bay Packers in the NFL's annual primtetime kickoff game.

The Chicago Bears host the Green Bay Packers in the NFL's annual primtetime kickoff game.

To help celebrate the NFL’s 100th season, each week during the regular season will feature an NFL100 Game of the Week. Each game will be a nod to a momentous game played, a fierce rivalry that spans decades, a matchup of original teams and/or a game in which history was made. The games will be split across days and networks based on how they fall on the schedule.

The first four contests in the NFL100 Game of the Week lineup include each of the league’s four network broadcast partners. Rivals Green Bay and Chicago open the series September 5 (NBC), followed by the Browns at Jets September 16 (ESPN) in a rematch of the original 1970 Monday Night Football game. Miami comes to Dallas September 22 (FOX), reuniting the Super Bowl VI teams, and the Chargers travel to Miami September 29 (CBS), evoking memories of their epic 1981 Divisional playoff, when Dan Fouts led his team to a 41-38 overtime triumph at Miami.

Other Schedule Highlights

New England begins defense of its Super Bowl LIII title on NBC’s Sunday Night Football, September 8, hosting Pittsburgh.

New England begins defense of its Super Bowl LIII title on NBC’s Sunday Night Football, September 8, hosting Pittsburgh.

New England begins defense of its Super Bowl LIII title on NBC’s Sunday Night Football, September 8, hosting Pittsburgh (8:20 PM ET).

The 50th season of Monday Night Football kicks off September 9 with an ESPN doubleheader, as Houston travels to New Orleans (7:10 PM ET) followed by Denver at Oakland in the nightcap (10:20 PM ET).

ESPN will televise one game each Monday night in Weeks 2-16, including the two teams (Cleveland at the New York Jets, September 16, 8:15 ET) that kicked off the longest running television series in American history, in 1970. There will be no Monday night game on the final regular-season weekend (Week 17) to provide more flexibility for the scheduling of the opening weekend of the NFL playoffs.

All 32 clubs are again scheduled for at least one nationally televised Thursday, Sunday or Monday game.

Related: It takes hundreds of computers and five NFL executives to create the NFL’s 256-game masterpiece. Learn how.

Thursday Night Football will air exclusively on NFL Network in Weeks 2-3, while FOX kicks off its Thursday night slate in Week 4. FOX will broadcast 11 Thursday Night Football games between Weeks 4-15 (excluding Thanksgiving night). Those FOX games will be simulcast via NFL Network, distributed in Spanish on FOX Deportes, and streamed on Amazon Prime Video, beginning with Philadelphia at Green Bay, September 26.

All told, NFL Network will exclusively televise seven games (two on Thursday night, two games in London and all three in Week 16 on Saturday, December 21), with FOX producing the full slate of 18 games.

A select number of games will be “cross-flexed,” moving between CBS and FOX to bring potentially under-distributed games to wider audiences. Some of those contests were announced today and other “cross-flexed” games will be decided during the season.

The regular season will conclude with Week 17 on Sunday, December 29. For the 11th consecutive year, all 16 games scheduled for Week 17 are division contests, enhancing the potential for more games with playoff ramifications.

The NFL’s 32 teams will each play 16 games over 17 weeks. Byes will begin in Week 4 and end in Week 12.

Six 2019 games are rematches of 2018 playoff games. That group includes five matchups -- Kansas City at New England (December 8, CBS), the Los Angeles Rams at Dallas (December 15, FOX), Chicago at Philadelphia (November 3, FOX) and Houston at Indianapolis (October 20, CBS) – that will be played at the home of the team that had to travel in January.

Other 2019 schedule notes:

  • Five clubs will play both Super Bowl LIII teams. Pittsburgh, Baltimore, Cincinnati, Cleveland and Dallas have both the Patriots and Rams on their slates.
  • One of those Thursday games is a Super Bowl XLII and XLVI rematch, the New York Giants at New England (Week 6). Other rematches include Seattle at Pittsburgh (Super Bowl XL, Week 2, FOX), New England at Philadelphia (Super Bowls XXXIX and LII, Week 11, CBS) and Baltimore at San Francisco (Super Bowl XLVII, Week 13, FOX).
  • The overall schedule is balanced with regard to the fact that no team will play more than seven 2018 playoff teams and no team will play fewer than five 2018 playoff teams.
  • The Patriots and Chiefs, featuring the teams with the NFL’s longest-tenured head coaches (Bill Belichick and Andy Reid), meet for a third consecutive year. Their last two regular-season games (2017-18) have combined for 152 points.

NFL International Series

The Oakland Raiders will host the Chicago Bears in the inaugural NFL game at the new Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

The Oakland Raiders will host the Chicago Bears in the inaugural NFL game at the new Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

The NFL’s 2019 international slate features four games in London and one in Mexico City. The Oakland Raiders will host the Chicago Bears in Week 5 on Sunday, October 6 (1:00 PM ET, FOX), in the inaugural NFL game at the new Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

One week later on Sunday, October 13 (9:30 AM ET, NFLN), also at Tottenham, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will host the Carolina Panthers, who will be playing their first game in London. London action shifts to Wembley Stadium in Weeks 8 and 9 when the Los Angeles Rams host the Cincinnati Bengals on October 27 (1:00 PM ET, CBS) followed by the Jacksonville Jaguars hosting the Houston Texans, another first-time visitor to London, on November 3 (9:30 AM ET, NFLN).

Mexico City's Azteca Stadium will host a matchup between AFC West rivals Kansas City Chiefs and Los Angeles Chargers in Week 11 on Monday Night Football, November 18 (8:15 PM ET, ESPN). Both teams will be playing in Mexico for the first time.

Thanksgiving Games

Thanksgiving will feature a trio of matchups in Week 13 on Thursday, November 28. The first game will send the Bears to Detroit to face the Lions (12:30 PM ET, FOX). The late-afternoon game will feature Buffalo visiting Dallas (4:30 PM ET, CBS), the Bills’ first game on the holiday in 25 years, since a trip to the Pontiac Silverdome in 1994. The Thanksgiving Day festivities conclude with an NFC South showdown as the Falcons host New Orleans on NBC (8:20 PM ET).

Flex Scheduling

“Flexible scheduling” will again be used in Weeks 11-17. In Weeks 11-16, the schedule lists the games tentatively set for Sunday Night Football on NBC. Only Sunday afternoon games are eligible to be moved to Sunday night, in which case the tentatively scheduled Sunday night game would be moved to an afternoon start time. A flexible scheduling move would be announced at least 12 days before the game.

In Week 16, three of five possible matchups currently listed as TBD will be scheduled for Saturday on NFL Network: Houston at Tampa Bay, Buffalo at New England, Detroit at Denver, Oakland at the Los Angeles Chargers and San Francisco at the Los Angeles Rams. Start times and Saturday games for Week 16 will be announced no later than following Week 8, with the non-Saturday games to be played on Sunday.

For Week 17, the Sunday night game will be announced no later than six days prior to December 29. The schedule does not list a Sunday night game in Week 17, but an afternoon game with playoff implications will be moved to that time slot. Flexible scheduling ensures quality matchups in all Sunday time slots in those weeks and gives “surprise” teams a chance to play their way into primetime.

Flexible scheduling will not be applied to games airing on Thursday or Monday nights.

NFL Postseason Schedule

The playoffs will include four division winners and two wild cards from each conference and begin with Wild Card Weekend on Saturday and Sunday, January 4-5. The two division winners with the best records in each conference will earn first-round byes.

Wild Card Weekend winners join the top two division champions in each conference in the Divisional Playoffs on Saturday and Sunday, January 11-12. The AFC and NFC Championship Games will be played on Sunday, January 19, followed by the Pro Bowl on Sunday, January 26, at a site to be determined.

The NFL’s 100th season concludes on Sunday, February 2, with Super Bowl LIV at Miami’s Hard Rock Stadium (FOX).

The NFL is the only sports league that presents all regular-season and postseason games on free, over-the-air television in local markets. All postseason games are televised nationally.

Westwood One will broadcast on radio all NFL primetime games, the three Thanksgiving Day games and the entire NFL playoffs.

Fans can experience exciting NFL matchups in person by visiting their favorite team’s website, www.nfl.com/tickets, or on any NFL licensed ticketing channel. When purchasing tickets, be sure to look for the authenticated NFL ticket logo or the NFL shield.

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