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2017 NFL season

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

2017 National Football League season
Regular season
DurationSeptember 7, 2017 (2017-09-07) – December 31, 2017 (2017-12-31)
Start dateJanuary 6, 2018
AFC ChampionsNew England Patriots
NFC ChampionsPhiladelphia Eagles
Super Bowl LII
DateFebruary 4, 2018
SiteU.S. Bank Stadium, Minneapolis, Minnesota
ChampionsPhiladelphia Eagles
Pro Bowl
DateJanuary 28, 2018
SiteCamping World Stadium, Orlando, Florida
2017 NFL season is located in the United States
AFC teams: West, North, South, East
2017 NFL season is located in the United States
NFC teams: West, North, South, East

The 2017 NFL season was the 98th season in the history of the National Football League (NFL) and the 52nd of the Super Bowl era. The season began on September 7, 2017, with the Kansas City Chiefs defeating the defending Super Bowl LI champion New England Patriots in the NFL Kickoff Game. The season concluded with Super Bowl LII, in which the National Football Conference (NFC) champion Philadelphia Eagles defeated the American Football Conference (AFC) champion New England Patriots to win their first Super Bowl title, and fourth NFL championship, in franchise history, and making the NFC East the first and currently only division where every team has won a Super Bowl.

For the second time since the league expanded to a 16-game season, a team finished winless in a full season, as Cleveland lost all 16 of their games this season.

For the second consecutive year, a team relocated to the Los Angeles metropolitan area, as the former San Diego Chargers announced their intent to do so in January 2017.[1][2] This was the first time that the Los Angeles metropolitan area had two teams since 1982.

This is the most recent NFL season to not have any regular season games end in a tie.

YouTube Encyclopedic

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  • 2017 NFL Season in Six Minutes! | NFL Films
  • 2017 Playoffs Mini-Movie: From Mariota's Comeback to the Eagles Super Bowl Victory | NFL Highlights
  • A Dominating Performance: Vikings vs. Eagles 2017 NFC Championship
  • Best Moments of the 2017 NFL Season | Philadelphia Eagles
  • Vikings vs. Eagles | NFL NFC Championship Game Highlights


Player movement

The 2017 NFL League year began on March 9 at 4:00 p.m. ET. On March 7, clubs were allowed to contact and enter into contract negotiations with the agents of players who became unrestricted free agents upon the expiration of their contracts two days later. On March 9, clubs exercised options for 2017 on players who have option clauses in their contracts, submitted qualifying offers to their restricted free agents with expiring contracts and to whom desire to retain a Right of Refusal/Compensation, submitted a Minimum Salary Tender to retain exclusive negotiating rights to their players with expiring 2016 contracts and who have fewer than three accrued seasons of free agent credit, and teams were required to be under the salary cap using the "Top-51" definition (in which the 51 highest paid-players on the team's payroll must have a collected salary cap hit below the actual cap). The 2017 trading period also began the same day.

Free agency

A total of 496 players were eligible for some form of free agency at the beginning of the free agency period.[3] Notable players to change teams via free agency included:


The following notable trades were made during the 2017 league year:

Notable retirements



The 2017 NFL Draft was held on April 27–29 in Philadelphia. The Cleveland Browns selected Myles Garrett with the first overall pick.

Officiating changes

Alberto Riveron replaced Dean Blandino as the league's Vice President of Officiating.[56] Blandino would then be hired by Fox Sports as a rule analyst.

The following officials were hired:

  • Brian Bolinger (Line Judge)
  • Mark Butterworth (Replay Official)
  • Mike Carr (Down Judge)
  • Mike Chase (Replay Official)
  • Ryan Dickson (Field Judge)
  • John McGrath (moved from field to Replay Official)
  • Jimmy Oldham (Replay Official)
  • David Oliver (Line Judge)
  • Mearl Robinson (Field Judge)
  • Brad Rogers (Field Judge)
  • Danny Short (Line Judge)
  • Steve Woods (Umpire)

Rule changes

The following rule changes were approved for the 2017 NFL season at the owners' meeting on March 28, 2017:[57]

  • Defensive players are now prohibited from running toward the line of scrimmage and leaping or hurdling over offensive linemen on field goal or PAT attempts, similar to a change made in college football for the 2017 season. Previously this action was permitted as long as the leaper or hurdler did not land on other players.
  • Include in the definition of a "defenseless player" receivers tracking the quarterback or looking back for the ball, including inside the legal contact (5 yards from the line of scrimmage) zone.
  • Egregious hits to the head (similar to the "targeting" rule in NCAA football) will cause the player to risk immediate disqualification.
  • The replay control center will make the final ruling on reviewed plays instead of the game referee, although the referee can still provide input on reviewable plays.
  • The sideline replay monitor (the "hood") will be eliminated and replaced with a tablet on the field for the referee to review with the replay control center.
  • Crackback blocks are now prohibited by a backfield player in motion, even if he is not more than two yards outside the tackle box when the ball is snapped.
  • Make permanent the rule that players who commit two certain types of unsportsmanlike conduct penalties (throwing punches/forearms/kicking, even if they do not connect, directing abusive, threatening, or insulting language toward opponents, teammates, game officials or league officials, and using baiting or taunting acts or words that may engender ill will between teams) in the same game risk automatic disqualification.
  • Extend for a second season the change in the touchback spot after a kickoff or safety free kick to the 25-yard line.
  • Make illegal actions that would conserve time penalized by the option for a 10-second runoff inside of the two-minute warning of each half or overtime (previously this only applied in the final minute of each half or overtime).
  • If a team commits multiple fouls on the same down with the intent of manipulating the game clock, the team will be penalized 15 yards for unsportsmanlike conduct and the game clock will be reset. This change was made in response to both the San Francisco 49ers and the Baltimore Ravens employing this strategy by intentionally holding the defensive players to allow the game clock to run down or run out (in the case of the Ravens' game vs. the Cincinnati Bengals) during the previous season. A team may NOT be disqualified if it is their second unsportsmanlike conduct penalty against them.
  • In response to the move of Sarah Thomas from line judge to head linesman for the 2017 season, the NFL renamed the officiating position of the head linesman to "down judge".

The following rule changes were approved for the 2017 NFL season at the NFL Spring League meeting on May 23, 2017:[58]

  • Overtime has been shortened from 15 minutes to 10 minutes for preseason and regular season games. Playoff games will continue to have 15 minutes for overtime periods.
  • Restrictions on celebrations have been relaxed, removing penalties for group celebrations, going to the ground to celebrate, or using the ball as a prop.
  • Teams can bring two players back from injured reserve instead of one.
  • Teams can now cut their preseason rosters from 90 players to 53 on one day, removing the deadline to get the roster down to 75 players before the final preseason game.
  • Teams will not be required to give candidates for general manager final say over the 53-man roster.

The ban on teams contacting potential coaching candidates until that candidate's team has been eliminated from the playoffs was tabled.

2017 deaths

The following people associated with the NFL (or AFL) died in 2017.[59]

Members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame

Cortez Kennedy
Kennedy, a defensive tackle who spent 11 years with the Seattle Seahawks from 1990 to 2000 and had his number 96 retired by the organization, was a member of the Hall of Fame's class of 2012. He died May 23 at the age of 48, from suspected cardiac problems.[60]
Yale Lary
The special teams standout and defensive back played 11 nonconsecutive seasons for the Detroit Lions from 1952 to 1964, winning three championships, and was a member of the Hall's class of 1979. He died May 11 at the age of 86.[61]
Dan Rooney
was chairman and plurality owner of the Pittsburgh Steelers and one of the sons of founding owner Art Rooney, Sr. Having been officially involved with the franchise since 1960, Rooney was a part of all six of the Steelers' Super Bowl victories. In addition to this, Rooney was considered an active and progressive owner in the league's operations, most famously by successfully pushing for the Rooney Rule, an affirmative action policy requiring all NFL franchises to interview persons of color for head coaching vacancies. Concurrently with his role with the Steelers, Rooney also served as United States Ambassador to Ireland from 2009 to 2014. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2000, making him and his father the second father-son duo in the Hall behind Tim and Wellington Mara (to whom the Rooneys are related by marriage). Rooney died on April 13 at the age of 84.[62]
Y. A. Tittle
Tittle, a quarterback, spent 16 seasons in professional football, two in the All-America Football Conference and 14 in the NFL. He played for the Baltimore (Green) Colts, San Francisco 49ers (as a member of the Million Dollar Backfield) and New York Giants throughout his career. He set several passing records during his time in the NFL and is credited for inventing the alley-oop. He was never able to win a league championship despite three consecutive appearances in the game for the Giants, who retired his number 14. He was a member of the Hall's class of 1971. Tittle died October 8 at the age of 90 from complications due to dementia.[63]



Training camps for the 2017 season were held in late July through August. Teams started training camp no earlier than 15 days before the team's first scheduled preseason game.

Prior to the start of the regular season, each team played four preseason exhibition games, beginning on August 10. The preseason began on August 3, with the 2017 Pro Football Hall of Fame Game between the Dallas Cowboys (represented in the 2017 Hall of Fame Class by owner Jerry Jones) and the Arizona Cardinals (represented by quarterback Kurt Warner). It was televised nationally on NBC.[64] The preseason schedule ended on August 31; One preseason game between the Dallas Cowboys and Houston Texans, was canceled in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey.

Regular season

The 2017 regular season's 256 games were played over a 17-week schedule which began on September 7. Each of the league's 32 teams plays a 16-game schedule, with one bye week for each team. The slate also features games on Monday nights. There are games played on Thursday, including the National Football League Kickoff game in prime time on September 7 and games on Thanksgiving Day. The regular season concluded with a full slate of 16 games on Sunday, December 31, all of which were the intra–division matchups, as it has been since 2010.

Scheduling formula

Under the NFL's current scheduling formula, each team plays the other three teams in its own division twice. In addition a team plays against all four teams in one other division from each conference. The final two games on a team's schedule are against the two teams in the team's own conference in the divisions the team was not set to play which finished the previous season in the same rank in their division (e.g. the team which finished first in its division the previous season would play each other team in its conference that also finished first in its respective division). The preset division pairings for 2017 will be as follows.

AFC East vs AFC West
AFC North vs AFC South
NFC East vs NFC West
NFC North vs NFC South

AFC East vs NFC South
AFC North vs NFC North
AFC South vs NFC West
AFC West vs NFC East

Highlights of the 2017 schedule included:

The entire schedule was released on April 20, 2017.

In-season scheduling changes

The following games were moved or canceled because of severe weather, by way of flexible scheduling, or for other reasons:

  • Preseason Week 4: Due to the effects of Hurricane Harvey in the Houston area, the DallasHouston game was eventually canceled. The 2017 Texas Governor's Cup preseason game, originally scheduled to be played at Houston's NRG Stadium, was initially moved to the Cowboys' AT&T Stadium, before the NFL opted instead to cancel the game altogether in order to allow Texans' players and coaches to reunite with their families and assist with the relief efforts.[70]
  • Week 1: Due to the threat posed from Hurricane Irma, the Tampa BayMiami game was rescheduled to Week 11 (November 19), when both teams were originally scheduled to have their bye week. Both teams therefore had their bye rescheduled to Week 1.[71] This is the first time a hurricane forced a postponement of an NFL game since 2008 when Baltimore and Houston had their game postponed due to Hurricane Ike.
  • Week 7: The CincinnatiPittsburgh game, originally scheduled to start at 1:00 p.m. ET, was moved to 4:25 p.m. ET, still on CBS. In addition, the CarolinaChicago game was cross-flexed from Fox to CBS, still at 1:00 p.m. ET.[72]
  • Week 12: The New OrleansLos Angeles Rams game, originally scheduled to start at 4:05 p.m. ET on Fox, was cross-flexed and moved to 4:25 p.m. ET on CBS. In addition, the TennesseeIndianapolis game was cross-flexed from CBS to Fox, still at 1:00 p.m. ET.[73]
  • Week 13: The CarolinaNew Orleans game, originally scheduled to start at 1:00 p.m. ET, was moved to 4:25 p.m. ET, still on Fox. In addition, the DenverMiami game was cross-flexed from CBS to Fox, still at 1:00 p.m. ET.[73]
  • Week 14: The DallasNew York Giants game, originally scheduled to start at 4:25 p.m. ET, was moved to 1:00 p.m. ET, still on Fox. In addition, the SeattleJacksonville game, originally scheduled to start at 1:00 p.m. ET, was moved to 4:25 p.m. ET, still on Fox.[74]
  • Week 15: The HoustonJacksonville game was cross-flexed from CBS to Fox, still at 1:00 p.m. ET.[75]
  • Week 17: All games with playoff implications were moved to a 4:25 p.m. ET kickoff, with no change in network assignment: CincinnatiBaltimore, BuffaloMiami, JacksonvilleTennessee, CarolinaAtlanta, and New OrleansTampa Bay. Additionally, no Sunday Night Football game was scheduled, marking the first time since 1977 that the regular season play concluded with no primetime game. The NFL stated that it did not want to schedule a primetime game that could potentially lose its playoff implications due to the events of the afternoon games, as well as conflicting with New Year's Eve programming.[76][77]

Regular season standings



Division leaders
1[a] New England Patriots East 13 3 0 .813 5–1 10–2 .484 .466 W3
2[a] Pittsburgh Steelers North 13 3 0 .813 6–0 10–2 .453 .423 W2
3[b] Jacksonville Jaguars South 10 6 0 .625 4–2 9–3 .434 .394 L2
4[b] Kansas City Chiefs West 10 6 0 .625 5–1 8–4 .477 .481 W4
Wild Cards
5[c] Tennessee Titans South 9 7 0 .563 5–1 8–4 .434 .396 W1
6[c] Buffalo Bills East 9 7 0 .563 3–3 7–5 .492 .396 W1
Did not qualify for the postseason
7[c] Baltimore Ravens North 9 7 0 .563 3–3 7–5 .441 .299 L1
8[c] Los Angeles Chargers West 9 7 0 .563 3–3 6–6 .457 .347 W2
9 Cincinnati Bengals North 7 9 0 .438 3–3 6–6 .465 .321 W2
10[d] Oakland Raiders West 6 10 0 .375 2–4 5–7 .512 .396 L4
11[d] Miami Dolphins East 6 10 0 .375 2–4 5–7 .543 .531 L3
12[e] Denver Broncos West 5 11 0 .313 2–4 4–8 .492 .413 L2
13[e] New York Jets East 5 11 0 .313 2–4 5–7 .520 .438 L4
14[f] Indianapolis Colts South 4 12 0 .250 2–4 3–9 .480 .219 W1
15[f] Houston Texans South 4 12 0 .250 1–5 3–9 .516 .375 L6
16 Cleveland Browns North 0 16 0 .000 0–6 0–12 .520 L16
  1. ^ a b New England claimed the No. 1 seed over Pittsburgh based on head-to-head victory.
  2. ^ a b Jacksonville claimed the No. 3 seed over Kansas City based on conference record.
  3. ^ a b c d Tennessee finished ahead of Buffalo, Baltimore and Los Angeles Chargers based on conference record, claiming the No. 5 seed.
    Buffalo and Baltimore finished ahead of Los Angeles Chargers based on conference record.
    Buffalo claimed the No. 6 seed over Baltimore based on strength of victory.
  4. ^ a b Oakland finished ahead of Miami based on head-to-head victory.
  5. ^ a b Denver finished ahead of the New York Jets based on head-to-head victory.
  6. ^ a b Indianapolis finished ahead of Houston based on head-to-head sweep.
  7. ^ When breaking ties for three or more teams under the NFL's rules, they are first broken within divisions, then comparing only the highest ranked remaining team from each division.
Division leaders
1[a] Philadelphia Eagles East 13 3 0 .813 5–1 10–2 .461 .433 L1
2[a] Minnesota Vikings North 13 3 0 .813 5–1 10–2 .492 .447 W3
3[b] Los Angeles Rams West 11 5 0 .688 4–2 7–5 .504 .460 L1
4[b][c] New Orleans Saints South 11 5 0 .688 4–2 8–4 .535 .483 L1
Wild Cards
5[c] Carolina Panthers South 11 5 0 .688 3–3 7–5 .539 .500 L1
6 Atlanta Falcons South 10 6 0 .625 4–2 9–3 .543 .475 W1
Did not qualify for the postseason
7[d] Detroit Lions North 9 7 0 .563 5–1 8–4 .496 .368 W1
8[d] Seattle Seahawks West 9 7 0 .563 4–2 7–5 .492 .444 L1
9[d] Dallas Cowboys East 9 7 0 .563 5–1 7–5 .496 .438 W1
10 Arizona Cardinals West 8 8 0 .500 3–3 5–7 .488 .406 W2
11[e] Green Bay Packers North 7 9 0 .438 2–4 5–7 .539 .357 L3
12[e] Washington Redskins East 7 9 0 .438 1–5 5–7 .539 .429 L1
13 San Francisco 49ers West 6 10 0 .375 1–5 3–9 .512 .438 W5
14[f] Tampa Bay Buccaneers South 5 11 0 .313 1–5 3–9 .555 .375 W1
15[f] Chicago Bears North 5 11 0 .313 0–6 1–11 .559 .500 L1
16 New York Giants East 3 13 0 .188 1–5 1–11 .531 .458 W1
  1. ^ a b Philadelphia claimed the No. 1 seed over Minnesota based on winning percentage vs. common opponents. Philadelphia's cumulative record against Carolina, Chicago, the Los Angeles Rams and Washington was 5–0, compared to Minnesota's 4–1 cumulative record against the same four teams.
  2. ^ a b LA Rams claimed the No. 3 seed over New Orleans based on head-to-head victory.
  3. ^ a b New Orleans clinched the NFC South division over Carolina based on head-to-head sweep.
  4. ^ a b c Detroit finished ahead of Dallas and Seattle based on conference record, while Seattle finished ahead of Dallas based on head-to-head victory.
  5. ^ a b Green Bay finished ahead of Washington based on record vs. common opponents. Green Bay's cumulative record against Dallas, Minnesota, New Orleans and Seattle was 2–3, compared to Washington's 1–4 cumulative record against the same four teams.
  6. ^ a b Tampa Bay finished ahead of Chicago based on head-to-head victory.
  7. ^ When breaking ties for three or more teams under the NFL's rules, they are first broken within divisions, then comparing only the highest ranked remaining team from each division.


The 2017 playoffs began on January 6–7, 2018 with the Wild Card playoff round. The four winners of these playoff games visited the top two seeded teams in each conference in the Divisional round games played on January 13–14. The winners of those games advanced the Conference championship games was held on January 21. The two Conference champions advanced to Super Bowl LII was held on February 4 at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis. The 2018 Pro Bowl was held at Camping World Stadium in Orlando on January 28.


Jan 7 – Mercedes-Benz Superdome Jan 14U.S. Bank Stadium
5 Carolina 26
4 New Orleans 24
4 New Orleans 31 Jan 21 – Lincoln Financial Field
2 Minnesota 29
Jan 6 – Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum 2 Minnesota 7
Jan 13 – Lincoln Financial Field
1 Philadelphia 38
6 Atlanta 26 NFC Championship
6 Atlanta 10
3 LA Rams 13 Feb 4 – U.S. Bank Stadium
1 Philadelphia 15
Wild Card playoffs
Divisional playoffs
Jan 7 – EverBank Field N1 Philadelphia 41
Jan 14 – Heinz Field
A1 New England 33
6 Buffalo 3 Super Bowl LII
3 Jacksonville 45
3 Jacksonville 10 Jan 21 – Gillette Stadium
2 Pittsburgh 42
Jan 6 – Arrowhead Stadium 3 Jacksonville 20
Jan 13 – Gillette Stadium
1 New England 24
5 Tennessee 22 AFC Championship
5 Tennessee 14
4 Kansas City 21
1 New England 35

Notable events

Protesting police brutality

During a September 22, 2017 speech, the President of the United States, Donald Trump, made controversial remarks criticizing the practice of taking a knee during the playing of the national anthem—a practice popularized by Colin Kaepernick in 2016 as part of an effort to protest alleged racial inequality and police brutality. Trump suggested that those who partake in the practice were disrespecting the country's heritage, and asked his audience, "wouldn't you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, 'Get that son of a bitch off the field right now. Out! He's fired. He's fired!'" During the subsequent weekend of games, over 200 players protested the remarks, by either kneeling or locking arms during the playing of the national anthem. The Pittsburgh Steelers (with the exception of offensive tackle and former Army Ranger Alejandro Villanueva), Tennessee Titans and Seattle Seahawks chose to not go out on field at all during the anthem.[78][79][80]

Sale of the Carolina Panthers

On December 17, 2017, Jerry Richardson, owner of the Carolina Panthers, announced he was putting the team up for sale.[81][82] Richardson had previously indicated the team would be put up for sale after his death (since his only living son left the team in 2009),[83] but an exposé in Sports Illustrated accused Richardson of paying hush money to cover up questionable conduct, including racial slurs and sexually suggestive requests of employees, hastening Richardson's decision.[84] The Panthers' lease on Bank of America Stadium expired after the 2018 season,[85] which would have allowed any incoming owner to relocate the team out of the Carolinas to another market of their choice without penalty had they so desired.

Records, milestones, and notable statistics

Week 1
  • Kareem Hunt finished with 246 total yards, setting the record for the most total yards (rushing and receiving) in an NFL debut.[86][87]
Week 2
Week 3
  • Odell Beckham Jr. broke the record for fastest receiver to reach 300 career receptions, doing so in 45 games.[90]
  • Matt Prater broke the previous NFL record of three made field goals from more than 55 yards in a season by kicking a 57-yard field goal against the Atlanta Falcons.[91]
  • Jake Elliott kicked a 61-yard field goal, the longest for a rookie in NFL history.
Week 5
Week 6
Week 7
Week 9
  • Matt Ryan passed for 39,858 career yards after 150 career games, breaking the record for most passing yards by a player in NFL history in his first 150 games previously held by Drew Brees.[96]
  • Eli Manning became the seventh quarterback in NFL history with at least 50,000 passing yards.[96]
Week 10
Week 11
Week 12
Week 13
Week 14
Week 15
  • LeSean McCoy surpassed 10,000 career rushing yards, becoming the 30th player in league history to reach the milestone.[110]
Week 16
  • The New England Patriots have won at least 12 games in eight consecutive seasons, surpassing the 2003–09 Indianapolis Colts for the longest such streak in NFL history.[111]
  • Drew Brees became the third quarterback to throw for 70,000 yards, joining Peyton Manning and Brett Favre. Brees reached the milestone in his 248th career game and is the fastest in league history to accomplish the feat.
  • Drew Brees surpassed the 4,000 passing yards for the 12th consecutive season, extending his own record.[111]
Week 17


Wild Card Round
  • The Tennessee Titans became the third away team in NFL history to have rallied from at least 18 points down to win a playoff game, joining the 1957 Detroit Lions and the 1972 Dallas Cowboys[115]
  • Marcus Mariota attempted a pass, which was deflected by Darrelle Revis, back into the hands of Mariota who promptly ran it in for a touchdown, making him the first quarterback in NFL postseason history to complete a touchdown pass to himself.[116] This also made him the first player in the Super Bowl era with passing and receiving touchdowns in the same playoff game.[117]
Super Bowl LII
  • Super Bowl LII marked an NFL record eighth Super Bowl appearance for Tom Brady and Bill Belichick a QB/head coach duo.[118]
  • It also marked the New England Patriots' 10th Super Bowl appearance, extending their own record.[118]
  • Tom Brady's career 357 pass attempts, 235 completions, 2,576 passing yards, and 18 passing touchdowns in the Super Bowl are all records.[118]
  • Tom Brady set the single-game record for most passing yards in a Super Bowl with 505.[118]
  • The 33 points scored by the Patriots were the most points scored by the losing team in a Super Bowl.[118]
  • The Patriots set Super Bowl records for most total yards in a game with 613, the fewest punts in a game with zero, and the most passing yards with 505.[118]
  • Jake Elliott set the Super Bowl rookie record by kicking a 46-yard field goal.[119]
  • The Patriots and the Philadelphia Eagles combined for several Super Bowl records including, 42 first downs passing, 1,151 total yards, 874 passing yards, fewest punts in the game with one, and four missed PAT conversions. The 1,151 total yards set a record for the most combined yards in any NFL game (regular or post-season)[118]

Regular season statistical leaders

Scoring leader Greg Zuerlein, Los Angeles Rams (158)
Most field goals made Robbie Gould, San Francisco (39 FGs)
Touchdowns Todd Gurley, Los Angeles Rams (19 TDs)
Rushing Kareem Hunt, Kansas City (1,327 yards)
Passing yards Tom Brady, New England (4,577 yards)
Passing touchdowns Russell Wilson, Seattle (34 TDs)
Passer rating Alex Smith, Kansas (104.7 rating)
Pass receptions Jarvis Landry, Miami (112 catches)
Pass receiving yards Antonio Brown, Pittsburgh (1,533 yards)
Combined tackles Preston Brown, Buffalo (144 tackles)
Interceptions Kevin Byard, Tennessee and Darius Slay, Detroit (8)
Punting Shane Lechler, Houston (4,507 yards, 49.0 average yards)
Sacks Chandler Jones, Arizona (17)


Individual season awards

The 7th Annual NFL Honors, saluting the best players and plays from 2017 season, was held at the Northrop Auditorium in Minneapolis, Minnesota on February 3, 2018.[121]

Award Winner Position Team
AP Most Valuable Player Tom Brady Quarterback New England Patriots
AP Offensive Player of the Year Todd Gurley Running back Los Angeles Rams
AP Defensive Player of the Year Aaron Donald Defensive tackle Los Angeles Rams
AP Coach of the Year Sean McVay Head coach Los Angeles Rams
AP Assistant Coach of the Year Pat Shurmur Offensive coordinator Minnesota Vikings
AP Offensive Rookie of the Year Alvin Kamara Running back New Orleans Saints
AP Defensive Rookie of the Year Marshon Lattimore Cornerback New Orleans Saints
AP Comeback Player of the Year Keenan Allen Wide receiver Los Angeles Chargers
Pepsi Rookie of the Year Alvin Kamara Running back New Orleans Saints
Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year J. J. Watt Defensive end Houston Texans
PFWA NFL Executive of the Year Howie Roseman Executive VP of football operations Philadelphia Eagles
Super Bowl Most Valuable Player Nick Foles Quarterback Philadelphia Eagles

All-Pro team

The following players were named First Team All-Pro by the Associated Press:

Quarterback Tom Brady, New England
Running back Todd Gurley, Los Angeles Rams
Flex Le'Veon Bell, Pittsburgh
Wide receiver Antonio Brown, Pittsburgh
DeAndre Hopkins, Houston
Tight end Rob Gronkowski, New England
Left tackle Andrew Whitworth, Los Angeles Rams
Left guard Andrew Norwell, Carolina
Center Jason Kelce, Philadelphia
Right guard David DeCastro, Pittsburgh
Right tackle Lane Johnson, Philadelphia
Edge rusher Calais Campbell, Jacksonville
Cameron Jordan, New Orleans
Interior lineman Aaron Donald, Los Angeles Rams
Cam Heyward, Pittsburgh
Linebacker Chandler Jones, Arizona
Bobby Wagner, Seattle
Luke Kuechly, Carolina
Cornerback Jalen Ramsey, Jacksonville
Xavier Rhodes, Minnesota
Safety Kevin Byard, Tennessee
Harrison Smith, Minnesota
Special teams
Placekicker Greg Zuerlein, Los Angeles Rams
Punter Johnny Hekker, Los Angeles Rams
Kick returner Pharoh Cooper, Los Angeles Rams
Special teams Budda Baker, Arizona

Players of the week/month

The following were named the top performers during the 2017 season:

Player of the Week/Month
Player of the Week/Month
Special Teams
Player of the Week/Month
1[122] Alex Smith
Sam Bradford
Calais Campbell
Trumaine Johnson
Giorgio Tavecchio
Matt Prater
2[123] Tom Brady
J. J. Nelson
Chris Jones
Desmond Trufant
Cody Parkey
Jamal Agnew
3[124] Tom Brady
Kirk Cousins
Terrence Brooks
DeMarcus Lawrence
Steven Hauschka
Jake Elliott
Sept.[125] Kareem Hunt
Todd Gurley
Melvin Ingram
DeMarcus Lawrence
Ryan Succop
Matt Prater
4[126] Deshaun Watson
Todd Gurley
Cameron Heyward
Julius Peppers
Steven Hauschka
Greg Zuerlein
5[127] Melvin Gordon
Aaron Rodgers
Telvin Smith
Earl Thomas
Adam Vinatieri
Kenjon Barner
6[128] Le'Veon Bell
Adrian Peterson
Johnathan Joseph
Cameron Jordan
Ryan Succop
Pharoh Cooper
7[129] Amari Cooper
Carson Wentz
Kevin Byard
Eddie Jackson
Travis Benjamin
Kai Forbath
8[130] JuJu Smith-Schuster
Russell Wilson
Carlos Dunlap
Jalen Mills
Harrison Butker
Tyrone Crawford
Oct.[131] Deshaun Watson
Carson Wentz
Micah Hyde
Everson Griffen
Harrison Butker
Greg Zuerlein
9[132] T. Y. Hilton
Jared Goff
Jordan Jenkins
Karlos Dansby
Jaydon Mickens
Justin Hardee
10[133] Tom Brady
Cam Newton
A. J. Bouye
Adrian Clayborn
Dion Lewis
Greg Zuerlein
11[134] Antonio Brown
Mark Ingram II
Matthew Judon
Landon Collins
Stephen Gostkowski
Tyler Lockett
12[135] Philip Rivers
Julio Jones
Cameron Heyward
Luke Kuechly
Sam Koch
Phil Dawson
Nov.[136] Tom Brady
Case Keenum
Casey Hayward
Cameron Jordan
Justin Tucker
Greg Zuerlein
13[137] Josh McCown
Russell Wilson
Eric Weddle
Dean Lowry
Chris Boswell
Robbie Gould
14[138] Ben Roethlisberger
Jonathan Stewart
Xavien Howard
Deion Jones
Jaydon Mickens
Trevor Davis
15[139] Rob Gronkowski
Todd Gurley
Marcus Peters
Darius Slay
Sam Koch
Robbie Gould
16[140] Dion Lewis
Todd Gurley
Mike Hilton
Harrison Smith
Harrison Butker
Damiere Byrd
17[141] Philip Rivers
Chris Godwin
Kevin Byard
Ezekiel Ansah
JuJu Smith-Schuster
Matt Bryant
Dec.[142] Le'Veon Bell
Todd Gurley
Jordan Poyer
Chandler Jones
Harrison Butker
Robbie Gould
Week FedEx Air Player of the Week
FedEx Ground Player of the Week
(Running backs)[143]
Pepsi Rookie of the Week[144] Castrol Edge Clutch Performer
of the Week[145]
1 Alex Smith
Kareem Hunt
Kareem Hunt
Alex Smith
2 Trevor Siemian
C. J. Anderson
Tyus Bowser
Trevor Siemian
3 Tom Brady
Kareem Hunt
Jake Elliott
Jake Elliott
4 Deshaun Watson
Le'Veon Bell
Alvin Kamara
Deshaun Watson
5 Carson Wentz
Leonard Fournette
Aaron Jones
Aaron Rodgers
6 Carson Wentz
Adrian Peterson
Marshon Lattimore
Mark Ingram II
7 Derek Carr
Aaron Jones
Aaron Jones
Carson Wentz
8 Russell Wilson
LeSean McCoy
Marshon Lattimore
Russell Wilson
9 Jay Cutler
Alvin Kamara
Alvin Kamara
Carson Wentz
10 Case Keenum
Mark Ingram II
Alvin Kamara
Mark Ingram II
11 Drew Brees
Mark Ingram II
Alvin Kamara
Drew Brees
12 Philip Rivers
Alvin Kamara
Alvin Kamara
Antonio Brown
13 Alex Smith
Jamaal Williams
Alvin Kamara
Aaron Jones
14 Ben Roethlisberger
LeSean McCoy
Jamaal Williams
Davante Adams
15 Jimmy Garoppolo
Todd Gurley
Marshon Lattimore
Jimmy Garoppolo
16 Jared Goff
Todd Gurley
Marshon Lattimore
Jimmy Garoppolo
17 Philip Rivers
Orleans Darkwa
Alvin Kamara
Tyler Boyd
Month Rookie of the Month
Offensive Defensive
Sept.[146] Kareem Hunt
Tre'Davious White
Oct.[147] Deshaun Watson
Marshon Lattimore
Nov.[148] Alvin Kamara
Reuben Foster
Dec.[149] Kareem Hunt
Marshon Lattimore

Head coaching and front office personnel changes

Head coaches


Team 2016 head coach 2016 interim 2017 replacement Reason for leaving Notes
Buffalo Bills Rex Ryan Anthony Lynn Sean McDermott Fired Ryan was fired with one week remaining in the 2016 regular season and a 15–16 record with no playoff appearances in two seasons.[150]

Lynn began the 2016 season as running backs coach, then moved to offensive coordinator when Greg Roman was fired in week 3, then interim head coach after the Ryans' dismissal. Lynn lost his one game as interim head coach.[151]

Former Carolina Panthers' defensive coordinator Sean McDermott was named as the Bills' new head coach on January 11, 2017.[152] This marks McDermott's first head coaching job.

Denver Broncos Gary Kubiak Vance Joseph Retired Kubiak retired from coaching after two seasons due to health concerns, with a victory in Super Bowl 50 and a 24–10 record, including postseason games.[153] Kubiak would later return to the Broncos six months later, working for their front office as a Senior Personnel Advisor.

Joseph, who spent the previous season as the Miami Dolphins' defensive coordinator, was hired on January 11, 2017,[154] marking his first head coaching position.

Jacksonville Jaguars Gus Bradley Doug Marrone Fired Bradley was fired with two weeks remaining in the 2016 season and a 14–48 (.226) record with no playoff appearances in four seasons.[155]

Marrone, the Jaguars' offensive line coach, was previously head coach of the Buffalo Bills from 2013 to 2014; he went 1–1 in his two games as interim head coach of the Jaguars.[156] On January 9, 2017, the Jaguars announced that Marrone would be named permanent head coach.[157]

Los Angeles Chargers Mike McCoy Anthony Lynn McCoy was fired after four seasons, with one playoff appearance and a 27–37 record.[158]

Lynn was hired as the Chargers' new head coach on January 12, 2017.[159] He previously coached one game as interim head coach of the Buffalo Bills in 2016, with an 0–1 record.

Los Angeles Rams Jeff Fisher John Fassel Sean McVay Fisher was fired after going 4–9 through the first 13 games of the 2016 season, and 31–45–1 (.414) in his five-year tenure with the Rams, with no playoff appearances.[160]

Fassel, the son of former NFL head coach Jim Fassel, has been the Rams' special teams coach since 2012; he went 0–3 in the interim.

On January 12, former Washington Redskins offensive coordinator Sean McVay was named head coach. At the time of his hiring, McVay was 30 years old, making him the youngest head coach in NFL history (excluding the player-coaches of the 1920s).

San Francisco 49ers Chip Kelly Kyle Shanahan Kelly was fired after one season with a 2–14 record.[161][162]

Shanahan, who most recently served as the Atlanta Falcons' offensive coordinator, was named the new coach of the 49ers on February 6, 2017.[163] This marked Shanahan's first head coaching position.


Team 2017 head coach Reason for leaving Interim replacement Notes
New York Giants Ben McAdoo Fired Steve Spagnuolo McAdoo became the Giants' head coach in 2016, leading the Giants to a 13–15 (.464) record over the course of parts of two seasons. After accruing a 2–10 (.167) record and benching popular starter Eli Manning (who at the time held the longest active streak as a starting NFL quarterback) during the season, he was fired on December 4, and replaced in the interim by defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo, who was previously the St. Louis Rams' head coach from 2009 to 2011.[164]

Front office personnel


Team Position 2016 office holder Reason for leaving 2017 office holder Notes
San Francisco 49ers GM Trent Baalke Fired John Lynch Baalke, who spent the past twelve years with the team, informed KNBR-AM in San Francisco on January 1, 2017, that he had been fired.[162][165] On January 29, 2017, Lynch, a former player and broadcaster, was named the general manager of the San Francisco 49ers; it is his first front office position.[166][167]
Jacksonville Jaguars EVP-FO position created Tom Coughlin Coughlin, the team's inaugural head coach, was rehired as executive vice president of football operations on January 9, 2017. He had spent the 2016 season out of football after several years of coaching the New York Giants.
Indianapolis Colts GM Ryan Grigson Fired Chris Ballard Grigson was relieved of his duties as Colts general manager on January 21, 2017.[168] On January 30, 2017, Chris Ballard, who had spent the past four seasons as director of football operations for the Kansas City Chiefs, was named the new GM of the Colts.
Washington Redskins GM Scot McCloughan Vacant McCloughan was fired on March 9, 2017, after two seasons with the Redskins.[169] Doug Williams was named senior vice president of player personnel on June 13, 2017.[170]
Buffalo Bills GM Doug Whaley Brandon Beane Whaley was fired the morning of April 30, 2017, immediately following the draft. He had spent seven seasons with the Bills, four of them as general manager.[171] Brandon Beane, who had spent the previous 19 seasons with the Carolina Panthers (most recently as assistant general manager), was hired as the new general manager on May 9, 2017.[172]
Kansas City Chiefs GM John Dorsey Brett Veach Dorsey was unexpectedly fired on June 22, 2017, after four seasons.[173] Brett Veach, who had spent the past four seasons as the Chiefs co-director of player personnel, was promoted to general manager on July 10, 2017.[174]
Carolina Panthers GM Dave Gettleman Marty Hurney Gettleman was also unexpectedly fired after four seasons on July 17, 2017.[175] Marty Hurney, who was the Panthers' GM from 2002 to 2012, was rehired as the interim general manager for the 2017 season and was later named general manager on a permanent basis.[176][177]


Team Position 2017 office holder Reason for leaving Interim replacement Notes
New York Giants GM Jerry Reese Fired Kevin Abrams Having been in the organization since 1994, Reese was the Giants GM since 2007, leading them to two Super Bowl championships and several years of success. He was fired on December 4 along with head coach Ben McAdoo.[164] He was replaced in the interim by former Detroit Lions cornerback Kevin Abrams, who has no previous front office experience.[178]
Cleveland Browns VP/GM Sashi Brown John Dorsey Brown was fired on December 7. Brown, who had served as the team's lawyer since 2013, was given the duties of general manager in 2016 despite no prior experience in football. He was considered responsible for trading away the high round draft picks that ended up being Carson Wentz and Deshaun Watson. In addition, he failed to follow through on a trade for Bengals backup quarterback A. J. McCarron, which was contributed to him simply failing to inform the league of the trade in time.[179] Later that day, the Browns named former Kansas City Chiefs GM John Dorsey as their new GM. As general manager in Kansas City from 2013 to 2016, the Chiefs recorded a 43–21 (.672) record.[180]


Atlanta Falcons

The Atlanta Falcons played their first season at Mercedes-Benz Stadium, after playing in the Georgia Dome for the previous 25 seasons. The Georgia Dome was demolished by implosion on the morning of November 20, 2017.


San Diego Chargers' relocation to Los Angeles

On January 12, 2017, the San Diego Chargers exercised their option to relocate to Los Angeles as the Los Angeles Chargers. They joined the Los Angeles Rams as tenants in their new stadium, SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California when that stadium opened in 2020. Between 2017 and 2019, the Chargers played at the 30,000 seat StubHub Center in Carson, California, the smallest venue (in terms of number of seats) the league has used for a full season since 1956.[2]

Oakland Raiders' relocation to Las Vegas

On January 19, 2017, the Oakland Raiders filed paperwork to relocate to Las Vegas, Nevada. The NFL officially approved the Raiders relocation to Las Vegas on March 27. Unlike the Chargers, the Raiders remained at the Oakland–Alameda County Coliseum through the 2018 and 2019 seasons while Allegiant Stadium was built, with the team moving to Nevada in 2020.[181]


The Los Angeles Rams, who had capped season ticket sales at 55,000 for the 2017 season, announced to have 60,128 spectators in the first home game on week 1. However, reports estimate that spectators only filled a third of the 93,607 seats of the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.[182] The Los Angeles Chargers did not sell out their week 2 game at the StubHub Center, which was never expanded to 30,000 seats as originally stated and has typically had less than 26,000 fans in attendance.[183] When the StubHub Center was at capacity, the majority of the fans present were supporters of the opposing team. Among the most notable examples was the October 1 game against Philadelphia Eagles being a mainly pro-Philadelphia crowd.[184][185]

The San Francisco 49ers reported a Week 3 attendance total that exceeded the capacity of Levi's Stadium, even as wide swaths of empty seats were seen throughout the game.[186] This followed similar sparse attendance for the 49ers' home opener.[187] Even the Dallas Cowboys, a team whose fan base is among the largest in the United States, played their week 13 Thursday Night Football game in front of a half-empty AT&T Stadium.[188] The lifting of the league's blackout policy was cited as one factor in the decline in ticket sales, as viewers would rather watch from the comfort of their homes, especially when weather conditions were less than ideal. At a Colts-Bills game held in blinding lake-effect snow on December 10, scalpers said they had not sold any tickets, an extreme rarity.[189] A majority of television sets in all Western New York were tuned into some portion of the game, the highest viewership for a non-Super Bowl NFL game in the region since record-keeping began.[190]

New uniforms and patches

  • Twenty-five teams transitioned to Nike's new uniform template.[191] While most teams have just transitioned to it without any actual changes to the uniforms themselves, the New Orleans Saints,[192] Cincinnati Bengals,[193] and Los Angeles Rams[194] uniforms are the most noticeable in it, fixing their collars in the process.
  • The Detroit Lions unveiled new uniforms on April 13, 2017, eliminating all black elements from the uniform and logo for the first time since 2002. They added a new alternate uniform as well as a new Color Rush uniform.[195]
  • The Los Angeles Rams announced they would be switching their primary helmets to white and blue, similar to their Color Rush helmets. The team had fans vote on the color of their facemask, which would be white, and the design of their pants, which would be white with a blue stripe. The Rams also announced that they would explore a full rebrand in the near future.[196]
  • The Cincinnati Bengals will wear a patch to commemorate their 50th season.[197]
  • The San Francisco 49ers have altered their sleeve striping from 3 stripes to 2 stripes.[198]
  • The Seattle Seahawks dedicated their season to former Seahawks defensive tackle Cortez Kennedy, who died on May 23, 2017, by wearing a No. 96 decal on their helmets.[199]
  • The Pittsburgh Steelers will wear a patch to honor their former chairman, the late Dan Rooney, who died in April, at the age of 84. The patch will feature a shamrock, with Rooney's initials "DMR". The last time the Steelers wore a jersey patch was when Art Rooney died in 1988. They also donned a helmet decal to honor Chuck Noll, who died in 2014.[200]
  • The Dallas Cowboys will wear blue jerseys at home on a more regular basis, marking the first time the team has worn blue jerseys at home outside of Thanksgiving games since the NFL allowed teams to wear white jerseys at home in 1964. Despite the team's well-documented blue jersey "jinx", player preference as well as stronger retail sales of the navy blue jerseys over the white ones have prompted the team's decision. The blue jerseys will be worn for "high-profile" games at AT&T Stadium.[201]
  • The New York Giants wore a No. 14 decal on their helmets to honor Y. A. Tittle, who died on October 8, 2017.[202] Later, they would wear a "JHT" patch from Week 10 onwards, in honor of Joan Tisch, the mother of Giants co-owner Steve Tisch, who died on November 2, 2017.[203]
  • The Buffalo Bills wore their all-red Color Rush uniforms when they faced the Indianapolis Colts in the aforementioned December 10 "snow game", the first team to do so on a Sunday, and the fourth team overall.[204]
  • All current and former Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award winners will wear a patch on their jerseys in perpetuity to acknowledge to recognize their outstanding contributions to the game and to their communities. Similarly, current nominees will wear a decal on their helmets for the rest of the season.[205]
  • The Atlanta Falcons wore their all red color rush jerseys with black numbers against the Saints on December 7, 2017. The numbers were a classic form of numbers. The alternate has the regular Falcon unlike the other alternate. The regular Atlanta Falcons' alternate is a black jersey, with a black helmet, and on the black helmet is the original Falcons logo.[206]


Broadcast rights


This was the fourth season under the league's broadcast contracts with its television partners. ESPN continued to air Monday Night Football, while ESPN2 simulcast ESPN Deportes' Spanish-language Monday Night Football broadcasts for the first nine weeks of the regular season; this served as filler programming for the channel until the start of its Monday-night college basketball broadcasts.[207] Along with ESPN's Wild Card game on ABC, ESPN also simulcast the 2018 Pro Bowl on ABC, marking the return of the Pro Bowl to ABC for the first time since 2003.[208]

The practice of "cross-flexing" (switching) Sunday afternoon games continued between CBS and Fox before or during the season, regardless of whether the visiting team is in the AFC (which CBS normally airs) or the NFC (which is normally carried by Fox). NBC continued to air Sunday Night Football, the annual Kickoff game, and the primetime Thanksgiving game, and broadcast Super Bowl LII. This also was the second and final year of the current Thursday Night Football contract with CBS, NBC, and NFL Network.

Although never explicitly announced, the league continued the moratorium on its blackout policy, ensuring all games would be televised in the market of their home teams regardless of ticket sales.[209]

Because of fog and smoke obstruction, NBC was forced to televise large portions of two of their Sunday Night Football games from the skycam angle. Positive reception led NBC to experiment with increased usage of the angle as a primary view during its November 16 and December 14 Thursday Night Football telecasts. Because the angle distorts distance, the traditional sideline camera angle was used for close-yardage situations such as the red zone.[210]


In over-the-top rights, Amazon Video acquired non-exclusive streaming rights to the 10 broadcast television Thursday Night Football games for $50 million. These streams are exclusive to paid Amazon Prime subscribers, in contrast to Twitter, which held the rights to the same package in 2016 and had made those streams free to most of the world.[211][212]

Verizon Communications acquired international streaming rights to an NFL London Game between the Baltimore Ravens and Jacksonville Jaguars, in a similar arrangement to the 2015 game that was streamed by Yahoo!—which was acquired by Verizon in 2017. The game was streamed by Yahoo and other Verizon-owned platforms, including AOL, go90, and Complex.[213][214] NFL Network remains a partner with Twitter for online content, including its new streaming news program NFL Blitz Live.[215][216] The NFL also reached a deal with Facebook in September 2017 to offer video highlights following games, and streaming programs on the service's new Watch platform.[217]

This was the final season of the NFL's exclusive mobile streaming contract with Verizon Wireless; the league intended to no longer have a single exclusive partner going forward, citing changes to viewing habits.[218] On December 11, 2017, the NFL announced that it had agreed to a new 5-year, $2.5 billion digital rights agreement with Verizon, allowing it to stream in-market Sunday afternoon games, as well as all nationally televised games, across its mobile platforms. Unlike the previous deal, these streams are no longer exclusive to Verizon Wireless subscribers, as Verizon planned to leverage the divisions of its digital media subsidiary Oath (including the aforementioned Yahoo) as a platform to promote these streams to a larger audience, as well as other digital content and expanded highlights rights. As part of the agreement, Verizon began allowing access to its existing mobile streams to non-customers for the 2017–18 playoffs.[219] As the new contract is non-exclusive, the NFL's television partners may negotiate to add the mobile streaming rights that were reserved to Verizon under the previous contract; NBC was the first to do so.[220]

Two new international digital rights deals led to user criticism over their quality of service. In Canada, NFL Sunday Ticket shifted from distribution through television providers to the over-the-top provider DAZN, while in Europe, Deltatre took over European distribution of NFL Game Pass and launched new mobile apps. Both services faced criticism over their streaming quality, while Delatre's app faced criticism for having bugs and initially lacking features seen in the previous version of the platform. The Independent exposed that Deltatre had also issued an internal e-mail instructing its employees to give the apps 5-star reviews. DAZN subsequently announced that it would return to distributing Sunday Ticket through Canadian television providers in addition to their OTT service.[221][222]


This was the final season of the NFL's existing national radio contract with Westwood One.[223] Entravision (in the last year of a three-year deal)[224] and ESPN Deportes Radio split Spanish broadcast rights.[225]


The league has sought to reduce the number of standard commercial breaks (media timeouts) on its telecasts from 21 to 16, four in each quarter, with each break extended by one additional 30-second commercial. One particular scenario the league sought to eliminate is the "double-up", in which a network cuts to a commercial after a scoring play, then airs the kickoff, and again goes to commercial before play from scrimmage resumes. Under the proposal, the league will allow networks to cut to commercial during instant replay reviews, which it had not been allowed to do before. Commissioner Roger Goodell stated that the changes are being made in an attempt to consolidate downtime between the actual game play so that there are fewer and less noticeable interruptions; he does not expect the changes to have an appreciable impact on the real-time length of a game, which currently clocks in at slightly over three hours.[226]

The NFL has also, as a trial, lifted its ban on the broadcast of commercials for distilled spirits during its telecasts. However, they are subject to restrictions; a maximum of four liquor ads may be broadcast per-game, along with two per-pregame and postgame show. These ads may not contain football-related themes or target underage viewers, and must contain a "prominent social responsibility message".[227][228]

Personnel changes

Tony Romo, who announced his retirement as a player on April 4, 2017, joined CBS, where he replaced Phil Simms as lead color commentator. Simms and Nate Burleson, who comes over from NFL Network, will replace Tony Gonzalez and Bart Scott on CBS's pregame show, The NFL Today.[229][230] Jay Cutler also announced his retirement from professional football on May 5 and was slated to join Fox as a color analyst for its NFL coverage;[231] he later rescinded that announcement in August and joined the Miami Dolphins.[232] Gonzalez will move to Fox, where he will join Fox NFL Kickoff; upon his departure, Gonzalez stated that he wished to pursue opportunities closer to his home in California, rather than travel to New York weekly to appear on CBS. James Lofton, coming over from radio, will replace Solomon Wilcots as a CBS analyst.[233]

On May 31, 2017, it was announced that Mike Tirico would replace Al Michaels on play-by-play on NBC's portion of the Thursday Night Football package, joined by Cris Collinsworth.[234] The NFL had previously required this role to be filled by NBC's lead broadcast team of Michaels and Collinsworth; Tirico called a limited slate of games in 2016, including several NBC-broadcast games as a fill-in for Michaels (who voluntarily took several games off due to the increased number he was calling that season), and as part of a secondary team for selected games the TNF package.[235][236] He will also succeed Bob Costas as the lead studio host for NBC.[237][238] However, due to its proximity to the 2018 Winter Olympics (where he also succeeded Bob Costas as lead host), Tirico did not participate in NBC's Super Bowl LII coverage.[239]

Beth Mowins became the second woman to call play-by-play for a national NFL broadcast, following Gayle Sierens in 1987, when she served as play-by-play announcer for the nightcap in ESPN's Week 1 Monday Night doubleheader, with Rex Ryan as her color commentator.[240] In an unusual case of a broadcaster working for two networks in the same season, Mowins also called a regional game for CBS in Weeks 3, 15 and 17, with Jay Feely as her partner.[241]

Also, this would end up being the last season for the Monday Night Football broadcast team of Sean McDonough, Jon Gruden, and Lisa Salters. Gruden would return to coaching the next year for the Oakland Raiders, while McDonough would return to doing College Football for ESPN, although Salters will still be on MNF. McDonough will be replaced by Joe Tessitore, who has done work for ESPN as a College Football announcer, like McDonough, while Jason Witten, who would end up retiring after this season, will replace Gruden, with Booger McFarland, being added as a field analyst.

Most watched regular season games

Rank Date Matchup Network Viewers (millions) TV rating [242] Window Significance
1 December 17, 4:25 ET New England Patriots 27 Pittsburgh Steelers 24 CBS 26.9 15.2 Late DH[a] 2016 AFC Championship rematch
2 November 23, 4:30 ET Los Angeles Chargers 28 Dallas Cowboys 6 26.3 11.1 Thanksgiving
3 September 17, 4:25 ET Dallas Cowboys 17 Denver Broncos 42 Fox 26.0 14.3 Late DH[b]
4 November 23, 12:30 ET Minnesota Vikings 30 Detroit Lions 23 24.7 11.4 Thanksgiving Lions–Vikings rivalry
5 September 10, 8:30 ET New York Giants 3 Dallas Cowboys 19 NBC 24.4 13.4 SNF Cowboys–Giants rivalry
6 October 8, 4:25 ET Green Bay Packers 35 Dallas Cowboys 31 Fox 23.9 13.6 Late DH[c] Cowboys–Packers rivalry
2016 NFC Divisional Round rematch
7 December 10, 4:25 ET Philadelphia Eagles 43 Los Angeles Rams 35 23.8 13.7 Late DH[d]
8 December 24, 4:25 ET Seattle Seahawks 21 Dallas Cowboys 12 23.0 12.2 Late DH[e]
9 September 10, 4:25 ET Seattle Seahawks 9 Green Bay Packers 17 22.8 12.7 Late DH[f] 2014 NFC Championship rematch
10 November 12, 4:25 ET Dallas Cowboys 7 Atlanta Falcons 27 22.0 12.8 Late DH[g]

*Note – Late DH matchups listed in table are the matchups that were shown to the largest percentage of the market.

  1. ^ NE/PIT was shown in 91% of the markets during the late doubleheader time slot of CBS coverage.
  2. ^ DAL/DEN was shown in 81% of the markets during the late doubleheader time slot of Fox coverage.
  3. ^ GB/DAL was shown in 99% of the markets during the late doubleheader time slot of Fox coverage, with the Bay Area being the only market not airing the game.
  4. ^ PHI/LAR was shown in 90% of the markets during the late doubleheader time slot of Fox coverage.
  5. ^ SEA/DAL was shown in 89% of the markets during the late doubleheader time slot of Fox coverage.
  6. ^ SEA/GB was shown in 89% of the markets during the late doubleheader time slot of Fox coverage.
  7. ^ DAL/ATL was shown in 86% of the markets during the late doubleheader time slot of Fox coverage.


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