2019 NFL season
The 2019 NFL season is the 100th season of the National Football League (NFL). The season began on September 5, 2019 with the NFL Kickoff Game, in which the Green Bay Packers defeated the Chicago Bears. The season will conclude with Super Bowl LIV, the league's championship game, scheduled for February 2, 2020, at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami, Florida.
The NFL's centennial emblem, which will be used throughout 2019
|Duration||September 5, 2019– December 29, 2019|
|Start date||January 4, 2020|
|AFC Champions||New England Patriots|
|NFC Champions||San Francisco 49ers|
|Super Bowl LIV|
|Date||February 2, 2020|
|Site||Hard Rock Stadium, Miami Gardens, Florida|
|Champions||New England Patriots|
|Date||January 26, 2020|
|Site||Camping World Stadium, Orlando, Florida|
- 1 Player movement
- 2 Officiating changes
- 3 Rule changes
- 4 2019 deaths
- 5 Preseason
- 6 NFL centennial promotions
- 7 Regular season
- 8 Regular season standings
- 9 Postseason
- 10 Notable events
- 11 Records, milestones, and notable statistics
- 12 Awards
- 13 Head coaching and front office personnel changes
- 14 Stadiums
- 15 Uniforms
- 16 References
The 2019 NFL League year and trading period began on March 13. On March 8, teams were allowed to exercise options for 2019 on players who have option clauses in their contracts submit qualifying offers to their pending restricted free agents and submit a Minimum Salary Tender to retain exclusive negotiating rights to their players with expiring 2018 contracts and who have fewer than three accrued seasons of free agent credit. 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 combined salary cap.) On March 11 clubs were allowed to contact and begin contract negotiations with the agents of players who were set to become unrestricted free agents.
Free agency began on March 13. Notable players to change teams include:
- Quarterbacks Blake Bortles (Jacksonville to Los Angeles Rams), Ryan Fitzpatrick (Tampa Bay to Miami), and Nick Foles (Philadelphia to Jacksonville).
- Running backs CJ Anderson (Los Angeles Rams to Detroit), Le'Veon Bell (Pittsburgh to New York Jets), Tevin Coleman (Atlanta to San Francisco), Frank Gore (Miami to Buffalo), Kareem Hunt (Kansas City to Cleveland), and Mark Ingram Jr. (New Orleans to Baltimore).
- Wide receivers Danny Amendola (Miami to Detroit), Cole Beasley (Dallas to Buffalo), John Brown (Baltimore to Buffalo), Randall Cobb (Green Bay to Dallas), Cordarrelle Patterson (New England to Chicago), Andre Roberts (New York Jets to Buffalo), Golden Tate (Philadelphia to New York Giants), and Demaryius Thomas (Houston to New England).
- Tight ends Charles Clay (Buffalo to Arizona) and Jesse James (Pittsburgh to Detroit).
- Offensive linemen Trent Brown (New England to Oakland), Ja'Wuan James (Miami to Denver), Mitch Morse (Kansas City to Buffalo), and Rodger Saffold (Los Angeles Rams to Tennessee).
- Defensive linemen Trey Flowers (New England to Detroit), Malik Jackson (Jacksonville to Philadelphia), Gerald McCoy (Tampa Bay to Carolina), Sheldon Richardson (Minnesota to Cleveland), Ndamukong Suh (Los Angeles Rams to Tampa Bay), and Cameron Wake (Miami to Tennessee).
- Linebackers Kwon Alexander (Tampa Bay to San Francisco), Vontaze Burfict (Cincinnati to Oakland), Thomas Davis (Carolina to Los Angeles Chargers), Jordan Hicks (Philadelphia to Arizona), Justin Houston (Kansas City to Indianapolis), Clay Matthews (Green Bay to Los Angeles Rams), CJ Mosley (Baltimore to New York Jets), Preston Smith (Washington to Green Bay), Za'Darius Smith (Baltimore to Green Bay), and Terrell Suggs (Baltimore to Arizona).
- Defensive backs Adrian Amos (Chicago to Green Bay), Ha Ha Clinton-Dix (Washington to Chicago), Landon Collins (New York Giants to Washington), Lamarcus Joyner (Los Angeles Rams to Oakland), Tyrann Mathieu (Houston to Kansas City), Earl Thomas (Seattle to Baltimore), and Eric Weddle (Baltimore to Los Angeles Rams).
- Kicker Jason Myers (New York Jets to Seattle).
- March 13: Baltimore traded QB Joe Flacco to Denver for their 2019 fourth round selection (113th overall).
- March 13: Denver traded QB Case Keenum and a 2020 seventh round selection to Washington for their 2020 sixth round selection.
- March 13: The New York Giants traded WR Odell Beckham Jr. and DE Olivier Vernon to Cleveland for G Kevin Zeitler, SS Jabrill Peppers, their 2019 first round selection (17th overall), and their 2019 third round selection (95th overall)
- March 13: Pittsburgh traded OT Marcus Gilbert to Arizona for their 2019 sixth round selection (207th overall).
- March 13: Philadelphia traded DE Michael Bennett and a 2020 seventh round selection to New England for their 2020 fifth round selection.
- March 13: Pittsburgh traded WR Antonio Brown to Oakland for their 2019 third round selection (66th overall) and their 2019 fifth round selection (141st overall).
- March 13: Oakland traded G Kelechi Osemele and their 2019 sixth round selection (196th overall) to the New York Jets for their 2019 fifth round selection (140th overall).
- March 13: Tampa Bay traded WR DeSean Jackson and their 2020 seventh round selection to Philadelphia for their 2019 sixth round selection (197th overall).
- March 13: Kansas City traded OLB Dee Ford to San Francisco for their 2020 second round selection.
- March 15: Miami traded QB Ryan Tannehill and their 2019 sixth round selection (188th overall) to Tennessee for their 2019 seventh round selection (233rd overall) and their 2020 fourth round selection.
- March 28: Miami traded DE Robert Quinn to Dallas for their 2020 sixth round selection.
- March 28: Chicago traded RB Jordan Howard to Philadelphia for their 2020 sixth round selection.
- April 1: Cleveland traded DE Emmanuel Ogbah to Kansas City for SS Eric Murray.
- April 23: Seattle traded DE Frank Clark and their 2019 third round selection (92nd overall) to Kansas City for their 2019 first round selection (29th overall), their 2019 third round selection (84th overall), and a 2020 second round selection.
- April 26: Arizona traded QB Josh Rosen and a 2020 fifth round selection to Miami for their 2019 second round selection (62nd overall).
- April 27: San Francisco traded LB Dekoda Watson and their 2019 sixth round selection (212th overall) to Denver in exchange for their 2019 fifth round selection (148th overall).
- April 27: Indianapolis traded DE Hassan Ridgeway to Philadelphia in exchange for their 2019 seventh round selection (246th overall).
- April 29: New England traded TE Jacob Hollister to Seattle in exchange for their 2020 seventh round selection.
- May 6: Oakland traded K Eddy Pineiro to Chicago for their 2021 seventh round selection.
- May 15: The New York Jets traded LB Darron Lee to Kansas City for their 2020 sixth round selection.
- August 8: Cleveland traded RB Duke Johnson to Houston for a 2020 fourth round pick, which will become a third round pick if Johnson is on the Texans' active roster for at least 10 games in 2019.
- September 1: Houston traded DE Jadeveon Clowney to Seattle for a 2020 third round pick, DE Jacob Martin, and DE Barkevious Mingo.
- September 9: Pittsburgh traded QB Joshua Dobbs to Jacksonville in exchange for a 2020 fifth round pick.
- September 16: Miami traded DB Minkah Fitzpatrick and their 2020 fifth round pick and 2021 sixth round pick to Pittsburgh in exchange for their 2020 first and fifth round picks, and their 2021 sixth round pick.
- LB NaVorro Bowman - Three-time Pro-Bowler and four-time 1st-Team All-Pro. Played for the San Francisco 49ers and Oakland Raiders in an eight-year career.
- RB Jamaal Charles - Four-time Pro Bowler and three-time All-Pro (two first-team, one second-team). Played for the Kansas City Chiefs, Denver Broncos, and Jacksonville Jaguars in an eleven-year career.
- LB Derrick Johnson - Four-time Pro Bowl Selection and two-time All Pro (one first-team, one second-team). Played for the Kansas City Chiefs and Oakland Raiders in a fourteen-year career.
- TE Rob Gronkowski - Five-time Pro Bowler and three-time Super Bowl champion. Played for the New England Patriots for his entire nine-year career.
- P Shane Lechler - Seven-time Pro Bowler and nine-time All-Pro (six first-team, three second-team). Played for the Raiders and Texans during his 18-year career.
- QB Andrew Luck - Four-time Pro Bowler, first overall selection in the 2012 NFL Draft. Played his entire seven-year career with the Indianapolis Colts.
- RB Marshawn Lynch - Five-time Pro Bowler, two-time All-Pro (one first-team, one second-team), and Super Bowl XLVIII champion. Played for the Bills, Seahawks, and Raiders during his 11-year career.
- DT Haloti Ngata - Five-time Pro Bowler, five-time All-Pro (two first-team, three second-team). Played nine years of his 13-year career with the Ravens, with shorter stints with the Lions and Eagles.
- LB Brian Orakpo - Four-time Pro Bowler. Played for the Redskins and Titans over a ten-year career.
- DE Julius Peppers - Nine-time Pro Bowler and six-time All-Pro (three first-team, three second-team). Played for the Panthers, Bears and Packers during his 17-year career.
- G Josh Sitton - Four-time Pro Bowler, three-time All-Pro (one first-team, two second-team), and Super Bowl XLV champion. Played for the Packers, Bears, and Dolphins during his eleven-year career.
- C Max Unger - Three-time Pro Bowler, one-time All-Pro (first-team) and Super Bowl XLVIII champion. Played ten seasons with the Seahawks, and Saints.
- DT Kyle Williams - Six-time Pro Bowler and two-time first-team All-Pro. Played for the Buffalo Bills for his entire thirteen-year career.
- Derek Anderson
- Doug Baldwin
- Clint Boling
- Rafael Bush 
- Chandler Catanzaro
- Vontae Davis 
- Phil Dawson
- Sebastian Janikowski
- Adam Jones
- T.J. Lang
- Andy Levitre
- Chris Long
- Jeremy Maclin
- EJ Manuel
- Rishard Matthews
- Zach Miller
- Derrick Morgan
- Jordy Nelson
- Niles Paul
- Glover Quin
- Brian Robison
- Mark Sanchez
- Matt Slauson
- Torrey Smith
- Jonathan Stewart
- Travis Swanson
- Jared Veldheer
- Paul Worrilow
- Walt Coleman III: With 30 seasons as an NFL official, Coleman was the longest-tenured official in the NFL. Former NFL Europe referee Adrian Hill, a longtime official in various positions, replaced Coleman.
- Pete Morelli: Morelli had spent 22 seasons as an NFL official. Scott Novak, one of the Big 12 Conference's most decorated referees, succeeded Morelli.
- John Parry retired after being the referee in Super Bowl LIII to join the Monday Night Football booth as a rules analyst. He had spent 19 seasons as an official and 12 as a head referee. Brad Rogers, a field judge for the past two seasons who was previously a referee in Conference USA and the Southeastern Conference, succeeded Parry.
Combined with the 2018 offseason retirements of Ed Hochuli, Terry McAulay, Gene Steratore, and Jeff Triplette, the league has been forced to replace seven of its 17 referee positions within a two-year period.
In July 2019, the NFL announced that all of the league's officials would return to part-time status. For the previous two seasons, under a pilot program, a small number of NFL officials were classified as full-time employees of the NFL.
The following rule changes were approved for the 2019 season at the NFL owners' meeting on March 26:
- Make permanent the experimental kickoff rules from the 2018 season.
- Abolish all blindside blocks anywhere on the field (personal foul, 15 yards).
- Allow as a one-year experiment to make the following plays reviewable, subject to coaches' challenges outside of the final 2:00 of each half, and subject to booth review after the two-minute warning of each half or entire overtime:
- Change how double fouls are enforced after a change in possession; the last team to possess retains the ball at the spot of enforcement. If the enforcement spot is after a touchback, the ball is placed at the 20 yard line (after punt or turnover) or 25 yard line (free kick). If the spot of enforcement is in the end zone, the ball is placed at the one yard line.
- Make scrimmage kick rules apply if a missed field goal is touched in the end zone before hitting the ground, and if the ball is touched by either team behind the line of scrimmage.
- Allow teams to enforce a personal foul or unsportsmanlike conduct penalty committed during a touchdown on either the try or on the ensuing kickoff.
- Individuals not in uniform who enter the field to celebrate a play will draw an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty (15 yards, and automatic first down if on the defensive team).
- Players who make any flagrant "football" play, risk immediate disqualification. Previously, this was limted to players who make a flagrant "non-football" play
An additional rule change built upon a rule originally passed in 2018. The NFL limited helmets to a list of 34 league-approved models, up from the 23 originally approved in 2018. The grandfather clause allowing existing players to wear their previous non-approved helmets expired, and 32 players were required to change helmets (most prominently Tom Brady, whose Riddell VSR-4 was one of ten now-banned models still in use in 2018).
In June 2019 the league clarified the March 2019 temporary rule change regarding review of pass interference plays as follows:
- The initial rule passed in March 2019 regarding review of pass interference remains intact.
- A ruling will only be changed if there is clear and obvious evidence that pass interference did or did not occur (as is the standard for any other replay review).
- All pass plays are subject to review for pass interference, including the "Hail Mary" play.
Members of the Pro Football Hall of FameEdit
- Pat Bowlen
- Bowlen was the owner of the Denver Broncos from 1984 until his death. His Broncos won three Super Bowls during his tenure (XXXII, XXXIII and 50). He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2019 but died before the induction ceremonies. Bowlen died June 13, age 75, from complications of Alzheimer's disease. Under the terms of a succession plan, the team will be operated by a trust headed by longtime executive Joe Ellis until it can be determined which of Bowlen's five surviving children will inherit the team.
- Nick Buoniconti
- Buoniconti, a 2001 Hall inductee, was an eight-time Pro-Bowl linebacker, and played seven seasons with the Boston Patriots from 1962–1968 and seven more with the Miami Dolphins from 1969–1974 and 1976. He won two Super Bowls with the Dolphins in 1972 and 1973. Buoniconti died on July 31 at the age of 78.
- Forrest Gregg
- Gregg, a guard, spent 14 years of his 15-season playing career with the Green Bay Packers, a member of the Packers' 1960s dynasty as well as the Dallas Cowboys' Super Bowl VI winning squad in his final season of play. Gregg was inducted into the Hall in his first year of eligibility as part of the Class of 1977. He also had a less illustrious coaching career in the NFL, college football and Canadian Football League in the late 1970s, 1980s and into the 1990s, most successfully leading the 1981 Cincinnati Bengals to an AFC championship and a loss in Super Bowl XVI. Gregg died on April 12 at the age of 85.
- Jim Langer
- The center, an inductee of the Hall's class of 1987, spent 11 seasons in the NFL, nine with the Miami Dolphins (with the team earning its perfect season during his rookie 1972 season) and two with the Minnesota Vikings. He died August 29, age 71.
- Gino Marchetti
- Marchetti was a defensive end who played 14 seasons in the NFL, 13 with the Baltimore Colts. Marchetti won two NFL championships, was selected to 11 Pro Bowls, and making nine First-team All-Pro teams with the Colts. He was inducted into the Hall with the class of 1972. Marchetti died on April 29 at the age of 92.
- Bart Starr
- Starr played quarterback for 16 seasons in the NFL from 1956 to 1971, all of them with the Green Bay Packers, and was undisputed starter for the last 12 of those seasons. He was the starting quarterback for the Packers for all five of the NFL Championships the team won in the 1960s and was Most Valuable Player for the first two World Championship Games. He also had a nine-season run as the Packers' head coach from 1975 to 1983, though this was less successful as he only twice had a winning season (one of those being shortened by a strike, which was also his only playoff appearance as a coach). Starr was inducted into the Hall as a member of the Class of 1977. He died May 26, age 85.
- Neiron Ball
- Barry Bennett
- Cedric Benson
- Cliff Branch
- Al Carmichael
- Red Cashion
- Reggie Cobb
- Mike Cofer
- Gunther Cunningham
- Jack Dolbin
- Darryl Drake
- Willie Ellison
- Rick Forzano
- Bob Fouts
- Larry Garron
- Anthony "Bubba" Green
- Cedrick Hardman
- Bob Kuechenberg
- Kwamie Lassiter
- Keith Lincoln
- Jared Lorenzen
- Walt Michaels
- John Michels
- Eric Moss
- Bill Nelsen
- Eric Patterson
- Mitch Petrus
- John Ralston
- Turk Schonert
- Wade Wilson
- Bob Zeman
Training camps for the 2019 season are being held in late July through August. Teams started training camp no earlier than 15 days before the team's first scheduled preseason game.
The Pro Football Hall of Fame Game, in which the Denver Broncos defeated the Atlanta Falcons 14–10, was played on August 1, and was televised nationally by NBC. The game was held at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium in Canton, Ohio, the same city where the league was founded 99 years prior. The Broncos were represented in the 2019 Hall of Fame class by owner Pat Bowlen and former cornerback Champ Bailey, while the Falcons were represented by longtime player Tony Gonzalez
On August 22, the Oakland Raiders hosted the Green Bay Packers at IG Field in Winnipeg, home of the CFL’s Winnipeg Blue Bombers; it was the first NFL game on Canadian soil since the end of the Bills Toronto Series in 2013. Mosaic Stadium in Regina, Saskatchewan was another potential site for the game, and the teams secured the cooperation of the city and local sports promoter On Ice Management, but the Saskatchewan Roughriders vetoed the proposal; the Roughriders feared they would be unable to reconfigure the field from NFL to CFL standards in time for the Roughriders' August 24 home game. (The Winnipeg Blue Bombers play on the road that weekend and thus do not have a scheduling conflict.) Due to safety concerns caused by the reconfiguration of the goal posts, the NFL, at the last minute, shortened the playing field so that it was only 80 yards long (the first such known NFL usage of a field that short since 1932) and eliminated kickoffs, starting all possessions on the 15-yard line. The Raiders won, 22–21. Thirty-three Packers players refused to play on the surface, including starting quarterback Aaron Rodgers.
NFL centennial promotionsEdit
On October 18, 2018, the NFL announced that it would commemorate its 100th season throughout 2019, beginning at Super Bowl LIII. An NFL 100 emblem will be featured in promotions across all NFL properties during the season, worn on jerseys as a patch, placed on game balls, and painted on fields.
The Chicago Bears (who, as the Decatur Staleys, were one of the 14 charter members of the league) will also celebrate their centennial season with commemorative events throughout 2019. On November 15, 2018, the team unveiled a customized version of the league-wide centennial emblem (which will be worn on jerseys in place of the NFL-branded version), and announced that the team would introduce a throwback jersey.
The NFL aired a special two-minute commercial during Super Bowl LIII to launch the centennial campaign, which featured appearances by 40 current and former NFL players including: Rams RB Todd Gurley, then-Giants WR Odell Beckham Jr., Patriots QB Tom Brady, former Broncos and Colts QB Peyton Manning, Hall of Fame WRs Jerry Rice and Michael Irvin, and Hall of Fame QB Terry Bradshaw, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, NFL officials Ron Torbert and Sarah Thomas, viral teenage girl football star Samantha Gordon, and video game streamer Tyler "Ninja" Blevins. The commercial won the annual Super Bowl Ad Meter survey held by USA Today, marking the first time that the NFL itself won.
In honor of the site of the first NFL game, the league announced plans to donate a new artifical turf field to Triangle Park in Dayton, Ohio—home field of the former Dayton Triangles, with an intent for the Cincinnati Bengals to hold a day of training camp at the site. However, the project was rejected by the city, after concerns were shown that the construction could potentially disturb a Native American burial site, and an archaeological survey identified a "unique and sizable anomaly" in the area that was "potentially prehistoric." The NFL instead donated the turf to Kettering Field, which is also in Dayton. The Bengals still held a training camp day in Dayton, doing so at Welcome Stadium instead.
The league purposely scheduled a weekly game to honor landmark moments in NFL history:
|1||Packers vs. Bears||League's longest running rivalry||Packers||10||Bears||3|
|2||Browns vs. Jets||First Monday Night Football contest||Browns||23||Jets||3|
|3||Dolphins vs. Cowboys||Super Bowl VI|
|4||Chargers vs. Dolphins||Epic in Miami|
|5||Bills vs. Titans||Music City Miracle|
|6||Giants vs. Patriots||Super Bowls XLII (David Tyree's helmet catch spoils the perfect regular season) and XLVI|
|7||Raiders vs. Packers||Super Bowl II|
|8||Packers vs. Chiefs||Super Bowl I|
|9||Vikings vs. Chiefs||Super Bowl IV|
|10||Falcons vs. Saints||Rivalry game, Saints' return to New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina|
|11||Patriots vs. Eagles||Super Bowls XXXIX and LII (Philly Special)|
|12||Raiders vs. Jets||Heidi Game|
|13||49ers vs. Ravens||Super Bowl XLVII (The Harbaugh Bowl)|
|14||Bengals vs. Browns||Battle of Ohio (state where NFL was founded), both teams founded by Paul Brown|
|15||Colts vs. Saints||Super Bowl XLIV|
|16||Raiders vs. Chargers||Rivalry game, Holy Roller play|
The 2019 regular season's 256 games will be played over a 17-week schedule that will begin on September 5, 2019. Each of the league's 32 teams will play a 16 game schedule, with one bye week. There will be games on Monday nights and on Thursdays, including the National Football League Kickoff game and games on Thanksgiving Day. The regular season will conclude with a full slate of 16 games, will be scheduled for December 29, all of which will be intra-division matchups, as it had 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 remaining teams in the same conference that finished in the same position in their respective divisions (e.g., the team that finished fourth in its division will play all three other teams in the conference that also finished fourth). The division parings for 2019 will be as follows:
The entire schedule was released on April 17, 2019. Highlights of the 2019 season include:
- NFL Kickoff Game: The Kickoff Game was played September 5. The Chicago Bears hosted the Green Bay Packers in honor of the Bears' and the NFL's centennial season, a game announced on March 25 ahead of the rest of the schedule. The Packers won the game, 10–3. The move broke with league tradition that gives the defending Super Bowl champion the hosting rights to the first game of the season; the New England Patriots instead hosted the first Sunday Night Football game against the Pittsburgh Steelers, in which the Patriots won 33–3.
- NFL International Series: Five games will be held outside the United States in 2019. In addition to the Jacksonville Jaguars and the three teams hosting an annual game abroad as part of their relocation agreements (the Los Angeles Chargers, Los Angeles Rams, and Oakland Raiders), the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will also host a home game abroad in 2019 as part of their agreement to host Super Bowl LV in 2021.
- NFL London Games: Four games will be played in London in 2019: The Oakland Raiders will host the Chicago Bears and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will host the Carolina Panthers on October 6 and October 13 respectively at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. The Los Angeles Rams will host the Cincinnati Bengals and the Jacksonville Jaguars will host the Houston Texans on October 27 and November 3 respectively at Wembley Stadium. The Texans and Panthers will be making their first trips to London and leave the Green Bay Packers as the only NFL team to have not played a game in London.
- NFL Mexico Game: The Los Angeles Chargers will host the Kansas City Chiefs at Estadio Azteca in Mexico City on November 18.
- Thanksgiving Day: As has been the case since 2006, three games will be played on Thanksgiving Day, November 28, including the traditional afternoon doubleheader hosted by the Detroit Lions (hosting the Chicago Bears for the second year in a row) and the Dallas Cowboys (hosting the Buffalo Bills). The Atlanta Falcons will host the New Orleans Saints in the Thanksgiving night game on NBC; the two teams had played on Thanksgiving night in 2018 as well.
Saturday flexible schedulingEdit
When the entire season schedule was released on April 17, the league announced Saturday games in Week 16. The final times of these games will be announced no later than Week 8. Of the following five match-ups – 49ers–Rams, Bills–Patriots, Lions–Broncos, Raiders–Chargers, and Texans–Buccaneers – three will be moved to Saturday, December 21 on the NFL Network, while the remaining two games will be played on Sunday, December 22 on either CBS or Fox.
Regular season standingsEdit
|1||Kansas City Chiefs||West||2||0||0||1.000||1–0||2–0||.250||.250||W2|
|3||New England Patriots||East||2||0||0||1.000||1–0||2–0||.000||.000||W2|
|In the hunt|
|9||Los Angeles Chargers||West||1||1||0||.500||0–0||1–0||.625||.500||L1|
|14||New York Jets||East||0||2||0||.000||0–1||0–2||.750||.000||L2|
|1||Green Bay Packers||North||2||0||0||1.000||2–0||2–0||.500||.500||W2|
|2||Los Angeles Rams||West||2||0||0||1.000||0–0||2-0||.250||.250||W2|
|4||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||South||1||1||0||.500||1–0||1–1||.500||.000||W1|
|5||San Francisco 49ers||West||2||0||0||1.000||0–0||1-0||.250||.250||W2|
|In the hunt|
|11||New Orleans Saints||South||1||1||0||.500||0–0||0–1||.750||.500||L1|
|14||New York Giants||East||0||2||0||.000||0–1||0–1||1.000||.000||L2|
The 2019 Playoffs are scheduled to begin on the weekend of January 4–5, 2020, with the Wild Card Playoff Round. The four winners of these games will visit the top two seeds in each conference in the Divisional Round games, scheduled for January 11–12. The winners of those games will advance to the Conference Championships scheduled for January 19. The 2020 Pro Bowl will be held at Camping World Stadium in Orlando scheduled for January 26. Super Bowl LIV, scheduled for February 2, will be played at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami.
The start times for the Divisional Round games on Sunday, January 12, will be moved to 3:00 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. ET (as is already the case with the conference championship games), rather than the typical 1:00 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. windows used for this round in prior seasons.
Andrew Luck's retirementEdit
In a surprising turn of events, news of Indianapolis Colts quarterback and 2012 first overall pick Andrew Luck retiring broke out during the Colts' third preseason game. His retirement quickly became one of the most surprising revelations of the year, and he was controversially booed off of the field. During his post-game press conference, Luck stated that his retirement was due to the recent mental and physical difficulties of playing football. Luck had won the NFL Comeback Player of the Year Award in 2018.
Antonio Brown controversiesEdit
Wide receiver Antonio Brown of the Oakland Raiders had several controversies in the off-season. Brown's was held back by his former team, the Pittsburgh Steelers during week 17 due to an argument with QB Ben Roethlisberger. He was subsequently traded to the Oakland Raiders. However, in 2019 Brown's helmet model was banned by the NFL due to inadequate protection, causing Brown to hold out of practices and file two grievances against the NFL, both of which he lost. Brown then accepted the new helmet model and returned to practice, but due to wearing inadequate footwear in a cryogenic chamber, Brown got frostbite on his feet, causing additional concern for his availability in Week 1. Brown then released recorded audio of Raiders head coach Jon Gruden and requested the Raiders to release him. He was subsequently released and signed with the New England Patriots.
On September 10, unsubstantiated allegations that Brown had raped his former trainer, Britney Taylor, caused some[who?] to wonder if Brown would be put on the commisioner's excempt list, barring him from playing. However, the NFL has not done so and Brown played in the Patriots' Week 2 game. On September 16, a second woman accused Brown of sexual misconduct. That same day, Pittsburgh-based Dr. Victor Prisk, who worked with Brown during his time with the Steelers, alleged that Brown passed gas numerous times in the doctor's vicinity, including directly in his face. Dr. Prisk also sued Brown for $11,500 in unpaid fees,
Records, milestones, and notable statisticsEdit
Players of the week/monthEdit
The following were named the top performers during the 2019 season:
Player of the Week/Month
Player of the Week/Month
Player of the Week/Month
|1||Lamar Jackson QB
|Dak Prescott QB
|Cameron Wake OLB
|Anthony Harris SS
|Ty Long P
|Wil Lutz K|
Head coaching and front office personnel changesEdit
Front office personnelEdit
This is the third and final season for the Los Angeles Chargers at ROKiT Field at Dignity Health Sports Park and the fourth and final season for the Los Angeles Rams at United Airlines Field at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Both the Chargers and the Rams will move to SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California in 2020. This will also be the final season for the Oakland Raiders at RingCentral Coliseum before moving to Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas.
A buyout window in the Buffalo Bills' lease on New Era Field opens after the 2019 season. The window allows the team to cancel its lease on the stadium for a $28 million fee and relocate. If the Bills choose not to exercise the buyout window, they will not be allowed to relocate until the lease expires after the 2022 season.
Denver Broncos' naming rightsEdit
On September 4, the Denver Broncos' home field was rebranded as Empower Field at Mile High. The Broncos had been seeking a long-term naming rights partner for their home field since sporting goods retailer Sports Authority went bankrupt in 2016. Empower Retirement, a retirement plan provider that is based in Denver, had served as a team sponsor since 2015, with the Broncos agreeing to terms on a 21-year deal that will run through 2039, though financial terms were undisclosed. This marks the third naming rights change for the Broncos' home field, following "Invesco Field at Mile High" (2001–2010), "Sports Authority Field at Mile High" (2011–2017) and "Broncos Stadium at Mile High" — the latter of which was used on a temporary basis for the 2018 season.
The Oakland Raiders' lease on Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum (renamed RingCentral Coliseum under a naming rights sale in May 2019) expired after the 2018 season. The team is slated to move to Las Vegas, Nevada once Allegiant Stadium is completed; it is currently scheduled to open in 2020. The Coliseum management has expressed a reluctance to allow the Raiders to continue using the Coliseum after the lease expires unless the team pays more to cover the losses the Coliseum incurs by hosting Raiders games. In December 2018, the city of Oakland filed a lawsuit against the Raiders and the NFL seeking financial damages and unpaid debt, claiming the proposed relocation is illegal but not asking for an injunction forcing the team to stay. The Raiders have stated that if any legal action were filed against them, that they would not renew with the Coliseum and find another, undetermined, temporary home for 2019 until Allegiant Stadium is finished. The Raiders then attempted to negotiate a lease with Oracle Park in San Francisco before the San Francisco 49ers allegedly vetoed the plan as an infringement on their territorial rights and the mayor of the city spoke in opposition to the Raiders playing there.
With the 49ers refusing to waive territorial rights, the Raiders were forced to either renegotiate with the Coliseum or find a temporary stadium outside the San Francisco Bay Area (something that the Raiders management was reluctant to do, though the team acknowledged and considered bids from San Antonio, Texas and Tucson, Arizona). The Raiders, despite reservations about providing funds to the lawsuit being filed against them, opted to negotiate a return to the Coliseum for 2019; a tentative agreement, pending Coliseum and league approval, was announced February 25. The lease agreement was approved by the Oakland Coliseum Authority, the Oakland city council, and Alameda County supervisors by March 21.
The Coliseum is the last multi-purpose stadium to be the home of both an NFL and Major League Baseball team (the Oakland Athletics). The Raiders' September 15 game against the Kansas City Chiefs is expected to be the last NFL game played on a dirt infield.
This is the sixth year under the current broadcast contracts with ESPN, CBS, Fox and NBC. This includes "cross-flexing" (switching) Sunday afternoon games between CBS and Fox before or during the season (regardless of the conference of the visiting team). NBC airs Sunday Night Football, the annual Kickoff Game, and the primetime Thanksgiving game. ESPN airs Monday Night Football and the Pro Bowl with the latter being simulcasted on ABC. Fox airs Thursday Night Football alongside with NFL Network, with Amazon Video and Twitch.tv continuing to simulcast those games online in the second and final year of the two sites' current contract. Fox will also broadcast Super Bowl LIV.
ESPN aired coverage for all three days of the 2019 NFL Draft on ABC, replacing Fox's broadcast television simulcast of NFL Network in 2018. ABC's coverage catered towards a mainstream audience and was hosted by the panel of ESPN's College GameDay, while ESPN and NFL Network continued to carry more conventional coverage of the draft.
Under a one-year test, local stations in markets with NFL teams are allowed to air another NFL game opposite the game involving that city's home team, something that had previously been forbidden (this rule had already been waived for the Washington, D.C. market when the Baltimore Ravens are playing at the same time as the Washington Redskins on the opposite network – Washington, D.C. is a secondary market for the Ravens, for the Los Angeles market after the Rams' and Chargers' moves to LA and league-wide for Week 17 since 2014). This means that all media markets in the U.S. who have CBS and Fox affiliates will have access to three Sunday afternoon games every week regardless of whether the local team is playing at home.
The league has an option to cancel its contract with DirecTV after the 2019 season. DirecTV has had exclusive rights to the league's out-of-market sports package, NFL Sunday Ticket, since the package was introduced in 1994.
On February 28, 2019, Jason Witten announced he would be leaving his color commentator position on Monday Night Football after one season; he returned to the Dallas Cowboys, where he had played tight end for fifteen seasons before joining ESPN in 2018. Witten was not replaced.
Former referee Jeff Triplette also left Monday Night Football as rules analyst. He was replaced with John Parry, who retired the same day his ESPN position was announced; Parry is the third rules analyst ESPN has hired in two years, following Triplette and Gerald Austin.
Steve Tasker departed CBS after 21 seasons with the network, 20 as a color commentator and one as a sideline reporter, after CBS declined to renew Tasker's contract. Tasker anticipates moving to radio and calling games for Westwood One for the 2019 season.
Most watched regular season gamesEdit
*Note — Late DH matchups listed in table are the matchups that were shown to the largest percentage of the market.