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|
|Super Bowl LIV|
|Date||February 2, 2020|
|Site||Hard Rock Stadium, Miami Gardens, Florida|
|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 Media
- 17 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), Mark Ingram Jr. (New Orleans to Baltimore), and Lesean McCoy (Buffalo to Kansas City).
- 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 Piñeiro 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.
- August 9: Buffalo traded DE Eli Harold to Philadelphia for OL Ryan Bates.
- August 11: Baltimore traded Kaare Vedvik to Minnesota for a 2020 fifth-round draft pick.
- August 12: New England traded a conditional 2020 seventh-round pick to Atlanta in exchange for TE Eric Saubert.
- August 22: Arizona traded S Rudy Ford to Philadelphia for DT Bruce Hector.
- August 28: Indianapolis traded CB Nate Hairston to the New York Jets for a 2020 sixth-round pick.
- August 28: Green Bay traded LB Reggie Gilbert to Tennessee for a 2020 seventh-round pick.
- August 28: New England traded a 2020 sixth-round pick to Arizona for OT Korey Cunningham.
- August 28: New England traded a 2020 fourth-round pick to the Baltimore for a 2020 sixth-round pick and G Jermaine Eluemunor.
- August 29: Buffalo traded G Wyatt Teller and a 2021 seventh-round pick to Cleveland for a 2020 fifth-round pick and sixth-round pick.
- August 30: New England traded CB Duke Dawson and a 2020 seventh-round draft pick to Denver for a 2020 sixth-round pick.
- August 30: New England traded a 2020 sixth-round pick to the Buffalo for C Russell Bodine.
- August 30: Minnesota traded G Danny Isidora to Miami for a 2020 sixth-round conditional pick.
- August 30: Cleveland traded QB David Blough and a conditional 2022 seventh-round pick to Detroit for a conditional 2022 seventh-round pick.
- August 30: Indianapolis traded C Evan Boehm and a 2020 seventh-round pick to Miami for a 2020 seventh-round pick.
- August 31: Pittsburgh traded OT Jerald Hawkins and a 2021 seventh-round pick to Tampa Bay for a 2021 sixth-round pick.
- August 31: Miami traded OT Laremy Tunsil and WR Kenny Stills to the Houston for S Johnson Bademosi, OT Julién Davenport, for a 2020 first-round pick, a 2021 first-round pick and second-round pick.
- August 31: Kansas City traded CB Mark Fields to Minnesota for a 2021 seventh-round pick.
- August 31: Tennessee traded WR Taywan Taylor to Cleveland for a 2020 seventh-round pick.
- August 31: The New York Jets traded CB Parry Nickerson to Seattle for a conditional 2021 seventh-round pick.
- August 31: Houston traded a 2021 sixth-round selection to New England for CB Keion Crossen.
- August 31: Houston traded OT Martinas Rankin to Kansas City for RB Carlos Hyde.
- September 1: Houston traded DE Jadeveon Clowney to Seattle for a 2020 third round pick, DE Jacob Martin, and DE Barkevious Mingo.
- September 2: Miami traded LB Kiko Alonso to New Orleans for LB Vince Biegel.
- September 2: The New York Giants traded LB B. J. Goodson and a seventh-round pick in the 2020 NFL Draft to Green Bay for a 2020 seventh-round pick.
- September 9: Pittsburgh traded QB Joshua Dobbs to Jacksonville in exchange for a 2020 fifth round pick.
- September 10: New England traded WR Demaryius Thomas to the New York Jets for a 2021 sixth-round selection.
- September 16: Miami traded S 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.
- September 18: Green Bay traded WR Trevor Davis to Oakland for a 2020 sixth-round pick.
- September 24: Seattle traded TE Nick Vannett to Pittsburgh for a 2020 fifth-round pick.
- September 30: Philadelphia traded S Jonathan Cyprien and a 2020 seventh-round pick to Atlanta for LB Duke Riley and a 2020 sixth-round pick.
- October 7: Buffalo traded WR Zay Jones to Oakland to for a 2021 fifth-round pick.
- October 15: The Los Angeles Rams traded a 2021 fifth-round pick to Cleveland for G Austin Corbett.
- October 15: The Los Angeles Rams traded CB Marcus Peters to Baltimore for LB Kenny Young and a 2020 fifth-round pick.
- October 15: The Los Angeles Rams traded a 2020 first-round pick, a 2021 first-round pick and a 2021 fourth-round pick to Jacksonville for CB Jalen Ramsey.
- October 21: Oakland traded CB Gareon Conley to Houston for a 2020 third-round pick.
- October 22: New England traded a 2020 second-round pick to Atlanta for WR Mohamed Sanu.
- October 22: Denver traded WR Emmanuel Sanders and a 2020 fifth-round pick to San Francisco for a 2020 third-round pick and a 2020 fourth-round pick.
- October 22: Detroit traded S Quandre Diggs to Seattle for a 2020 fifth-round pick.
- October 24: New England traded DE Michael Bennett to Dallas for a 2021 seventh-round pick that may turn into a sixth-round pick.
- October 28: Miami traded RB Kenyan Drake to Arizona for a 2020 sixth-round pick.
- October 28: The New York Jets traded DL Leonard Williams to the New York Giants for a 2020 third-round pick and a condition 2021 fifth-round pick.
- October 28: Cleveland traded DE Genard Avery to Philadelphia for 2021 fourth-round pick.
- October 29: The Los Angeles Rams traded CB Aqib Talib and a 2020 fifth-round pick to Miami for a 2022 seventh-round pick.
- LB NaVorro Bowman - Three-time Pro Bowl 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), and Super Bowl XLVII champion. 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
- Brock Osweiler
- Niles Paul
- Glover Quin
- Brian Robison
- Mark Sanchez
- Matt Slauson
- Torrey Smith
- Jonathan Stewart
- Travis Swanson
- Jared Veldheer
- 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. Previously, these fouls were required to be enforced 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 limited to players who make a flagrant "non-football" play
An additional rule change was 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.
In June 2019 the league clarified the March 2019 temporary rule change regarding reviews 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.
Midway through the season, another rule was introduced without explicit approval from the competition committee:
- Drop kicks may no longer be used on kickoffs. This ruling came after the use of a drop kick in by the Baltimore Ravens against the Kansas City Chiefs. The Ravens received clearance to use the drop kick, but after the game, the league office claimed that the maneuver was illegal, without specifying what was illegal about it, other than claiming that it had not been kicked immediately after hitting the ground (recorded video of the kick proved that it had been kicked immediately after hitting the ground). The game officials allowed the kick to stand unpenalized during the game. This rule change also comes after the Seattle Seahawks attempted several kickoffs using a drop kick in 2018.
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.
- Willie Brown
- Brown spent his first four seasons with the Denver Broncos (1963–1966) and his last twelve with Oakland Raiders (1967–1978), winning Super Bowl XI with the Raiders. Brown was also a nine-time Pro Bowler and enshrined into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1984. Brown died on October 22 at the age of 78.
- 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 30 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.
- Bill Bidwill
- Bidwill was team owner of the Arizona Cardinals from the 1960s until his death on October 2, at the age of 88. The Bidwill family has been associated with the Cardinals since Bill's father Charles bought the team in 1933. Bill's son Michael Bidwill is expected to succeed his father as team owner.
- Barron Hilton
- Hilton was the original owner of the Los Angeles Chargers from 1960 to 1966. Hilton was the last living member of the Foolish Club, the group of owners who established the American Football League.
- George Atkinson III
- Neiron Ball
- Barry Bennett
- Cedric Benson
- Cliff Branch
- Al Carmichael
- Red Cashion
- Howard Cassady
- Reggie Cobb
- Mike Cofer
- Fred Cox
- Gunther Cunningham
- Jack Dolbin
- Darryl Drake
- Willie Ellison
- Rick Forzano
- Bob Fouts
- Larry Garron
- Anthony "Bubba" Green
- Cedrick Hardman
- E. J. Holub
- Bob Kuechenberg
- Kwamie Lassiter
- Keith Lincoln
- Jared Lorenzen
- Walt Michaels
- John Michels
- Eric Moss
- Bill Nelsen
- Eric Patterson
- Mitch Petrus
- John Ralston
- Charles Rogers
- Turk Schonert
- Jevan Snead
- Wade Wilson
- Bob Zeman
Training camps for the 2019 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.
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 played on the road that weekend and thus did 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). The team also unveiled a throwback jersey based on their 1936 design, which it will wear for two games.
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 artificial 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||10||Bears||3||NFL's longest running rivalry|
|2||Browns||23||Jets||3||First game televised on Monday Night Football; the series is also celebrating its 50th season in 2019.|
|3||Dolphins||6||Cowboys||31||Super Bowl VI|
|4||Chargers||30||Dolphins||10||Epic in Miami|
|5||Bills||14||Titans||7||Music City Miracle|
|6||Giants||14||Patriots||35||Super Bowls XLII (David Tyree's helmet catch spoils the perfect season) and XLVI|
|7||Raiders||24||Packers||42||Super Bowl II|
|8||Packers||31||Chiefs||24||Super Bowl I|
|9||Vikings||23||Chiefs||26||Super Bowl IV|
|10||Falcons||26||Saints||9||Rivalry game, Saints' return to New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina|
|11||Patriots||17||Eagles||10||Super Bowls XXXIX and LII (Philly Special)|
|13||49ers||17||Ravens||20||Super Bowl XLVII|
|14||Bengals||Browns||Battle of Ohio (state where NFL was founded), both teams founded by Paul Brown|
|15||Colts||Saints||Super Bowl XLIV|
|16||Raiders||Chargers||Rivalry game, Holy Roller play|
The 2019 regular season's 256 games will be played over a 17-week schedule that began on September 5, 2019. Each of the league's 32 teams will play a 16-game schedule, with one bye week for each team. 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 were held outside the United States in 2019. In addition to the Jacksonville Jaguars and the three teams hosted an annual game abroad as part of their relocation agreements (the Los Angeles Chargers, Los Angeles Rams, and Oakland Raiders), the Tampa Bay Buccaneers also hosted a home game abroad in 2019 as part of their agreement to host Super Bowl LV in 2021.
- NFL London Games: Four games were played in London in 2019: The Oakland Raiders hosted the Chicago Bears and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers hosted the Carolina Panthers on October 6 and October 13 respectively at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. The Los Angeles Rams hosted the Cincinnati Bengals and the Jacksonville Jaguars hosted the Houston Texans on October 27 and November 3 respectively at Wembley Stadium. The Texans and Panthers both made their first trip to London and left the Green Bay Packers as the only NFL team to have not played a game in London. The Bears-Raiders game was broadcast on Fox, the Rams-Bengals game was broadcast on CBS and both Panthers-Buccaneers and the Texans-Jaguars were both broadcast on NFL Network.
- NFL Mexico Game: The Los Angeles Chargers hosted the Kansas City Chiefs at Estadio Azteca in Mexico City on November 18 televised on ESPN.
- Thanksgiving Day: As has been the case since 2006, three games were played on Thanksgiving Day, November 28, including the traditional afternoon doubleheader hosted by the Detroit Lions (defeated by the Chicago Bears for the second year in a row) on Fox and the Dallas Cowboys (defeated by the Buffalo Bills) on CBS. The Atlanta Falcons hosted 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. On November 12, the NFL announced that three games would be moved from Sunday, December 22 to Saturday, December 21: Texans–Buccaneers at 1:00 p.m. ET, Bills–Patriots at 4:30 p.m. ET, and Rams–49ers at 8:15 p.m. ET—all on the NFL Network. The two other games that the NFL had the option of moving (Lions–Broncos and Raiders–Chargers) will remain on Sunday, December 22.
In-season scheduling changesEdit
- Week 8: The Raiders–Texans game was moved from 1:00 p.m. ET to 4:25 p.m. ET, trading time slots with the Broncos–Colts game—both games remained on CBS.
- Week 10: The Panthers–Packers game was moved from 1:00 p.m. ET to 4:25 p.m. ET—game remains on Fox.
- Week 11: The Jets–Redskins game was cross-flexed from CBS to Fox—game remains at 1:00 p.m. ET.
- Week 12: The Packers–49ers game, originally at 4:25 p.m ET on Fox, was flexed into the NBC Sunday Night Football 8:20 p.m. ET timeslot, replacing the originally scheduled Seahawks–Eagles game, which was moved to 1:00 p.m. ET on Fox. In addition, the Panthers–Saints game was cross-flexed from Fox to CBS while the Dolphins–Browns game was cross-flexed from CBS to Fox; kickoff times for both games remain at 1:00 p.m. ET.
- Week 13: The Raiders–Chiefs game was moved from 1:00 p.m. ET to 4:25 p.m. ET, trading time slots with the Browns–Steelers game—both games remained on CBS.
- Week 15: The Bills–Steelers game, originally scheduled at 1:00 p.m ET on CBS, was flexed into the NBC Sunday Night Football 8:20 p.m. ET timeslot, replacing the originally scheduled game Vikings–Chargers game, which was moved to 4:05 p.m. on CBS.
Regular season standingsEdit
|2[a]||New England Patriots||East||10||2||0||.833||4–0||6–2||.458||.400||L1|
|4[b]||Kansas City Chiefs||West||8||4||0||.667||4–0||6–3||.528||.479||W2|
|In the hunt|
|13[f][h]||Los Angeles Chargers||West||4||8||0||.333||0–4||2–7||.497||.500||L3|
|14[e][g][h]||New York Jets||East||4||8||0||.333||0–4||1–7||.444||.354||L1|
|Eliminated from playoff contention|
|1[a]||y – New Orleans Saints||South||10||2||0||.833||4–1||8–2||.454||.458||W3|
|3||Green Bay Packers||North||9||3||0||.750||3–0||6–2||.472||.453||W1|
|5[b]||San Francisco 49ers||West||10||2||0||.833||3–1||7–1||.476||.408||L1|
|In the hunt|
|7||Los Angeles Rams||West||7||5||0||.583||1–2||5–3||.521||.399||W1|
|9[c][d]||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||South||5||7||0||.417||2–3||4–6||.528||.375||W2|
|Eliminated from playoff contention|
|16||New York Giants||East||2||10||0||.167||1–2||2–7||.510||.333||L8|
|w — Clinched wild card|
|x — Clinched playoff berth|
|y — Clinched division|
|z — Clinched first-round bye|
|* — Clinched home-field advantage|
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.
Playoff-clinching scenarios for Week 14Edit
- Note: Scenarios involving ties are omitted for simplicity.
- The Baltimore Ravens can clinch:
- a playoff berth with a win.
- the AFC North division with a win AND a Pittsburgh loss.
- The Kansas City Chiefs can clinch the AFC West division with a win AND an Oakland loss.
- The New England Patriots can clinch a playoff berth with a win OR losses by both Houston and Indianapolis.
- The Buffalo Bills can clinch a playoff berth with a win AND a Tennessee loss OR losses by all of the following teams: Houston, Indianapolis, and Oakland.
- The Baltimore Ravens can clinch:
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. 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 has been involved in several controversies throughout the off-season, preseason, and regular season. Brown was held back by his former team, the Pittsburgh Steelers during week 17 of 2018 due to a heated argument with QB Ben Roethlisberger. He was subsequently traded to the Oakland Raiders in March 2019. However, 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, allegations that Brown had raped his former trainer, Britney Taylor, caused speculation as to if he would be put on the commissioner's exempt 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, sued Brown for $11,500 in unpaid fees. The Patriots cut Brown on September 20 after he sent intimidating text messages to his second accuser.
In the final seconds of a week 11 Thursday Night Football matchup between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Cleveland Browns, Browns DE Myles Garrett tackled Steelers QB Mason Rudolph after the latter completed a screen pass to RB Trey Edmunds. Upset by the late tackle, Rudolph started to attack Garrett by kicking him in the groin and attempting to pull off Garrett's helmet. Garrett then ripped off Rudolph's helmet and used it to hit Rudolph in the head. Steelers C Maurkice Pouncey and Browns DT Larry Ogunjobi then joined in on the fight in defense of their respective teammates. Garrett, Ogunjobi, and Pouncey were all ejected from the game. Following the game, Garrett was suspended for the remainder of 2019 and required to apply for reinstatement in 2020, while Pouncey and Ogunjobi received 2-game and 1-game suspensions, respectively. Garrett's suspension is the longest in NFL history for a single on-field transgression.
Records, milestones, and notable statisticsEdit
- The Baltimore Ravens scored 42 points in the first half, setting an NFL record for most points in the first half of a season opener.
- Adrian Peterson passed Jim Brown for fifth place on the all-time rushing touchdowns list.
- JuJu Smith-Schuster became the youngest player in NFL history to record 2,500 career receiving yards, at the age of 22 years, 297 days, a record previously held by Randy Moss, who was 22 years, 310 days old.
- Frank Gore became the fourth player in NFL history to rush for 15,000 yards.
- Larry Fitzgerald caught his 1,326th reception, moving into second place all-time, behind Jerry Rice.
- Von Miller recorded his 100th career sack, becoming the fourth-fastest player to do so (124 games).
- Tom Brady passed Peyton Manning for second place on the all-time passing yards list.
- Justin Tucker became the fastest player to score 1,000 career points, doing so in 118 games, a record previously held by Stephen Gostkowski who reached 1,000 points in 119 games.
- Matthew Stafford became the fastest player to throw for 40,000 yards, doing so in 147 games. The record was previously held by Matt Ryan, who reached 40,000 yards in 151 games.
- Aaron Rodgers became the fastest player to throw for 350 touchdowns, doing so in 172 games. The record was previously held by Drew Brees, who reached 350 touchdowns in 180 games.
- Brett Maher became the first kicker in NFL history to kick three field goals of at least 60 yards in his career.
- Marvin Jones became the first player in NFL history to score four receiving touchdowns in a game in which he did not have at least 100 receiving yards; he caught 10 passes for 93 yards and the four touchdowns.
- Bill Belichick became the third head coach in NFL history to win 300 games (regular season and postseason), joining George Halas and Don Shula.
- Drew Brees became the first quarterback to pass for 75,000 yards.
- Andy Dalton started the season with an 0–8 record. Having previously started a season 8–0 (2015), Dalton became the first quarterback to start seasons 8–0 and 0–8 since the NFL officially kept quarterback's win-loss records in 1950.
- Kyler Murray set the record for consecutive pass attempts by a rookie without an interception with 211, breaking the previous record of 176 shared by Derek Carr and Dak Prescott.
- Michael Thomas became the fastest player to reach 400 career receptions, doing so in 56 games.
- Adam Vinatieri recorded his 710th career field goal attempt, setting an NFL record. The previous record was held by Morten Andersen, who had 709 attempts.
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|
|2||Patrick Mahomes QB
|Russell Wilson QB
|Whitney Mercilus OLB
|Shaquil Barrett OLB
|Jamie Gillan P
|Eddy Piñeiro K|
|3||Deshaun Watson QB
|Daniel Jones QB
|Calais Campbell DE
|Preston Smith OLB
|Jake Bailey P
|Thomas Morstead P|
|4||Nick Chubb RB
|Jameis Winston QB
|Kyle Van Noy LB
|Janoris Jenkins CB
|Josh Lambo K
|Joey Slye K|
|Sept.||Patrick Mahomes QB
|Christian McCaffrey RB
|Devin McCourty FS
|Shaquil Barrett OLB
|Jamie Gillan P
|Thomas Morstead P|
|5||Deshaun Watson QB
|Aaron Jones RB
|Justin Houston DE
|Nick Bosa DE
|Justin Tucker K
|Dan Bailey K|
|6||Sam Darnold QB
|Kyler Murray QB
|Devin Bush Jr. LB
|Landon Collins SS
|Justin Tucker K
|Thomas Morstead P|
|7||Jacoby Brissett QB
|Aaron Rodgers QB
|Tre'Davious White CB
|Chandler Jones OLB
|Josh Lambo K
|Brett Maher K|
|8||James Conner RB
|Aaron Jones RB
|Joey Bosa DE
|Nick Bosa DE
|Adam Vinatieri K
|Dan Bailey K|
|Oct.||Deshaun Watson QB
|Kirk Cousins QB
|Stephon Gilmore CB
|Nick Bosa DE
|Justin Tucker K
|Zane Gonzalez K|
|9||Lamar Jackson QB
|Russell Wilson QB
|Bud Dupree OLB
|Xavier Woods FS
|Harrison Butker K
|Mitch Wishnowsky P|
|10||Lamar Jackson QB
|Dalvin Cook RB
|Jamal Adams S
|Jadeveon Clowney DE
|Jason Sanders K
|Younghoe Koo K|
|11||Josh Allen QB
|Dak Prescott QB
|Maxx Crosby DE
|Aaron Donald DT
|Jake Bailey P
|Kenjon Barner RB|
|12||Lamar Jackson QB
|Chris Godwin WR
|Joe Schobert LB
|Fred Warner LB
|Matthew Slater WR
|Steven Sims WR|
|13||Deshaun Watson QB
|Jared Goff QB
|Carlos Dunlap DE
|Cameron Jordan DE
|Jason Sanders K
|Tress Way P|
|Nov.||Lamar Jackson QB
|Michael Thomas WR
|T. J. Watt OLB
|Fred Warner LB
|Harrison Butker K
|Cordarrelle Patterson WR|
Head coaching and front office personnel changesEdit
|Team||Departing coach||Interim coach||Incoming coach||Reason for leaving||Notes|
|Arizona Cardinals||Steve Wilks||Kliff Kingsbury||Fired||Wilks was fired on December 31, 2018, after one season in which he accrued a record of 3–13 (.188). He later joined the Cleveland Browns as a defensive coordinator.|
|Cincinnati Bengals||Marvin Lewis||Zac Taylor||Mutual decision||Lewis and the Bengals mutually agreed to part ways on December 31 after a 6–10 (.375) season. In 16 years as the Bengals' head coach, Lewis was 131–122–3 (.518), with 7 playoff appearances. Famously, the Bengals never won a playoff game under Lewis and had missed the playoffs in each of his last three seasons. Lewis joined NFL Network as a commentator for Alliance of American Football games shortly after his departure.|
Taylor was officially named as head coach on February 5, 2019. This is his first experience as head coach after serving as the Los Angeles Rams' quarterbacks coach and at 35 years old, is now currently the 2nd youngest active coach in the NFL, after Sean McVay, whom coaches Taylor's former team, the Rams.
|Cleveland Browns||Hue Jackson||Gregg Williams||Freddie Kitchens||Fired||Jackson was fired on October 29, 2018, accumulating a 3–36–1 (.088) record during his 2½-season tenure with the Browns. Jackson failed to win any away games during his tenure and lost every game in 2017. He rejoined the Cincinnati Bengals as an assistant coach immediately after his firing. Defensive coordinator Gregg Williams, who previously served as Buffalo Bills head coach from 2001 to 2003, finished out the 2018 season with a 5–3 (.625) record. Released by the Browns on January 9, 2019, Williams later joined the New York Jets as a defensive coordinator.|
Kitchens was promoted to head coach on January 12, 2019, after serving as the interim offensive coordinator following Jackson's firing. This is his first head coaching position.
|Denver Broncos||Vance Joseph||Vic Fangio||Joseph was fired on December 31, 2018, after a 6–10 (.375) season. The Broncos were 11–21 (.344) in Joseph's two losing seasons as head coach, with no playoff appearances. He joined the Arizona Cardinals as a defensive coordinator.|
|Green Bay Packers||Mike McCarthy||Joe Philbin||Matt LaFleur||McCarthy was fired on December 2, 2018, shortly after the Packers' loss to the Arizona Cardinals. McCarthy left with a record of 135–85–2 (.613) with nine playoff appearances and one Super Bowl championship. Philbin, the team's offensive coordinator, finished the season as interim coach with a record of 2–2 (.500).|
|Miami Dolphins||Adam Gase||Brian Flores||Gase was fired on December 31, 2018, after a 7–9 (.438) season. The Dolphins were 23–25 (.479) in Gase's three years as head coach, with one playoff appearance in 2016. He was later hired by the New York Jets as head coach.|
Flores, formerly the New England Patriots' long time assistant, recently as linebackers coach, was announced as head coach on February 5, 2019. After being with the Patriots organization since 2004, this is his first head coaching position.
|New York Jets||Todd Bowles||Adam Gase||Bowles was fired on December 30, 2018, finishing the season with a record of 4–12 (.250) and a cumulative record of 24–40 (.375) with no playoff appearances in four seasons with Jets. He joined the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as a defensive coordinator.|
|Tampa Bay Buccaneers||Dirk Koetter||Bruce Arians||Koetter was fired on December 30, 2018, after a 5–11 (.313) season. The Buccaneers were 19–29 (.396) in Koetter's three years as head coach, with no playoff appearances. Previously, Koetter was Buccaneers' offensive coordinator for one season in 2015. He rejoined the Atlanta Falcons as an offensive coordinator.|
Arians was announced as the Buccaneers' new head coach on January 8, 2019. He was previously the head coach for the Arizona Cardinals for five seasons with 50–32–1 (.608) record from 2013 to 2017, leading them to an NFC Championship Game appearance in 2015.
|Team||Departing coach||Reason for leaving||Interim replacement||Notes|
|Washington Redskins||Jay Gruden||Fired||Bill Callahan||After an 0–5 start, Gruden was fired on October 7. He had a 35–49–1 (.418) record for his 5+ season tenure with the Redskins, with one playoff appearance in 2015.|
Callahan, the team's assistant head coach/offensive line coach, was previously the head coach of the Oakland Raiders in 2002 and 2003, with a record of 15–17 (.469) and one Super Bowl appearance.
|Carolina Panthers||Ron Rivera||Perry Fewell||Rivera was fired on December 3, after going 5–7–0 (.417) in the first 13 weeks of the season. In 8+ seasons as the Panthers head coach, they were 76–73–1 (.510), with playoff appearances including 3 NFC South division titles and 1 Super Bowl appearance, going 3–4–0 (.429) in the playoffs.
Fewell, the defensive backs coach, took over on an interim basis until the end of the season. A longtime defensive assistant in the NFL, his only head coaching experience was as the Buffalo Bills interim head coach for the last 7 games of the 2009 season. The Bills went 3–4–0 (.429) in those 7 games.
Front office personnelEdit
|Team||Position||Departing office holder||Interim replacement||Incoming office holder||Reason for leaving||Notes|
|Baltimore Ravens||GM||Ozzie Newsome||Eric DeCosta||Retired||The Ravens announced on February 2, 2018 that Newsome would retire after 16 years as the team's GM and that Eric DeCosta, most recently the Ravens' assistant GM, would succeed Newsome. Newsome was the first African-American to occupy the GM position in the NFL.|
|Oakland Raiders||GM||Reggie McKenzie||Shaun Herock||Mike Mayock||Fired||McKenzie was fired on December 10, 2018, after six-plus seasons as Raiders' GM. Herock, team's director of college scouting, served as the Raiders’ interim GM until the team settled on a full-time replacement.
Mayock had previously been a television commentator for the past 26 seasons and has never held a front office position.
|New York Jets||GM||Mike Maccagnan||Adam Gase||Joe Douglas||Maccagnan was fired on May 15, 2019 after four seasons; vice president of player personnel Brian Heimerdinger was also dismissed. Head coach Adam Gase was named interim GM. Douglas was named the new GM on June 7, 2019.|
|Houston Texans||GM||Brian Gaine||by committee||Gaine was unexpectedly fired on June 7, 2019 after only one season and returned to his previous position with the Buffalo Bills. The Texans have not replaced Gaine; instead, the team has divided the general manager role among several of the team's executives.|
This is the third and final season for the Los Angeles Chargers at Dignity Health Sports Park and the fourth and final season for the Los Angeles Rams 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, Nevada.
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 not disclosed. 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). Barring any temporary relocations or changes in league policy, the Raiders' September 15 game against the Kansas City Chiefs will stand as the last NFL game played on a dirt infield.
- Carolina Panthers: The Panthers switched to Nike's newest uniform template and updated their pants, removing the team logo from it and streamlining the piping stripe.
- Cleveland Browns: On September 4, the Browns announced that they would be switching to their former Color Rush uniforms as their primary home set this season, and will wear these uniforms for six home games.
- Houston Texans: On April 22, the Texans announced that they would add their primary logo on the back of their jerseys, making this their first uniform update in franchise history. The addition of the logo on the jersey's back makes them the third team in the NFL to do so, after the Arizona Cardinals and Buffalo Bills.
- Los Angeles Chargers: On April 16, the Chargers announced that they were making their powder blue alternate jerseys the new primary uniforms. In addition to this announcement, they also swapped out their navy blue facemask for gold.
- New York Jets: On April 4, the Jets unveiled a new uniform. The new uniforms introduce black as an accent color and resemble a modernized version of the uniform layout the Jets used from 1978 to 1997, including a return to green helmets and "TV numbers" on the shoulders.
- Chicago Bears: To celebrate their 100th season, the Bears will wear throwback jerseys based on their 1936 uniforms for two home games.
- Thirty-one teams will wear a version of the NFL centennial emblem, with the NFL shield beneath the "100", on the yoke of their jerseys in place of the regular NFL shield. The Chicago Bears will instead wear their own centennial team patch, a customized version of the league-wide centennial emblem with the Bears' colors and logo, on the left side of the jersey.
- The Carolina Panthers and the Jacksonville Jaguars will wear patches to commemorate the 25th season for each franchise.
- The Oakland Raiders, the Kansas City Chiefs and the Los Angeles Chargers will wear patches to commemorate the 60th season for each franchise.
- On October 10, the Arizona Cardinals unveiled a patch to commemorate the death of team owner Bill Bidwill. It features "WVB", the initials of his full name William Vogel Bidwill.
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 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 on a limited basis 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). It was originally reported 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 later clarified that teams will still be able to impose the home exclusivity blackout on a limited basis, so long as they lift the exclusivity at least twice.
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; Booger McFarland, who spent the previous season commentating from atop a crane-like contraption on the sideline, was moved into the booth.
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.
Twitch added "co-streaming" with live commentary from specially chosen users of the service for its 2019 Thursday night games.
Most watched regular season gamesEdit
- DH = doubleheader; SNF = NBC Sunday Night Football
|Rank||Date||Matchup||Network||Viewers (millions)||TV rating||Window||Significance|
|1||November 28, 4:30 ET||Buffalo Bills||26||Dallas Cowboys||15||CBS||32.6||13.5||Thanksgiving|
|2||November 24, 4:25 ET||Dallas Cowboys||9||New England Patriots||13||Fox||29.5||16.5||Late DH[a]|
|3||November 28, 12:30 ET||Chicago Bears||24||Detroit Lions||20||Fox||27.1||12.3||Thanksgiving||Bears–Lions Rivalry|
|4||November 17, 4:25 ET||New England Patriots||17||Philadelphia Eagles||10||CBS||24.9||14.0||Late DH[b]||Super Bowl LII rematch|
|5||October 6, 4:25 ET||Green Bay Packers||34||Dallas Cowboys||24||Fox||24.6||13.8||Late DH[c]||Cowboys–Packers Rivalry|
|6||September 8, 4:25 ET||New York Giants||17||Dallas Cowboys||35||Fox||23.9||13.5||Late DH[d]||Cowboys–Giants Rivalry|
|7||September 29, 8:20 ET||Dallas Cowboys||10||New Orleans Saints||12||NBC||24.1||13.7||SNF|
|8||September 15, 4:25 ET||New Orleans Saints||9||Los Angeles Rams||27||Fox||23.3||13.2||Late DH[e]||2018 NFC championship game rematch|
|9||November 10, 4:25 ET||Carolina Panthers||16||Green Bay Packers||24||Fox||23.2||13.3||Late DH[f]|
|10||October 20, 4:25 ET||New Orleans Saints||36||Chicago Bears||25||Fox||23.0||13.3||Late DH[g]|
*Note — Late DH matchups listed in table are the matchups that were shown to the largest percentage of the market.
- ^ DAL/NE was shown in 100% of the markets during the late doubleheader time slot of Fox coverage.
- ^ NE/PHI was shown in 93% of the markets during the late doubleheader time slot of CBS coverage.
- ^ GB/DAL was shown in 100% of the markets during the late doubleheader time slot of Fox coverage.
- ^ NYG/DAL was shown in 85% of the markets during the late doubleheader time slot of Fox coverage.
- ^ NO/LAR was shown in 81% of the markets during the late doubleheader time slot of Fox coverage.
- ^ CAR/GB was shown in 70% of the markets during the late doubleheader time slot of Fox coverage.
- ^ NO/CHI was shown in 64% of the markets during the late doubleheader time slot of Fox coverage.
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