NFL WELCOMES SEVEN NEW TEAMS TO DIVISIONAL PLAYOFFS
The NFL’s 100th season has reached the
Divisional playoffs, and new teams abound.
Seven of the remaining eight clubs in
contention for the Lombardi Trophy at Super Bowl LIV in Miami were not in the
Divisional playoffs last year. That’s the largest year-to-year turnover in the
Divisional round since 1990, when the NFL instituted the current 12-team
playoff format. In other words, 15 teams have been one game from advancing to
the AFC or NFC Championship Game since the beginning of the 2018 playoffs.
This weekend’s schedule:
All four clubs in the NFC – the GREEN BAY PACKERS, MINNESOTA VIKINGS, SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS and SEATTLE SEAHAWKS – are
new to the NFL’s final eight. In the AFC, the BALTIMORE RAVENS, HOUSTON TEXANS and TENNESSEE TITANS join
the group, while the KANSAS
CITY CHIEFS represent the only club to make a second straight
appearance in the Divisional playoffs.
The No. 6-seeded Titans, whose 20-13 win
at New England last week ensured that the NFL will have two new Super Bowl
teams for the first time in four years, earned a trip to face the AFC’s No. 1
seed, Baltimore, Saturday in primetime (8:15 PM ET, CBS).
Meanwhile, the NFC’s No. 6 seed,
Minnesota, earned a 26-20 overtime victory at New Orleans last week to advance
to the Divisional round, where No. 1 seed San Francisco awaits in the first
game on Saturday (4:35 PM ET, NBC).
The No. 6 seeds are now 4-0 over the
past two seasons. For the first time in NFL history, all four No. 6 seeds have
advanced to the Divisional playoffs in consecutive years, including INDIANAPOLIS and PHILADELPHIA in 2018.
YOUTH UNDER CENTER
The average age of the eight quarterbacks scheduled to start this weekend is 28 years, 271 days old, the youngest average age of starting quarterbacks in the Divisional playoffs since the 2010 season (28 years, 197 days).
CULTURE OF COMPETITION
Since Super Bowl LI, when New England topped Atlanta, 34-28, in the first overtime in Super Bowl history, postseason games have been fiercely competitive. Beginning with that Super Bowl, the last 27 postseason contests have been decided by just 8.1 points on average.
Four of the NFL’s last seven postseason games have gone to overtime.
Road teams are a combined 8-6 over the last 14 NFL playoff games (excluding the neutral-field Super Bowl LIII).
Seven of the league’s eight remaining teams finished among the NFL’s top 10 in turnover margin this season. GREEN BAY (+12) and SEATTLE (+12), which tied for third in the NFL during the regular season and meet Sunday at Lambeau Field (6:40 PM, FOX), have the best turnover margins among the remaining teams. MINNESOTA (+11, fifth), BALTIMORE (+10, sixth), KANSAS CITY (+8, tied-seventh), TENNESSEE (+6, ninth) and SAN FRANCISCO (+4, tied-10th) also ranked in the top 10 this season.
A closer look at each of the Divisional
SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS (13-3) vs MINNESOTA VIKINGS (11-6) - Saturday, 9:35 PM UK
Minnesota and San Francisco have met five times in the postseason with the 49ers holding a 4-1 advantage. The Vikings prevailed in the 1987 Divisional playoffs but San Francisco rebounded to win Divisional matchups with Minnesota in each of the next two seasons, 1988-89, winning consecutive Super Bowls in the process. The 49ers also won a 1997 Divisional playoff and, in their only playoff meeting outside of San Francisco, beat the Vikings at Metropolitan Stadium in 1970.
The Vikings defeated New Orleans in a Wild Card game last week, 26-20, in overtime. Minnesota quarterback KIRK COUSINS orchestrated a nine-play, 75-yard touchdown drive in overtime, completing the march with a 4-yard pass to tight end KYLE RUDOLPH. Minnesota running back DALVIN COOK had 130 scrimmage yards (94 rushing, 36 receiving) and two rushing touchdowns in the win.
The 49ers won the NFC West for the first time since 2012. Quarterback JIMMY GAROPPOLO (102 passer rating) joined Pro Football Hall of Famers JOE MONTANA and STEVE YOUNG as the only 49ers players to finish a season with a passer rating of 100 or higher since 1950. Tight end GEORGE KITTLE (2,945 receiving yards) surpassed Pro Football Hall of Famer MIKE DITKA (2,774) for the most receiving yards ever by a tight end over his first three NFL seasons.
BALTIMORE RAVENS (14-2) vs TENNESSEE TITANS (10-7) - Sunday, 1:15 AM UK
The Titans and Ravens have three prior playoff meetings, with Baltimore holding a 2-1 lead. On their way to a Super Bowl XXXV victory, the Ravens picked up a win at Tennessee in the 2000 Divisional playoffs. The Ravens also won a 2008 Divisional playoff in Nashville, while the Titans won a 2003 Wild Card game in Baltimore.
Tennessee won a playoff game for the second time in three seasons with a road triumph at New England last week. The Titans are the fourth team since the AFL-NFL merger in 1970 to feature the league’s top-rated passer and rushing champion. Quarterback RYAN TANNEHILL led the NFL with a 117.5 passer rating during the regular season, while running back DERRICK HENRY – who led the league with 1,540 rushing yards – rushed for 182 yards and a TD last week, the most rushing yards in a postseason game since Green Bay’s RYAN GRANT (201) on Jan. 12, 2008, in a 2007 Divisional playoff win over Seattle at Lambeau Field.
The Ravens, who led the league with 33.2 points per game, had a league-high 12 players named to the Pro Bowl after a franchise-best 14 wins. Baltimore broke the NFL’s single-season record with 3,296 rushing yards, including 1,206 from LAMAR JACKSON, the most single-season yards by a quarterback in NFL history. Tight end MARK ANDREWS led NFL tight ends with 10 receiving touchdowns and caught a team-best 64 passes. Cornerback MARCUS PETERS in 2019 had five interceptions.
KANSAS CITY CHIEFS (12-4) vs HOUSTON TEXANS (11-6) - Sunday, 8:05 PM UK
The Texans and Chiefs have played just one postseason game, a 2015 Wild Card game won by Kansas City. The Chiefs from 1960-62 were known as the Dallas Texans before relocating to Kansas City in 1963. In Week 6 this season, Houston beat Kansas City, 31-24, at Arrowhead Stadium.
Down 16-0 to Buffalo in the third quarter last week, Houston came back to win, 22-19, in overtime. Quarterback DESHAUN WATSON escaped two defenders to complete a 34-yard pass to running back TAIWAN JONES and set up the game-winning field goal. Houston wide receiver DEANDRE HOPKINS tied for the AFC lead with 104 catches in 2019. Texans linebacker WHITNEY MERCILUS has seven sacks in seven career postseason games, while defensive end J.J. WATT has six sacks in seven career postseason games.
The Chiefs won the AFC West for a fourth straight season. Head coach ANDY REID makes his 15th career appearance in the playoffs. Quarterback PATRICK MAHOMES is the first player in franchise history to pass for at least 4,000 yards and 25-or-more touchdowns in consecutive seasons. TRAVIS KELCE became the first tight end in NFL history with at least 1,000 receiving yards in four consecutive seasons.
GREEN BAY PACKERS (13-3) vs SEATTLE SEAHAWKS (12-5) at - Sunday, 11:40 PM UK
The Seahawks and Packers have met three times in the playoffs, with Green Bay holding a 2-1 advantage. In 2003, Green Bay beat Seattle in the Wild Card round by returning an early overtime interception for a touchdown. In the 2007 Divisional playoffs, the Packers topped the Seahawks in a snowy Lambeau Field game. And in their most recent postseason meeting, the 2014 NFC Championship, Seattle earned a Super Bowl appearance by overcoming a 16-point halftime deficit to win in overtime.
Quarterbacks AARON RODGERS (99.4 passer rating) and RUSSELL WILSON (96.0) rank fifth and sixth, respectively, in postseason passer efficiency, minimum 100 attempts. They’re also the only remaining starting quarterbacks among playoff teams who have won Super Bowls.
The Seahawks had seven sacks in their Wild Card win at Philadelphia last week, establishing the franchise’s single-game postseason record. In eight of his 10 seasons as head coach, PETE CARROLL has guided Seattle to the playoffs. Wilson passed for 325 yards and a touchdown in the win over the Eagles. Running back MARSHAWN LYNCH has 10 rushing touchdowns in 12 career playoffs games. Wide receiver DK METCALF last week had a touchdown catch and 160 receiving yards, most by a rookie in a postseason game in the Super Bowl era.
Green Bay won the NFC North for the first time since 2016 and tied Baltimore for the NFL lead with seven home victories. MATT LAFLEUR joined JIM CALDWELL (2009), JIM HARBAUGH (2011), STEVE MARIUCCI (1997) and GEORGE SEIFERT (1989) as one of five head coaches in league history to win at least 13 games in his first season at the helm of a team. Quarterback AARON RODGERS ranks fifth in NFL postseason history in touchdown passes (36). Running back AARON JONES tied for the league lead in rushing touchdowns (16) and scrimmage touchdowns (19). Linebackers ZA’DARIUS SMITH (13.5) and PRESTON SMITH (12) are the first pair of Packers teammates to each record at least 12 sacks since the individual sack became an official statistic in 1982.
The NFL playoffs begin on Saturday and Sunday, January 4-5, with Wild Card Weekend. On Saturday, the Buffalo Bills play at the Houston Texans and the Tennessee Titans visit the New England Patriots . Wild Card Weekend continues Sunday with the Minnesota Vikings at the New Orleans Saints and the Seattle Seahawks traveling to face the Philadelphia Eagles.
The following week (January 11-12), the Baltimore Ravens and Kansas City Chief in the AFC and the Green Bay Packers and San Francisco 49ers in the NFC host the Divisional Playoffs. The Ravens and 49ers own home-field advantage for the Conference Championship Games (January 19) if they win their Divisional contests.
The 2020 Pro Bowl will be played on Sunday, January 26, at Camping World Stadium in Orlando, Florida, and Super Bowl LIV will take place on Sunday, February 2, at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami, Florida.
TURNAROUND TEAMS & CONSISTENT WINNERS HIGHLIGHT PLAYOFF FIELD
Six playoff teams – the BALTIMORE RAVENS (14-2),
GREEN BAY PACKERS
(13-3), KANSAS CITY CHIEFS
(12-4), NEW ORLEANS SAINTS
(13-3), NEW ENGLAND
PATRIOTS (12-4) and SAN
FRANCISCO 49ERS (13-3) – each won at least 12 regular-season
games in 2019, tied with 2003 and 2011 for the most such teams in a single
postseason in NFL history.
The combined winning percentage of the
2019 playoff field is .708 (136-56), the highest combined winning percentage
among postseason teams since 2005 (.719, 138-54).
There are five new playoff teams in
Since 1990 – a streak of 30 consecutive
seasons – at least four teams have qualified for the playoffs in every season
that were not in the postseason the year before.
The teams since 1990 to make the
playoffs a season after failing to qualify:
PLAYOFF TEAMS NOT IN PREVIOUS SEASON’S
7 (Cincinnati, Chicago, Kansas City,
Los Angeles Raiders, Miami, New Orleans, Washington)
5 (Atlanta, Dallas, Denver, Detroit,
New York Jets)
6 (Miami, Minnesota, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh,
San Diego, San Francisco)
5 (Denver, Detroit, Green Bay, Los
Angeles Raiders, New York Giants)
5 (Chicago, Cleveland, Miami, New
England, San Diego)
4 (Atlanta, Buffalo, Indianapolis,
5 (Carolina, Denver, Jacksonville,
Minnesota, New England)
5 (Detroit, Kansas City, Miami, New
York Giants, Tampa Bay)
5 (Arizona, Atlanta, Buffalo, Dallas,
New York Jets)
7 (Detroit, Indianapolis, St. Louis,
Seattle, Tampa Bay, Tennessee, Washington)
6 (Baltimore, Denver, New Orleans, New
York Giants, Oakland, Philadelphia)
6 (Chicago, Green Bay, New England,
New York Jets, Pittsburgh, San Francisco)
5 (Atlanta, Cleveland, Indianapolis,
New York Giants, Tennessee)
8 (Baltimore, Carolina, Dallas,
Denver, Kansas City, New England, St. Louis, Seattle)
5 (Atlanta, Minnesota, New York Jets,
Pittsburgh, San Diego)
7 (Carolina, Chicago, Cincinnati,
Jacksonville, New York Giants, Tampa Bay, Washington)
7 (Baltimore, Dallas, Kansas City, New
Orleans, New York Jets, Philadelphia, San Diego)
6 (Green Bay, Jacksonville,
Pittsburgh, Tampa Bay, Tennessee, Washington)
7 (Arizona, Atlanta, Baltimore,
Carolina, Miami, Minnesota, Philadelphia)
6 (Cincinnati, Dallas, Green Bay, New
England, New Orleans, New York Jets)
5 (Atlanta, Chicago, Kansas City,
6 (Cincinnati, Denver, Detroit,
Houston, New York Giants, San Francisco)
4 (Indianapolis, Minnesota, Seattle,
5 (Carolina, Kansas City, New Orleans,
Philadelphia, San Diego)
5 (Arizona, Baltimore, Dallas,
4 (Houston, Kansas City, Minnesota,
6 (Atlanta, Dallas, Detroit, Miami,
New York Giants, Oakland)
8 (Buffalo, Carolina,
Jacksonville, Los Angeles Rams, Minnesota, New Orleans, Philadelphia,
7 (Baltimore, Chicago,
Dallas, Houston, Indianapolis, Los Angeles Chargers, Seattle)
5 (Buffalo, Green Bay,
Minnesota, San Francisco, Tennessee)
Two teams won division titles – Green Bay (NFC North) and San Francisco (NFC West) – after missing the playoffs last season. At least two teams have won their divisions the season after missing the playoffs in 16 of the past 17 years.
The divisions with new champions in 2019:
|||NFC EAST||NFC NORTH||NFC WEST|
|2019||Philadelphia||Green Bay||San Francisco|
In the 18 seasons since realignment in 2002, 29 of the 32 NFL teams have won a
division title at least once. New England has won 11 consecutive AFC East
division titles, the longest streak of division championships in league
How the 2019 playoff teams have fared in
the 18 seasons since realignment in 2002 (2019 division winners in bold/italics):
Six of this season’s 12 playoff teams have won at least one Super Bowl since
1999, capturing 12 of
the past 20 Vince Lombardi Trophies. Those teams are the Patriots (XXXVI,
XXXVIII, XXXIX, XLIX, LI, LIII), Ravens (XXXV, XLVII), Eagles (LII), Packers
(XLV), Saints (XLIV) and Seahawks (XLVIII).
|XXXIV||1999||St. Louis Rams|
|XXXVI||2001||New England Patriots*|
|XXXVII||2002||Tampa Bay Buccaneers|
|XXXVIII||2003||New England Patriots*|
|XXXIX||2004||New England Patriots*|
|XLII||2007||New York Giants|
|XLIV||2009||New Orleans Saints*|
|XLV||2010||Green Bay Packers*|
|XLVI||2011||New York Giants|
|XLIX||2014||New England Patriots*|
|LI||2016||New England Patriots*|
|LIII||2018||New England Patriots*|
|*In 2019 postseason|
The New England Patriots (.649),
Baltimore Ravens (.625), Green Bay Packers (.607) and San Francisco 49ers
(.600) have the four highest postseason winning percentages in NFL history.
The 12 playoff teams and their
|New England Patriots||37||20||.649|
|Green Bay Packers||34||22||.607|
|San Francisco 49ers||30||20||.600|
|New Orleans Saints||9||11||.450|
|Kansas City Chiefs||10||19||.345|
YOUTH & CONSISTENCY HIGHLIGHT THE PLAYOFF QUARTERBACKS
The 2019 postseason is filled with young stars on the rise and
veterans at the top of their game at the quarterback position.
Three quarterbacks – Buffalo’s JOSH ALLEN, Philadelphia’s CARSON WENTZ and
TANNEHILL – are expected to make their first career postseason
starts on Wild Card Weekend while San Francisco’s JIMMY GAROPPOLO, who
has a career 21-5 record as a starting quarterback, will make his
postseason debut in the NFC Divisional round.
New England quarterback TOM
BRADY, who has led the Patriots to 11 consecutive division
titles and six Super Bowl championships, is the postseason’s all-time leader in
games played (40), passing yards (11,179) and touchdown passes (73). Brady led
New England to the Super Bowl LIII title last season and will face off against
Tannehill in the AFC Wild Card round, who led the NFL with a 117.5 passer
rating this season, the fourth-highest single-season rating in NFL history.
New Orleans quarterback DREW
BREES, a veteran of 19 NFL seasons, will make his 16th
postseason start in the NFC Wild Card round after leading the league with a
74.3 completion percentage and ranking second with a career-high 116.3 passer
rating in 2019. Brees led the Saints to the Super Bowl XLIV championship in
Minnesota quarterback KIRK
COUSINS will make his second career postseason start, and first
with the Vikings, in the Wild Card round. Cousins ranked fourth in the league
with a 107.4 passer rating in 2019 and is the only quarterback with at least 25
touchdown passes in each of the past five seasons.
Baltimore quarterback LAMAR
JACKSON, who has led Baltimore to consecutive AFC North
division titles, will make his second career postseason start in the AFC
Divisional playoffs. Jackson led the league with 36 touchdown passes, ranked
third with a 113.3 passer rating and set the NFL’s single-season record for
rushing yards by a quarterback (1,206) in 2019.
Kansas City quarterback PATRICK
MAHOMES will make his third career postseason start in the AFC
Divisional round. Since becoming the Chiefs’ starting quarterback at the
beginning of the 2018 season, Mahomes leads the NFL with 76 touchdown passes
and ranks third in both passing yards (9,128) and passer rating (110).
Green Bay quarterback AARON
RODGERS, in his 15th season, will make his 17th career
postseason start in the NFC Divisional round. He has 36 career postseason
touchdown passes and can become the fifth quarterback in NFL history with at
least 40 career postseason touchdown passes. Rodgers led the Packers to the Super
Bowl XLV title in 2010.
Houston quarterback DESHAUN
WATSON will make his second career postseason start after
leading the Texans to back-to-back AFC South division titles. Watson became the
first quarterback to have at least 25 touchdown passes and five rushing
touchdowns in consecutive seasons in NFL history. Watson will face Allen, who
became the second-fastest quarterback to reach 15 career rushing touchdowns (22
games) in league annals.
Seattle quarterback RUSSELL
WILSON, who has led Seattle to the playoffs in seven of his
eight seasons, will be making his 14th career postseason start on Wild Card
Weekend. Wilson led Seattle to a Super Bowl XLVIII championship in 2013 and a
Super Bowl XLIX appearance in 2014. Wilson will square off against Wentz, who
had a single-season franchise-record 4,039 passing yards in 2019.
A by-the-numbers look at the 12 quarterbacks in the 2019
|2||Rookie or 2nd-year||Allen, BUF; Jackson, BAL|
|7||1st-round draft picks||
Allen, BUF; Jackson, BAL; Mahomes, KC; Rodgers, GB; Tannehill,
TEN; Watson, HOU; Wentz, PHI
|3||Drafted No. 75 overall or later, or undrafted||Brady, NE; Cousins, MIN; Wilson, SEA|
|4||Under the age of 25||Allen, BUF; Jackson, BAL; Mahomes, KC; Watson, HOU|
|6||Under the age of 31||
Allen, BUF; Garoppolo, SF; Jackson, BAL; Mahomes, KC; Watson,
HOU; Wentz, PHI
|3||Over the age of 34||Brady, NE; Brees, NO; Rodgers, GB|
BEST NFL PLAYOFF PERFORMANCES
Manning, New York Giants
AllenHOF, Los Angeles Raiders
Nicks, New York Giants
Smith, Sr., Carolina
Nicks, New York Giants
Smith, Sr., Carolina
Michel, New England
Watters, San Francisco
The opponents for all 2020 regular-season games have been determined
and a complete list of each team’s home and away matchups was issued today by
formula implemented in 2002 with realignment guarantees that all teams play
each other on a regular, rotating basis.
Under the formula, every
team plays 16 games as follows:
- Home and away against its three division opponents (six games).
- The four teams from another division within its conference on a rotating three-year cycle (four games).
- The four teams from a division in the other conference on a rotating four-year cycle (four games).
- Two intraconference games based on the prior year’s standings (two games). These games match a first-place team against the first-place teams in the two same-conference divisions the team is not scheduled to play that season. The second-place, third-place and fourth-place teams in a conference are matched in the same way each year.
Beginning in 2010, a change was made to how teams are paired in the schedule rotation with the AFC and NFC West divisions.
The official 2020 schedule, with playing dates and times, will be announced in the spring.
NFL Kickoff 2020 Weekend will begin on Thursday night, September 10, and the regular season will conclude on Sunday, January 3, 2021.
The season will conclude with Super Bowl LV in Tampa Bay on Sunday, February 7, 2021.
2020 SCHEDULING ROTATION BY DIVISION
1. New England Patriots
Home: Buffalo Bills, Miami Dolphins, New York Jets, Arizona Cardinals, Baltimore Ravens, Denver Broncos, Raiders, San Francisco 49ers.
Away: Buffalo Bills, Miami Dolphins, New York Jets, Houston Texans, Kansas City Chiefs, Los Angeles Chargers, Los Angeles Rams, Seattle Seahawks.
2. Buffalo Bills
Home: Miami Dolphins, New England Patriots, New York Jets, Kansas City Chiefs, Los Angeles Chargers, Los Angeles Rams, Pittsburgh Steelers, Seattle Seahawks.
Away: Miami Dolphins, New England Patriots, New York Jets, Arizona Cardinals, Denver Broncos, Raiders, San Francisco 49ers, Tennessee Titans.
3. New York Jets
Home: Buffalo Bills, Miami Dolphins, New England Patriots, Arizona Cardinals, Cleveland Browns, Denver Broncos, Raiders, San Francisco 49ers.
Away: Buffalo Bills, Miami Dolphins, New England Patriots, Indianapolis Colts, Kansas City Chiefs, Los Angeles Chargers, Los Angeles Rams, Seattle Seahawks.
4. Miami Dolphins
Home: Buffalo Bills, New England Patriots, New York Jets, Cincinnati Bengals, Kansas City Chiefs, Los Angeles Chargers, Los Angeles Rams, Seattle Seahawks.
Away: Buffalo Bills, New England Patriots, New York Jets, Arizona Cardinals, Denver Broncos, Jacksonville Jaguars, Raiders, San Francisco 49ers.
1. Baltimore Ravens
Home: Cincinnati Bengals, Cleveland Browns, Pittsburgh Steelers, Dallas Cowboys, Jacksonville Jaguars, Kansas City Chiefs, New York Giants, Tennessee Titans.
Away: Cincinnati Bengals, Cleveland Browns, Pittsburgh Steelers, Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts, New England Patriots, Philadelphia Eagles, Washington Redskins.
2. Pittsburgh Steelers
Home: Baltimore Ravens, Cincinnati Bengals, Cleveland Browns, Denver Broncos, Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts, Philadelphia Eagles, Washington Redskins.
Away: Baltimore Ravens, Cincinnati Bengals, Cleveland Browns, Buffalo Bills, Dallas Cowboys, Jacksonville Jaguars, New York Giants, Tennessee Titans.
3. Cleveland Browns
Home: Baltimore Ravens, Cincinnati Bengals, Pittsburgh Steelers, Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts, Raiders, Philadelphia Eagles, Washington Redskins.
Away: Baltimore Ravens, Cincinnati Bengals, Pittsburgh Steelers, Dallas Cowboys, Jacksonville Jaguars, New York Giants, New York Jets, Tennessee Titans.
4. Cincinnati Bengals
Home: Baltimore Ravens, Cleveland Browns, Pittsburgh Steelers, Dallas Cowboys, Jacksonville Jaguars, Los Angeles Chargers, New York Giants, Tennessee Titans.
Away: Baltimore Ravens, Cleveland Browns, Pittsburgh Steelers, Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts, Miami Dolphins, Philadelphia Eagles, Washington Redskins.
1. Houston Texans
Home: Indianapolis Colts, Jacksonville Jaguars, Tennessee Titans, Baltimore Ravens, Cincinnati Bengals, Green Bay Packers, Minnesota Vikings, New England Patriots.
Away: Indianapolis Colts, Jacksonville Jaguars, Tennessee Titans, Chicago Bears, Cleveland Browns, Detroit Lions, Kansas City Chiefs, Pittsburgh Steelers.
2. Tennessee Titans
Home: Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts, Jacksonville Jaguars, Buffalo Bills, Chicago Bears, Cleveland Browns, Detroit Lions, Pittsburgh Steelers.
Away: Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts, Jacksonville Jaguars, Baltimore Ravens, Cincinnati Bengals, Denver Broncos, Green Bay Packers, Minnesota Vikings.
3. Indianapolis Colts
Home: Houston Texans, Jacksonville Jaguars, Tennessee Titans, Baltimore Ravens, Cincinnati Bengals, Green Bay Packers, Minnesota Vikings, New York Jets.
Away: Houston Texans, Jacksonville Jaguars, Tennessee Titans, Chicago Bears, Cleveland Browns, Detroit Lions, Raiders, Pittsburgh Steelers.
4. Jacksonville Jaguars
Home: Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts, Tennessee Titans, Chicago Bears, Cleveland Browns, Detroit Lions, Miami Dolphins, Pittsburgh Steelers.
Away: Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts, Tennessee Titans, Baltimore Ravens, Cincinnati Bengals, Green Bay Packers, Los Angeles Chargers, Minnesota Vikings.
1. Kansas City Chiefs
Home: Denver Broncos, Raiders, Los Angeles Chargers, Atlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers, Houston Texans, New England Patriots, New York Jets.
Away: Denver Broncos, Raiders, Los Angeles Chargers, Baltimore Ravens, Buffalo Bills, Miami Dolphins, New Orleans Saints, Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
2. Denver Broncos
Home: Kansas City Chiefs, Raiders, Los Angeles Chargers, Buffalo Bills, Miami Dolphins, New Orleans Saints, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Tennessee Titans.
Away: Kansas City Chiefs, Raiders, Los Angeles Chargers, Atlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers, New England Patriots, New York Jets, Pittsburgh Steelers.
Home: Denver Broncos, Kansas City Chiefs, Los Angeles Chargers, Buffalo Bills, Indianapolis Colts, Miami Dolphins, New Orleans Saints, Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Away: Denver Broncos, Kansas City Chiefs, Los Angeles Chargers, Atlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers, Cleveland Browns, New England Patriots, New York Jets.
4. Los Angeles Chargers
Home: Denver Broncos, Kansas City Chiefs, Raiders, Atlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers, Jacksonville Jaguars, New England Patriots, New York Jets.
Away: Denver Broncos, Kansas City Chiefs, Raiders, Buffalo Bills, Cincinnati Bengals, Miami Dolphins, New Orleans Saints, Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
1. Philadelphia Eagles
Home: Dallas Cowboys, New York Giants, Washington Redskins, Baltimore Ravens, Cincinnati Bengals, Los Angeles Rams, New Orleans Saints, Seattle Seahawks.
Away: Dallas Cowboys, New York Giants, Washington Redskins, Arizona Cardinals, Cleveland Browns, Green Bay Packers, Pittsburgh Steelers, San Francisco 49ers.
2. Dallas Cowboys
Home: New York Giants, Philadelphia Eagles, Washington Redskins, Arizona Cardinals, Atlanta Falcons, Cleveland Browns, Pittsburgh Steelers, San Francisco 49ers.
Away: New York Giants, Philadelphia Eagles, Washington Redskins, Baltimore Ravens, Cincinnati Bengals, Los Angeles Rams, Minnesota Vikings, Seattle Seahawks.
3. New York Giants
Home: Dallas Cowboys, Philadelphia Eagles, Washington Redskins, Arizona Cardinals, Cleveland Browns, Pittsburgh Steelers, San Francisco 49ers, Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Away: Dallas Cowboys, Philadelphia Eagles, Washington Redskins, Baltimore Ravens, Chicago Bears, Cincinnati Bengals, Los Angeles Rams, Seattle Seahawks.
4. Washington Redskins
Home: Dallas Cowboys, New York Giants, Philadelphia Eagles, Baltimore Ravens, Carolina Panthers, Cincinnati Bengals, Los Angeles Rams, Seattle Seahawks.
Away: Dallas Cowboys, New York Giants, Philadelphia Eagles, Arizona Cardinals, Cleveland Browns, Detroit Lions, Pittsburgh Steelers, San Francisco 49ers.
1. Green Bay Packers
Home: Chicago Bears, Detroit Lions, Minnesota Vikings, Atlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers, Jacksonville Jaguars, Philadelphia Eagles, Tennessee Titans.
Away: Chicago Bears, Detroit Lions, Minnesota Vikings, Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts, New Orleans Saints, San Francisco 49ers, Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
2. Minnesota Vikings
Home: Chicago Bears, Detroit Lions, Green Bay Packers, Atlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers, Dallas Cowboys, Jacksonville Jaguars, Tennessee Titans.
Away: Chicago Bears, Detroit Lions, Green Bay Packers, Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts, New Orleans Saints, Seattle Seahawks, Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
3. Chicago Bears
Home: Detroit Lions, Green Bay Packers, Minnesota Vikings, Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts, New Orleans Saints, New York Giants, Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Away: Detroit Lions, Green Bay Packers, Minnesota Vikings, Atlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers, Jacksonville Jaguars, Los Angeles Rams, Tennessee Titans.
4. Detroit Lions
Home: Chicago Bears, Green Bay Packers, Minnesota Vikings, Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts, New Orleans Saints, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Washington Redskins.
Away: Chicago Bears, Green Bay Packers, Minnesota Vikings, Arizona Cardinals, Atlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers, Jacksonville Jaguars, Tennessee Titans.
1. New Orleans Saints
Home: Atlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Green Bay Packers, Kansas City Chiefs, Los Angeles Chargers, Minnesota Vikings, San Francisco 49ers.
Away: Atlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Chicago Bears, Denver Broncos, Detroit Lions, Raiders, Philadelphia Eagles.
2. Atlanta Falcons
Home: Carolina Panthers, New Orleans Saints, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Chicago Bears, Denver Broncos, Detroit Lions, Raiders, Seattle Seahawks.
Away: Carolina Panthers, New Orleans Saints, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Dallas Cowboys, Green Bay Packers, Kansas City Chiefs, Los Angeles Chargers, Minnesota Vikings.
3. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Home: Atlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers, New Orleans Saints, Green Bay Packers, Kansas City Chiefs, Los Angeles Chargers, Los Angeles Rams, Minnesota Vikings.
Away: Atlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers, New Orleans Saints, Chicago Bears, Denver Broncos, Detroit Lions, Raiders, New York Giants.
4. Carolina Panthers
Home: Atlanta Falcons, New Orleans Saints, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Arizona Cardinals, Chicago Bears, Denver Broncos, Detroit Lions, Raiders.
Away: Atlanta Falcons, New Orleans Saints, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Green Bay Packers, Kansas City Chiefs, Los Angeles Chargers, Minnesota Vikings, Washington Redskins.
1. San Francisco 49ers
Home: Arizona Cardinals, Los Angeles Rams, Seattle Seahawks, Buffalo Bills, Green Bay Packers, Miami Dolphins, Philadelphia Eagles, Washington Redskins.
Away: Arizona Cardinals, Los Angeles Rams, Seattle Seahawks, Dallas Cowboys, New England Patriots, New Orleans Saints, New York Giants, New York Jets.
2. Seattle Seahawks
Home: Arizona Cardinals, Los Angeles Rams, San Francisco 49ers, Dallas Cowboys, Minnesota Vikings, New England Patriots, New York Giants, New York Jets.
Away: Arizona Cardinals, Los Angeles Rams, San Francisco 49ers, Atlanta Falcons, Buffalo Bills, Miami Dolphins, Philadelphia Eagles, Washington Redskins.
3. Los Angeles Rams
Home: Arizona Cardinals, San Francisco 49ers, Seattle Seahawks, Chicago Bears, Dallas Cowboys, New England Patriots, New York Giants, New York Jets.
Away: Arizona Cardinals, San Francisco 49ers, Seattle Seahawks, Buffalo Bills, Miami Dolphins, Philadelphia Eagles, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Washington Redskins.
4. Arizona Cardinals
Home: Los Angeles Rams, San Francisco 49ers, Seattle Seahawks, Buffalo Bills, Detroit Lions, Miami Dolphins, Philadelphia Eagles, Washington Redskins.
Away: Los Angeles Rams, San Francisco 49ers, Seattle Seahawks, Carolina Panthers, Dallas Cowboys, New England Patriots, New York Giants, New York Jets.
The Cincinnati Bengals own the No. 1
pick of the 2020 National Football League Draft, which will be held April 23-25
in Las Vegas, Nevada.
The tentative order of the first round
was announced today by the NFL, subject to the results of the playoffs.
The draft order is determined by the
(A) The winner of the Super Bowl game shall select last and the loser of such game shall select next-to-last in all rounds, regardless of the record of such participating clubs in the regular season.
(B) The losers of the Conference Championship games shall select 29th and 30th in all rounds, according to the reverse order of their standing.
(C) The losers of the Divisional playoff games shall select in the 25th through 28th positions in all rounds, according to the reverse order of their standing.
(D) The losers of the Wild Card games shall select in the 21st through 24th positions in all rounds, according to the reverse order of their standing.
(E) Clubs not participating in the playoffs shall select in the first through 20th positions in all rounds, according to the reverse order of their standing.
If, after all the foregoing procedures
have been applied, ties still exist in any grouping except (A) above, such ties
shall be broken by figuring the aggregate won-lost-tied percentage of each
involved club’s regular-season opponents and awarding preferential selection
order to the club that faced the schedule of teams with the lowest aggregate
If ties still exist between teams in the
same division or the same conference, the divisional or conference tie-breaking
method shall be used, whichever is applicable.
If ties still exist, the procedures for
breaking ties for teams of different conferences shall be applied.
Clubs involved in two-club ties will
alternate positions from round to round. In ties that involve three or more
clubs, the club at the top of a tied segment in a given round will move to the
bottom of the segment for the next round, while all other clubs in the segment
move up one position. This rotation continues throughout the Draft.
2020 FIRST-ROUND DRAFT ORDER
Commissioner ROGER GOODELL has announced the schedule of sites, dates and times for the National Football League Wild Card Playoffs on January 4-5 and Divisional Playoffs on January 11-12.
NFL WILD CARD
Saturday, January 4
AFC: 21:35 PM (UK) Buffalo at Houston
Sunday, January 5
AFC: 01:15 AM (UK) Tennessee at New England
NFC: 18:05 PM (UK) Minnesota at New Orleans
NFC: 21:40 PM (UK) Seattle at Philadelphia
Saturday, January 11
NFC: 21:35 PM (UK) Philadelphia/Seattle/Minnesota at San Francisco
Sunday, January 12
AFC: 01:15 AM (UK) Houston/Buffalo/Tennessee at Baltimore
AFC: 20:05 PM (UK) New England/Houston/Buffalo at Kansas City
NFC: 23:40 PM (UK) New Orleans/Philadelphia/Seattle at Green Bay
In the Divisional Playoffs, the division champion with the best
record in each conference will host the lowest-seeded Wild Card survivor. Once
teams are seeded for the playoffs, positions do not change:
The AFC (20:05 PM UK) and NFC (23:40 PM UK) Championship Games will be played on Sunday, January 19.
The 2020 Pro Bowl (20:00 PM UK) will be played on Sunday, January 26, at Camping World Stadium in Orlando, Florida, and Super Bowl LIV will take place on Sunday, February 2 (11:30 PM UK), at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami
to be Announced at NFL Honors the Night Before Super Bowl LIV
The NFL announced today the 32 nominees for the WALTER PAYTON NFL MAN OF THE YEAR AWARD. Representing the best of the NFL's commitment to philanthropy and community impact, each player was selected as his team's Man of the Year and is now eligible to win the national award. Considered one of the league's most prestigious honors, the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award presented by Nationwide recognizes an NFL player for outstanding community service activities off the field, as well as excellence on the field. First established in 1970, the national award was renamed in 1999 after the late Hall of Fame Chicago Bears running back WALTER PAYTON.
"Every day, in cities and towns across America, NFL players give of
themselves to make our communities better. This year, as we celebrate our 100th
season and the 50th year of the Walter Payton NFL Man of Year Award, NFL
players have continued to raise the bar on community engagement and
impact," said NFL Commissioner ROGER
GOODELL. "The 32 nominees for this year's award are the
best of the best and truly embody the spirit of Walter and his legacy of
leaving the world better than he found it."
For the second year in a row, all 32 team winners will be highlighted as
nominees and recognized for their important work during the weekend leading up
to Super Bowl LIV.
The 2019 Walter
Payton NFL Man of the Year will be announced during NFL
Honors, a two-hour primetime awards special to air nationally on Feb. 1, the
eve of Super Bowl LIV on FOX. NFL Honors will be at the Adrienne Arsht Center
in downtown Miami.
All 32 nominees will receive a donation of up to $50,000 in their name to
their charity of choice. The winner of the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year
award will receive a $250,000 donation to the charity of their choice. All
donations are courtesy of the NFL Foundation and Nationwide.
"Nationwide congratulates this year's Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year
nominees," said Nationwide's Chief Marketing Officer RAMON JONES.
"Year after year, we're amazed at the amount of time, talent and resources
the NFL players give to their communities. This year's best of the best from
each team—these 32 men—recognized a need, took action and energized those
around them to do more. It's our privilege to help share their stories
about making positive differences for others."
Fans are encouraged to participate in Nationwide's 5th annual Charity
Challenge, a social media campaign designed to support and promote team
nominees. Fans can vote on Twitter by using #WPMOYChallenge followed by their
favorite nominee's last name. The player whose unique hashtag is used the most
between Dec. 12 and Jan. 12 will receive a $25,000 contribution to their
charity of choice, while the second and third place finishers will receive
$10,000 and $5,000 donations, all courtesy of Nationwide. Hashtag information
and official rules can be found at nfl.com/manoftheyear.
Beginning in 2017, the Walter
Payton NFL Man of the Year trophy silhouette came to life in
uniform elements to further recognize past award winners and current nominees.
The six current players who have won the award—DREW BREES, THOMAS DAVIS, LARRY FITZGERALD, JASON WITTEN,
ELI MANNING and J.J. WATT—continue to wear a Man of the Year
patch on their jerseys to recognize their outstanding contributions to the game
and to their communities. All 2019 nominees will wear a Man of the Year helmet
decal beginning Week 15 and continuing through the end of the season in
recognition of their accomplishments on and off the field.
For more information on the nominees and the award, visit NFL.com/manoftheyear.
Below is a list of the 2019 nominees:
|Arizona Cardinals||David Johnson|
|Atlanta Falcons||Ricardo Allen|
|Baltimore Ravens||Brandon Carr|
|Buffalo Bills||Lorenzo Alexander|
|Carolina Panthers||Cam Newton|
|Chicago Bears||Allen Robinson II|
|Cincinnati Bengals||Giovani Bernard|
|Cleveland Browns||Jarvis Landry|
|Dallas Cowboys||Travis Frederick|
|Denver Broncos||Justin Simmons|
|Detroit Lions||Devon Kennard|
|Green Bay Packers||Blake Martinez|
|Houston Texans||D.J. Reader|
|Indianapolis Colts||Pierre Desir|
|Jacksonville Jaguars||Calais Campbell|
|Kansas City Chiefs||Dustin Colquitt|
|Los Angeles Chargers||Uchenna Nwosu|
|Los Angeles Rams||Andrew Whitworth|
|Miami Dolphins||Davon Godchaux|
|Minnesota Vikings||Kyle Rudolph|
|New England Patriots||Kyle Van Noy|
|New Orleans Saints||Terron Armstead|
|New York Giants||Nate Solder|
|New York Jets||Jonotthan Harrison|
|Oakland Raiders||Tahir Whitehead|
|Philadelphia Eagles||Malcolm Jenkins|
|Pittsburgh Steelers||Maurkice Pouncey|
|San Francisco 49ers||Richard Sherman|
|Seattle Seahawks||Bobby Wagner|
|Tampa Bay Buccaneers||Mike Evans|
|Tennessee Titans||Ben Jones|
|Washington Redskins||Nick Sundberg|
PASSING HISTORIC MILESTONES
Both New Orleans quarterback DREW BREES and New England quarterback TOM BRADY – who rank first and second in career passing yards in NFL history, respectively – can reach another historic milestone in Week 15.
If Brady has four touchdown passes on
Sunday against Cincinnati (1:00 PM ET, CBS) or Brees has three touchdown passes
against Indianapolis on Monday
Night Football (8:15 PM ET, ESPN), they would surpass PEYTON MANNING (539
touchdowns) for the most career touchdown passes in NFL history.
The players with the most career
touchdown passes in NFL history:
|Peyton Manning||Indianapolis, Denver||539|
|Drew Brees||San Diego, New Orleans||537|
|Tom Brady||New England||536|
|Brett FavreHOF||Green Bay, New York Jets, Minnesota||508|
Additionally, if Brady – who has 19 touchdown passes in 2019 – has at least one touchdown pass on Sunday, he would surpass Manning (16 seasons) for the most seasons with at least 20 touchdown passes in NFL history. With three touchdown passes on Monday, Brees will also reach 20 for the season, tying Manning with 16 such seasons in his career.
The players with the most seasons with
at least 20 touchdown passes in NFL history:
WITH 20+ TOUCHDOWN PASSES
|Tom Brady||New England||16*|
|Peyton Manning||Indianapolis, Denver||16|
|Drew Brees||San Diego, New Orleans||15#|
|Brett FavreHOF||Green Bay, New York Jets, Minnesota||15|
|*Has 19 touchdown passes in 2019|
|#Has 17 touchdown passes in 2019|
PETERSON CONTINUES TO CLIMB
Last week, Washington running back ADRIAN PETERSON rushed for 76 yards and a touchdown, becoming the sixth player in NFL history with at least 14,000 career rushing yards (14,036) and joined Pro Football Hall of Famers EMMITT SMITH and WALTER PAYTON as the only players with at least 14,000 rushing yards and 100 rushing touchdowns (109) in NFL history.
If Peterson has at least 66 rushing
yards on Sunday against Philadelphia (1:00 PM ET, FOX), he would surpass Pro
Football Hall of Famer CURTIS
MARTIN (14,101) for the fifth-most career rushing yards in NFL
The players with the most career rushing
yards in NFL history:
|Emmitt SmithHOF||Dallas, Arizona||18,355|
San Francisco, Indianapolis, Miami,
|Curtis MartinHOF||New England, New York Jets||14,101|
Minnesota, New Orleans, Arizona,
Additionally, Peterson needs one rushing
touchdown on Sunday to tie Payton (110) for the fourth-most rushing
touchdowns in NFL history.
The players with the most career rushing
touchdowns in NFL history:
|Emmitt SmithHOF||Dallas, Arizona||164|
|LaDainian TomlinsonHOF||San Diego, New York Jets||145|
|Marcus AllenHOF||Los Angeles Raiders, Kansas City||123|
Minnesota, New Orleans, Arizona,
STACKING WINS IN SEATTLE
Since entering the NFL in 2012, Seattle quarterback RUSSELL WILSON has led the Seahawks to at least nine wins in each of his eight seasons under center, becoming the first quarterback to accomplish the feat in NFL history.
With a win at Carolina on Sunday (1:00
PM ET, FOX), Wilson would tie TOM
BRADY (86 wins) for the most regular-season wins through a
quarterback’s first eight seasons in NFL history.
The quarterbacks with the most
regular-season wins through their first eight seasons in NFL history:
|Tom Brady||New England||86|
|*In eighth season|
JACK OF ALL TRADES
In addition to leading the NFL with 28 touchdown passes in 2019, Baltimore quarterback LAMAR JACKSON leads all quarterbacks with 1,017 rushing yards, becoming the second quarterback to rush for at least 1,000 yards in a single season in NFL history.
rushing yards on Thursday
Night Football against the New York Jets (8:20 PM ET,
FOX/NFLN/Amazon), Jackson would surpass MICHAEL VICK (1,039 in 2006) for the most
rushing yards by a quarterback in a single season in NFL history.
the 22-year-old quarterback has 3,878 passing yards and 1,712 rushing yards in
29 career games since entering the league in 2018.
If Jackson has
at least 122 passing yards on Thursday, he would become the first player
with at least 4,000 passing yards and 1,500 rushing yards in his first 30
career games in NFL history.
San Francisco quarterback JIMMY GAROPPOLO completed 26 of 35 attempts (74.3 percent) for 349 passing yards and four touchdowns with one interception for a 131.7 passer rating in a 48-46 win over New Orleans in Week 14. That marked Garoppolo’s fourth consecutive game completing at least 70 percent of his pass attempts with a passer rating of 110 or higher.
at least 70 percent of his pass attempts and having a passer rating of 110 or
higher on Sunday against Atlanta (4:25 PM ET, FOX), Garoppolo would tie for
the longest such streak of games in a single season in NFL history (min. 10
The quarterbacks with the most
consecutive games completing at least 70 percent of their passes and a passer
rating of 110 or higher in a single season in NFL history (min. 10 attempts):
|Patrick Mahomes#||Kansas City||2018||5|
|Jimmy Garoppolo||San Francisco||2019||4*|
|#Named Associated Press Most Valuable Player|
DUCK HUNTING FOR WINS
In Week 14, Pittsburgh rookie quarterback DEVLIN HODGES led the Steelers to a 23-17 win over the Arizona Cardinals, marking his third-career win in his third-career start.
With a win
against Buffalo on Sunday
Night Football (8:20 PM ET, NBC), Hodges would tie VIRGIL CARTER (four wins
in 1968) and PHIL SIMMS (four
in 1979) for the third-longest streak of wins by a rookie quarterback to begin
a career in the Super Bowl era (1966-present).
The rookie quarterbacks with the most
consecutive wins to begin their careers in the Super Bowl era:
|Phil Simms||New York Giants||1979||4|
Additionally, with a win, Hodges would
become the first undrafted rookie quarterback to win each of his first four
starts in the common draft era (1967-present).
New Orleans wide receiver MICHAEL THOMAS – who leads the NFL with 121 receptions and 1,424 receiving yards this season – had 11 receptions for 134 yards and a touchdown in Week 14, marking his seventh game with at least 10 receptions in 2019.
With at least 10 receptions against
Indianapolis on Monday Night
Football (8:15 PM ET, ESPN), Thomas would surpass ANDRE JOHNSON (seven
games in 2008) and WES
WELKER (seven in 2009) for the most games with at least 10
receptions in a season in NFL history.
The players with the most games with at
least 10 receptions in a season in NFL history:
|Michael Thomas||New Orleans||2019||7*|
|Wes Welker||New England||2009||7|
GURLEY AMONG GREATS
Los Angeles Rams running back TODD GURLEY has 10 total touchdowns this season (nine rushing, one receiving), having rushed for a touchdown in each of his past two games. Gurley, who is in his fifth NFL season, leads the NFL with 66 touchdowns since entering the league in 2015.
With a touchdown on Sunday at Dallas
(4:25 PM ET, FOX), Gurley would tie ADRIAN
PETERSON (67 touchdowns) for the fifth-most touchdowns through
a player’s first five seasons in NFL history.
The players with the most total
touchdowns in their first five seasons in NFL history:
|LaDainian TomlinsonHOF||San Diego||2001-05||80|
|Jerry RiceHOF||San Francisco||1985-89||70|
|Todd Gurley||St. Louis/Los Angeles Rams||2015-19||66*|
|*In fifth season|
Nine athletes from eight countries will compete for a spot in the 2020
International Player Pathway Program, the NFL announced today.
Instituted in 2017, the program aims to provide elite international athletes
the opportunity to compete at the NFL level, improve their skills, and
ultimately earn a spot on an NFL roster.
The league has identified top athletes from eight countries that will
compete for a place in the program. Given the program's success to date, the
NFL widened its search for international talent, hosting a Combine in Germany
this past October with players from 18 countries participating.
Isaac Alarcon (Mexico), Otavio Amorim (Brazil), David Bada (Germany), Leo
Krafft (Norway), Boqiao Li (China), Chris Mulumba (Finland), Sandro Platzgummer
(Austria), Antoni Podgorski (Poland) and Bernhard Seikovits (Austria) will
begin training in the United States next month and will have the opportunity to
showcase their talents to NFL club scouts in March in hopes of being signed as
a free agent or being selected for a practice squad position for next season
through the International Player Pathway Program.
One of the NFL's eight divisions, to be chosen at random, will receive the
international players selected for the 2020 program should they not be signed
to free agent contracts. At the conclusion of training camp, each player
will be eligible for an international player practice squad exemption with his
assigned team. This provides the assigned team an eleventh practice squad
member who is ineligible to be activated during the season.
Players will train alongside NFL veterans and draft hopefuls in Florida.
"The International Player Pathway program is an important part of our ongoing efforts to grow the game globally and provide pathways for international players to make it to the NFL," said Damani Leech, NFL Chief Operating Officer of International. "We are excited to have players from around the world competing for a spot in the 2020 program, including eight players who were selected after participating in the International Combine in Germany this past October."
Players taking part in the program:
International Player Pathway Program Participants Currently on NFL Rosters:
Efe Obada, Defensive End (UK), Carolina Panthers
Obada was raised in London after arriving from the Netherlands at age 10. He signed as a free agent for the Dallas Cowboys in 2015 after playing only five games of amateur football with the London Warriors. He played in the preseason for the Cowboys and spent part of the 2015 season on the club's practice squad. He has since had spells on the rosters of the Kansas City Chiefs and Atlanta Falcons before joining the Carolina Panthers practice squad as part of the 2017 International Player Pathway Program. In 2018, Obada become the first player from the NFL International Pathway program to make a 53-man roster. In Week 3 against the Cincinnati Bengals, Obada played his first regular season game, earning NFC Defensive Player of the Week honors for his one-sack, one-interception performance. Obada has continued to make an impact with the Panthers. After recording eight total tackles (solo + assisted) in 2018, he has surpassed the mark with a total of 16 tackles through Week 13 in 2019.
Moritz Böhringer, Tight End (Germany), Cincinnati Bengals
Currently in his second season as a member of the Cincinnati Bengals
practice squad. In 2016, Böhringer was selected in the sixth round of the
NFL Draft by the Minnesota Vikings, becoming the first player to be drafted
directly from European football. He spent the 2016 season on the Vikings
Fullback (Germany), New England Patriots
Johnson began his football career during his youth in his hometown of
Stuttgart, Germany. It was there where Johnson played for the Stuttgart
Scorpions of the German Football League before moving to Jacksonville,
Florida. He played one season of high school football in the United
States and was recruited to continue his career at the University of Tennessee.
Johnson returned to the Scorpions in 2018. He then assigned to the New England
Patriots through the International Player Pathway Program. The Patriots signed
Jakob Johnson to their active roster on September 21. During the season,
teams can carry an International Pathway Program player as an extra 11th member
of the practice squad, but because of the roster exemption, clubs cannot
promote the player to the active roster during the season. In the case of
Johnson, the Patriots elected to forgo that option and make him a regular
member of their 10-man practice squad, which gave them the option of promoting
him. Johnson's NFL debut came in a Week 3 win against the New York Jets.
His first NFL start came the following week in Buffalo where he contributed as
a lead blocker. In Week 5 he made his first career reception for five yards
against the Washington Redskins.
Tackle (Australia), Philadelphia Eagles
In 2017, Mailata participated in the International Player Pathway program
and trained at IMG Academy. The Samoan-born Australian former
professional rugby league player for the South Sydney Rabbitohs was then
drafted in the seventh round of the 2018 NFL Draft by the Philadelphia Eagles
(thereby making him ineligible for the International Player Pathway
Program). Converted to football full-time early in 2018, he impressed NFL
scouts at various workouts with his strength, footwork and athleticism, and
continued his football journey with the Eagles during the 2018 season as the
youngest player on their roster. He is currently on injured reserve.
My forever battle
I want to start this off to say this is not a sympathy message, it is simply to show and help people understand out there that you are not alone and you CAN get through it.
Seeing Craig Owens blog has helped me to write this message to the fellow Britball community.
So here's my story. I've suffered from anxiety and depression for around 14years. Through this time I have lost friends and relationships with family members. My teen years were a hard time simply because it was a time when I felt I could not talk to anybody because I was afraid of how they would react. It wasn't until I met my now wife when I started to be able to slowly open up. She was so understanding I couldn't believe it to the point I thought she was making a fool of me, this is what depression and anxiety can do to you, it makes you believe something is real when it really isn't. It got to the point where I've tried running away on several occasions because I felt like everyone would be better without me.
I started American Football in 2017 and this has helped so much in making me feel like I belong somewhere, although there are times my mind takes over and tells me otherwise. It certainly is something I recommend to people to do. It really is an extended family. And they say exercise is a great tool to help with mental health, and my god do you do some exercise!!
Although I have had/got all of this, there became a time where it all got too much. It even got to a point recently (5 months ago) where I couldn't take it anymore and tried to take my own life. And I know this sounds selfish but I wanted the pain to stop and didn't think about the people I would of left behind. Because again this is what it can do to you, but only if you keep it locked up inside and don't talk. I only have my wife to thank for me still being here as she has always stuck by me no matter what and made me see sense and help me get through all my troubles.
This is just a message to make everyone aware YOU ARE NO ALONE. YOU CAN DO THIS. YOU ARE STRONGER THAN YOU THINK. To prove it, I'm still here.
Peace and love to you all.
By Craig Owen
I have suffered with problems such as depression since my teenage years. I would bottle everything up and not tell anyone what was going on for fear of ridicule, and shame. Harbouring all this pain would then cause me to lash out when it got too much. I would become a completely different person. When this happened, the overwhelming guilt I would feel would then put me in a vicious circle that only fuelled the root cause of my issues. I had lost friends over it, and I still didn’t feel like I could speak out.
Eventually, after a particularly bad period, I decided enough was enough. I still remember my first text to a friend, talking about my mental health. It was such a relief to see how positive and supportive he was. I felt a weight starting to lift. I sought counselling, which to this day is the best decision I’ve ever made. Being able to speak about things to an impartial person let me get right to the root of my issues. It’s helped me to this day. American football also became a big part of my life and works as a great way to keep me “level”. Being able to focus on something away from my problems during hard times makes a huge difference, whilst being on the field during a tough period allows me to shut off for a while, and focus any frustration and aggression in a positive way.
I know that I may never truly rid myself of this battle, but I now know how to deal with things when it arises and feel much more confident telling people when I’m just not ok. I’ve learnt to avoid situations which may aggravate me when I’m not myself and this puts me more at ease looking at the road ahead. Speaking out about your issues is truly important, but equally so is being able to listen to someone in their time of need. If we judge each other less, and help one another more, we can all make someones battle that little bit easier for them to win.