2017 NFL season
|Duration||September 7, 2017– December 31, 2017|
|Start date||January 6, 2018|
|AFC Champions||New England Patriots|
|NFC Champions||Philadelphia Eagles|
|Super Bowl LII|
|Date||February 4, 2018|
|Site||U.S. Bank Stadium, Minneapolis, Minnesota|
|Date||January 28, 2018|
|Site||Camping World Stadium, Orlando, Florida|
The 2017 NFL season was the 98th season in the history of the National Football League (NFL). The season began on September 7, 2017, with the Kansas City Chiefs defeating the defending Super Bowl LI champion New England Patriots 42–27 in the NFL Kickoff Game. The season concluded with Super Bowl LII, where the National Football Conference (NFC) champion Philadelphia Eagles faced the American Football Conference (AFC) champion New England Patriots. The Philadelphia Eagles defeated the New England Patriots 41–33 to win their first title in franchise history. It was also a rematch of Super Bowl XXXIX, where the Patriots won 24-21 to win their third title.
- 1 Player movements and retirements
- 2 Preseason
- 3 Regular season
- 4 In-season scheduling changes
- 5 Regular season standings
- 6 Postseason
- 7 Notable events
- 8 Rule changes
- 9 Records, milestones, and notable statistics
- 10 Awards
- 11 Head coaching and front office personnel changes
- 12 Stadiums
- 13 New uniforms and patches
- 14 Media
- 15 References
Player movements and retirements
The 2017 NFL League year began on March 9 at 4:00 p.m. ET. On March 7, clubs were allowed to contact and enter into contract negotiations with the agents of players who became unrestricted free agents upon the expiration of their contracts two days later. On March 9, clubs exercised options for 2017 on players who have option clauses in their contracts, submitted qualifying offers to their restricted free agents with expiring contracts and to whom desire to retain a Right of Refusal/Compensation, submitted a Minimum Salary Tender to retain exclusive negotiating rights to their players with expiring 2016 contracts and who have fewer than three accrued seasons of free agent credit, and teams were required to be under the salary cap using the "Top-51" definition (in which the 51 highest paid-players on the team's payroll must have a collected salary cap hit below the actual cap). The 2017 trading period also began the same day.
A total of 496 players were eligible for some form of free agency at the beginning of the free agency period. Among the high-profile players who changed teams via free agency were cornerbacks A.J. Bouye (from Texans to Jaguars), Logan Ryan (from Patriots to Titans), and Stephon Gilmore (from Bills to Patriots); safeties Barry Church (from Cowboys to Jaguars), Johnathan Cyprien (from Jaguars to Titans), Micah Hyde (from Packers to Bills), and Tony Jefferson (from Cardinals to Ravens); linebackers Jabaal Sheard (from Patriots to Colts), Malcolm Smith (from Raiders to 49ers), and Manti Te'o (from Chargers to Saints); defensive tackles Johnathan Hankins (from Giants to Colts) and Calais Campbell (from Cardinals to Jaguars); offensive tackles Andrew Whitworth (from Bengals to Rams), Kelvin Beachum (from Jaguars to Jets), Matt Kalil (from Vikings to Panthers), Mike Remmers (from Panthers to Vikings), Ricky Wagner (from Ravens to Lions), Riley Reiff (from Lions to Vikings), and Russell Okung (from Broncos to Chargers); offensive guards Kevin Zeitler (from Bengals to Browns), Larry Warford (from Lions to Saints), Ronald Leary (from Cowboys to Broncos), and T.J. Lang (from Packers to Lions); tight ends Martellus Bennett (from Patriots to Packers) and Jared Cook (from Packers to Raiders); wide receivers Alshon Jeffery (from Bears to Eagles), Brandon Marshall (from Jets to Giants), DeSean Jackson (from Redskins to Buccaneers), Kenny Britt (from Rams to Browns), Pierre Garçon (from Redskins to 49ers), Robert Woods (from Bills to Rams), Terrelle Pryor (from Browns to Redskins), and Torrey Smith (from 49ers to Eagles); running backs Latavius Murray (from Raiders to Vikings), Adrian Peterson (from Vikings to Saints), Eddie Lacy (from Packers to Seahawks), and Jamaal Charles (from Chiefs to Broncos); fullbacks Mike Tolbert (from Panthers to Bills) and Patrick DiMarco (from Falcons to Bills); quarterback Mike Glennon (from Buccaneers to Bears).
- March 9: The Jacksonville Jaguars traded tight end Julius Thomas to the Miami Dolphins in exchange for a seventh-round draft pick.
- March 9: The Miami Dolphins traded offensive tackle Branden Albert to the Jacksonville Jaguars in exchange for a 2018 seventh-round draft pick.
- March 9: The Houston Texans traded quarterback Brock Osweiler, a 2018 second-round draft pick and a sixth-round draft pick to the Cleveland Browns in exchange for a fourth-round compensatory draft pick.
- March 9: The Indianapolis Colts traded tight end Dwayne Allen and a sixth-round draft pick to the New England Patriots in exchange for a fourth-round draft pick.
- March 9: The Los Angeles Rams traded defensive end William Hayes along with a seventh-round draft pick to the Miami Dolphins in exchange for a sixth-round draft pick.
- March 10: The New Orleans Saints traded wide receiver Brandin Cooks and a fourth-round draft pick to the New England Patriots in exchange for a first and third-round draft pick.
- March 10: The Carolina Panthers traded defensive end Kony Ealy and a third-round draft pick to the New England Patriots in exchange for a second-round draft pick.
- March 15: The Baltimore Ravens traded center Jeremy Zuttah and a sixth-round draft pick to the San Francisco 49ers for their sixth-round draft pick.
- April 4: The Baltimore Ravens traded defensive tackle Timmy Jernigan and a third-round draft pick to the Philadelphia Eagles in exchange for a third-round draft pick.
- April 26: The Seattle Seahawks traded the contract rights of previously retired running back Marshawn Lynch and a 2018 sixth-round draft pick to the Oakland Raiders for a 2018 fifth-round draft pick.
- August 11: The Buffalo Bills traded wide receiver Sammy Watkins and a 2018 sixth-round draft pick to the Los Angeles Rams for cornerback E. J. Gaines and a 2018 second-round draft pick. That same day, the Bills traded cornerback Ronald Darby to the Philadelphia Eagles for wide receiver Jordan Matthews and a 2018 third-round draft pick.
- Tony Romo: On April 4, before his release from the Dallas Cowboys, Romo announced his retirement from professional football. Shortly after his release, it was announced by CBS that he would join the network as a lead NFL game analyst, joining a team also consisting of Jim Nantz and Tracy Wolfson.
- At one point, Jay Cutler had also announced retirement, but later rescinded and signed with the Miami Dolphins. Cutler previously played for the Chicago Bears.
- Branden Albert
- Anquan Boldin
- David Bruton
- Reggie Bush
- Jordan Cameron
- Chris Chester
- Ryan Clady
- Josh Cribbs
- King Dunlap
- Brandon Flowers
- Justin Forsett
- Doug Free
- Chad Greenway
- Percy Harvin
- A. J. Hawk
- Andrew Hawkins
- Devin Hester
- Rashad Jennings
- Andre Johnson
- Jacoby Jones
- James Jones
- Terrance Knighton
- James Laurinaitis
- Kory Lichtensteiger
- Jake Long
- Robert Mathis
- Pat McAfee
- Darren McFadden
- Lance Moore
- Rob Ninkovich
- Zachary Orr
- Jerraud Powers
- Geoff Schwartz
- Josh Scobee
- Steve Smith Sr.
- Stephen Tulloch
- John Urschel
- Michael Vick
- Sebastian Vollmer
- DeMarcus Ware
- Roddy White
- Vince Wilfork
Training camps for the 2017 season were held in late July through August. Teams started training camp no earlier than 15 days before the team's first scheduled preseason game.
Prior to the start of the regular season, each team played four preseason exhibition games, beginning on August 10. The preseason began on the evening of August 3 with the 2017 Pro Football Hall of Fame Game, that featured the Dallas Cowboys (represented in the 2017 Hall of Fame Class by owner Jerry Jones) who hosted Arizona Cardinals (represented by former quarterback and 2017 Hall of Famer Kurt Warner). It was televised nationally on NBC. The 64-game preseason schedule ended on August 31; a 65th game, that of the 2017 Texas Governor's Cup, was canceled due to the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey.
The 2017 regular season's 256 games which were played over a 17-week schedule which began on September 7. Each of the league's 32 teams plays a 16-game schedule, with one bye week for each team. The slate also features games on Monday nights. There are games played on Thursday, including the National Football League Kickoff game in prime time on September 7 and games on Thanksgiving Day. The regular season concluded with a full slate of 16 games on Sunday, December 31, all of which were the intra–division matchups, as it has been since 2010.
- Scheduling formula
Under the NFL's current scheduling formula, each team plays the other three teams in its own division twice. In addition a team plays against all four teams in one other division from each conference. The final two games on a team's schedule are against the two teams in the team's own conference in the divisions the team was not set to play which finished the previous season in the same rank in their division (e.g. the team which finished first in its division the previous season would play each other team in its conference that also finished first in its respective division). The preset division pairings for 2017 will be as follows.
Highlights of the 2017 schedule include:
- NFL Kickoff Game: The Super Bowl LI champion New England Patriots hosted the Kansas City Chiefs in a primetime NFL Kickoff Game on September 7, with the Chiefs winning 42–27.
- NFL International Series: The International Series underwent a split in branding, with each country's games receiving their own brand.
- NFL London Games: Four games were played in London. The Jacksonville Jaguars hosted the Baltimore Ravens at Wembley Stadium on September 24, and the Miami Dolphins hosted the New Orleans Saints at the same venue a week later. The Los Angeles Rams hosted the Arizona Cardinals at Twickenham Stadium on October 22, and the Cleveland Browns hosted the Minnesota Vikings at the same venue a week later.
- NFL Mexico Game: The Oakland Raiders hosted the New England Patriots at Estadio Azteca in Mexico City, making this the second consecutive year in which the Raiders have hosted one of their home games in Mexico City; the game was played on November 19, with a kickoff time of 4:25 p.m. ET.
- Thanksgiving Day: As has been the case since 2006, three games were played on November 23, beginning with the Detroit Lions hosting the Minnesota Vikings, the Dallas Cowboys hosting the Los Angeles Chargers (in their first Thanksgiving Day game since 1969, and their first Thanksgiving game since they joined the NFL as part of the AFL–NFL merger in 1970), and a primetime game featuring Washington Redskins hosting the New York Giants.
- Christmas games: Christmas Day, December 25, fell on a Monday. Sunday Night Football moved from December 24, Christmas Eve, to Saturday, December 23, with the Green Bay Packers hosting the Minnesota Vikings, alongside a Saturday NFL Network Special game featuring the Indianapolis Colts and Baltimore Ravens. Two games were played on Christmas Day: a late-afternoon game featuring the Houston Texans hosting the Pittsburgh Steelers as a special edition of Thursday Night Football, and the Philadelphia Eagles hosting the Oakland Raiders for Monday Night Football.
- New Year's Eve games: The NFL played a full slate of 16 games on December 31 to conclude the regular season. All of the Week 17 games were intra-divisional matchups, as they have been since 2010, and all games with playoff implications started at 4:25 p.m. ET. Additionally, although it was originally scheduled as "to be announced", the league announced that no Sunday Night Football game would be played that week, in order to avoid a game without playoff implications due to the early games' results.
The entire schedule was released on April 20, 2017.
In-season scheduling changes
The following games were moved or canceled because of severe weather, by way of flexible scheduling, or for other reasons:
- Preseason Week 4: Due to the effects of Hurricane Harvey in the Houston area, the Cowboys–Texans game was eventually canceled. The 2017 Texas Governor's Cup preseason game, originally scheduled to be played at Houston's NRG Stadium, was initially moved to the Cowboys' AT&T Stadium, before the NFL opted instead to cancel the game altogether in order to allow Texans' players and coaches to reunite with their families as well as to assist with the relief efforts.
- Week 1: Due to the threat posed from Hurricane Irma, the Buccaneers–Dolphins game was rescheduled to Week 11 (November 19), when both teams were originally scheduled to have their bye weeks. Both teams had their bye also rescheduled to this week. This is the first time a hurricane forced a postponement of an NFL game since 1992 when Miami and the New England Patriots had their game postponed due to Hurricane Andrew.
- Week 7: The Bengals–Steelers game, originally scheduled to start at 1:00 p.m. ET, was moved to 4:25 p.m. ET, with the game still on CBS. In addition, the Panthers–Bears game was cross-flexed from Fox to CBS, with the game still at 1:00 p.m. ET.
- Week 12: The Saints–Rams game, originally scheduled to start at 4:05 p.m. ET on Fox, was cross-flexed and moved to 4:25 p.m. ET on CBS. In addition, the Titans–Colts game was cross-flexed from CBS to Fox, with the game still at 1:00 p.m. ET.
- Week 13: The Panthers–Saints game, originally scheduled to start at 1:00 p.m. ET, was moved to 4:25 p.m. ET, with the game still on Fox. In addition, the Broncos–Dolphins game was cross-flexed from CBS to Fox, with the game still at 1:00 p.m. ET.
- Week 14: The Cowboys–Giants game, originally scheduled to start at 4:25 p.m. ET, was moved to 1:00 p.m. ET, with the game still on Fox. In addition, the Seahawks–Jaguars game, originally scheduled to start at 1:00 p.m. ET, was moved to 4:25 p.m. ET, with the game still on Fox.
- Week 15: The Texans–Jaguars game was cross-flexed from CBS to Fox, with the game still at 1:00 p.m. ET.
- Week 17: All games with playoff implications were moved to a 4:25 p.m. ET kickoff, with no change in network assignment. This included the following games: Bengals–Ravens, Bills–Dolphins, Jaguars–Titans, Panthers–Falcons, and Saints–Buccaneers. Additionally, no Sunday Night Football game was scheduled, marking the first time since the 1977 NFL season that the regular season play concluded with no primetime game. The NFL stated that it did not want to schedule a primetime game that could potentially lose its playoff implications due to the events of the afternoon games.
Regular season standings
|1[a]||New England Patriots||East||13||3||0||.813||5–1||10–2||.484||.466||W3|
|4[b]||Kansas City Chiefs||West||10||6||0||.625||5–1||8–4||.477||.481||W4|
|Did not qualify for the playoffs|
|8[c]||Los Angeles Chargers||West||9||7||0||.563||3–3||6–6||.457||.347||W2|
|13[e]||New York Jets||East||5||11||0||.313||2–4||5–7||.520||.438||L4|
|3[b]||Los Angeles Rams||West||11||5||0||.688||4–2||7–5||.504||.460||L1|
|4[b][c]||New Orleans Saints||South||11||5||0||.688||4–2||8–4||.535||.483||L1|
|Did not qualify for the playoffs|
|11[e]||Green Bay Packers||North||7||9||0||.438||2–4||5–7||.539||.357||L3|
|13||San Francisco 49ers||West||6||10||0||.375||1–5||3–9||.512||.438||W5|
|14[f]||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||South||5||11||0||.313||1–5||3–9||.555||.375||W1|
|16||New York Giants||East||3||13||0||.188||1–5||1–11||.531||.458||W1|
The 2017 playoffs began on the weekend of January 6–7, 2018 with the Wild Card playoff round. The four winners of these playoff games visited the top two seeded teams in each conference in the Divisional round games played on the weekend of January 13–14, 2018. The winners of those games advanced the Conference championship games was held on January 21, 2018. The two Conference champions advanced to Super Bowl LII was held on February 4, 2018 at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis. The 2018 Pro Bowl was held at Camping World Stadium in Orlando on January 28, 2018.
|Jan 7 – Mercedes-Benz Superdome||Jan 14 – U.S. Bank Stadium|
|4||New Orleans||31||Jan 21 – Lincoln Financial Field|
|Jan 6 – Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum||2||Minnesota||7|
|Jan 13 – Lincoln Financial Field|
|3||LA Rams||13||Feb 4 – U.S. Bank Stadium|
|Wild card playoffs|
|Jan 7 – EverBank Field||N1||Philadelphia||41|
|Jan 14 – Heinz Field|
|6||Buffalo||3||Super Bowl LII|
|3||Jacksonville||10||Jan 21 – Gillette Stadium|
|Jan 6 – Arrowhead Stadium||3||Jacksonville||20|
|Jan 13 – Gillette Stadium|
Protesting police brutality
During a September 22, 2017 speech, the President of the United States, Donald Trump made controversial remarks criticizing the practice of taking a knee during the playing of the national anthem—a practice popularized by Colin Kaepernick in 2016 as part of an effort to protest racial inequality and police brutality. Trump suggested that those who partake in the practice were disrespecting the country's heritage, and asked his audience, "wouldn't you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, 'Get that son of a bitch off the field right now. Out! He's fired. He's fired!'" During the subsequent weekend of games, over 200 players protested the remarks, by either kneeling or locking arms during the playing of the national anthem. The Pittsburgh Steelers, Tennessee Titans and Seattle Seahawks chose to not go out on field at all during the anthem.
Sale of the Carolina Panthers
On December 17, 2017, Jerry Richardson, owner of the Carolina Panthers, announced he was putting the team up for sale. Richardson had previously indicated the team would be put up for sale after his death (since his only living son left the team in 2009), but an exposé in Sports Illustrated accused Richardson of paying hush money to cover up questionable conduct, including racial slurs and sexually suggestive requests of employees, hastening Richardson's decision. The Panthers' lease on Bank of America Stadium expires after the 2018 season, which would allow any incoming owner to relocate the team out of the Carolinas to another market of their choice without penalty if they so desired.
Dan Rooney was chairman and plurality owner of the Pittsburgh Steelers and one of the sons of founding owner Art Rooney, Sr. Having been officially involved with the franchise since 1960, Rooney was a part of all six of the Steelers' Super Bowl victories. In addition to this, Rooney was considered an active and progressive owner in the league's operations, most famously by successfully pushing for the Rooney Rule, an affirmative action policy requiring all NFL franchises to interview persons of color for head coaching vacancies. Concurrently with his role with the Steelers, Rooney also served as United States Ambassador to Ireland from 2009 to 2014. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2000, making him and his father the second father-son duo in the Hall behind Tim and Wellington Mara (to whom the Rooneys are related by marriage). Rooney died on April 13 at the age of 84.
Members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame
- Cortez Kennedy
- Kennedy, a defensive tackle who spent 11 years with the Seattle Seahawks from 1990 to 2000 and had his number 96 retired by the organization, was a member of the Hall of Fame's class of 2012. He died May 23 at the age of 48, from suspected cardiac problems.
- Yale Lary
- The special teams standout and defensive back played 11 nonconsecutive seasons for the Detroit Lions from 1952 to 1964, winning three championships, and was a member of the Hall's class of 1979. He died May 11 at the age of 86.
- Y. A. Tittle
- Tittle, a quarterback, spent 16 seasons in professional football, two in the All-America Football Conference and 14 in the NFL. He played for the Baltimore (Green) Colts, San Francisco 49ers (as a member of the Million Dollar Backfield) and New York Giants throughout his career. He set several passing records during his time in the NFL and is credited for inventing the alley-oop. He was never able to win a league championship despite three consecutive appearances in the game for the Giants, who retired his number 14. He was a member of the Hall's class of 1971. Tittle died October 8 at the age of 90 from complications due to dementia.
Other notable deaths
- Dave Adolph
- Bill Anderson
- Pervis Atkins
- Ron Billingsley
- Dave Brazil
- Kevin Cadle
- Bernie Casey
- Bill Cox
- Dick Enberg
- Bill Fischer
- Terry Glenn
- Tom Graham
- Larry Grantham
- Ralph Guglielmi
- James Hadnot
- James Hardy III
- Larry Hayes
- Mitchell Henry
- Aaron Hernandez
- Larry Hickman
- John Hilton
- Claude Hipps
- Michael Jackson
- Edwin Jackson
- Derrick Jensen
- Ken Kranz
- Bob Lee
- Tony Liscio
- Eddie Macon
- George Maderos
- Mickey Marvin
- Clay Matthews Sr.
- Ron Meyer
- Red Miller
- Paul Mitchell
- David Modell
- Tom Modrak
- Rod Monroe
- Quentin Moses
- Leonard Myers
- Tommy Neck
- Tommy Nobis
- Babe Parilli
- Benny Perrin
- Hugh Pitts
- Sonny Randle
- Len Rohde
- Max Runager
- Daniel Te'o-Nesheim
- John Thierry
- Jimmy Thomas
- Ted Topor
- Rick Tuten
- Wayne Walker
- Clarence Williams
- Ellery Williams
The following rule changes were approved for the 2017 NFL season at the owners' meeting on March 28, 2017:
- Defensive players are now prohibited from running toward the line of scrimmage and leaping or hurdling over offensive linemen on field goal or PAT attempts, similar to a change made in college football for the 2017 season. Previously this action was permitted as long as the leaper or hurdler did not land on other players.
- Include in the definition of a "defenseless player" receivers tracking the quarterback or looking back for the ball, including inside the legal contact (5 yards from the line of scrimmage) zone.
- Egregious hits to the head (similar to the "targeting" rule in NCAA football) will now result in an automatic disqualification.
- The replay control center will make the final ruling on reviewed plays instead of the game referee, although the referee can still provide input on reviewable plays.
- The sideline replay monitor (the "hood") will be eliminated and replaced with a tablet on the field for the referee to review with the replay control center.
- Crackback blocks are now prohibited by a backfield player in motion, even if he is not more than two yards outside the tackle box when the ball is snapped.
- Make permanent the rule that players who commit two certain types of unsportsmanlike conduct penalties (throwing punches/forearms/kicking, even if they do not connect, directing abusive, threatening, or insulting language toward opponents, teammates, game officials or league officials, and using baiting or taunting acts or words that may engender ill will between teams) in the same game risk automatic disqualification.
- Extend for a second season the change in the touchback spot after a kickoff or safety free kick to the 25-yard line.
- Make illegal actions that would conserve time penalized by the option for a 10-second runoff inside of the two-minute warning of each half or overtime (previously this only applied in the final minute of each half or overtime).
- If a team commits multiple fouls on the same down with the intent of manipulating the game clock, the team will be penalized 15 yards for unsportsmanlike conduct and the game clock will be reset. This change was made in response to both the San Francisco 49ers and the Baltimore Ravens employing this strategy by intentionally holding the defensive players to allow the game clock to run down or run out (in the case of the Ravens' game vs. the Cincinnati Bengals) during the previous season. A team may NOT be disqualified if it is their second unsportsmanlike conduct penalty against them.
- In response to the move of Sarah Thomas from line judge to head linesman for the 2017 season, the NFL renamed the officiating position of the head linesman to "down judge".
The following rule changes were approved for the 2017 NFL season at the NFL Spring League meeting on May 23, 2017:
- Overtime has been shortened from 15 minutes to 10 minutes for preseason and regular season games. Playoff games will continue to have 15 minutes for overtime periods.
- Restrictions on celebrations have been relaxed, removing penalties for group celebrations, going to the ground to celebrate, or using the ball as a prop.
- Teams can bring two players back from injured reserve instead of one.
- Teams can now cut their preseason rosters from 90 players to 53 on one day, removing the deadline to get the roster down to 75 players before the final preseason game.
- Teams will not be required to give candidates for general manager final say over the 53-man roster.
The ban on teams contacting potential coaching candidates until that candidate's team has been eliminated from the playoffs was tabled.
Records, milestones, and notable statistics
- Week 1
- Kareem Hunt finished with 246 total yards and three touchdowns, setting the record for the most total yards in an NFL debut.
- Week 2
- Antonio Gates scored his 112th career receiving touchdown, breaking a tie with Tony Gonzalez for the most career receiving touchdowns by a tight end in NFL history.
- Aaron Rodgers passed for his 300th touchdown, surpassing Peyton Manning as the fastest quarterback to reach that milestone both in attempts and appearances.
- Week 3
- New York Giants’ wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. broke the record for fastest receiver to reach 300 career receptions, doing so in 45 games.
- Matt Prater of the Detroit Lions broke the previous NFL record of three made field goals from more than 55 yards in a season by kicking a 57-yard field goal against the Atlanta Falcons.
- Philadelphia Eagles kicker Jake Elliott set the NFL rookie record by kicking a 61 yard field goal as time expired.
- Week 5
- Larry Fitzgerald became the third player in NFL history to record 200 straight games with a reception, all while playing for the Arizona Cardinals.
- Week 6
- With his 187th regular season win, Tom Brady surpassed Peyton Manning and Brett Favre for the most regular season wins by a quarterback in NFL history.
- Week 7
- Drew Brees became just the fourth player in NFL history to record 500 or more career passing touchdowns (including playoffs), joining Tom Brady, Brett Favre, and Peyton Manning.
- Eddie Jackson became the first player in NFL history with multiple defensive touchdowns of at least 75 yards in a single game.
- Week 8
- The Cleveland Browns have gone 4–41 over their last 45 games dating back to 2014, tying for the worst 45-game stretch in NFL history with the 2007–10 Detroit Lions.
- Week 9
- Matt Ryan threw for 313 yards giving him 39,858 career passing yards in his 150th career game. This is the most passing yards by a player in NFL history in his first 150 games surpassing Drew Brees.
- Eli Manning threw for 220 yards giving him 50,034 career passing yards. Manning became the seventh quarterback in NFL history with at least 50,000 passing yards.
- Matthew Stafford threw his 200th career regular season touchdown pass, becoming the sixth fastest player to do so, in only 117 games. He also the fourth player to accomplish this feat before the age of 30.
- Week 10
- Larry Fitzgerald became the sixth player in NFL history to record 15,000 career receiving yards. He's the second-youngest player in NFL history to do it, behind Hall of Famer Jerry Rice.
- Matt Ryan threw for 215 yards giving him 40,073 passing yards in 151 career games, reached 40,000 career passing yards in the fewest games in NFL history, surpassing the previous record held by Drew Brees (152 games).
- Week 11
- With a 20-yard touchdown catch, Larry Fitzgerald passes Tony Gonzalez into fifth place all-time in receiving yards.
- Week 12
- Julio Jones had 12 catches for 253 yards in the Falcons’ win over Tampa Bay. In 90 career games, Jones has 563 catches for 8,649 yards, the most by a player in his first 90 games in NFL history. He passed Anquan Boldin (558) for the most receptions and Lance Alworth (8,502) for the most receiving yards.
- With the win over San Francisco, Russell Wilson became the winningest quarterback in a player’s first six seasons with 63 wins, surpassing Joe Flacco.
- Week 13
- With his 72nd touchdown catch, Dez Bryant broke the record for the most touchdowns by a Cowboys' wide receiver. He passed Bob Hayes, who had previously caught 71 touchdowns with the Cowboys.
- By defeating the Buffalo Bills on Sunday afternoon, Tom Brady broke the record for most wins by a quarterback against one team, with 27. The former record was held by Brett Favre, who had defeated the Detroit Lions 26 times.
- With a 12-yard catch, Larry Fitzgerald moved into fourth place all-time in receiving yards, passing Isaac Bruce. With his ten catches in this game, Fitzgerald also surpassed 1,200 career receptions becoming the third player in NFL history to reach this mark (joining Jerry Rice and Tony Gonzalez) and the fastest player to reach this milestone in 214 games (breaking Rice's record of 221 games).
- With his 15-yard touchdown throw to J. D. McKissic, Russell Wilson tied Eli Manning in 2011 for the most fourth quarter touchdowns in a single season with 15.
- Frank Gore rushed for 61 yards surpassing Jerome Bettis and LaDainian Tomlinson for fifth place all-time in rushing yards.
- Week 14
- With a 23-yard catch, Larry Fitzgerald moved into third place all-time in receiving yards, passing Randy Moss.
- With 506 yards passing against the Baltimore Ravens, Ben Roethlisberger became the first quarterback in NFL history to throw for at least 500 yards in three different games.
- Week 15
- LeSean McCoy surpassed 10,000 career yards in rushing, becoming the 30th player in league history to reach the milestone.
- Week 16
- The New England Patriots won their 12th game of the season with their win over the Buffalo Bills. The Patriots have won at least 12 games in eight consecutive seasons, surpassing the 2003–09 Indianapolis Colts for the longest such streak in NFL history.
- Drew Brees threw for 239 yards and now has 70,200 career passing yards. He joins Peyton Manning (71,940) and Brett Favre (71,838) as the only players in NFL history to reach 70,000 passing yards. Brees reached the milestone in his 248th career game and is the fastest in league history to accomplish the feat. Brees also eclipsed the 4,000 yard mark for his 12th consecutive season extending his own record.
- Week 17
- The Cleveland Browns join the 2008 Detroit Lions as the only teams since the implementation of the 16 game season to lose every game in a season.
- The Buffalo Bills end the NFL’s longest active playoff drought at 17 seasons, clinching the #6 Wild Card seed and making their first playoff appearance since 1999.
- Frank Gore surpassed 14,000 career yards in rushing, becoming just the fifth player in NFL history to do so, after Emmitt Smith, Walter Payton, Barry Sanders, and Curtis Martin.
- Wild Card Round
- The Tennessee Titans became the third road team in NFL history to have rallied from at least 18 points down to win a playoff game. The Cowboys came back from a 21–3 first half deficit to beat the 49ers 30–28 in December 1972 and the Lions came back from a 27–7 second half deficit to beat the 49ers in December 1957.
- On a third down play from the Kansas City 6-yard line, Marcus Mariota attempted a pass, which was deflected by Darrelle Revis, right back into the hands of Mariota who promptly ran it in for a touchdown, making him the first quarterback in NFL postseason history to complete a touchdown pass to himself. This also made him the first player in the Super Bowl era with passing and receiving touchdowns in the same playoff game.
- Super Bowl LII
- Super Bowl LII marked an NFL record eighth Super Bowl appearance for Tom Brady and Bill Belichick a QB/head coach duo.
- Super Bowl LII also marked the New England Patriots' 10th Super Bowl appearance, extending their own record.
- Tom Brady's career 357 passes, 235 completions, 2,576 passing yards, and 18 passing touchdowns in the Super Bowl are all records.
- Tom Brady set the single-game record for most passing yards in a Super Bowl with 505.
- The 33 points scored by the New England Patriots were the most points scored by the losing team.
- The New England Patriots set Super Bowl records for most total yards in a game with 613, the fewest punts in a game with zero, and the most passing yards with 505.
- Philadelphia Eagles kicker Jake Elliott set the Super Bowl rookie record by kicking a 46 yard field goal at the start of the fourth quarter.
- The New England Patriots and the Philadelphia Eagles combined for several Super Bowl records including, 42 first downs passing, 1,151 total yards, 874 passing yards, fewest punts in the game with one, and four missed PAT conversions.
Individual season awards
|AP Most Valuable Player||Tom Brady||Quarterback||New England Patriots|
|AP Offensive Player of the Year||Todd Gurley||Running back||Los Angeles Rams|
|AP Defensive Player of the Year||Aaron Donald||Defensive tackle||Los Angeles Rams|
|AP Coach of the Year||Sean McVay||Head coach||Los Angeles Rams|
|AP Assistant Coach of the Year||Pat Shurmur||Offensive coordinator||Minnesota Vikings|
|AP Offensive Rookie of the Year||Alvin Kamara||Running back||New Orleans Saints|
|AP Defensive Rookie of the Year||Marshon Lattimore||Cornerback||New Orleans Saints|
|AP Comeback Player of the Year||Keenan Allen||Wide receiver||Los Angeles Chargers|
|Pepsi Rookie of the Year||Alvin Kamara||Running back||New Orleans Saints|
|Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year||J. J. Watt||Defensive end||Houston Texans|
|PFWA NFL Executive of the Year||Howie Roseman||Executive VP of Football Operations||Philadelphia Eagles|
|Super Bowl Most Valuable Player||Nick Foles||Quarterback||Philadelphia Eagles|
The following players were named First Team All-Pro by the Associated Press:
|Placekicker||Greg Zuerlein, Los Angeles Rams|
|Punter||Johnny Hekker, Los Angeles Rams|
|Kick returner||Pharoh Cooper, Los Angeles Rams|
|Special teams||Budda Baker, Arizona|
Players of the week/month
The following were named the top performers during the 2017 season:
Player of the Week/Month
Player of the Week/Month
Player of the Week/Month
|J. J. Nelson
|9||T. Y. Hilton
|A. J. Bouye
Head coaching and front office personnel changes
|Team||2016 head coach||2016 interim||2017 replacement||Reason for leaving||Story/accomplishments|
|Buffalo Bills||Rex Ryan||Anthony Lynn||Sean McDermott||Fired||Ryan was fired with one week remaining in the 2016 regular season and a 15–16 record with no playoff appearances in two seasons. His twin brother, assistant head coach Rob Ryan, also was dismissed. Ryan signed on as a commentator for ESPN, replacing Trent Dilfer, while Rob Ryan took the 2017 season off. Lynn began the 2016 season as running backs coach, then moved to offensive coordinator when Greg Roman was fired in week 3, then interim head coach after the Ryans' dismissal. Lynn lost his one game as interim head coach. Former Carolina Panthers' defensive coordinator Sean McDermott was named as the Bills' new head coach on January 11, 2017. Meanwhile, Lynn was hired as the new head coach of the Los Angeles Chargers.|
|Denver Broncos||Gary Kubiak||Vance Joseph||Retired||Kubiak retired from coaching after two seasons due to health concerns, with a victory in Super Bowl 50 and a 24–10 record, including postseason games. Kubiak would later return to the Broncos six months later, working for their front office as a Senior Personnel Advisor.|
|Jacksonville Jaguars||Gus Bradley||Doug Marrone||Fired||Bradley was fired with two weeks remaining in the 2016 season and a 14–48 (.226) record with no playoff appearances in four seasons. He joined the Chargers as defensive coordinator. Marrone, the Jaguars' offensive line coach, was previously head coach of the Buffalo Bills from 2013–14; he went 1–1 in his two games as interim head coach of the Jaguars. On January 9, 2017, the Jaguars announced that Marrone would be named permanent head coach.|
|Los Angeles Chargers||Mike McCoy||Anthony Lynn||McCoy was fired after four seasons, with one playoff appearance and a 27–37 record. He then joined the Denver Broncos, serving as Vance Joseph's offensive coordinator.|
|Los Angeles Rams||Jeff Fisher||John Fassel||Sean McVay||After receiving a two-year contract extension prior to the season, Fisher was fired after going 4–9 through the first 13 games of the 2016 season, and 31–45–1 (.414) in his five-year tenure in St. Louis and Los Angeles. Under his tenure, the Rams never finished better than 7–8–1 (2012) and never reached the playoffs. Fassel, the son of former NFL head coach Jim Fassel, has been the Rams' special teams coach since 2012; he went 0–3 in the interim, and remained on the Rams staff in that role for 2017. On January 12, Washington Redskins Offensive Coordinator Sean McVay was named head coach. Sean McVay is the grandson of former San Francisco 49ers GM John McVay. At the time of his hiring, McVay was age 30, making him the youngest person to become a head coach (excluding the player-coaches of the 1920s) in NFL history.|
|San Francisco 49ers||Chip Kelly||Kyle Shanahan||Kelly was fired after one season with a 2–14 record. Kelly spent the 2017 season out of football, then took the head coaching position at UCLA beginning in 2018. Kyle Shanahan, who most recently served as the Atlanta Falcons' offensive coordinator, was named the new coach of the 49ers on February 6, 2017. Due to league anti-tampering rules, the 49ers had to wait until after the completion of the Falcons' playoff run, before formally hiring Shanahan.|
|Team||2017 head coach||Reason for leaving||Interim replacement||Story/accomplishments|
|New York Giants||Ben McAdoo||Fired||Steve Spagnuolo||McAdoo became the Giants' head coach in 2016, leading the Giants to a 13–15 (.464) record over the course of parts of two seasons. After accruing a 2–10 (.167) record and benching popular starter Eli Manning (who at the time held the longest active streak as a starting NFL quarterback) during the season, he was fired on December 4, and replaced in the interim by defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo, who was previously the St. Louis Rams' head coach from 2009–2011.|
Front office personnel
|Team||Position||2016 office holder||Reason for leaving||2017 office holder||Notes|
|San Francisco 49ers||GM||Trent Baalke||Fired||John Lynch||Baalke, who spent the past twelve years with the team, informed KNBR-AM in San Francisco on January 1, 2017, that he had been fired. On January 29, 2017, Lynch, a former player and broadcaster, was named the general manager of the San Francisco 49ers; it is his first front office position.|
|Jacksonville Jaguars||EVP-FO||position created||Tom Coughlin||Coughlin, the team's inaugural head coach, was rehired as executive vice president of football operations on January 9, 2017. He had spent the 2016 season out of football after several years of coaching the New York Giants.|
|Indianapolis Colts||GM||Ryan Grigson||Fired||Chris Ballard||Grigson was relieved of his duties as Colts general manager on January 21, 2017. On January 30, 2017, Chris Ballard, who had spent the past four seasons as director of football operations for the Kansas City Chiefs, was named the new GM of the Colts.|
|Washington Redskins||GM||Scot McCloughan||TBA||McCloughan was fired on March 9, 2017, after two seasons with the Redskins. Doug Williams was named senior vice president of player personnel on June 13, 2017.|
|Buffalo Bills||GM||Doug Whaley||Brandon Beane||Whaley was fired the morning of April 30, 2017, immediately following the draft. He had spent seven seasons with the Bills, four of them as general manager. Brandon Beane, who had spent the previous 19 seasons with the Carolina Panthers (most recently as assistant general manager), was hired as the new general manager on May 9, 2017.|
|Kansas City Chiefs||GM||John Dorsey||Brett Veach||Dorsey was unexpectedly fired on June 22, 2017, after four seasons. Brett Veach, who had spent the past four seasons as the Chiefs co-director of player personnel, was promoted to general manager on July 10, 2017.|
|Carolina Panthers||GM||Dave Gettleman||Marty Hurney||Gettleman was unexpectedly fired after four seasons on July 17, 2017. Marty Hurney, who was the Panthers' GM from 2002 to 2012, was rehired as the interim general manager for the 2017 season. The team plans to conduct a search for a permanent general manager after the season ends.|
|Team||Position||2017 office holder||Reason for leaving||Interim replacement||Notes|
|New York Giants||GM||Jerry Reese||Fired||Kevin Abrams||Having been in the organization since 1994, Reese was the Giants GM since 2007, leading them to two Super Bowl championships and several years of success. He was fired on December 4 along with head coach Ben McAdoo. He was replaced in the interim by former Detroit Lions cornerback Kevin Abrams, who has no previous front office experience.|
|Cleveland Browns||VP/GM||Sashi Brown||John Dorsey||Brown was fired on December 7. Brown, who had served as the team's lawyer since 2013, was given the duties of general manager in 2016 despite no prior experience in football. He was considered responsible for trading away the high round draft picks that ended up being Carson Wentz and Deshaun Watson. In addition, he failed to follow through on a trade for Bengals backup quarterback AJ McCarron, which was contributed to him simply failing to inform the league of the trade in time. Owner Jimmy Haslam said the coach Hue Jackson will stay at least through the 2018 season. Later that day the Browns named former Kansas City Chiefs GM John Dorsey as their new GM. As general manager in Kansas City from 2013–16, the Chiefs recorded a 43–21 (.672) record.|
San Diego Chargers' relocation to Los Angeles
On January 12, 2017, the San Diego Chargers exercised their option to relocate to Los Angeles as the Los Angeles Chargers. They will be joining the Los Angeles Rams as tenants in their new stadium, Los Angeles Stadium at Hollywood Park in Inglewood, California when that stadium is complete in 2020. For the time being, the Chargers are playing at the 30,000 seat StubHub Center in Carson, California, the smallest venue (in terms of number of seats) the league has used for a full season since 1956.
Oakland Raiders' relocation to Las Vegas
On January 19, 2017, the Oakland Raiders filed paperwork to relocate to Las Vegas, Nevada. The NFL officially approved the Raiders relocation to Las Vegas on March 27. Unlike the Chargers, the Raiders will remain at the Oakland–Alameda County Coliseum through at least the 2018 season (with the 2019 season to be determined) while Las Vegas Stadium is built, with the team moving to Nevada in 2019 or 2020.
The Los Angeles Rams, who had capped season ticket sales at 55,000 for the 2017 season, announced to have 60,128 spectators in the first home game on week 1. However, reports estimate that spectators only filled a third of the 93,607 seats of the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. The Los Angeles Chargers did not sell out their week 2 game at the StubHub Center, which was never expanded to 30,000 seats as originally stated and has typically had less than 26,000 fans in attendance. When the StubHub Center was at capacity, the majority of the fans present were supporters of the opposing team, with the October 1 home game against the eventual Super Bowl champion Eagles being a mainly pro-Philadelphia crowd.
The Los Angeles teams were not the only ones with visible attendance problems. The San Francisco 49ers reported a Week 3 attendance total that exceeded the capacity of Levi's Stadium, even as wide swaths of empty seats were visible in the stadium throughout the game. This followed similar sparse attendance for the 49ers' home opener. Even the Dallas Cowboys, a team whose fan base is among the largest in the United States, played their week 13 Thursday Night Football game in front of a half-empty AT&T Stadium. The lifting of the league's blackout policy was cited as one factor in the decline in ticket sales, as viewers would rather watch from the comfort of their homes, especially when weather conditions were less than ideal. At a Buffalo Bills/Indianapolis Colts game held in blinding lake-effect snow on December 10, scalpers said they had not sold any tickets, an extreme rarity. Indeed, a majority of television sets in all Western New York were tuned into some portion of the game, the highest viewership for a non-Super Bowl NFL game in the region since record-keeping began.
New uniforms and patches
- Twenty-five teams transitioned to Nike's new uniform template. While most teams have just transitioned to it without any actual changes to the uniforms themselves, the New Orleans Saints, Cincinnati Bengals, and Los Angeles Rams uniforms are the most noticeable in it, fixing their collars in the process.
- The Detroit Lions unveiled new uniforms on April 13, 2017, eliminating all black elements from the uniform and logo. They added a new alternate uniform as well as a new Color Rush uniform.
- The Los Angeles Rams announced they would be switching their primary helmets to white and blue, similar to their Color Rush helmets. The team had fans vote on the color of their facemask, which would be white, and the design of their pants, which would be white with a blue stripe. The Rams also announced that they would explore a full rebrand in the near future.
- The Cincinnati Bengals will wear a patch to commemorate their 50th season.
- The San Francisco 49ers have altered their sleeve striping from 3 stripes to 2 stripes.
- The Seattle Seahawks dedicated their season to former Seahawks defensive tackle Cortez Kennedy, who died on May 23, 2017, by wearing a #96 decal on their helmets.
- The Pittsburgh Steelers will wear a patch to honor their former chairman, the late Dan Rooney, who died in April, at the age of 84. The patch will feature a shamrock, with Rooney's initials "DMR". The last time the Steelers wore a jersey patch was when Art Rooney died in 1988. They also donned a helmet decal to honor Chuck Noll, who died in 2014.
- The Dallas Cowboys will wear blue jerseys at home on a more regular basis, marking the first time the team has worn blue jerseys at home outside of Thanksgiving games since the NFL allowed teams to wear white jerseys at home in 1964. Despite the team's well-documented blue jersey "jinx", player preference as well as stronger retail sales of the navy blue jerseys over the white ones have prompted the team's decision. The blue jerseys will be worn for "high-profile" games at AT&T Stadium.
- The New York Giants wore a #14 decal on their helmets to honor Y. A. Tittle, who died on October 8, 2017. Later, they would wear a "JHT" patch from Week 10 onwards, in honor of Joan Tisch, the mother of Giants co-owner Steve Tisch, who died on November 2, 2017.
- The Buffalo Bills wore their all-red Color Rush uniforms when they faced the Indianapolis Colts in the aforementioned December 10 "snow game", the first team to do so on a Sunday, and the fourth team overall.
- All current and former Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award winners will wear a patch on their jerseys in perpetuity to acknowledge to recognize their outstanding contributions to the game and to their communities. Similarly, current nominees will wear a decal on their helmets for the rest of the season.
- The Atlanta Falcons wore their all red color rush jerseys with black numbers against the Saints on December 7, 2017. The numbers were a classic form of numbers. The alternate has the regular Falcon unlike the other alternate. The regular Atlanta Falcons' alternate is a black jersey, with a black helmet, and on the black helmet is the original Falcons logo.
This is the fourth season 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 continued to air Sunday Night Football, the annual Kickoff game, and the primetime Thanksgiving game, and will broadcast Super Bowl LII. ESPN continued to air Monday Night Football and the Pro Bowl. This also was the second and final year of the current Thursday Night Football contract with CBS, NBC, and NFL Network.
Along with ESPN's Wild Card game on ABC, ESPN announced on May 24, 2017, that the 2018 Pro Bowl would also be simulcast on ABC, marking the return of the Pro Bowl to ABC for the first time since 2003. For the first 9 weeks of the regular season, ESPN2 simulcast ESPN Deportes' Spanish-language Monday Night Football broadcasts; this served as filler programming for the channel until the start of its Monday-night college basketball broadcasts.
Although never explicitly announced, the league continued the moratorium on its blackout policy, ensuring all games would be televised in the market of their home teams regardless of ticket sales.
Because of fog and smoke obstruction, NBC was forced to televise large portions of two of their Sunday Night Football games from the skycam angle. Positive reception led NBC to experiment with increased usage of the angle as a primary view during its November 16 and December 14 Thursday Night Football telecasts. Because the angle distorts distance, the traditional sideline camera angle was used for close-yardage situations such as the red zone.
In over-the-top rights, Amazon Video acquired non-exclusive streaming rights to the 10 broadcast television Thursday Night Football games for $50 million. These streams are exclusive to paid Amazon Prime subscribers, in contrast to Twitter, which held the rights to the same package in 2016 and had made those streams free to most of the world.
Verizon Communications acquired international streaming rights to an NFL London Game between the Baltimore Ravens and Jacksonville Jaguars, in a similar arrangement to the 2015 game that was streamed by Yahoo!—which was acquired by Verizon in 2017. The game was streamed by Yahoo and other Verizon-owned platforms, including AOL, go90, and Complex. NFL Network remains a partner with Twitter for online content, including its new streaming news program NFL Blitz Live. The NFL also reached a deal with Facebook in September 2017 to offer video highlights following games, and streaming programs on the service's new Watch platform.
This is the final season of the NFL's exclusive mobile streaming contract with Verizon Wireless; the league intends to no longer have a single exclusive partner going forward, citing changes to viewing habits. On December 11, 2017, the NFL announced that it had agreed to a new 5-year, $2.5 billion digital rights agreement with Verizon, allowing it to stream in-market Sunday afternoon games, as well as all nationally televised games, across its mobile platforms. Unlike the previous deal, these streams will no longer be exclusive to Verizon Wireless subscribers, as Verizon plans to leverage the divisions of its digital media subsidiary Oath (including the aforementioned Yahoo and go90) as a platform to promote these streams to a larger audience, as well as other digital content and expanded highlights rights. As part of the agreement, Verizon will begin allowing access to its existing mobile streams to non-customers for the 2017-18 playoffs. As the new contract is non-exclusive, the NFL's television partners may negotiate to add the mobile streaming rights that were reserved to Verizon under the previous contract; NBC was the first to do so.
Two new international digital rights deals led to user criticism over their quality of service. In Canada, NFL Sunday Ticket shifted from distribution through television providers to the over-the-top provider DAZN, while in Europe, Deltatre took over European distribution of NFL Game Pass and launched new mobile apps. Both services faced criticism over their streaming quality, while Delatre's app faced criticism for having bugs and initially lacking features seen in the previous version of the platform. The Independent exposed that Deltatre had also issued an internal e-mail instructing its employees to give the apps 5-star reviews. DAZN subsequently announced that it would return to distributing Sunday Ticket through Canadian television providers in addition to their OTT service.
This is the final season of the NFL's current national radio contract with Westwood One. Entravision (in the last year of a three-year deal) and ESPN Deportes Radio split Spanish broadcast rights.
The league has sought to reduce the number of standard commercial breaks (media timeouts) on its telecasts from 21 to 16, four in each quarter, with each break extended by one additional 30-second commercial. One particular scenario the league sought to eliminate is the "double-up," in which a network cuts to a commercial after a scoring play, then airs the kickoff, and again goes to commercial before play from scrimmage resumes. Under the proposal, the league will allow networks to cut to commercial during instant replay reviews, which it had not been allowed to do before. Commissioner Roger Goodell stated that the changes are being made in an attempt to consolidate downtime between the actual game play so that there are fewer and less noticeable interruptions; he does not expect the changes to have an appreciable impact on the real-time length of a game, which currently clocks in at slightly over three hours.
The NFL has also, as a trial, lifted its ban on the broadcast of commercials for distilled spirits during its telecasts. However, they are subject to restrictions; a maximum of four liquor ads may be broadcast per-game, along with two per-pregame and postgame show. These ads may not contain football-related themes or target underage viewers, and must contain a "prominent social responsibility message".
Tony Romo, who announced his retirement as a player on April 4, 2017, joined CBS, where he replaced Phil Simms as lead color commentator. Simms and Nate Burleson, who comes over from NFL Network, will replace Tony Gonzalez and Bart Scott on CBS's pregame show, The NFL Today. Jay Cutler also announced his retirement from professional football on May 5 and was slated to join Fox as a color analyst for its NFL coverage; he later rescinded that announcement in August and joined the Miami Dolphins. Gonzalez will move to Fox, where he will join Fox NFL Kickoff; upon his departure, Gonzalez stated that he wished to pursue opportunities closer to his home in California, rather than travel to New York weekly to appear on CBS. James Lofton, coming over from radio, will replace Solomon Wilcots as a CBS analyst.
On May 31, 2017, it was announced that Mike Tirico would replace Al Michaels on play-by-play on NBC's portion of the Thursday Night Football package, joined by Cris Collinsworth. The NFL had previously required this role to be filled by NBC's lead broadcast team of Michaels and Collinsworth; Tirico called a limited slate of games in 2016, including several NBC-broadcast games as a fill-in for Michaels (who voluntarily took several games off due to the increased number he was calling that season), and as part of a secondary team for selected games the TNF package. He will also succeed Bob Costas as the lead studio host for NBC. However, due to its proximity to the 2018 Winter Olympics (where he is also succeeding Bob Costas as lead host), Tirico will not participate in NBC's Super Bowl LII coverage.
Beth Mowins became the second woman to call play-by-play for a national NFL broadcast, following Gayle Sierens in 1987, when she served as play-by-play announcer for the nightcap in ESPN's Week 1 Monday Night doubleheader, with Rex Ryan as her color commentator. In an unusual case of a broadcaster working for two networks in the same season, Mowins also called a regional game for CBS in Weeks 3, 15 and 17, with Jay Feely as her partner.
Also, this would end up being the last season for the Monday Night Football broadcast team of Sean McDonough, Jon Gruden, and Lisa Salters. Gruden would return to coaching the next year for the Oakland Raiders, while McDonough would return to doing College Football for ESPN, although Salters will still be on MNF. McDonough will be replaced by Joe Tessitore, who has done work for ESPN as a College Football announcer, like McDonough, while Jason Witten, who would end up retiring after this season, will replace Gruden, with Booger McFarland, being added as a field analyst.
Most watched regular season games
- DH = doubleheader; SNF = NBC Sunday Night Football
|Rank||Date||Matchup||Network||Viewers (millions)||TV rating ||Window||Significance|
|1||December 17, 4:25 ET||New England Patriots||27||Pittsburgh Steelers||24||CBS||26.9||15.2||Late DH[a]||2016 AFC Championship rematch|
|2||November 23, 4:30 ET||Los Angeles Chargers||28||Dallas Cowboys||6||26.3||11.1||Thanksgiving|
|3||September 17, 4:25 ET||Dallas Cowboys||17||Denver Broncos||42||Fox||26.0||14.3||Late DH[b]|
|4||November 23, 12:30 ET||Minnesota Vikings||30||Detroit Lions||23||24.7||11.4||Thanksgiving||Lions–Vikings rivalry|
|5||September 10, 8:30 ET||New York Giants||3||Dallas Cowboys||19||NBC||24.4||13.4||SNF||Cowboys–Giants Rivalry|
|6||October 8, 4:25 ET||Green Bay Packers||35||Dallas Cowboys||31||Fox||23.9||13.6||Late DH[c]||Cowboys–Packers Rivalry|
|7||December 10, 4:25 ET||Philadelphia Eagles||43||Los Angeles Rams||35||23.8||13.7||Late DH[d]|
|8||December 24, 4:25 ET||Seattle Seahawks||21||Dallas Cowboys||12||23.0||12.2||Late DH[e]|
|9||September 10, 4:25 ET||Seattle Seahawks||9||Green Bay Packers||17||22.8||12.7||Late DH[f]||2014 NFC Championship rematch|
|10||November 12, 4:25 ET||Dallas Cowboys||7||Atlanta Falcons||27||22.0||12.8||Late DH[g]|
*Note — Late DH matchups listed in table are the matchups that were shown to the largest percentage of the market.
- ^ NE/PIT was shown in 91% of the markets during the late doubleheader time slot of CBS coverage.
- ^ DAL/DEN was shown in 81% of the markets during the late doubleheader time slot of Fox coverage.
- ^ GB/DAL was shown in 99% of the markets during the late doubleheader time slot of Fox coverage, with the Bay Area being the only market not airing the game.
- ^ PHI/LAR was shown in 90% of the markets during the late doubleheader time slot of Fox coverage.
- ^ SEA/DAL was shown in 89% of the markets during the late doubleheader time slot of Fox coverage.
- ^ SEA/GB was shown in 89% of the markets during the late doubleheader time slot of Fox coverage.
- ^ DAL/ATL was shown in 86% of the markets during the late doubleheader time slot of Fox coverage.
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