Chronology of Football (2010-present)
For the first time, the Pro Bowl was played in the Super Bowl city the week before the Super Bowl, as the AFC All-Stars beat the NFC All-Stars 41-34 in the 2010 Pro Bowl at Sun Life Stadium in South Florida. The game drew 70,697 fans – the highest attendance for a Pro Bowl since 1959, January 31.The New Orleans Saints won their first Super Bowl title, defeating the Indianapolis Colts 31-17 in Super Bowl XLIV at Sun Life Stadium in South Florida, February 7.
Dr. Hunt Batjer of Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and Dr. Richard G. Ellenbogen of the University of Washington School of Medicine were named the new co-chairs of the NFL Head, Neck and Spine Medical Committee, March 16.
NFL owners voted to amend postseason overtime rules to a modified sudden death format, guaranteeing at least one possession for each club if the receiving team fails to score a touchdown on its first over-time possession, March 23.
The NFL and NFL Alumni Association announced a new neurological care program for retired players, one of a series of NFL initiatives addressing the quality of life of retired players, March 24.
NFL rules changes emphasized additional player safety. Protection for defenseless players was standardized and expanded, protecting a player who has just completed a catch from blows to the head or neck by an opponent who launches. Additional protection was also given to long snappers. Play will now stop if a ball carrier’s helmet is removed, March 24.
The NFL Draft debuted a new three-day format, with the first two days broadcast in primetime. A record combined total of 45.4 million viewers tuned in to watch the 75th NFL Draft on NFL Network, ESPN and ESPN2, April 22-24.
New Meadowlands Stadium opened in East Rutherford, New Jersey as the New York Giants defeat the New York Jets by a score of 31-16 in a preseason game, August 16.Stan Kroenke purchased an additional 60 percent of the St. Louis Rams from the Rosenbloom family and became the team’s sole owner and chairman, August 25.
A renovated Arrowhead Stadium opened in Kansas City, Missouri as the Philadelphia Eagles defeated the Kansas City Chiefs 20-17 in a preseason game, August 27.
A poster created by the NFL and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)to help educate young athleteson concussions was released to the public. The poster, similar to one on display in NFL locker rooms, stresses the importance of recognizing a concussion, taking time to recover, and not returning to play too soon, October 11.
The NFL, NFL Alumni and Gay Culverhouse Players’ Outreach Program announced a partnership to expand services for retired NFL players. The outreach program identifies retired players in need, ensuring they receive comprehensive medical evaluations and assistance in applying for the expanded benefits and services created in recent years by the NFL, October 12.
Commissioner Roger Goodell notified NFL teams that more significant discipline, including suspensions, would be imposed on players that strike an opponent in the head or neck area in violation of the rules, October 20.
The NFL and Westwood One Radio announced the renewal of a multi-year agreement for Westwood One to continue as the exclusive network radio home of the NFL, December 22.
The NFL appointed Pro Football Hall of Famers Ronnie Lott and John Madden as co-chairs of a new Player Safety Advisory Panel. The panel provides recommendations on a variety of safety-related football matters, while taking a long-term view towards making the game safer at every level of the sport, January 4.
The Green Bay Packers won their fourth Super Bowl title, defeating the Pittsburgh Steelers 31-25 in Super Bowl XLV at Cowboys Stadium in North Texas. The game was viewed by 162.9 million people, making it the most-watched program in U.S. television history, February 6.
The NFL Head, Neck and Spine Committee announced a new standardized sideline concussion assessment protocol for team medical personnel. The new protocol includes a symptom checklist, limited neurologic examination and balance assessment, February 25.
On the steps of the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio, Commissioner Goodell & NFLPA Executive Director DeMaurice Smith formally announced a comprehensive settlement of litigation and signed a new 10-year Collective Bargaining Agreement, August 4. The agreement included additional funding for player alumni of $1 billion, including a $620 million “Legacy Fund” to increase benefits for pre-1993 retirees.
A record 107.4 million fans tuned into Kickoff Weekend games on CBS, ESPN, FOX and NBC, September 8, 11-12.The NFL announced an eight-year extension of its contract with ESPN for the broadcast rights to Monday Night Football through the 2021 season, September 8.
NFL teams, players and fans remembered the courage and resilience that followed the events of September 11, 2001 with special tributes in each stadium and on television during all games on Sunday, September 11.
Al Davis, the Oakland Raiders’ owner and Pro Football Hall of Famer, died at the age of 82, October 8.
NFL owners approved a resolution to continue playing regular-season games in the United Kingdom through the 2016 season, October 11.
The NFL reached an agreement on nine-year contract extensions of its Sunday broadcast television packages with CBS, FOX and NBC to run through the 2022 season, December 14. The agreements also enabled the NFL to expand its Thursday night package of games on NFL Network, which increased from eight to 13 games for the 2012 season.
NFL clubs unanimously approved the majority ownership transfer of the Jacksonville Jaguars from Wayne Weaver to businessman Shahid Khan at a meeting in Dallas, December 14.
On the field, many all-time records were set: 11,356 points were scored, the most of any season in NFL history; New Orleans’ Drew Brees passed for 5,476 yards; and Green Bay’s Aaron Rodgers led the league with a 122.5passer rating.
NFL clubs extended Commissioner Goodell’s contract through March 31, 2019, January 25.The New York Giants won their fourth Super Bowl title, defeating the New England Patriots 21-17 in Super Bowl XLVI at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, February 6.
NFL Commissioners and Presidents*
1920 Jim Thorpe, President
1921-39 Joe Carr, President
1939-41 Carl Storck, President
1941-46 Elmer Layden, Commissioner
1946-59 Bert Bell, Commissioner
1960-89 Pete Rozelle, Commissioner
1989-2006 Paul Tagliabue, Commissioner
2006-Present Roger Goodell, Commissioner
*NFL treasurer Austin Gunsel served as president in the office of the commissioner following the death of Bert Bell (Oct. 11, 1959) until the election of Pete Rozelle (Jan. 26, 1960).
The 2014 Pro Bowl introduced a new format for the NFL’s All- Star Game, including a draft to determine rosters and major playing rules adjustments. Pro Football Hall of Famers Jerry Rice and Deion Sanders served as team captains. Team Rice defeated Team Sanders 22-21 at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu, Hawaii, January 26.
The Seattle Seahawks won their first Super Bowl, defeating the Denver Broncos 43-8 in Super Bowl XLVIII at MetLife Stadium in the first New York- New Jersey Super Bowl, February 2.
Buffalo Bills owner Ralph Wilson, Jr., a founding member of the AFL, died at the age of 95, March 25.
In addition to its Sunday afternoon package, CBS acquired the rights to broad- cast early-season primetime Thursday Night Football games, simulcast by NFL Net- work, for the 2014 season, February 5. NFL Network retained exclusive rights to late-season TNF games.
Malcolm Glazer, the owner and president of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, died at the age of 85, May 28.
Prior to the official kickoff of the 2014 regular season, the NFL launched its next generation video service, NFL Now, providing fans personalized access to the largest digital library of NFL video anywhere, accessible through apps and browsers across an array of Internet-connected devices, September 4.
NFL personnel began using Microsoft Surface tablets on sidelines during games to enhance on-field communications, photo viewing and play calling, giving coaches, players and other personnel the technology, they need to improve decision-making and on-field performance, September 5.
The NFL and DIRECTV announced a new multi-year agreement to extend and expand DIRECTV's exclusive rights to carry NFL SUNDAY TICKET and its package of every Sunday afternoon out- of-market games.
NFL teams unanimously endorsed a revised and strengthened Personal Con- duct Policy for all NFL employees. The policy was developed after discussions with experts inside and outside of the NFL, including current and former players, the NFL Players Association, domestic violence/sexual assault experts and advocates, law enforcement officials, academic experts, and business leaders. The new policy lays out a clear series of steps to be taken when there is an incident that requires review, December 10. Commissioner Goodell appointed a new league Con- duct Committee comprised of representatives of NFL owner- ship that will review the Personal Conduct Policy annually and recommend appropriate changes.
The NFL and CBS agreed to continue a partnership to pro- duce and televise Thursday Night Football for the 2015 season, January 18. CBS will broadcast the first eight TNF games, also simulcast on NFL Network. NFL Network will exclusively televise eight games in the run-up to the playoffs.
The New England Patriots won their fourth Super Bowl, defeating the Seattle Sea- hawks 28-24 in Super Bowl XLIX at University of Phoenix Stadium in Arizona. The game was viewed by an average audience of 114.4 million viewers, making it the most- watched program in U.S. tele- vision history, February 1.
Sarah Thomas became the first female to be assigned full-time to an NFL officiating crew, April 8.
NFL clubs at the league’s spring meeting in San Francis- co adopted a change to the Try for Point After Touchdown (PAT) rule in an attempt to add skill and excitement to the extra play following touch- downs. The new rule: 1. Moves the kicking spot to the defensive team’s 15-yard line;
2. Places the two-point con- version spot at the defensive team’s two-yard line; and 3. Gives the defensive team the opportunity to return a blocked kick, fumble or interception for a score of two points, May 19.
The NFL and Yahoo! announced an exclusive partnership to deliver the first-ever live stream of an NFL game to a global audience across devices and for free, June 3. The partnership brought the NFL’s scheduled 2015 International Series game in London, between the Buffalo Bills and Jacksonville Jaguars on October 25, to Yahoo! properties globally, which attract more than one billion monthly users. The NFL announced a $2.5 million foundational donation to UW Medicine to establish the first-of-its-kind Sports Health and Safety Institute to advance research, education and advocacy for the prevention and treatment of sports- related concussions, August 14.
NFL clubs approved a commitment to play international regular-season games through 2025 and broadens the league’s opportunity to play games in countries other than the United Kingdom at a league meeting in New York, October 7.
The NFL and SiriusXM announced a six-year extension of their satellite broad- casting and marketing agreement, October 7. SiriusXM will continue to feature every NFL game live nationwide from the preseason through Super Bowl LVI in 2022.
The NFL hosted the 2nd Annual International Professional Sports Concussion Research Think Tank in Lon- don, which served as a plat- form for leading scientific and medical experts from preeminent international sports organizations to propose ideas for future research collaborations and to share best practices and progress made in the areas of concussion diagnosis, protocols, management and treatment, October 24. During the Think Tank, the NFL and International Concussion and Head Injury Research Foundation (ICHIRF) announced a partnership to fund research investigating the potential long-term effects and risk factors associated with concussion in sports.
The transfer of the Rams from St. Louis to Los Angeles for the 2016 season was approved by a vote of NFL clubs at a meeting in Houston, January 12.
The NFL announces expansion of Thursday Night Foot- ball for the 2016 and 2017 seasons, continuing its partnership with CBS while also adding NBC as a partner, February 1. Both CBS and NBC will broadcast five Thursday Night Football games, growing the package to 10 broadcast games.
The Denver Broncos won their third Super Bowl, defeating the Carolina Panthers 24-
10 in Super Bowl 50 at Levi’s® Stadium in Santa Clara, CA, February 7.
The NFL and Twitter announced a partnership to deliver a live digital stream of Thursday Night Football to a global audience for free during the course of the 2016 sea- son, April 5. Twitter will stream the 10 games broadcast by NBC and CBS, which will also be simulcast on NFL Network, securing the league’s “Tri- Cast” distribution model of broadcast (NBC/CBS), cable (NFL Network), and digital (Twitter).
The NFL returned to Mexico City for the first time since 2005, as the Houston Texans and Oakland Raiders met at Estadio Azteca in the first-ever Monday Night Football game to be played outside of the United States, November 21.
For the first time, the Pro Bowl was played at Camping World Stadium in Orlando, Florida, and featured a return to the traditional AFC vs. NFC game format following three years using a revised, “unconferenced” format. Pro Bowl practices were held alongside youth football competitions, activities and fan events at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World Resort.
On the field, the NFL featured 72 games won by teams that trailed in the fourth quarter of 2016, the most such games in NFL history, sur- passing the previous high of 70 (1989).
The Chargers exercised their option to move from San Diego to Los Angeles for the 2017 season, January 12.
The New England Patriots defeated the Atlanta Falcons 34-28 in Super Bowl LI in the first Super Bowl to go to over- time. Patriots quarterback Tom Brady became the only player in NFL history to win four Super Bowl Most Valuable Player Awards, setting Super Bowl single-game records in pass attempts, completions and passing yards, February 5.
The NFL reached an agreement with Amazon Prime as its exclusive partner to deliver a live digital stream of Thurs- day Night Football to a global audience across devices during the 2017 season. Amazon Prime Video will stream the 10 Thursday Night Football games broadcast by NBC and CBS, which will also be simul- cast on NFL Network, once again securing the league’s “Tri-Cast” model of broadcast (NBC/CBS), cable (NFL Net- work), and digital (Amazon Prime Video) distribution.
The NFL committed to play four regular-season games in London in 2017, with two games played at both Wembley Stadium and Twickenham Stadium. NFL clubs at the league’s annual meeting approved the future relocation of the Oakland Raiders to Las Vegas, March 27.
NFL clubs at the league’s annual meeting approved a rule stating that instant replay rulings during NFL games will be made by members of the league’s officiating department stationed in New York, March 27.
Sideline replay monitors are replaced with hand-held devices. In an effort to increase player safety, NFL clubs at the league’s annual meeting adopted rules eliminating the “leaper” block attempt on field goal and extra point plays, prohibiting crack- back blocks by a backfield player who is in motion, and giving a receiver running a pass route defenseless player protection.
Pittsburgh Steelers owner Dan Rooney, a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, died at the age of 84, April 13.
NFL clubs at the league’s spring meeting in Chicago adopted a rule shortening the overtime period in the preseason and regular season from 15 to 10 minutes, May 23.
NFL owners voted to move Super Bowl LV from Los Ange- les to Tampa Bay. Super Bowl LVI will be held in Los Angeles, May 23.
The NFL committed to play three regular-season games in London and one in Mexico City in 2018. In November, the NFL and Mexico’s Ministry of Tourism announced an agreement to play three NFL regular-season games from 2019 to 2021.
New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees completed 386 of 536 pass attempts for an NFL-record 72.0 completion percentage.
New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady led the NFL with 4,577 passing yards at age 40, becoming the oldest player in NFL history to lead the league in passing yards. Brady was named the Associated Press Most Valuable Player for the third time in his career, tied for the second most in league history.
The NFL announced a joint player and ownership commit- tee focused on social justice and debuted a new campaign, Let’s Listen Together, high
lighting the player-led work on social and racial equality. The NFL Foundation also launched a new grant for active and retired players who develop social justice programming or partner with local non-profit organizations committed to this work, January 23.
The NFL reached an agreement with FOX Sports to broadcast the next five seasons of Thursday Night Foot- ball beginning with the 2018 season. The agreement awards FOX Sports with a five-year deal that includes 11 games between Weeks 4-15 (excluding Thanksgiving night) to be broadcast on FOX, simulcast via NFL Network, and distributed in Spanish on FOX Deportes, January 31.
The Philadelphia Eagles defeated the New England Patriots 41-33 in Super Bowl LII to earn their first Super Bowl title in franchise history. Eagles quarterback Nick Foles was named MVP after becoming the first player in NFL history with a touchdown pass and a touchdown catch in a Super Bowl. Philadelphia and New England combined for 1,151 yards in Super Bowl LII, the highest total in any game in league history, February 4.
New Orleans Saints owner
Tom Benson died at the age of 90, March 15.
In an effort to take unnecessary risk out of the game and improve player safety, NFL clubs at the league’s annual meeting adopted rules that make lowering the head to initiate contact with the helmet a foul. The standard for a catch is also changed, March 28.
The NFL reached an agreement to renew its exclusive partnership with Amazon Prime Video to deliver a live OTT digital stream of Thurs- day Night Football to a global audience across devices during the 2018 and 2019 NFL
Seasons, April 26.
NFL clubs approved the majority ownership transfer of the Carolina Panthers from Jerry Richardson to David Tepper, May 22.
NFL clubs adopted changes to the kickoff, including the following: the kickoff team must have at least five players on each side of the ball; the kick- off team cannot line up more than one yard from the restraining line; at least two players must be lined up out- side the yard-line number and two players between the inbounds line and the yard-line number; at least eight players
must be in the 15-yard “setup zone” prior to kickoff; prohibiting wedge blocks; until the ball is touched or hits the ground, no player on the receiving team may cross the restraining line or initiate a block against the kicking team in the 15-yard area from the kicking team’s restraining line; the ball is dead if it is not touched by the receiving team and touches the ground in the end zone (touchback), May 22.
NFL owners voted to award Super Bowl LVII to Arizona and Super Bowl LVIII to New Orleans. Nashville was named the host of the 2019 NFL Draft, May 22.
NFL clubs unanimously approve a policy for all league and team personnel to stand and show respect for the flag and the Anthem. Personnel who choose not to stand for the Anthem may stay in the locker room until after the Anthem has been performed, May 23.
NFL COMMISSIONERS AND PRESIDENTS*
1920....Jim Thorpe, President
1921-39 ...Joe Carr, President
1939-41…Carl Storck, President
1941-46 ..........Elmer Layden,
Commissioner 1946-1959 ..............Bert Bell,
Commissioner 1960-1989 ........Pete Rozelle,
Commissioner 1989-2006 .....Paul Tagliabue,
Commissioner 2006-present ..Roger Goodell,
*NFL treasurer Austin Gunsel served as president in the office of the commissioner following the death of Bert Bell (Oct. 11, 1959) until the election of e (Jan. 26, 1960).