With every season, churn, churn, churn. Like every
Celebrations — The rules are now relaxed on celebrations, giving players more room to have fun in celebrating big plays. Group celebrations are allowed now, and players can use the football as a prop. It isn't anything goes, though. Anything the league determines is violent, sexually inappropriate, or taunting will constitute a penalty.
Shorter overtimes — The length of the overtime period has been reduced from 15 to 10 minutes. It's still, however, at 15 minutes for the postseason.
Replay reviews — No more sideline monitors for officials. They'll now review plays on hand-held devices, and designated members of the NFL officiating department in New York will be authorized to make the final call on replay reviews.
You're grounded — Defensive players can no longer run and jump over offensive linemen at the line of scrimmage in order to block a field goal or extra point.
Touchbacks — Like last season, a touchback resulting from a kickoff or safety kick will be placed at the 25-yard line, as opposed to the 20. Once again, the rule is not permanent, but on a year-to-year basis.
Two strikes, you're out — If a player is penalized twice in the same game for certain types of unsportsmanlike conduct fouls, he's automatically ejected. Those fouls include throwing a punch or kick (with or without making contact), use of threatening or abusive language, and any act that constitutes taunting. The league tried this rule on a temporary basis last season, and now has made it permanent.
POINTS OF EMPHASIS
Quarterback protection — Officials will be particularly attune to players trying to make forcible contact to a quarterback's knee area or below. Driving the helmet, shoulder, forearm or chest into the knee or below of a quarterback is a foul. It's the defender's responsibility to avoid this kind of contact. Once the quarterback tucks the ball and takes a running posture, or moves outside the pocket and throws on the run, he no longer gets protection from those types of hits.
Illegal hits — Officials have been advised to be especially aware of illegal blindside blocks, "launching" — a player leaving his feet to make forcible contact by using his helmet — and unnecessary hits away from the play.
Downfield contact — The competition committee is looking to further clarify the rules involving pass interference, defensive holding, and illegal contact. So officials will pay particular attention to actions coming off the line of scrimmage and at the top of pass routes, including defensive players grabbing receivers, or receivers pushing off to create separation.
RB Adrian Peterson, New Orleans — Peterson, 32, joins a team that already has a starting running back in
The five teams that travel the most and least this season (in miles):
1. Rams — 32,600
2. Oakland — 30,899
3. Arizona — 30,035
4. Miami — 27,520
5. Chargers — 26,134
1. Pittsburgh — 6,694
2. Cincinnati — 7,662
3. Green Bay — 8,074
4. Detroit — 8,218
5. Chicago — 8,318
Highest passer rating by a rookie, single season
Dak Prescott (2016, DAL) 104.9
Ben Roethlisberger; (2004, PIT) 98.1
New England’s Tom Brady has directed the
Most total wins by a quarterback in NFL history:
Tom Brady (NE) 208
The Patriots, the league's defending champions, are the last team to win back-to-back Super Bowls, doing so at the end of the 2002 and '03 seasons. Here's how the previous 10 Super Bowl champions fared the following season:
Season: Defending Super Bowl champion — Next season
2006: Indianapolis — Lost in divisional round
2008: New England — Missed playoffs
2009: New Orleans — Lost in wild-card round
2010: Green Bay — Lost in divisional round
2011: New York Giants — Missed playoffs
2012: Baltimore — Missed playoffs
2013: Seattle — Lost Super Bowl
2014: New England — Lost
2015: Denver — Missed playoffs
Fifteen players who went undrafted made the Pro Bowl last season:
Michael Bennett, DE, Seattle
Morgan Cox, LS,Baltimore
Justin Tucker, K, Baltimore
Cameron Wake, DE, Miami