Ever wondered how the NFL schedule is decided?…

Ever wondered how the NFL schedule is decided?…

The opponents for all 2019 regular-season games have been determined and a complete list of each team’s home and away matchups was issued today by the NFL.

The scheduling 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 (6 games).

The four teams from another division within its conference on a rotating three-year cycle (4 games)

The four teams from a division in the other conference on a rotating four-year cycle (4 games)

Two intraconference games based on the prior year’s standings (2 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 2019 schedule, with playing dates and times, will be announced in the spring.

NFL Kickoff 2019 Weekend will begin on Thursday night, September 5, and the regular season will conclude on Sunday, December 29.

The season will conclude with Super Bowl LIV in Miami on Sunday, February 2, 2020.

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2018 NFL Playoff Scenarios for Week 17

NFC

CLINCHED: New Orleans Saints – NFC South division title and home-field advantage

Los Angeles Rams – NFC West division title

Chicago Bears – NFC North division title

Dallas Cowboys – NFC East division title

Seattle Seahawks – playoff berth

LOS ANGELES RAMS (12-3) (vs. San Francisco (4-11),

Los Angeles clinches a first-round bye with:

LAR win or tie OR

CHI loss or tie

CHICAGO BEARS (11-4) (at Minnesota (8-6-1),

Chicago clinches a first-round bye with:

CHI win + LAR loss

MINNESOTA VIKINGS (8-6-1) (vs. Chicago (11-4),

Minnesota clinches a playoff berth with:

MIN win or tie OR

PHI loss or tie

PHILADELPHIA EAGLES (8-7) (at Washington (7-8),

Philadelphia clinches a playoff berth with:

PHI win + MIN loss

AFC

CLINCHED: Kansas City Chiefs – Playoff berth

Los Angeles Chargers – Playoff berth

New England Patriots – AFC East division title

Houston Texans – Playoff berth

KANSAS CITY CHIEFS (11-4) (vs. Oakland (4-11),

Kansas City clinches AFC West division title and home-field advantage throughout AFC playoffs with:

KC win OR

KC tie + LAC loss or tie OR

LAC loss + NE loss or tie + HOU loss or tie OR

LAC loss + NE loss or tie + KC clinches at least a tie in strength of victory tiebreaker over HOU

Kansas City clinches AFC West division title and a first-round bye with:

LAC loss + NE loss or tie OR

LAC loss + HOU loss or tie

LAC loss + KC clinches at least a tie in strength of victory tiebreaker over HOU

Kansas City clinches AFC West division title with:

LAC loss OR

KC tie + LAC tie

NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (10-5) (vs. New York Jets (4-11),

New England clinches home-field advantage throughout AFC playoffs with:

NE win + KC loss + LAC loss

New England clinches a first-round bye with:

NE win OR

NE tie + HOU loss or tie OR

BAL loss or tie + HOU loss + TEN loss or tie

HOUSTON TEXANS (10-5) (vs. Jacksonville (5-10), Sunday, 1:00 PM ET, CBS)

Houston clinches AFC South division title and home-field advantage throughout AFC playoffs with:

HOU win + NE loss or tie + KC loss + LAC loss + HOU clinches a tie in strength of victory tiebreaker over KC

Houston clinches AFC South division title and a first-round bye with:

HOU win + NE loss or tie OR

HOU win + KC loss + LAC loss + HOU clinches a tie in strength of victory tiebreaker over KC OR

HOU tie + NE loss OR

IND-TEN tie + NE loss + BAL win + HOU clinches a tie in strength of victory tiebreaker over BAL

Houston clinches AFC South division title with:

HOU win or tie OR

IND-TEN tie

BALTIMORE RAVENS (9-6) (vs. Cleveland (7-7-1),

Baltimore clinches AFC North division title and a first-round bye with:

BAL win + NE loss + HOU loss + IND-TEN does not end in a tie OR

BAL win + NE loss + HOU loss + BAL clinches at least a tie in strength of victory tiebreaker over HOU

Baltimore clinches AFC North division title with:

BAL win OR

PIT loss OR

BAL tie + PIT tie

Baltimore clinches a playoff berth with:

BAL tie + IND-TEN tie

LOS ANGELES CHARGERS (11-4) (at Denver (6-9),

Los Angeles clinches AFC West division title and home-field advantage throughout AFC playoffs with:

LAC win + KC loss or tie OR

LAC tie + KC loss

INDIANAPOLIS COLTS (9-6) (at Tennessee (9-6),

Indianapolis clinches AFC South division title with:

IND win + HOU loss

Indianapolis clinches a playoff berth with:

IND win OR

IND tie + PIT loss or tie OR

IND tie + BAL loss

TENNESSEE TITANS (9-6) (vs. Indianapolis (9-6),

Tennessee clinches AFC South division title and first-round bye with:

TEN win + HOU loss + NE loss + BAL loss or tie

Tennessee clinches AFC South division title with:

TEN win + HOU loss

Tennessee clinches a playoff berth with:

TEN win

PITTSBURGH STEELERS (8-6-1) (vs. Cincinnati (6-9),

Pittsburgh clinches AFC North division title with:

PIT win + BAL loss or tie OR

PIT tie + BAL loss

Pittsburgh clinches a playoff berth with:

PIT win + IND-TEN tie

Preview of NFL Network’s Week 16 Saturday and Sunday Programming


‘Good Morning Football: Weekend’ Airs Saturday at 9:00 AM ET & Sunday at 7:00 AM ET

Steve Smith Sr. Joins ‘NFL GameDay Morning’ In-Studio Sunday at 9:00 AM ET

‘NFL GameDay Kickoff’ Airs Saturday at 2:00 PM & 7:30 PM ET

This week, NFL Network provides more than 22 hours of live coverage, beginning with Good Morning Football: Weekend on Saturday, December 22 at 9:00 AM ET. Colleen Wolfe, Reggie Bush, Michael Robinson and Mike Garafolo host the three-hour show from NFL Films in Mt. Laurel, NJ.

NFL Network’s coverage on Saturday continues with NFL GameDay Kickoff at 2:00 PM ET ahead of Washington Redskins-Tennessee Titans and at 7:30 PM ET ahead of Baltimore Ravens-Los Angeles Chargers.

On Sunday, December 23, a two-hour edition of Good Morning Football: Weekend airs at 7:00 AM ET with Wolfe, Robinson, Garafolo and DeAngelo Hall from NFL Films. 

At 9:00 AM ET, the Emmy-nominated NFL GameDay Morning airs from Los Angeles with host Rich Eisen, Hall of Famers Michael Irvin and Kurt Warner, former head coach Steve Mariucci, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport, analytics expert Cynthia Frelund and various NFL Network reporters stationed across the league. This season, NFL GameDay Morning celebrates its 10-year anniversary.

NFL Network’s GameDay coverage continues at 1:00 PM ET with NFL GameDay Live – the ONLY show on television providing in-progress NFL highlights and analysis of the day’s games – and at 7:30 PM ETwith NFL GameDay Highlights, which recaps the entire afternoon. 

At 11:30 PM ET on NFL Network and 11:30 PM ET/PT and 10:30 PM CT/MT on FOX affiliates, a revamped NFL GameDay Prime airs with Hall of Famers Deion Sanders, LaDainian Tomlinson and Shannon Sharpe, and host Charissa Thompson recapping the weekend’s games.

NFL RedZone hosted by Scott Hanson whips around the league providing all of the exciting plays and touchdowns as they happen starting at 1:00 PM ET.

 Saturday, December 22 on Good Morning Football: Weekend – 9:00 AM ET

Hosts: Colleen Wolfe, Reggie Bush, Michael Robinson & Mike Garafolo

  • Reports from Tiffany Blackmon in Nashville, Steve Wyche in Los Angeles and Omar Ruiz in Seattle
  • Will the Washington Redskins be able to contain Tennessee Titans running back Derrick Henry?
  • How will quarterback Philip Rivers and the Los Angeles Chargers offense attack the Baltimore Ravens’ top-ranked defense?
  • Will the New Orleans Saints offense get back on track this week against the Pittsburgh Steelers?
     
  • Good Morning Football: Weekend examines the missing ingredients for the teams in the NFC Wild Card hunt
     
  • Are the Philadelphia Eagles better off with Nick Foles at quarterback?
  • “Reality Shek” – Dave Dameshek explains what the last 10 teams to play in the Super Bowl have in common, and what it means for this year’s playoff teams
  • Fantasy expert Adam Rank has must-hear advice and projections for your fantasy playoffs

Sunday, December 23 on Good Morning Football: Weekend – 7:00 AM ET

Hosts: Colleen Wolfe, Michael Robinson, DeAngelo Hall & Mike Garafolo

  • Good Morning Football: Weekend examines how the Washington Redskins-Tennessee Titans and Baltimore Ravens-Los Angeles Chargers games on Saturday impact the playoff picture 
  • Why is the Philadelphia Eagles offense hitting its stride with Nick Foles at quarterback?
  • Which Dallas Cowboys team shows up against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers?
  • Good Morning Football: Weekend discusses how the New England Patriots will adjust without wide receiver Josh Gordon
  • Who has the edge in the Pittsburgh Steelers-New Orleans Saints matchup?
  • Fantasy expert Adam Rank has last-minute advice for your fantasy championship
  • NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport has the latest news from around the league 
  • Reports from Mike Giardi in New England, James Palmer in Philadelphia, Jane Slater in Dallas, Tom Pelissero in Detroit, Aditi Kinkhabwala in New Orleans, Stacey Dales in Indianapolis and Omar Ruiz in Seattle

Sunday, December 23 on NFL GameDay Morning – 9:00 AM ET

Steve Smith Sr. Joins In-Studio

Host: Rich Eisen

Analysts: Kurt Warner, Michael Irvin & Steve Mariucci

NFL Media Insider: Ian Rapoport

Analytics Expert: Cynthia Frelund

  • Steve Smith Sr. joins NFL GameDay Morning in-studio
  • Feature on how Kansas City Chiefs radio play-by-play announcer Mitch Holthus is helping a blind Chiefs fan see the game
  • Shek on a Shelf  Dave Dameshek gives out NFL gifts for the 2018 season
  • Players Only  Kurt Warner, Michael Irvin and Steve Smith Sr. discuss what it is like rallying around a backup quarterback like the Philadelphia Eagles are doing with Nick Foles 
  • Warner’s Corner  Kurt Warner and Michael Irvin break down the matchup between Kansas City Chiefs Patrick Mahomes and Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson
  • Receiving Attention  Michael Irvin and Steve Smith Sr. debate which division leader should be most concerned 
  • Mooch’s Minute  Steve Mariucci looks at why Indianapolis Colts rookie linebacker Darius Leonard has been so successful  
  • Game Theory  Cynthia Frelund projects the winner of the Kansas City Chiefs-Seattle Seahawks game
  • Are we witnessing the beginning of the end of the New England Patriots’ dynasty?
  • Are the Pittsburgh Steelers back in contention following their big win over the New England Patriots?
  • Who are the real Dallas Cowboys?
  • Will the Seattle Seahawks defense be able to slow down quarterback Patrick Mahomes and the high-powered Kansas City Chiefs offense?
  • Ian Rapoport provides the latest news and reports from the around the NFL
  • Cynthia Frelund gives her lock of the week and her upset picks for Week 16
  • Live reports 
    • Stacey Dales from Indianapolis for Giants-Colts
    • Mike Giardi from New England for Bills-Patriots
    • Aditi Kinkhabwala from New Orleans for Steelers-Saints
    • James Palmer from Philadelphia for Texans-Eagles
    • Tom Pelissero from Detroit for Vikings-Lions
    • Omar Ruiz from Seattle for Chiefs-Seahawks
    • Jane Slater from Dallas for Buccaneers-Cowboys

NFL GameDay Kickoff – Saturday at 2:00 PM & 7:30 PM ET

On Saturday, December 22, NFL GameDay Kickoff airs at 2:00 PM ETon NFL Network, with Rich Eisen, Willie McGinest and Maurice Jones-Drew in Los Angeles, and Amber Theoharis and DeAngelo Hall at Nissan Stadium taking viewers up to kickoff between the Washington Redskins and Tennessee Titans. At halftime, Eisen, McGinest and Jones-Drew break down the first half.

At 7:30 PM ET, NFL GameDay Kickoff airs with Chris Rose, Michael Irvin, LaDainian Tomlinson and Steve Smith Sr. from StubHub Center in Los Angeles taking viewers up to kickoff of Baltimore Ravens-Los Angeles Chargers. Rose, Irvin, Tomlinson and Smith Sr. also provide halftime and postgame coverage from Los Angeles.

For further details on NFL Network’s doubleheader of Week 16 games on Saturday, visit: http://tinyurl.com/ycrne9mm. 

NFL GameDay Live, NFL GameDay Highlights and NFL GameDay Prime Conclude Sunday Coverage 

At 1:00 PM ET, NFL GameDay Live provides in-progress highlights and analysis, as well as live fantasy football updates for all of the 1:00 and 4:00 PM ET games. Hosts Rhett Lewis and Marc Istook are joined by analysts Terrell Davis, Rod Woodson, James Jones and Dwight Freeney providing 6.5 hours of coverage. NFL GameDay Live is the ONLY in-progress NFL highlights show on television.

At 7:30 PM ET, Cole Wright and Chris Rose host NFL GameDay Highlights, providing a recap of the day’s action thus far with highlights, postgame press conferences and commentary leading up to kickoff of the Sunday night matchup.

At 11:30 PM ET on NFL Network and FOX, NFL GameDay Prime airs with Hall of Famers Deion Sanders, LaDainian Tomlinson and Shannon Sharpe, and host Charissa Thompson providing highlights and analysis of the day’s games, and perspective on what Sunday’s action means heading into the next week.

NFL RedZone Hosted by Scott Hanson

Every Sunday starting at 1:00 PM ET, NFL RedZone hosted by Scott Hanson whips around the league, providing all of the touchdowns and exciting action from the day’s games. To order NFL RedZone, visit http://www.nfl.com/redzonetv.

ABOUT NFL MEDIA

NFL Media is comprised of NFL Network, NFL Films, NFL.com, the NFL app and NFL RedZone.

Seven days a week, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, fans turn to NFL Network to receive information and insight straight from the field, team headquarters, league offices and everywhere the NFL is making news. Launched in 2003, NFL Network gives fans unprecedented year-round inside access to all NFL events, including the Super Bowl, Playoffs, regular season, preseason, Pro Bowl, Pro Football Hall of Fame induction weekend, NFL Draft, NFL Scouting Combine, Senior Bowl, league meetings, minicamps and training camps.

For fans on the go, all NFL Network programming can be streamed live through the NFL app and via Watch NFL Network on smartphones, tablets, PCs and connected TV devices (Amazon Fire TV, Android TV, Apple TV, PlayStation 4 and Roku). Access is available for NFL Network subscribers of participating TV providers. For more information, go to

NFL elite cooling off and what it means for the ‘market’

Week 16 of the 2018 NFL season begins Saturday with a pair of games possessing playoff implications. The Redskins (7-7) visit the Titans (8-6) to kick off the doubleheader (NFL Network, 4:30 p.m.). That’s followed by the Ravens (8-6) at the Chargers (11-3) in prime time (NFL Network, 8:20 p.m.)

Currently, the playoff race is crowded because so many teams have a shot at wild cards. And the championship picture has become muddled because early-season superpowers have cooled off. Let’s see if VSiN’s estimate of “market” Power Ratings can provide helpful context.

Jonathan Von Tobel (co-host of “Betting Across America” from Atlantic City every Saturday and Sunday morning on VSiN) and I make a good-faith effort each week to capture how “the market” sees all 32 teams in relation to each other based on point spreads. We used three points as a standard for home field, then build a scale based on common sense and recent pricing. Let’s start in the NFC, where there’s an obvious disconnect at the very top!

NFC: Rams 88, Saints 87, Bears 83, Cowboys 82, Seahawks 82, Vikings 82, Eagles 81, Packers 80, Falcons 79, Buccaneers 78, Giants 76, 49ers 76, Lions 74, Redskins (with Josh Johnson) 73, Panthers (with Taylor Heinicke) 73, Cardinals 71.

The Rams are -14 at Arizona this week, which means they have to go 17 points apart on our “neutral field” scale. That’s the full “best-vs-worst” scope at the moment in the whole NFL, not just the NFC.

Oddsmakers and influential bettors keep showing massive respect to the Rams. Yet, the team is a woeful 2-8-1 against the spread (ATS) in its past 11 games! They haven’t played like an “88” very often over the past three months. Given losses the past two weeks to Chicago and Philadelphia, the Rams could well be an 84-85 (or worse) in reality come January!

Doubleheader of Week 16 Games with Significant Playoff Implications Saturday on NFL Network

Saturday, December 22 EXCLUSIVELY on NFL Network – 

Washington Redskins vs. Tennessee Titans at 4:30 PM ET

Baltimore Ravens vs. Los Angeles Chargers at 8:20 PM ET

Coverage Begins with ‘NFL GameDay Kickoff’ at 2:00 PM ET

On Saturday, December 22, NFL Network EXCLUSIVELY broadcasts a doubleheader of Week 16 games, which are two of the five Week 16 matchups where both competing teams are still in the playoff hunt. Overall, 14 of the 16 games in Week 16 have playoff implications.  

At 4:30 PM ET, running back Adrian Peterson and the Washington Redskins look to keep their playoff hopes alive when they travel to face running back Derrick Henry and the Tennessee Titans, who look to remain in the AFC Wild Card hunt. Curt Menefee, Nate Burleson and Steve Mariucci, along with Melissa Stark call the action from Nissan Stadium. Redskins-Titans will also be available on local broadcast stations in Washington, D.C. (WRC) and Nashville (WSMV).

At 8:20 PM ET, quarterback Philip Rivers and the playoff-bound Los Angeles Chargers look to continue their path to an AFC West division title when they host rookie quarterback Lamar Jackson and the Baltimore Ravens, who currently hold the No. 6 seed in the AFC playoffs. Mike Tirico and Kurt Warner, along with Peter Schrager call the action from StubHub Center. Ravens-Chargers will also be available on local broadcast stations in Baltimore (WBAL) and Los Angeles (KABC).

Several digital streaming options are also available to fans, with the full listing available at NFL.com/NFLNSpecial.

Coverage on Saturday kicks off at 2:00 PM ET with NFL GameDay Kickoff, with host Rich Eisen and analysts Willie McGinest and Maurice Jones-Drew in Los Angeles, and Amber Theoharis and DeAngelo Hall from Nissan Stadium. At halftime, Eisen, McGinest and Jones-Drew break down the first half.

At 7:30 PM ET, NFL GameDay Kickoff airs with Chris Rose, Michael Irvin, LaDainian Tomlinson and Steve Smith Sr. from StubHub Center in Los Angeles taking viewers up to kickoff of Ravens-Chargers. Rose, Irvin, Tomlinson and Smith Sr. also provide halftime and postgame coverage from Los Angeles.

Following Ravens-Chargers, NFL Total Access airs at 12 Midnight ETwith Cole Wright, David Carr and James Jones.

Start the day on Saturday, December 22 with Good Morning Football: Weekend at 9:00 AM ET on NFL Network. Colleen Wolfe, Reggie Bush, Michael Robinson and Mike Garafolo host the three-hour show, along with reporters Tiffany Blackmon from Nissan Stadium, Steve Wyche from StubHub Center and Omar Ruiz from CenturyLink Field, providing the latest news and analysis from around the NFL.

How the Browns can make the postseason

Following the thrilling 17-16 victory in Denver, the Cleveland Browns remain very much alive in the AFC playoff race. Even though the team sits with a 6-7-1 record, that’s good enough to keep postseason aspirations alive.

In fact, the Browns still have a shot at winning the AFC North. Here’s how that would happen:

Browns win the final two games (vs. CIN, at BAL). Pittsburgh loses out. Baltimore loses twice, including the Week 17 matchup.

It’s unlikely but not impossible.

The wild card is a little more viable, though it still requires some assistance. Cleveland is 10th in the AFC standings, behind a cluster of teams with seven wins:

Baltimore Pittsburgh Indianapolis Miami Tennessee

Because the Browns can only get to eight wins, they’ll need some losses from those other teams along the way. There is only one wild-card spot available for all those teams, with both Kansas City and Los Angeles in the West already clinching with 11 wins.

Raiders WR Martavis Bryant suspended indefinitely!

In one of the longest appeals in NFL history, wide receiver Martavis Bryant has been suspended indefinitely by the NFL according to Michael Gehlken of the Las Vegas Review-Journal. The suspension is due to a violation of the league’s substance abuse policy.

The Raiders traded for Bryant during the 2018 NFL Draft, but he caught just 19 passes for 266 yards this season. He finished the season on the injured reserve list due to a PCL injury. Bryant has already been suspended three other times and will likely miss another year at the very least.

Bryant was drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the 2014 NFL Draft, but he has started just 18 career games. It’s very likely that his career in the NFL is over before the age of 27.