Archives for category: AFC

The National Football League announced this week that a total of 32 compensatory choices in the 2018 NFL Draft have been awarded to 15 teams.

Under the rules for compensatory draft selections, a team losing more or better compensatory free agents (“CFA”) than it acquires in the previous year is eligible to receive compensatory draft picks.

The compensatory picks will be positioned within the third through seventh rounds based on the value of the compensatory free agents lost.

Compensatory free agents are determined by a formula based on salary, playing time and postseason honors. The formula was developed by the NFL Management Council. Not every free agent lost or signed by a club is covered by this formula. No club may receive more than four compensatory picks in any one year. If a club qualifies for more than four compensatory picks after offsetting each CFA lost by each CFA gained of an equal or higher value, the four highest remaining selections will be awarded to the club.

The Collective Bargaining Agreement limits the number of compensatory selections to the number of clubs then in the League (32). This year, five clubs: Atlanta, Baltimore, Houston, New England and the New York Giants qualified for compensatory selections under the net loss formula but will not receive those picks because the final numerical values of the CFAs who were lost by those clubs ranked 33rd through 37th among the final numerical values of all compensatory selections. Each of those five clubs will receive compensatory selections for other CFAs lost whose final numerical values ranked within the top 32.

The following 2018 compensatory draft picks have been determined by the NFL Management Council for the 2018 NFL Draft, which will be held on April 26-28 in Dallas:

Round; Round Choice/Overall Selection (Team)
3; 33-97 (Arizona)
3; 34-98 (Houston)
3; 35-99 (Denver)
3; 36-100 (Cincinnati)
4; 33-133 (Green Bay)
4; 34-134 (Arizona)
4; 35-135 (New York Giants)
4; 36-136 (New England)
4; 37-137 (Dallas)
5; 33-170 (Cincinnati)
5; 34-171 (Dallas)
5; 35-172 (Green Bay)
5; 36-173 (Dallas)
5; 37-174 (Green Bay)
6; 33-207 (Green Bay
6; 34-208 (Dallas
6; 35-209 (Kansas City
6; 36-210 (Oakland)
6; 37-211 (Houston)
6; 38-212 (Oakland)
6; 39-213 (Minnesota)
6; 40-214 (Houston)
6; 41-215 (Baltimore)
6; 42-216 (Oakland)
6; 43-217 (Oakland)
6: 44-218 (Minnesota)
7; 33-251 (Los Angeles Chargers)
7; 34-252 (Cincinnati)
7; 35-253 (Cincinnati)
7; 36-254 (Arizona)
7; 37-255 (Tampa Bay)
7; 38-256 (ATLANTA)

The compensatory free agents lost and gained in 2017 by the clubs that will receive compensatory picks in the 2018 Draft:

Lost: Campbell, Calais; Cooper, Marcus; Jefferson, Tony; Minter, Kevin; Okafor, Alex; Swearinger, D.J.
Gained: Dansby, Karlos; Dawson, Phil; Peterson, Adrian*

Lost: Compton, Tom; DiMarco, Patrick; Robinson, Aldrick; Weems, Eric; Worrilow, Paul
Gained: Crawford, Jack; Poe, Dontari; Roberts, Andre

Lost: Aiken, Kamar; Ducasse, Vladimir; Guy, Lawrence; Juszczyk, Kyle; Wagner, Rick
Gained: Carr, Brandon; Jefferson, Tony; Woodhead, Danny

Lost: Burkhead, Rex; Dansby, Karlos; Hunt, Margus; Peko, Domata; Whitworth, Andrew; Zeitler, Kevin
Gained: Minter, Kevin; Smith, Andre

Lost: Carr, Brandon; Church, Barry; Claiborne, Morris; Crawford, Jack; Davis, Ryan; Dunbar, Lance; Leary, Ronald; McClain, Terrell; Sanchez, Mark; Wilcox, J.J.
Gained: Paea, Stephen

Lost: Okung, Russell; Watson, Dekoda; Webster, Kayvon; Williams, Sylvester
Gained: Leary, Ronald; Peko, Domata; Watson, Menelik

Lost: Cook, Jared; Hyde, Micah; Lacy, Eddie; Lang, T.J.; Peppers, Julius; Tretter, J.C.
Gained: Evans, Jahri

Lost: Aboushi, Oday; Bouye, A.J.; Demps, Quintin; Jones, Don; Simon, John

Lost: Foles, Nick; Poe, Dontari​
Gained: Logan, Bennie

Lost: Te’o, Manti; Woodhead, Danny
Gained: Okung, Russell

Lost: Ellison, Rhett; Kalil, Matt; Munnerlyn, Captain; Patterson, Cordarrelle; Peterson, Adrian*; Smith, Andre
Gained: Keenum, Case; Murray, Latavius; Reiff, Riley; Remmers, Mike

Lost: Blount, LeGarrette; Long, Chris; Mingo, Barkevious; Ryan, Logan; Sheard, Jabaal
Gained: Burkhead, Rex; Gilmore, Stephon; Guy, Lawrence

Lost: Gould, Robbie; Hankins, Johnathan; Newhouse, Marshall; Sensabaugh, Coty
Gained: Ellison, Rhett; Smith, Geno

Lost: Allen, Nate; Bates, Daren; Hayden, D.J.; Holmes, Andre; McGee, Stacy; Murray, Latavius; Rivera, Mychal; Trawick, Brynden; Watson, Menelik
Gained: Cook, Jared; Newhouse, Marshall; Patterson, Cordarrelle

Lost: Glennon, Mike; McDougald, Bradley; Shepard, Russell; Spence, Akeem
Gained: Baker, Chris; Jackson, DeSean; Wilcox, J.J.

*Adrian Peterson qualifies as a CFA lost by Minnesota and signed by New Orleans.  His contract was subsequently traded by New Orleans to Arizona. By rule, Peterson also counts as a CFA gained by Arizona via trade.

Cincinnati – 4
Dallas – 4
Green Bay – 4
Oakland – 4
Arizona – 3
Houston – 3
Minnesota – 2
Baltimore – 1
Denver – 1
Kansas City – 1
Los Angeles Chargers – 1
New England – 1
New York Giants – 1
Tampa Bay – 1
TOTAL – 32

Baltimore – 49
Green Bay – 42
Dallas – 41
New England – 35
Los Angeles Rams – 33
Cincinnati – 32
Pittsburgh – 32
Philadelphia – 30
San Francisco – 30
Tennessee – 30
Seattle – 29
Buffalo – 28
Kansas City – 24
New York Giants – 24
Arizona – 22
Indianapolis – 22
Denver – 21
Detroit – 21
Oakland – 21
Los Angeles Chargers – 20
Miami – 20
Jacksonville – 19
Minnesota – 19
Tampa Bay – 19
Carolina – 17
Chicago – 17
Houston – 15
New York Jets – 14
Cleveland – 13
Washington – 12
New Orleans – 10
TOTAL – 780


There were two winners at Super Bowl LII.

Winner number one?

The Philadelphia Eagles, who took home the Lombardi Trophy by holding off the New England Patriots at US Bank Stadium in a Super Bowl that wll be talked about for years.

The second winner?

The environment as well as soup kitchens and youth sports programs.

The NFL, in partnership with PepsiCo, Aramark, U.S. Bank Stadium, SMG and the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority, scored a zero-waste legacy project at Super Bowl LII, with 91 percent[ii] of all trash generated on gameday from 67,612 fans responsibly recovered through composting, recycling and reuse. The landmark project marks the highest diversion rate achieved at U.S. Bank Stadium and at any previous Super Bowl and aims to serve as the benchmark for future large-scale events.

The results are in following the big game: nearly 63 tons of the 69 tons of gameday waste were recovered through recycling or donation for reuse (62 percent) and composting (29 percent). Recovering waste through composting and recycling reduces waste disposal costs and provides several environmental benefits including reduction of landfill use and reduction of the greenhouse gas generated by the landfill process, gasses which contribute significantly to global warming.

“The zero-waste legacy project is a testament to teamwork, with multiple partners coming together to achieve an ambitious environmental goal,” Jack Groh, Director of the NFL’s Environmental Program told USA Today. “The NFL is proud that this program was not only successful at Super Bowl LII but will also serve as a permanent installation at the stadium and leave a lasting impact on the community.”

U.S. Bank Stadium partners, including the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority, stadium operator SMG and Aramark, kicked off the effort to achieve a zero-waste operation in 2017 and were joined by the NFL and PepsiCo in the lead-up to Super Bowl LII.

“SMG is always striving to raise industry standards through our operation at U.S. Bank Stadium and our commitment to sustainability is no different. In our first season, we produced a waste diversion rate of 20 percent. Over the course of our second season our team increased that diversion rate to 91 percent,” says Patrick Talty, SMG General Manager at U.S. Bank Stadium. “Developing a successful and long-term zero-waste program has always been our goal. The diversion improvement we have seen to date is rare in the world of facility management and is a testament to the dedication of all of our stadium partners.”

“U.S. Bank Stadium’s journey to the zero-waste threshold has been demanding and we couldn’t have gotten here without the commitment of our stadium partners,” Michael Vekich, chair of the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority, owner of U.S. Bank Stadium told the Minneapolis Star Tribune. “We look forward to sharing our experiences with other facilities who are interested in this important sustainability program.”

Ahead of gameday, PepsiCo launched the Rush2Recycle campaign to show fans how to make recycling fun and easy in the stadium and at in-home Super Bowl parties across the country. Fans attending the Super Bowl were greeted by a team of uniformed zero-waste ambassadors who helped identify the correct bins for recycling, composting and waste-to-energy. Super Bowl XL MVP and Pittsburgh Steelers Legend Hines Ward helped lucky fans recycle with his own end zone dance, the Rush2Recyle Shuffle, available at, along with tips and resources.

“To tackle waste and boost recycling rates, each of us needs to do our part,” said Roberta Barbieri, PepsiCo’s vice president global environmental sustainability. “While we’re working to make PepsiCo’s packaging increasingly sustainable and investing in recycling programs in communities around the world, we also want to find new ways to make it fun and simple for consumers to participate—like Rush2Recycle.”

Critical to hitting the initiative’s goals was removing items from stadium inventory that could not be either recycled or composted. Aramark, the food and beverage partner for U.S. Bank Stadium, replaced nearly its entire inventory of food vessels, service products and utensils handed to fans with compostable alternatives.

“The successful implementation and results of this historic waste reduction project reflect the partners’ collective commitment to delivering innovative sustainable solutions that will endure beyond Super Bowl LII,” said Carl Mittleman, President of Aramark’s Sports and Entertainment division. “Aramark is incredibly proud to have contributed to this milestone and we look forward to utilizing our insights from this effort to further reduce the environmental impact of our operations at U.S. Bank Stadium and across all the venues we serve.”

Other pre-game steps were essential to achieving the zero-waste goal. U.S. Bank Stadium, home of the Minnesota Vikings, working with Recycle Across America, designed all illustrated signs for the stadium’s new three-bin waste stations to show fans exactly how to sort items. Recycling and compost bins were made larger and more accessible, while trash bins were made much smaller, encouraging fans to make the right choices for disposing items. In addition, a comprehensive LEED-certification level waste audit was performed in October 2017 to identify specific materials for recovery in the stadium waste stream. A “zero-waste trial run” was performed at a December 2017 Minnesota Vikings home game to encourage fans to properly dispose of waste and to refine gameday practices for Super Bowl LII.

Post-game steps to achieve the 91% resource recovery rate at Super Bowl LII were led by SMG and the NFL. The SMG team sorted all fan-generated waste into the correct waste compactors. The waste hauling partners then collected and provided weight-tickets at each destination including the recycling facility, the composting facility and the waste-to-energy facility. This data was reviewed by SMG and combined with the reuse and donation data collected by the NFL from their community partners. When the recycling, composting and donation/reuse data is combined, the total resource recovery rate for gameday waste is 91%.

For more than 25 years, the NFL has been the leader in sports event sustainability; creating the first significant stadium solid waste recycling project in America at Super Bowl XXVIII in Atlanta in 1994. The NFL and the Minnesota Super Bowl LII Host Committee developed a series of initiatives to reduce the environmental impact of Super Bowl LII activities and leave a “green” legacy throughout the area. Through the NFL Environmental Program, leftover décor and construction materials from Super Bowl was donated to local organizations for reuse and repurposing. More than 150 thousand pounds of unserved, prepared food and beverages from Super Bowl events was distributed to local shelters and community kitchens. U.S. Bank Stadium, the site of Super Bowl LII and several other major NFL Super Bowl event venues were powered using “green energy” to reduce the climate impact of Super Bowl events. A Super Bowl E-waste event held in October 2017, diverted 42,081 pounds of E-waste from the landfill for responsible recycling. The NFL’s Super Bowl urban forestry program planted more than 12,000 trees, 4,000 native plants and 8 pollinator gardens in Minnesota. On Thursday, January 18, more than 100 local schools and YMCAs joined in a community initiative called Super Kids-Super Sharing which put 46,000 donated items (books, sports equipment and school supplies) into the hands of local children in need.

About the NFL Environmental Program: As a leader in the community, the NFL is a responsible steward of the environment in all business areas, using resources efficiently and minimizing waste. The NFL Environmental Program focuses on greening NFL tentpole events and facilities and provides resources for NFL clubs to help them operate their business in sustainable, eco-friendly ways. The NFL was the first professional sports organization to take on full programming for environmental impact at large-scale sporting events such as Super Bowl.

About PepsiCo: PepsiCo products are enjoyed by consumers more than one billion times a day in more than 200 countries and territories around the world. PepsiCo generated approximately $63.5 billion in net revenue in 2017, driven by a complementary food and beverage portfolio that includes Frito-Lay, Gatorade, Pepsi-Cola, Quaker and Tropicana. PepsiCo’s product portfolio includes a wide range of enjoyable foods and beverages, including 22 brands that generate more than $1 billion each in estimated annual retail sales. At the heart of PepsiCo is Performance with Purpose – our fundamental belief that the success of our company is inextricably linked to the sustainability of the world around us. We believe that continuously improving the products we sell, operating responsibly to protect our planet and empowering people around the world is what enable PepsiCo to run a successful global company that creates long-term value for society and our shareholders. For more information, visit

About U.S. Bank Stadium: U.S. Bank Stadium, owned by the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority, is a multi-purpose stadium and home to the Minnesota Vikings. The 66,400+ seat stadium is located in the heart of Minneapolis, Minnesota. This state-of-the-art facility hosts prominent national and international programming including the Minnesota Vikings, concerts, family shows, college and high school sporting events, conventions, trade/consumer shows and corporate or private meetings and other community events. U.S. Bank Stadium opened on July 22, 2016 and has been chosen as the site of the Summer X Games (2017 and 2018), Super Bowl LII (2018) and the NCAA Men’s Final Four (2019).

U.S. Bank Stadium is an SMG managed facility. M Hospitality, a division of Aramark, is the official food and beverage provider for U.S. Bank Stadium. For More Information:

About Aramark: Aramark (NYSE: ARMK) proudly serves Fortune 500 companies, world champion sports teams, state-of-the-art healthcare providers, the world’s leading educational institutions, iconic destinations and cultural attractions and numerous municipalities in 19 countries around the world. Our 270,000 team members deliver experiences that enrich and nourish millions of lives every day through innovative services in food, facilities management and uniforms. We operate our business with social responsibility, focusing on initiatives that support our diverse workforce, advance consumer health and wellness, protect our environment, and strengthen our communities. Aramark is recognized as one of the World’s Most Admired Companies by FORTUNE, as well as an employer of choice by the Human Rights Campaign and Diversity Inc. Learn more at or connect with us on Facebook and Twitter.

Barring trades, it’s finally set.

Cleveland is still on the clock.

The National Football League announced the 2018 NFL Draft first round order.

The first round will start on Thursday, April 26 in Arlington, Texas with the second and third rounds on Friday, April 27 followed by rounds four through seven on Saturday, April 28. The 2018 NFL Draft will be televised on ESPN and NFL Network.

#  Team (W-L-T, Winning Pct.) (Opp. W-L-T, Strength of Schedule)
1. Cleveland (0-16-0, .000)(133-123-0, .520)
2. New York Giants (3-13-0, .188)(136-120-0, .531)
3. Indianapolis (4-12-0, .250)(123-133-0, .480)
4. Houston (traded to Cleveland) (4-12-0, .250)(132-124-0, .516)
5. Denver (5-11-0, .313)(126-130-0, .492)
6. New York Jets (5-11-0, .313)(133-123-0, .520)
7. Tampa Bay (5-11-0, .313)(142-114-0, .555)
8. Chicago (5-11-0, .313)(143-113-0, .559)
9 San Francisco (6-10-0, .375)(131-125-0, .512)^
10. Oakland (6-10-0, .375)(131-125-0, .512)^
11. Miami (6-10-0, .375)(139-117-0, .543)
12. Cincinnati (7-9-0, .438)(119-137-0, .465)
13. Washington (7-9-0, .438)(138-118-0, .539)
14. Green Bay (7-9-0, .438)(138-118-0, .539)
15. Arizona (8-8-0, .500)(125-131-0, .488)
16. Baltimore (9-7-0, .563)(113-143-0, .441)
17. Los Angeles Chargers (9-7-0, .563)(117-139-0, .457)
18. Seattle (9-7-0, .563)(126-130-0, .492)
19. Dallas (9-7-0, .563)(127-129-0, .496)
20. Detroit (9-7-0, .563)(127-129-0, .496)
21. Buffalo (9-7-0, .563)(126-130-0, .492)
22. Kansas City (traded to Buffalo) (10-6-0, .625)(122-134-0, .477)
23. Los Angeles Rams (11-5-0, .688)(129-127-0, .504)
24. Carolina (11-5-0, .688)(131-118-0, 539)
25. Tennessee (9-7-0, .563)(111-145-0, .434)
26. Atlanta (10-6-0, .625)(139-117-0, .543)
27. New Orleans (11-5-0, .688)(137-119-0, .535)
28. Pittsburgh (13-3-0, .813)(116-140-0, .453)
29. Jacksonville (10-6-0, .625)(111-145-0, .434)
30. Minnesota (13-3-0, .813) (126-130-0, .492)
31. New England (13-3-0, .813) (124-132-0, .484)
32. Philadelphia (13-3-0, .813) (118-138-0, .461)

^ – The ninth and 10th selections was decided by coin flip at the NFL Combine and San Francisco won the toss.

In other NFL Draft News…

The free ticket lottery for the 2018 NFL Draft, taking place in Dallas from April 26 to April 28, is now open. This year will mark the first time that the event is hosted at an NFL stadium, creating opportunities to accommodate the most fans in history.

By visiting, fans can register for an opportunity to win free tickets for themselves and a guest to access seating inside of AT&T Stadium in Arlington, home of the Dallas Cowboys, to watch the event live.

The 2018 NFL Draft site will also encompass the outdoor plazas, creating a larger than life atmosphere. This includes the free NFL Draft Experience presented by Dannon® Oikos® Triple Zero, which will take over the area directly outside the stadium. It will be the largest free festival ever created by the League, spanning the size of 26 football fields and featuring immersive experiences, virtual reality, player appearances and more.

Fan Mobile Pass also provides fans attending the NFL Draft Experience presented by Oikos Triple Zero with the chance to receive standby theater tickets – as seats become available – by checking-in on Thursday for Round 1, Friday for Rounds 2-3 and Saturday for Rounds 4-7.

The NFL Draft has grown into one of the biggest sporting events of the year. A record-breaking 250,000 fans attended the 2017 NFL Draft in Philadelphia, along with more than 1,800 accredited media who covered it. In total, the event generated more than $94 million in economic impact for the city, surpassing initial projections and supporting an estimated 30,000 local jobs.

Round 1 of the 2017 NFL Draft – which was broadcast live on ESPN and NFL Network – was the most-watched cable program of the week and the most-watched sports event of the week on both broadcast and cable networks. During its three days, Draft programming claimed five out of the top 10 spots among sports events, including the #1 spot.

Important Dates for Fans:

February 20: Fans may now register for Fan Mobile Pass at By registering, fans will have access to NFL Draft Experience presented by Oikos Triple Zero, as well as the chance to win a free ticket for themselves and a guest to access seating inside the NFL Draft Theater.

March 14: Until Wednesday, March 14 at 11:59 p.m. Eastern, fans may register for Fan Mobile Pass to be eligible for free seated tickets inside the NFL Draft Theater. After March 14, registration remains open for NFL Draft Experience presented by Oikos Triple Zero, also giving fans a chance to win standby theater tickets.

Late March: Fans randomly selected for seated tickets will receive an e-mail notifying them of the date (one of three days) and instructions for confirming attendance.

April 26 to April 28: The NFL Draft Experience presented by Oikos Triple Zero   opens for fans of all ages and teams. Through Fan Mobile Pass, fans attending this free football festival will have the chance to receive stand-by tickets for seats inside the NFL Draft Theater.

New England (13-3) vs. Philadelphia (13-3), 6:30 p.m. on NBC

And there were two.

The last two teams standing meet in the Twin Cities.

New England vs. Philadelphia.

The hunter vs. the hunted.

It’s the last football game that will be played until the pre-season (the regular season starts September 6th, so mark those calendars now).

one team will be going home with a trophy, while the otner team will be second-guessed from now until they kick off in the Fall. All the work of OTA’s, mini-camp, preseason and regular season comes to an end.

Sweating, fighting rookies and free agents for your job, sleeping in dorms for the first time since college, having a coach or ball boy come to you saying “coach wants to see you and bring your playbook,” which means you’re being cut.

17 weeks and 16 games. Travel, dealing with the media and coaches comes to an end in the Twin Cities in the great indoors. In three hours or so, the 2017 season will draw its final breath.

Super Bowl LII in the Twin Cities. While the other 30 teams will be at home wishing they were preparing to win the Lombardi, the New England Patriots will have a chance to defend their title, while the Philadelphia Eagles will look to win their first. A pair of top seeds meet to decide who will win it all.

The defending Super Bowl champions erased a 20-10 deficit in the final 15 minutes of play, using a pair of TD passes from Brady to WR Danny Amendola to win the AFC crown by a final of 24-20 over Jacksonville at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro. The Jaguars led 14-10 at the intermission and could have made it a 14-point game going into the half had they not picked up two penalties that stalled their drive. The Jaguars then took a 17-10 lead into the start of the fourth quarter before Brady and Amendola did their magic, first scoring on a 9-yard pass with 8:44 left and then took the lead with 2:48 when the duo connected on a 4-yard toss with 2:48 left.

Jacksonville then had one last chance to reclaim the lead late in the contest when they got the ball back with 2:48 left at their own 25-yard line. After the two-minute warning, the Jaguars would get as close as New England’s 43-yard line when Blake Bortle’s pass to WR Dede Westbrook was swatted away by Stephon Gilmore. Jacksonville outrushed New England 101-46, with rookie RB Leonard Fournette leading all rushers with 76 yards and a TD, while Bortles threw for 293 yards and a TD, while Brady threw for 290 yards and the two Amendola TDs. Jacksonville on third down was 6 of 15 and kept the ball for 35:08 (they were 0 of 1 on fourth down), while New England was 3 of 12 on third down, 1 of 1 on fourth down and held the ball for 24:52.

Philadelphia erased a 7-0 first quarter deficit and scored their 38 points in the NFC Championship Game unchallenged in their 38-7 win over Minnesota at Lincoln Financial Field last Sunday afternoon. Minnesota opened the scoring and led 7-0 with 10:14 left in the quarter when Case Keenum and WR Kyle Rudolph connected on a 25-yard pass. The Eagles then went to work and tied the contest when Keenum was picked off by CB Patrick Robinson with 6:26 left in the first and things would go downhill from there for Minnesota as the Vikings would go into the intermission, trailing 24-7. Philly would then go on to score two more times in the second half, sealing the Vikings’ fate. Nick Foles threw for 352 yards and three TDs, two of them to WR Alshon Jeffery as the Eagles outrushed Minnesota 110-70, while Keenum threw for 271 yards with a pair of interceptions. The Eagles were 10 of 14 on third down tries and ruled the clock as they kept the ball for 34:04, while the Vikings were 6 of 13 and 0 of 2 on third and fourth downs, keeping the pigskin for 25:56.

For New England, it will be their 10th trip to the big game and they’re 5-4, while the Eagles will make their third trip with an 0-2 record under their belts. It will be their first meeting since George Walker Bush was in the White House and John Paul II was on the throne of St. Peter in the Vatican.

The Eagles, led by second-year head coach Doug Pederson, tied a franchise record with 13 regular-season wins (2004) and earned the No. 1 seed in the NFC for the fourth time since 2002. The Eagles, who completed a “worst-to-first” turnaround, are the first team since the 2009 New Orleans Saints to win its division the season after finishing in or tied for last place and advance to the Super Bowl.

“It’s a tremendous feeling to be going to the Super Bowl,” Pederson told USA Today and ESPN. “I love coaching this football team. I love coaching these players. The thing about this team is that despite all the adversity that surrounds the team, these guys don’t listen to that. I don’t listen to that. They come to work and practice hard every day. They love being around each other. One of our goals was to be the NFC champions and represent the NFC in the Super Bowl. And now we’ve got our work cut out for us. We’re going to the Super Bowl and we still have some unfinished business ahead of us.”

Patriots head coach Bill Bellichick and quarterback Tom Brady will be making their eighth Super Bowl appearance together, the most NFL title games for any head coach and starting quarterback duo in league history. Belichick and Brady have won five Super Bowls together, the most by a head coach and starting quarterback combination.

“You cherish these moments and opportunities,” Brady told the Boston Globe and Boston Herald. “I know we’ve had quite a few of them, which we’ve been very blessed to do. It’s just been an unbelievable run and I think everyone should be really proud of what we’ve accomplished. I’m proud of our team. It’s been a great year and it would be really great if we can take care of business in the next game.”

“We have great players and coaches in this locker room and I knew we’d be able to compete for this,” Eagles defensive end Chris Long told ESPN. “We’ve earned this opportunity but that’s all it is. We still have a lot of work to do.”

“We all believe in each other,” says Patriots safety Devin McCourty. “This team is battle tested. We’ve gone through ups and downs. We’ve gone through adversity. You just have to keep playing. When you have a foundation that you can lean on, you don’t panic. You understand and believe in each other and you just give yourself a chance to win.”

In regular season action, the Eagles lead the series 7-5 and have outscored the Pats 283-269. Their last regular season meeting took place in 2015 in Foxboro and the Eagles wer 35-28 winners, while New England’s last win in the series came in the City of Brotherly Love by a final of 31-10 in 2003.

Their only post-season meeting took place in 2004 in Super Bowl XXXIX and the Pats came away witt the 24-21 win at what was then Alltel Stadium (now Ever Bank Field). After a scoreless first quarter, the teams took a 7-7 tie with them to the intermission and were tied 14-14 at the end of the third quarter before New England went to work, scoring the first ten points of the period when RB Cory Dillon scored from 2 yards out with 13:44 left in the contest and added a 22-yard field goal from Adam Vinatieri with 8:40 left to play. The Eagles would pull to within 3 with 1:48 left when WR Greg Lewis connected with QB Donovan McNabb on a 30 yard TD toss. Dillon led all rushers with 75 yards as the Pats outrushed Phialdelphia 112-45 and McNabb threw for 357 yards and three TDs, while Brady threw for 236 yard and a pair of TDs (McNabb was sacked four times, Brady was sacked twice and McNabb three three interceptions) and each team lost a fumble in the contest. New England on third down tries went 4 of 12 and held on to the ball for 31:37, while the Eagles kept the pigskin for 28:23, going 9 of 16 on third down tries.

In the final football game of the 2017 campaign, the oddsmakers in Vegas like the Patriots and the powers that be have made them 5 point favorites with the over/under at 48. Since this is the last game of the season, this is the LAST chance to make THE DRILL a reality until September. With that… (For those of you that know what The Drill is, you are excused. Everyone else, pay attention. We don’t want any rookie mistakes here, k?) After you go to the 9:30 mass on Sunday (the 4:30 vigil mass on Saturday counts as a mass attended, people! Don’t make us send the nuns after you! If we do, it is SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO OVER!), head to your favorite store (a trip to Wal Mart, Target, K-Mart or Costco counts) and get the vittles and the beverages (soda, beer, wine, coffee, et al… if you live in a state that allows the purchase of the items in question) and invite the co-workers, the neighbors (including that really cute kindergarden teacher that knows what to do with a cover-2 defense) and your cousin Connie (remember her? She’s the one that’s been married twice that’s just turned 57 last June and dates a 42-year old ex-Marine, who’s now a football coach at the high school in your town. She’s also the one that ate an entire Oreo cheesecake, two bags of Cool Ranch Doritos, two bacon cheeseburgers with blue cheese and chugged two 2-liter Cokes at your Super Bowl party last year and didn’t gain a pound. You look at her and say to yourself, “what the hell?”

Two teams.

One game.

One mission.

It all comes down to this.

Win and you’re World Champions.

Lose and you’ll be second-guessed from now until the start of next season.

Each player on the winning team will get $112,000; as for the losing team, they’ll be getting $56,000 to each member of the losing, which comes out to a little more than $8 million total for the personnel of the two competing clubs. The winners will get rings, be on talk shows and perhaps make a trip to the White House. There’s a lot at stake. There will be winners on the field and winners in the ad battle that will ensue. Could there be overtime? It’s possible. Could there be a shutout? Maybe but there’s never been a shutout in all of the Super Bowls.

While the Pats are the darlings of the football world for now, there’s always a chance for an upset. That chance is coming Sunday in the Twin Cities. Philly pulls off the upset in the Land of 10,000 Lakes and takes the win, even though New England could make things closer than 5 points.

Broadcast Information – 6:30 p.m. on NBC: Al Michaels, Cris Collinsworth, Michele Tafoya (Field reporter)WESTWOOD ONE: Kevin Harlan, Boomer Esiason, Mike Holmgren, Tony Boselli, Ed Werder; SIRIUS: 88 (WestWood1), 83 (Philadelphia), 82 (New England);| XM: 88 (WestW1ood), 83 (Philadelphia), 82 (New England)

Referee: Gene Steratore

Injury Report

New England – New England reports no injuries

Philadelphia – Philadelphia reports no injuries

Weather Information: Game indoors

Building off the tremendous success of the 2016 and 2017 games in Mexico, the NFL will return to Mexico City in 2018 when the Los Angeles Rams host the Kansas City Chiefs at Estadio Azteca, NFL Commissioner Rodger Goodell announced at his press conference in Minneapolis in advance of Super Bowl LII.

The date and time of the game will be determined in conjunction with the release of the NFL schedule this spring. The game in Mexico is the fourth international game confirmed for 2018, adding to the three previously announced games in London and a testament to the NFL’s commitment to growing the game beyond the borders of the United States.

In November, the NFL and Mexico’s Ministry of Tourism announced an agreement to play three NFL regular-season games from 2019 to 2021. The previous agreement covered games from 2016 to 2018.

“Over the past two seasons, we have seen the extraordinary passion that exists for NFL football in Mexico,” Goodell said. “We are excited for another memorable event at Estadio Azteca as the Los Angeles Rams and Kansas City Chiefs head to Mexico City in 2018.”

The Rams and Chiefs will both play their first regular-season game in Mexico next season. The Chiefs played a preseason game against the Dallas Cowboys in Monterrey, Mexico on August 5, 1996, earning a 32-6 win over the Dallas Cowboys.

“Southern California and Mexico share strong historic and cultural ties and this game will provide an opportunity to celebrate the special connection between these two regions,” said Rams Owner/Chairman E. Stanely Kroenke. “It is great to be participating in the NFL’s international games again and working with the league to grow the game abroad. Mexico has one of the largest NFL fan bases in the world and we are excited to bring Rams football to the millions of fans there.”

“We are thrilled to be a part of the NFL’s international initiatives once again and we are excited to face the Rams at historic Estadio Azteca this fall,” said Kansas C​ity Chiefs Chairman & CEO Clark Hunt. “The support for the NFL in Mexico has grown significantly since our initial trip in 1996. We look forward to returning to Mexico and connecting with a new generation of fans this season.”

Fans interested in receiving information about tickets for the game, which will go on sale this summer, should register their interest at Season ticket members of the Los Angeles Rams and Kansas City Chiefs will receive information directly from the clubs once tickets are ready for sale.


Aprovechando el tremendo éxito de los juegos 2016 y 2017 en México, la NFL regresará a Ciudad de México en 2018 cuando los Rams de Los Ángeles reciban a los Jefes de Kansas City en el Estadio Azteca, el comisionado de la NFL Rodger Goodell anunció en su conferencia de prensa en Minneapolis por adelantado del Super Bowl LII.

La fecha y hora del juego se determinarán junto con el lanzamiento del calendario de la NFL esta primavera. El juego en México es el cuarto juego internacional confirmado para 2018, que se suma a los tres juegos anunciados previamente en Londres y un testimonio del compromiso de la NFL para hacer crecer el juego más allá de las fronteras de los Estados Unidos.

En noviembre, la NFL y el Ministerio de Turismo de México anunciaron un acuerdo para jugar tres partidos de la temporada regular de la NFL entre 2019 y 2021. El acuerdo anterior cubría los juegos de 2016 a 2018.

“En las últimas dos temporadas, hemos visto la extraordinaria pasión que existe por el fútbol de la NFL en México”, dijo Goodell. “Estamos entusiasmados por otro evento memorable en el Estadio Azteca, ya que los Rams de Los Ángeles y los Jefes de Kansas City se dirigirán a la Ciudad de México en 2018”.

Los Rams y los Chiefs jugarán su primer partido de temporada regular en México la próxima temporada. Los Chiefs jugaron un partido de pretemporada contra los Dallas Cowboys en Monterrey, México el 5 de agosto de 1996, ganando 32-6 a los Dallas Cowboys.

“El sur de California y México comparten fuertes lazos históricos y culturales y este juego brindará la oportunidad de celebrar la conexión especial entre estas dos regiones”, dijo el propietario / presidente de los Rams, E. Stanely Kroenke. “Es genial participar de nuevo en los juegos internacionales de la NFL y trabajar con la liga para hacer crecer el juego en el extranjero. México tiene una de las mayores bases de fanáticos de la NFL en el mundo y estamos muy contentos de llevar el fútbol Rams a los millones de fanáticos allí “.

“Estamos encantados de ser parte de las iniciativas internacionales de la NFL una vez más y estamos entusiasmados de enfrentar a los Rams en el histórico Estadio Azteca este otoño”, dijo el presidente y gerente general de Kansas Ctyy Chiefs, Clark Hunt. “El apoyo a la NFL en México ha crecido significativamente desde nuestro viaje inicial en 1996. Esperamos volver a México y conectarnos con una nueva generación de fanáticos esta temporada”.

Los fanáticos interesados ​​en recibir información sobre boletos para el juego, que saldrá a la venta este verano, deben registrar su interés en Los miembros de los boletos de temporada de Los Angeles Rams y Kansas City Chiefs recibirán información directamente de los clubes una vez que los boletos estén listos para la venta.

Sunday Broadcast Information (All Times Listed are Eastern)

Jacksonville at New England, 3:05 p.m. on CBS: Jim Nantz, Tony Romo, Tracy Wolfson (Field reporter), Jay Feely (Field reporter); WESTWOOD ONE: Kevin Kugler, Dan Fouts, Ed Werder; SIRIUS: 88 (WestWwood1), 83 (Jacksonville), 82 (New England); XM: 88 (WestWood1), 83 (Jacksonville), 82 (New England)

Minnesota at Philadelphia, 6:40 p.m. on FOX: Joe Buck, Troy Aikman, Erin Andrews (Field reporter), Chris Myers (Field reporter); WESTWOOD ONE: Kevin Harlan, Trent Green, Ross Tucker; SIRIUS: 88 (WestWood1), 83 (Minnesota), 82 (Philadelphia);| XM: 88 (WestWwood1), 83 (Minnesota), 82 (Philadelphia)

Sunday’s Officials
Jacksonville at New England, 3:05 p.m.: Clete Blakeman
Minnesota at Philadelphia, 6:40 p.m.: Ed Hochuli

Sunday Odds (Home teams listed in CAPS)
Favorite           Spread      Underdog         O/U
NEW ENGLAND        –  9        Jacksonville     46
Minnesota          –  3        PHILADELPHIA     39

Sunday Injury Report

Jacksonville at New England, 3:05 p.m.


QUESTIONABLE: S Tashaun Gipson (Foot)

New England

QUESTIONABLE: QB Tom Brady (Right Hand), T LaAdrian Waddle (Knee), DT Alan Branch (Knee), RB Michael Burkhead (Knee), RB Mike Gillslee (Knee)

Minnesota at Philadelphia, 6:40 p.m.


OUT: DT Shamar Stephen (Knee)

QUESTIONABLE: CB Mackensie Alexander (Rib), S Andrew Sendejo (Concussion), WR Adam Thielen (Back)


QUESTIONABLE: LB Dannell Ellerbe (Hamstring)

Sunday Weather

Jacksonville at New England, 3:05 p.m.: Partly cloudy and 46 degrees
Minnesota at Philadelphia, 6:40 p.m.: Overcast and 46 degrees

Broadcast Information, Officials and Injury report courtesy the National Football League, odds courtesy Don Best, weather information courtesy The Weather Channel


The NFL returns to the Land of the Mouse.

We hear he’s a big football fan, ya know.

When the 2018 NFL PRO BOWL returns to Orlando’s Camping World Stadium, the NFL is bringing back a week-long celebration to unite and inspire the entire football community. Leading up to the game, the NFL is hosting a series of PRO BOWL WEEK events, including free interactive fan experiences, youth and high school football competitions, and a series of community events with nonprofit organizations and military personnel to positively impact thousands of local residents, children and their families.

One of the new additions this year is the PRO BOWL KIDS STADIUM TAKEOVER. For the first time, after the Pro Bowl postgame ceremony, all kids ages 14 and under with parents at Camping World Stadium will be invited to run around the very same field as some of the NFL’s biggest stars. On Pro Bowl Sunday, participants can check in at a Pro Bowl Kids Stadium Takeover check-in table located on either the field level near section 145 or on the plaza level near section 149. More information is available at

Additional Pro Bowl Week activities will include the NFL FLAG CHAMPIONSHIPS; PLAY FOOTBALL HIGH SCHOOL DAY; PRO BOWL SKILLS SHOWDOWN; free access to AFC & NFC TEAM PRACTICES; NFL PRO BOWL EXPERIENCE, a free, football-themed fan festival and NFL PLAY 60 events. The NFL will also work with the You Can Play Project on an event for NFL Legends, local LGBT youth and allies, and with Raliance and Break the Cycle on a summit for local young leaders, with the goal of empowering and equipping youth with strategies to combat gender-based violence.

As part of the “THANK YOU, COACH!” initiative, Pro Bowl players will invite a high school coach, who most impacted their life and NFL career, and a guest to celebrate Pro Bowl Week in Orlando. With the PRO BOWL GIVEBACK PROGRAM, players will compete for more than bragging rights – each member of the winning team may apply for a $10,000 NFL Foundation grant to be donated to the high school or youth football program of their choice, help leave a lasting legacy on the community, and increase opportunities for the next generation of football players.

The week-long celebration will culminate with the Pro Bowl game, featuring 88 of the NFL’s best players, on Sunday, January 28 at Camping World Stadium that will air on ESPN, ESPN Deportes, WatchESPN and ABC at a new start time of 3 p.m. Eastern. Tickets to the 2018 Pro Bowl game are on sale now at

All fans will also be able to stream the game live with the NFL and Yahoo Sports mobile apps. Live audio coverage of the Pro Bowl will be provided by Westwood One and will also be available on SiriusXM and the TuneIn app.

ESPN is the League’s media partner for the Pro Bowl and will provide live coverage of the game and many of the events during Pro Bowl Week across the ESPN, ABC and Disney platforms, in addition to NFL Media.

Genesis, the Official Luxury Vehicle of the NFL, will award the Most Valuable Player on offense and defense with a brand-new Genesis model of their choice.

The Pro Bowl is an all-inclusive event for fans on gameday. The 2017 Pro Bowl marked the first autism-friendly game hosted by a professional sports league. Working with KultureCity, Camping World Stadium’s sensory-inclusive partner, the NFL will offer families who attend the 2018 Pro Bowl with support, including sensory accessibility resources and two dedicated sensory rooms located in the stadium to enable them to enjoy the game with more confidence and comfort.

The following are ways the NFL is celebrating the football community, providing fans access to a range of free football activities, and positively impacting Orlando and the surrounding region during Pro Bowl Week.

PRO BOWL WEEK KICKOFF AND COMMUNITY GRANT EVENT: On Tuesday, January 23, the NFL will join the City of Orlando and LIFT Orlando at Orange Center Elementary School (2043 Jacobs Place), to kick off Pro Bowl Week festivities and host a tree planting project as part of an Orlando-based neighborhood revitalization project.

Among those who will take part in the event are Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer, Florida Citrus Sports CEO Steve Hogan, NFL Senior Vice President of Events Peter O’Reilly, Pro Bowl Legends Captains Derrick Brooks, Warrick Dunn, Jason Taylor and LaDainian Tomlinson and local high school football teams from Maynard Evans High School and Jones High School.

The NFL seeks to improve the surrounding communities and leave a positive legacy in the host city beyond the Pro Bowl game. The tree planting project alongside Orange Center Elementary School is one of three NFL Environmental Program events planned, as part of efforts to enhance the Orlando community’s environment.

The event will kick off at 11 a..m  with brief remarks from attendees and a media availability with the Pro Bowl Legends Captains. Following the press event, at approximately 11:30 a.m., participants will plant trees alongside community residents and NFL volunteers.

THANK YOU, COACH!: Pro Bowl players will be saying “Thank You, Coach!” to that special high school coach who most impacted their life and NFL career. Each Pro Bowl player attending may invite their high school coach and a guest to celebrate Pro Bowl Week in Orlando.

On Friday, January 26, high school coaches will enjoy a special welcome reception, and on Saturday, January 27 at ESPN Wide World of Sports, coaches and Pro Bowlers will lead the “Thank You, Coach!” clinic and High School Skills Challenge. On Sunday, January 28, the coaches will attend the Coaches Tailgate at the Pro Bowl at Camping World Stadium before kickoff and be recognized on-field alongside their Pro Bowl player.

NFL FOUNDATION PRO BOWL GIVEBACK: This year, Pro Bowl players will compete for more than bragging rights – players on the winning team may apply for a $10,000 NFL Foundation grant to be donated to the high school or youth football program of their choice. The Pro Bowl Giveback Program ensures the NFL and its players will leave a lasting legacy on the youth and high school football community and increase opportunities for the next generation of football players.

2018 NFL PRO BOWL EXPERIENCE: The NFL Pro Bowl Experience will be open to fans Wednesday, January 24 – Thursday, January 25 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Friday, January 26 – Saturday, January 27 from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. at ESPN Wide World of Sports at Walt Disney World Resort.

The free-admission, family-friendly football fan festival will bring fans closer to the NFL through interactive games and sponsor activations. New activities to this year’s Pro Bowl Experience include some of the same challenges that AFC & NFC Pro Bowlers will compete in during the Skills Showdown, such as: Kick-Tac-Toe, in which three footballs must be kicked in a row on a giant tic-tac-toe board, and the Best Hands competition to catch as many different passes as possible.

Leading up to Pro Bowl Week, the NFL will launch its official companion app: Pro Bowl – Fan Mobile Pass. It guides visitors through Pro Bowl Week and provides exclusive chances to win prizes, including tickets to the game, autographed footballs, and more. The app will also feature gameday content, including real time updates of which players are on the field. Fans are encouraged to register in advance at

​An assortment of free fan activities at the 2018 NFL Pro Bowl Experience are detailed below. No tickets are required.

•40-Yard Dash: Race down the field against your opponents and virtual NFL players on a giant 40-yard long LED wall.

•Airbrush Tattoos: Show your team spirit through NFL and Pro Bowl themed airbrush tattoos and face painting.

•Best Hands: Catch as many different passes as possible like an NFL all-star.

•Family Football Zone: An interactive area for kids and families to play together. Play catch in the field or take part in a range of football and tailgate-themed games.

•Kick-Tac-Toe: Kick 3 in a row on a giant tic-tac-toe board. The Kick-Tac-Toe challenge will also occur doing the Pro Bowl Skills Showdown, where AFC & NFC Pro Bowlers will attempt to do the same.

•Long Snap Accuracy Challenge Presented by Verizon: Test your aim by long snapping footballs through a variety of obstacles.

•NFL Pro Bowl Trophy: Take a photo with the official NFL Pro Bowl Trophy.

•NFL Shop at Pro Bowl: Shop for your favorite NFL and Pro Bowl gear at the NFL Shop trailer located inside NFL Pro Bowl Experience.

•Obstacle Course: Navigate through obstacle courses and train like an NFL player.

•Panini: The exclusive physical trading card licensee of the NFL, Panini is an Official Sponsor of the NFL Pro Bowl. Stop by the Panini booth for a chance to win NFL trading cards.

•Precision Passing presented by EA SPORTS Madden NFL 18: Pass to as many targets as possible while on the clock.

•Run-A-Route: Test your wide receiver skills and run a see-and-react route to catch a pass down field.

•Vertical Jump: Jump as high as you can and hit the corresponding flag to discover your vertical reach just like at the NFL Scouting Combine.

•Virtual Reality Experience: Get inside the NFL with virtual reality technology and experience what it is like to be on-the-field on an actual NFL game.


The AFC and NFC teams will practice at ESPN Wide World of Sports from Wednesday, January 24 through Saturday, January 27. All media availabilities will take place on the field at the conclusion of each practice.

Practices are free and open to the public, and entry to the seating areas is available on a first-come, first-served basis. To attend practice, fans must register for Fan Mobile Pass via the Pro Bowl – Fan Mobile Pass app or on Visit for more details.

Wednesday, January 24
10:30 a.m. – NFC team practice at ESPN Wide World of Sports – Field 16
10:45 a.m. – AFC team practice at ESPN Wide World of Sports – Field 17

Thursday, January 25
11:30 a.m. – NFC team practice at ESPN Wide World of Sports – Field 16
11:45 a.m. – AFC team practice at ESPN Wide World of Sports – Field 17

Friday, January 26
11:30 a.m. – NFC team practice at ESPN Wide World of Sports – Field 16
11:30 a.m. – AFC team practice at ESPN Wide World of Sports – Field 17

Saturday, January 27
11:30 a.m. – NFC team walk-through at ESPN Wide World of Sports – Field 16
11:30 a.m. – AFC team walk-through at ESPN Wide World of Sports – Field 17

special olympics UNIFIED FLAG FOOTBALL game: For the second year, the NFL will team up with Special Olympics in Orlando during Pro Bowl Week to host a Unified Flag Football game with Special Olympics Florida athletes. The NFL and Special Olympics are committed to building inclusive communities and providing opportunities for athletes of all abilities to participate in sports through the expansion of Special Olympics Unified Sports flag football, where individuals with and without intellectual disabilities play flag football together on the same team. The Unified Flag Football game will take place on Wednesday, January 24 from Noon to 1 p.m. on Field 21 at ESPN Wide World of Sports. Current Pro Bowl players will serve as coaches and cheer athletes on during the game.

The NFL and Special Olympics kicked off their national partnership at the 2017 Pro Bowl. With, contributions from the NFL Foundation, Special Olympics provided grants to local Special Olympics Programs in eleven NFL team markets. This year, the NFL and Special Olympics will expand those efforts to five new markets that will receive NFL Foundation funding. The grants will be used to help enhance Unified Sports programming and increase participation of athletes, Unified partners, and coaches across the country. NFL teams will continue to work with local Special Olympics Programs to help grow and expand opportunities for Special Olympics Unified Flag Football.

Special Olympics is a global movement that unleashes the human spirit through the transformative power and joy of sports, every day around the world. We empower people with intellectual disabilities to become accepted and valued members of their communities, which leads to a more respectful and inclusive society for all. Using sports as the catalyst and programming around health and education, Special Olympics is fighting inactivity, injustice and intolerance. Founded in 1968 by Eunice Kennedy Shriver, the Special Olympics movement has grown to more than 5 million athletes and Unified partners in more than 170 countries. With the support of more than 1 million coaches and volunteers, Special Olympics delivers 32 Olympic-type sports and over 108,000 games and competitions throughout the year. Special Olympics is supported by individuals, foundations and partners, including the Christmas Records Trust, the Law Enforcement Torch Run® for Special Olympics, The Coca-Cola Company, The Walt Disney Company and ESPN, Microsoft, Lions Clubs International, Bank of America, Essilor Vision Foundation, the Golisano Foundation, Finish Line and Safilo Group. Click here for a full list of partners. Engage with us on: Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram and our blog on Medium.

NFL WOMEN’S CAREERS IN FOOTBALL FORUM: The NFL will host the Women’s Careers in Football Forum Friday, January 26 and Saturday, January 27 at ESPN Wide World of Sports. Fifty women were selected from among more than 400 applicants to attend the second annual forum. The event will feature panel discussions, breakout sessions, and networking sessions aimed to educate and prepare women for careers in Football Operations, including coaching, officiating, scouting and football front office positions.

Featured speakers and panelists will include Canadian Football League (CFL) Commissioner Randy Ambrosie, NFL Chief Football Administration Officer Dawn Aponte, Glazer Family Foundation Co-President Darcie Glazer Kassewitz (Tampa Bay Buccaneers), Women’s Leaders in College Sports Chief Executive Officer Patti Phillips, Atlanta Falcons Assistant General Manager Scott Pioli, CFL Toronto Argonauts General Manager Jim Popp, NFL Director of Football Development Samantha Rapoport, Stanford University Head Coach David Shaw, and Minnesota Vikings Chief Operating Officer Kevin Warren.

Twenty-two of the female participants at the inaugural Forum in 2017 went on to secure internships and full-time positions in coaching and scouting at the professional, collegiate and high school levels, including nine with the NFL.

NFL PLAY 60 CHARACTER CAMP: On Thursday, January 25 at 10 a.m., the NFL will host a free Character Camp on Field 23 at ESPN Wide World of Sports. The event will include 300 predominantly-Hispanic youth from the Orlando area. The non-contact football camp will be led by Pro Football Hall of Fame offensive tackle Anthony Muñoz.

The NFL PLAY 60 Character Camps program is a partnership between the NFL and the Muñoz Agency.  The mission of the camps is to make a positive impact on youth through teaching football skills, emphasizing exercise, and reinforcing the importance of character in athletics and life. The camp is part of a series of NFL PLAY 60 Character Camps hosted as part of the NFL’s year-round Hispanic outreach initiative, focused on offering youth opportunities to play and experience the game of football. Since the inception of NFL PLAY 60 Character Camps in 2012, over 60 camps have been held impacting more than 20,000 youth across the country.

NFL PLAY 60 FIELD DAY: On Thursday, January 25 from 12:45 to 1:45 p.m., the NFL will host a PLAY 60 Field Day with current NFL players, local youth and students from local schools enrolled in the Fuel Up to Play 60 program. In addition, the Jacksonville Jaguars, Miami Dolphins, and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will host community groups from their regions at the PLAY 60 Field Day, which will take place on Field 21 at ESPN Wide World of Sports. Prior to the PLAY 60 Field Day, local community groups attending the PLAY 60 Field Day will have the opportunity to view Pro Bowl practice.

The event will consist of different physical activity stations ranging from relay races to ‘fuel up’ healthy eating stations and Quarterback Challenge drills.

The NFL is celebrating 10 years of getting kids active and healthy through NFL PLAY 60, the league’s youth health and wellness campaign encouraging kids to get active for 60 minutes a day. For more information, visit

NFL FLAG YOUTH MEDIA NIGHT: Members of the NFL FLAG Championship teams will experience what it feels like to be in the spotlight as an NFL player at NFL FLAG Youth Media Night on Thursday, January 25 at 6:00 PM ET at ESPN Wide World of Sports. At the event, NFL FLAG participants will take part in media interviews with current Pro Bowl players, NFL Legends and members of the media.

In addition to being interviewed like the stars, NFL FLAG competitors will enjoy food and entertainment, photo opportunities, walk the Play Football Red Carpet like the NFL’s best, and have an opportunity to mix and mingle before the competition kicks off on Friday, January 26.

NFL & USA FOOTBALL AMBASSADOR PROGRAM: The NFL/USA Football High School Ambassador Program Coaching Initiative offers former NFL players interested in understanding the Youth Football landscape and currently coaching or interested in coaching youth football, an opportunity to network and participate in in-person Heads Up Football training sessions.

Former NFL players who are a part of the year-round program, which is a Play Football initiative, will participate in weekend-long Pro Bowl activities. Activities include: interviewing NFL FLAG competitors during NFL FLAG Youth Media Night; a day-long seminar led by the NFL and USA Football; viewing Pro Bowl practice and various Play Football High School Day activities; and attending the USA Football National Conference.

USA FOOTBALL NATIONAL CONFERENCE: The fifth annual USA Football National Conference, which is expected to draw more than 1,000 attendees, is the largest annual gathering of high school and youth football administrators and coaches in the United States.

Speakers addressing National Conference attendees include Pro Football Hall of Fame wide receiver Cris Carter, former Pro Bowl quarterback and Super Bowl XXXV Champion Trent Dilfer, Villanova University Director of Athletics Mark Jackson, National High School Hall of Fame coach Chuck Kyle of Cleveland St. Ignatius H.S., four-time state champion head coach Jason Mohns of Scottsdale Saguaro H.S., University of Arkansas head coach Chad Morris and Pro Football Hall of Fame linebacker and Super Bowl XX Champion Mike Singletary.

National Conference speakers will address a range of topics, including coach education, player safety, program development and key trends. This year’s conference will take place from Friday, January 26 to Sunday, January 28 at the Orange County Convention Center.

USA Football National Conference Schedule:
•Friday, January 26 from Noon to 8 p.m.
•Saturday, January 27 from 9 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.
•Sunday, January 28 from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

NFL FLAG CHAMPIONSHIPS AT PRO BOWL POWERED BY USA FOOTBALL: The NFL FLAG Championships powered by USA Football are returning to Pro Bowl. The NFL FLAG Championships will be held at ESPN Wide World of Sports from Friday, January 26 – Saturday, January 27 and are part of the NFL’s weeklong celebration of football at all levels. All teams will kick off the week at NFL FLAG Youth Media Night on Thursday, January 25. Live coverage will occur on ESPN and ABC during “Postseason NFL Countdown” at 1 p.m.

Sixty-six teams from across the country – ten regional champions in four divisions plus 26 teams selected by NFL Clubs – will compete. An additional five international teams from Canada, China and Mexico will participate in the exhibition games. Divisions include: 9-10 coed, 11-12 coed, 13-14 boys and 13-14 girls. NFL Pro Bowl players and Legends will serve as guest coaches, encouraging the teams as they compete for the national title.

The 13-14 Girls Championships will take place on Saturday, January 27 after Pro Bowl practice during Play Football High School Day. ESPN and ABC will televise the 13-14 Boys Championship Game on Sunday, January 28 as part of the network’s “Postseason NFL Countdown” show.

NFL FLAG powered by USA Football promotes physical fitness and teaches the sport’s values and life skills on and off the field to more than 410,000 young people. A non-contact version of traditional football offered for boys and girls ages 5-17 in cities across the country, NFL FLAG emphasizes fun, safety, teamwork, self-esteem, discipline and goal-setting. USA Football is the sport’s national governing body in the United States.

YOU CAN PLAY PROJECT: HI-FIVE INITIATIVE: On the morning of Saturday, January 27, the NFL will team with the You Can Play Project to host Orlando-area LGBT youth from local organizations, including the Hope Community Center, Our Fund and the Zebra Coalition, for a special event at ESPN Wide World of Sports. Students will attend Pro Bowl practice and then sit down with current NFL players and NFL Legends for a conversation on LGBT rights and inclusion in sports. The session will be facilitated by former NFL player and You Can Play Project Executive Director, Wade Davis. Additionally, youth participating in the event will attend the Pro Bowl on Sunday, January 28 at Camping World Stadium.

The You Can Play Project is an advocacy organization dedicated to ensuring equality, respect and safety for all athletes, without regard to sexual orientation and gender identify. The organization’s Hi-Five initiative aims to create meaningful connections between LGBT youth and leaders within the professional sports community. The NFL was the first professional sports league to join the initiative when it launched in 2013.

PLAY FOOTBALL HIGH SCHOOL DAY: On Saturday, January 27, during Play Football High School Day, the best will meet the next! The NFL will host approximately 200 local high school football players and celebrate both male and female football participants as well as coaches. These student-athletes will participate in numerous exclusive, invite-only activities throughout the day.

The day kicks off with an opportunity to learn and polish their skills during the High School Skills Challenge which will be led by the high school coaches of current Pro Bowl players in attendance as part of the NFL’s “Thank You, Coach!” initiative. After viewing Pro Bowl practice, the student-athletes will attend a character development session led by an NFL Legend and will have a chance to explore the Pro Bowl Experience.

Additionally, during High School Football Day, the spotlight will not only be placed on tackle football participants but the flag athletes will have an opportunity to compete with an emphasis on Girls Flag with the NFL Girls 13-14 FLAG Championships and a Florida High School Girls Varsity game occurring simultaneously after Pro Bowl practice.

DON SHULA NFL HIGH SCHOOL COACH OF THE YEAR AWARD: The Don Shula NFL High School Coach of the Year award honors an exemplary football coach at the high school level who displays the integrity, achievement, and leadership demonstrated by Coach Shula. Coaches are nominated for the national award by all 32 NFL teams, and the winner is selected by a panel of judges including Peyton Manning, Willie McGinest, Condoleezza Rice and Michael Strahan.

The Don Shula Award winner will be announced during the Pro Bowl at Camping World Stadium on Sunday, January 28 at 3 p.m. and will be covered on ESPN, ESPN Deportes and ABC. Two finalists will each receive $15,000 from the NFL Foundation, $10,000 of which will go to their high school’s football program. The 2017 winner will receive an additional $10,000 from the NFL Foundation, $5,000 of which will go to his high school’s football program and attend the Super Bowl.

All NFL club-selected Don Shula Award nominees will be invited and recognized in special ways during the NFL’s week-long celebration of football in Orlando. The coaches will participate in a special coaches’ clinic, enjoy a VIP visit to Pro Bowl practices and attend the USA Football National Conference.

To learn more about this year’s nominees, click here.

MAKE-A-WISH®: Through the assistance of the NFL, Make-A-Wish will grant the wishes of five children to attend the 2018 Pro Bowl. Wish children and their families will attend a Pro Bowl practice at ESPN Wide World of Sports and will attend the game at Camping World Stadium on Sunday, Jan. 28. Every year since 1982, the NFL and Make-A-Wish have teamed to grant one or more wish kids to attend either the Super Bowl or Pro Bowl.

Make-A-Wish grants the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength and joy. According to a 2011 U.S. study of wish impact, most health professionals surveyed believe a wish-come-true can have positive impacts on the health of children. Kids say wishes give them renewed strength to fight their illnesses, and their parents say these experiences help strengthen the entire family. Based in Phoenix, Make-A-Wish is one of the world’s leading children’s charities, serving children in every community in the United States and its territories. With the help of generous donors and more than 33,000 volunteers, Make-A-Wish grants a wish somewhere in the country every 34 minutes. It has granted more than 285,000 wishes since its inception in 1980; more than 15,300 in 2016 alone. Visit Make-A-Wish at to learn more.

MILITARY OUTREACH: The following is a sampling of events planned for service members and their families in Orlando during Pro Bowl Week as part of the NFL’s Salute to Service:

•Following Pro Bowl practice on Saturday, Jan. 27 the NFL and Wounded Warrior Project will host a flag football game for 50 wounded warriors from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Field 21 at ESPN Wide World of Sports. Following the game, warriors will join 100 individuals from the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS) for a special Military Appreciation Luncheon from 1 to 2 p.m. NFL Legends, cheerleaders, and mascots will be in attendance to meet and greet TAPS families and wounded warriors and their families as they enjoy a complimentary meal provided by MISSION BBQ.

•The NFL will host members of TAPS and Wounded Warrior Project at Pro Bowl practices throughout the week at ESPN Wide World of Sports and on gameday.

•Family members from TAPS will enjoy complimentary admittance to Disney’s theme park.

The Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS) is the national organization providing compassionate care for the families of America’s fallen military heroes and has offered support to more than 70,000 surviving family members of our fallen military and their caregivers since 1994. TAPS provides peer-based emotional support, grief and trauma resources, grief seminars and retreats for adults, Good Grief Camps for children, case work assistance, connections to community-based care, online and in-person support groups and a 24/7 resource and information helpline for all who have been affected by a death in the Armed Forces. Services are provided free of charge. For more information, visit

Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) connects warriors with one another, their families, and communities. It serves warriors through lifesaving programs and services targeting mental and physical health, career and benefits counseling, and support for the most severely wounded. And WWP empowers warriors to mentor other veterans and live life on their terms. To learn more, visit:
THE COLLEGE CATCH: For the first time at Pro Bowl, the NFL will host “The College Catch,” a conversation with leaders in football that is aimed at educating and inspiring the next generation of sports business professionals.

Occurring at 10 a.m. on Sunday, January 28 at Harry Buffalo’s on Church Street, “The College Catch” provides college students with the opportunity to learn from and network with the best in the sports business. Attendees will get access to the speaker session as well as a ticket to the NFL 2018 Pro Bowl at Camping World Stadium at 3 p.m.

PRO BOWL SKILLS SHOWDOWN: For the second consecutive year, players from the AFC and NFC will compete against each other in unique competitions at the Pro Bowl Skills Showdown, which will air on Thursday, January 25, at 9 p.m. on ESPN. The event will also re-air across ESPN, ABC and Disney XD, as well as NFL Network.

The 2018 Pro Bowl Legends Captains, Jason Taylor and LaDainian Tomlinson of the AFC and Derrick Brooks and Warrick Dunn of the NFC, will lead their respective squads. Each Skills Showdown team will feature a mix of quarterbacks, running backs, wide receivers, tight ends, linemen, linebackers, defensive backs and kickers.

Taking place at ESPN Wide World of Sports at Walt Disney World in Orlando, the competition will include:

•Epic Pro Bowl Dodgeball presented by Pepsi: Pro Bowlers will compete in a game of dodgeball, with every member of each team participating. The team with the last person on the court wins.

•Kick-Tac-Toe: A new challenge that tests the accuracy of placekickers from both conferences with a version of the classic game, as they attempt to hit a 3×3 grid of targets inside the uprights.

•Gridiron Gauntlet: Five players from each team will participate in a relay race designed to showcase strength, speed and agility. Among other surprises, the challenge will include a 40-yard dash with an inflated parachute that is attached to the first player on each team who will sprint before tagging in teammates.

•Best Hands presented by EA SPORTS Madden NFL 18: Four receivers – two from each conference – will catch a series of passes at a sequence of downfield targets as quickly as possible. Designated targets require a specific style of catch – diving, one-handed, over the shoulder, etc. – which must be executed before the receiver can move on to the next target.

•Precision Passing presented by EA SPORTS Madden NFL 18: Each conference’s quarterbacks will battle it out in an accuracy competition, as they attempt to hit targets of varying size and distance.

•Drone Drop Challenge: A bonus event during which one player from each team will attempt to catch footballs dropped from drones from increasing heights above the field. The player who makes the highest catch wins money for the charity of his choice.

Fans are encouraged to join the conversation surrounding the Pro Bowl Skills Showdown on social media using the hashtag #ProBowl. A limited number of free tickets to the Skills Showdown taping will be made available to fans. Fans may register for tickets here.

EA SPORTS: THE MADDEN NFL 18 CLUB CHAMPIONSHIP: From Thursday, January 25 to Saturday, January 27, EA SPORTS will host The Madden NFL 18 Club Championship tournament at ESPN’s Wide World of Sports. The Madden NFL 18 Club Championship, the third EA Major Series event of the $1 million Madden NFL 18 Championship Series, will bring together the top 32 players from across the country representing each NFL club to compete during Pro Bowl Week. These elite competitive players advanced through a grueling online elimination process featuring millions of Madden players in pursuit of the Club Championship title and their share of over $400,000.

The competitions will take place:
•Thursday, January 25 from 2 to 10 p.m.
•Friday, January 26 from 2 to 10 p.m.
•Saturday, January 27: 2 p.m. to Midnight

PRO BOWL FUN RUN SERIES: Grab the family and your favorite team jersey for the 2018 Pro Bowl Fun Run Series located at the Track & Field Complex at ESPN Wide World of Sports beginning at 1 p.m. on Saturday, January 27.

From Kids Dashes to a Half Mile Run, there is a distance for football fans of any age. Participants can look forward to appearances from Disney characters, Pro Bowl cheerleaders and mascots and a one-of-a-kind finisher medal! Click HERE to register.

Race packet pick-up begins at 11 a.m. ET on Saturday, January 27 at ESPN Wide World of Sports.

PRO BOWL ENVIRONMENTAL PROGRAM: The NFL is teaming with the City of Orlando, Verizon, Sabra and local community partners to reduce the environmental impact of the Pro Bowl and leave a positive “green” legacy in the Orlando host community.

Below is a sampling of environmental initiatives taking place during Pro Bowl Week:

•Rosemont Community Center Gardens: Students and community volunteers will join with the NFL, the City of Orlando, Verizon and Sabra to create community gardens at the Rosemont Community Center (4782 Rose Bay Drive, Orlando) on Friday, January 26. Students from Annunciation Middle School, Rosemont Elementary, student athletes from the University of Central Florida and Verizon volunteers will build and plant new garden boxes for vegetables. They will also add plants that attract pollinators. There will be a brief ceremony with NFL Legends to kick off the project at 9 a.m. The gardens will be cared for by the children and seniors who use the Community Center and will provide an opportunity for education about healthy eating and cooking. In addition to providing food, and teaching the children to care for the environment, the plantings also promote NFL PLAY 60, the league’s youth health and wellness campaign, by encouraging children to enjoy outdoor activities.

•Parramore Garden Rebuild: Orlando’s oldest community gardens, the Parramore gardens (654 West Robinson Street, Orlando) will be rebuilt with funding from the NFL Foundation’s Pro Bowl Community Grant project in partnership with NFL sponsors Verizon and Sabra.

•Food Recovery: The NFL is teaming with Second Harvest Food Bank and Disney Harvest to recover unserved, prepared food from kitchens and minimize food waste. Unserved, prepared food will be distributed to local shelters and community kitchens in Orlando.

•Materials Recovery: There will be an intensive drive to collect and donate all items left over from Pro Bowl events. In partnership with A Gift For Teaching and Salvation Army, the NFL will donate decorative materials, office supplies and other items to local nonprofit organizations that can reuse, repurpose or remanufacture the material. This project keeps material out of local landfills and turns it into valuable items for resale or reuse.

•Renewable Energy Project: Camping World Stadium, the site of Pro Bowl 2018, will be powered using “green energy” to reduce the climate impact of Pro Bowl. In addition to game day, renewable energy credits will power Camping World Stadium during the entirety of the two-week set up and breakdown of Pro Bowl.

•Solid Waste Management/Recycling: Comprehensive solid waste management is implemented at all major Pro Bowl facilities including Camping World Stadium and ESPN Wide World of Sports. Effective waste management and recycling efforts significantly reduce the amount of waste that goes to landfills. PepsiCo is providing recycle bins to Camping World Stadium and Wide World of Sports to help maximize recycling.

The NFL Environmental Program has incorporated environmental projects into the management of Pro Bowl events for seventeen years. The NFL Environmental Program is one of a significant number of community initiatives developed each year by the NFL to leave a positive legacy in the Pro Bowl host community.

PRO BOWL FAN CENTRAL: Come early to the 2018 Pro Bowl to enjoy Pro Bowl Fan Central, the hub of fan excitement on gameday at Camping World Stadium. Music, food, beverages and football fun will welcome fans from Noon to 2:30 p.m. on Sunday, January 28 before entry into the stadium. Some of the activations include:

•Bud Light: We all know Bud Light is Famous Among Friends. That’s why, at the 2018 Pro Bowl, attendees can share a beer with their friends at the Bud Light Bar at Pro Bowl Fan Central

•Panini: The exclusive physical trading card licensee of the NFL, Panini is an Official Sponsor of the NFL Pro Bowl. Stop by the Panini booth for a chance to win NFL trading cards.

•Pepsi Zero Sugar: PepsiCo will be sampling its zero-calorie soda at the fan plaza.

SATURDAY NIGHT PEP RALLY & PRE-GAME ACTIVATION ZONE: The Church Street Pep Rally – on Saturday, January 27 at 5 to 9 p.m. – and the Church Street Pregame – on Sunday, January 28 at 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. – will provide free fun for all football fans. Featuring an NFL Shop, music, games, player appearances, prizes, food and drink specials, and more, Church Street is located a short four-minute shuttle ride away from Camping World Stadium. On Sunday, free shuttle rides will begin at 10 a.m. to take NFL fans from the Church Street Pregame to Camping World Stadium for the 2018 Pro Bowl.