Archives for posts with tag: AFC East

The National Football League announced the calendar for voluntary offseason workout programs for all 32 teams. Voluntary offseason workout programs are intended to provide training, teaching and physical conditioning for players. The calendar for 2019 is below. As per Article 21 of the Collective Bargaining Agreement, each club’s official, voluntary nine-week offseason program is conducted in three phases:

Phase One consists of the first two weeks of the program with activities limited to strength and conditioning and physical rehabilitation only.

Phase Two consists of the next three weeks of the program. On-field workouts may include individual player instruction and drills as well as team practice conducted on a “separates” basis. No live contact or team offense vs. team defense drills are permitted.

Phase Three consists of the next four weeks of the program. Teams may conduct a total of 10 days of organized team practice activity (or “OTAs”). No live contact is permitted but 7-on-7, 9-on-7 and 11-on-11 drills are permitted.

Article 22 of the Collective Bargaining Agreement stipulates that clubs may hold one mandatory minicamp for veteran players. This minicamp, noted below, must occur during Phase Three of the offseason program.

New head coaches are entitled to conduct an additional voluntary veteran minicamp. Any voluntary minicamp for veteran players must be conducted prior to the NFL Draft (April 25-27) but no earlier than week three of the club’s offseason workout program and after at least one week of the two weeks of Phase One activities that the clubs may hold pursuant to Article 21. This year, eight clubs will hold voluntary veteran minicamps, as noted below.

Each club may hold a rookie football development program for a period of seven weeks, which in 2019 may begin on May 13. During this period, no activities may be held on weekends, with the exception of one post-NFL Draft rookie minicamp, which may be conducted on either the first or second weekend following the draft. The dates of each club’s post-draft rookie minicamps will be circulated at a later date.

For specific information and detailed offseason program rules, please see Articles 21 and 22 of the Collective Bargaining Agreement (beginning on page 131), available on nflcommunications.com.

The NFL Offseason Workout Program calendar (dates are tentative and subject to change at the discretion of individual clubs):

ARIZONA
OTA Offseason Workouts: May 20-22, May 29-31, June 3-6
Mandatory Minicamp: June 11-13

ATLANTA
OTA Offseason Workouts: May 20-21, May 23, May 29-31, June 3-4, June 6
Mandatory Minicamp: June 11-13

BALTIMORE
OTA Offseason Workouts: May 20-21, May 23, May 28, May 30-31, June 3-4, June 6-7
Mandatory Minicamp: June 11-13

BUFFALO
OTA Offseason Workouts: May 20-21, May 23, May 28-29, May 31 June 3-4, June 6-7
Mandatory Minicamp: June 11-13

CAROLINA
OTA Offseason Workouts: May 21-23, May 28-30, June 3-6
Mandatory Minicamp:  June 11-13

CHICAGO
OTA Offseason Workouts: May 21-23, May 29-31, June 4-7
Mandatory Minicamp: June 11-13

CINCINNATI
OTA Offseason Workouts: May 20-21, May 23, May 28-30, June 3-6
Mandatory Minicamp: June 11-13

CLEVELAND
OTA Offseason Workouts: May 14-16, May 21-23, May 28-31
Mandatory Minicamp: June 4-6

DALLAS
OTA Offseason Workouts: May 21-23, May 28-30, June 3-6
Mandatory Minicamp: June 11-13

DENVER
OTA Offseason Workouts: May 13-14, May 16, May 20-21, May 23, May 29-31
Mandatory Minicamp: June 4-6

DETROIT
OTA Offseason Workouts: May 20-21, May 23, May 29-31, June 10-13
Mandatory Minicamp: June 4-6

GREEN BAY
OTA Offseason Workouts: May 20-21, May 23, May 28-29, May 31, June 3-6
Mandatory Minicamp: June 11-13

HOUSTON
First Day: April 15
OTA Offseason Workouts: May 20-21, May 23, May 28-30, June 3-4, June 6-7
Mandatory Minicamp: June 11-13

INDIANAPOLIS
OTA Offseason Workouts: May 21-23, May 29-31, June 3-6
Mandatory Minicamp: June 11-13

JACKSONVILLE
OTA Offseason Workouts: May 21, May 23-24, May 28, May 30-May 31, June 3-4, June 6-7
Mandatory Minicamp: June 11-13

KANSAS CITY
OTA Offseason Workouts: May 21-23, May 28-30, June 4-7
Mandatory Minicamp: June 11-13

LOS ANGELES CHARGERS
OTA Offseason Workouts: May 20, May 22-23, May 28-30, June 3-4, June 6-7
Mandatory Minicamp: June 11-13

LOS ANGELES RAMS
OTA Offseason Workouts: May 20-21, May 23, May 28-30, June 3-6
Mandatory Minicamp: June 11-13

MIAMI
OTA Offseason Workouts: May 13-14, May 16, May 20-21, May 23, May 28-29, May 31
Mandatory Minicamp: June 4-6

MINNESOTA
OTA Offseason Workouts: May 21-23, May 28-30, June 3-6
Mandatory Minicamp: June 11-13

NEW ENGLAND
OTA Offseason Workouts: May 20-21, May 23, May 29-30, June 10-11
Mandatory Minicamp: June 4-6

NEW ORLEANS
OTA Offseason Workouts:  May 21-23, May 28-30, June 3-6
Mandatory Minicamp: June 11-13

NEW YORK GIANTS
OTA Offseason Workouts: May 20-21, May 23, May 28-29, May 31, June 10-13
Mandatory Minicamp: June 4-6

NEW YORK JETS
OTA Offseason Workouts: May 21-23, May 28-30, June 10-13
Mandatory Minicamp: June 4-6

OAKLAND
OTA Offseason Workouts: May 21-23, May 28-30, June 3-6
Mandatory Minicamp: June 11-13

PHILADELPHIA
OTA Offseason Workouts: May 21-23, May 28, May 30-31, June 3-6
Mandatory Minicamp: June 11-13

PITTSBURGH
OTA Offseason Workouts: May 21-23, May 28-30, June 3-6
Mandatory Minicamp: June 11-13

SAN FRANCISCO
OTA Offseason Workouts: May 20-21, May 23, May 28-29, May 31, June 3-4, June 6
Mandatory Minicamp: June 11-13

SEATTLE
OTA Offseason Workouts: May 20-21, May 23, May 28-29, May 31, June 3-6
Mandatory Minicamp: June 11-13

TAMPA BAY
OTA Offseason Workouts: May 14-16, May 21-23, May 28-31
Mandatory Minicamp: June 4-6

TENNESSEE
OTA Offseason Workouts: May 20-21, May 23, May 28, May 30-31, June 3-6
Mandatory Minicamp: June 11-13

WASHINGTON
OTA Offseason Workouts: May 20-21, May 23, May 28-30, June 10-12
Mandatory Minicamp: June 4-6

In celebration of its centennial season, the National Football League (NFL) this week premiered A Lifetime of Sundays at its 2019 Annual Meeting in Scottsdale, Arizona. The documentary, part of the NFL’s initiative to celebrate the league’s 100th season – and to champion the women who have played an integral role in its history – offers an unprecedented look at the history of the NFL through the eyes of four iconic female owners: Virginia McCaskey, Martha Firestone Ford, Norma Hunt and Patricia Rooney.

It is narrated by Academy Award® winner Regina King and co-executive produced by Julie Haddon, Jane Skinner Goodell and 11-time Emmy® Award-winner Bill McCullough and NFL Films.

A Lifetime of Sundays profiles four famously private women: Chicago Bears’ McCaskey, Detroit Lions’ Ford, Pittsburgh Steelers’ Rooney and Kansas City Chiefs’ Hunt. They are the matriarchs of four American football families who, for the first time, share the history of the game from a very different perspective. What ties them together is not just their colorful memories but their incredible passion and love of the game. The film takes viewers inside the personal and professional lives of these women, who have had front row seats as professional football has grown from very humble roots into a celebrated American institution and the country’s most popular sport.

“The experience of making A Lifetime of Sundays was as inspiring as the women themselves,” said Julie Haddon, Senior Vice President of Global Brand and Consumer Marketing. “We had unprecedented access and hours of firsthand interviews, coupled with anecdotes from players, coaches, family and fans. Our film proudly shines a light on the significant roles these women have played over a lifetime of football as they led teams in an era where women in leadership was not common. We’re excited to share this with audiences and honored to have Regina as our narrator.”

“I was thrilled to contribute to this amazing celebration of women in the NFL,” Regina King told USA Today. “I have loved this sport since I was a little girl and I hope this inspires women to seek out leadership positions in the NFL, in sports and in life.”

Visit NFL.com/100 for more on how the NFL is celebrating its 100th season.

Speaking of 100th seasons…

Nearly 100 years after the National Football League was born in Canton, Ohio, the NFL is celebrating the 13 communities that were home to the 14 teams of its inaugural season.

Eight “Original Towns” outside of the 32 current NFL markets will host live telecasts in their hometowns to announce picks on Day 3 of the Draft: Akron, Ohio; Canton, Ohio; Columbus, Ohio; Dayton, Ohio; Hammond, Indiana; Muncie, Indiana; Rochester, New York and Rock Island, Illinois.

The hometown celebrations in these markets will showcase the town’s history alongside fans, NFL legends, celebrities, and elected officials. For the fifth consecutive year, picks will be made live by all 32 Clubs in their local markets at special locations of their choosing on Day 3. Clubs will make their picks across the country and around the world from a variety of locations, some of which include military bases, state landmarks and major attractions.

“There’s no better way to bring the League’s hundred years of history full circle than to partner with these communities and recognize their important place in history as part of the NFL’s centennial celebration,” said NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell.

To honor the lasting legacy of football and pave the way for future generations of football players, the NFL Foundation, in partnership with FieldTurf & Vasco – who will lead construction and installation – will fund the installment of a new artificial turf field in the city of Dayton, Ohio.

The field will commemorate the first-ever NFL game played at Triangle Park on October 3, 1920, between the Dayton Triangles and the Columbus Panhandles. Additionally, the Foundation will make a donation to each of the 13 “Original Towns” to support local youth football programs, advocate for player safety and promote football’s values.

“This is a really special moment for our city,” Nan Whaley, Mayor of Dayton, Ohio told USA Today. “We’re excited that the NFL is recognizing the places that were there in the very beginning and that they are celebrating Dayton’s special history in paving the way for the league with a donation that will leave a lasting impact in the community.”

In celebration of NFL100, the League is proud to honor the following 13 “Original Towns”:

Akron, Ohio (Akron Pros)
Buffalo, New York (Buffalo All-Americans)
Canton, Ohio (Canton Bulldogs)
Chicago, Illinois (Racine Cardinals, Chicago Tigers)
Cleveland, Ohio (Cleveland Tigers)
Columbus, Ohio (Columbus Panhandles)
Dayton, Ohio (Dayton Triangles)
Decatur, Illinois (Decatur Staleys)
Detroit, Michigan (Detroit Heralds)
Hammond, Indiana (Hammond Pros)
Muncie, Indiana (Muncie Flyers)
Rochester, New York (Rochester Jeffersons)
Rock Island, Illinois (Rock Island Independents

Visit NFL.com/100 for more on how the NFL is celebrating its 100th season.

You knew who your team would be playing in 2019.

You knew where they would be playing.

Wednesday evening, NFL fans got to know when.

Your patience has been rewarded, Grasshopper.

The National Football League released the 2019 Regular Season schedule for the media and general public on NFL Network and ESPN2. The 256-game season gets underway the Thursday after Labor Day in Chicago when the NFC North champions host rival Green Bay on Thursday, September 5 p.m. at 8:20 p.m. at Solider Field in the Windy City and ends on December 29th.

To help celebrate the NFL’s 100th season, each week during the regular season will feature an NFL100 Game of the Week. Each game will be a nod to a momentous game played, a fierce rivalry that spans decades, a matchup of original teams and/or a game in which history was made. The games will be split across days and networks based on how they fall on the schedule.

New England begins defense of its Super Bowl LIII title on NBC’s Sunday Night Football, September 8, hosting Pittsburgh at 8:20 p.m.

The 50th season of Monday Night Football kicks off September 9 with an ESPN doubleheader, as Houston travels to New Orleans at 7:10 p.m., followed by Denver at Oakland in the nightcap at 10:20 p.m. ESPN will televise one game each Monday night in Weeks 2-16, including the two teams (Cleveland at the New York Jets, September 16 at 8:15 p.m.) that kicked off the longest running television series in American history, in 1970. There will be no Monday night game on the final regular-season weekend (Week 17) to provide more flexibility for the scheduling of the opening weekend of the NFL playoffs.

All 32 clubs are again scheduled for at least one nationally televised Thursday, Sunday or Monday game. Thursday Night Football will air exclusively on NFL Network in Weeks 2-3, while FOX kicks off its Thursday night slate in Week 4. FOX will broadcast 11 Thursday Night Football games between Weeks 4-15 (excluding Thanksgiving night). Those FOX games will be simulcast via NFL Network, distributed in Spanish on FOX Deportes and streamed on Amazon Prime Video, beginning with Philadelphia at Green Bay, September 26.

All told, NFL Network will exclusively televise seven games (two on Thursday night, two games in London and all three in Week 16 on Saturday, December 21), with FOX producing the full slate of 18 games.

A select number of games will be “cross-flexed,” moving between CBS and FOX to bring potentially under-distributed games to wider audiences. Some of those contests were announced today and other “cross-flexed” games will be decided during the season.

The regular season will conclude with Week 17 on Sunday, December 29. For the 11th consecutive year, all 16 games scheduled for Week 17 are division contests, enhancing the potential for more games with playoff ramifications. Six 2019 games are rematches of 2018 playoff games. That group includes five matchups — Kansas City at New England (December 8, CBS), the Los Angeles Rams at Dallas (December 15, FOX), Chicago at Philadelphia (November 3, FOX) and Houston at Indianapolis (October 20, CBS) – that will be played at the home of the team that had to travel in January.

The first four contests in the NFL100 Game of the Week lineup include each of the league’s four network broadcast partners. Rivals Green Bay and Chicago open the series September 5 (NBC), followed by the Browns at Jets September 16 (ESPN) in a rematch of the original 1970 Monday Night Football game. Miami comes to Dallas September 22 (FOX), reuniting the Super Bowl VI teams, and the Chargers travel to Miami September 29 (CBS), evoking memories of their epic 1981 Divisional playoff, when Dan Fouts led his team to a 41-38 overtime triumph at Miami.

Other 2019 schedule notes:
 Five clubs will play both Super Bowl LIII teams. Pittsburgh, Baltimore, Cincinnati, Cleveland and Dallas have both the Patriots and Rams on their slates.

 One of those Thursday games is a Super Bowl XLII and XLVI rematch, the New York Giants at New England (Week 6). Other rematches include Seattle at Pittsburgh (Super Bowl XL, Week 2, FOX), New England at Philadelphia (Super Bowls XXXIX and LII, Week 11, CBS) and Baltimore at San Francisco (Super Bowl XLVII, Week 13, FOX).

 The overall schedule is balanced with regard to the fact that no team will play more than seven 2018 playoff teams and no team will play fewer than five 2018 playoff teams.

 The Patriots and Chiefs, featuring the teams with the NFL’s longest-tenured head coaches (Bill Belichick and Andy Reid), meet for a third consecutive year. Their last two regular-season games (2017-18) have combined for 152 points.

The NFL’s 2019 international slate features four games in London and one in Mexico City. Oakland hosts Chicago in week 5 on Sunday, October 6 at 1 p.m. on FOX, in the inaugural NFL game at the new Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. One week later on Sunday, October 13 at 9:30 a.m. on NFL Network, also at Tottenham, it’s a battle of NFC South foes at Tampa Bay hosts Cam Newtown and the Carolina Panthers, who will be playing their first game in London. London action shifts to Wembley Stadium in Weeks 8 and 9 when the Los Angeles Rams hosts Cincinnati on October 27 at 1 p.m. on CBS, followed by Jacksonville hosting AFC South rival Houston, another first-time visitor to London, on November 3 at 9:30 a.m. on NFL Network.

Mexico City’s Azteca Stadium will host a matchup between AFC West rivals Kansas City Chiefs and Los Angeles Chargers in Week 11 on Monday Night Football, November 18 at 8:15 p.m. on ESPN. Both teams will be playing in Mexico for the first time.

Thanksgiving will feature a trio of matchups in Week 13 on Thursday, November 28. The first game will send Chicago to Detroit to face the Lions at 12:30 p.m. on FOX. The late-afternoon game will feature Buffalo visiting Dallas at 4:30 p.m. on CBS. The contest will be the first game that the Bills have played on Thanksgiving in 25 years, their last was in Detroit in 1994. The Thanksgiving Day festivities conclude with an NFC South showdown as the Falcons host New Orleans on NBC at 8:20 p.m.

The NFL’s 32 teams will each play 16 games over 17 weeks. Byes will begin in Week 4 and end in Week 12.

“Flexible scheduling” will again be used in Weeks 11-17. In Weeks 11-16, the schedule lists the games tentatively set for Sunday Night Football on NBC. Only Sunday afternoon games are eligible to be moved to Sunday night, in which case the tentatively scheduled Sunday night game would be moved to an afternoon start time. A flexible scheduling move would be announced at least 12 days before the game.

In Week 16, three of five possible matchups currently listed as TBD will be scheduled for Saturday on NFL Network: Houston at Tampa Bay, Buffalo at New England, Detroit at Denver, Oakland at the Los Angeles Chargers and San Francisco at the Los Angeles Rams. Start times and Saturday games for Week 16 will be announced no later than following Week 8, with the non-Saturday games to be played on Sunday. For Week 17, the Sunday night game will be announced no later than six days prior to December 29. The schedule does not list a Sunday night game in Week 17 but an afternoon game with playoff implications will be moved to that time slot. Flexible scheduling ensures quality matchups in all Sunday time slots in those weeks and gives “surprise” teams a chance to play their way into primetime. Flexible scheduling will not be applied to games airing on Thursday or Monday nights.

The playoffs will include four division winners and two wild cards from each conference and begin with Wild Card Weekend on Saturday and Sunday, January 4-5. The two division winners with the best records in each conference will earn first-round byes.

Wild Card Weekend winners join the top two division champions in each conference in the Divisional Playoffs on Saturday and Sunday, January 11-12. The AFC and NFC Championship Games will be played on Sunday, January 19, followed by the Pro Bowl on Sunday, January 26, at a site to be determined. The NFL’s 100th season concludes on Sunday, February 2, with Super Bowl LIV at Miami’s Hard Rock Stadium on FOX.

The NFL is the only sports league that presents all regular-season and postseason games on free, over-the-air television in local markets. All postseason games are televised nationally.

Westwood One will broadcast on radio all NFL primetime games, the three Thanksgiving Day games and the entire NFL playoffs.

Fans can experience exciting NFL matchups in person by visiting their favorite team’s website, http://www.nfl.com/tickets or on any NFL-licensed ticketing channel. When purchasing tickets, be sure to look for the authenticated NFL ticket logo or the NFL shield.

2019 NFL SCHEDULE (All times Eastern)

WEEK 1
Thursday, September 5
Green Bay at Chicago, 8:20 p.m. (NBC)

Sunday, September 8
ATLANTA at Minnesota, 1 p.m. (FOX)
Los Angeles Rams at Carolina, 1 p.m. (FOX)
Tennessee at Cleveland, 1 p.m. (CBS)
Kansas City at Jacksonville, 1 p.m. (CBS)
Baltimore at Miami, 1 p.m. (CBS)
Buffalo at New York Jets, 1 p.m. (CBS)
Washington at Philadelphia, 1 p.m. (FOX)
Indianapolis at Los Angeles Chargers, 4:05 p.m. (CBS)
Cincinnati at Seattle, 4:05 p.m. (CBS)
Detroit at Arizona, 4:25 p.m. (FOX)
New York Giants at Dallas, 4:25 p.m. (FOX)
San Francisco at Tampa Bay, 4:25 p.m. (FOX)
Pittsburgh at New England, 8:20 p.m. (NBC)

Monday, September 9
Houston at New Orleans, 7:10 p.m. (ESPN)
Denver at Oakland, 10:20 p.m. (ESPN)

WEEK 2
Thursday, September 12
Tampa Bay at Carolina, 8:20 p.m. (NFLN)

Sunday, September 15
Philadelphia at ATLANTA, 8:20 p.m. (NBC)
Arizona at Baltimore,1 p.m. (FOX)
San Francisco at Cincinnati, 1 p.m. (FOX)
Los Angeles Chargers at Detroit, 1 p.m. (CBS)
Minnesota at Green Bay, 1 p.m. (FOX)
Jacksonville at Houston, 1 p.m. (CBS)
New England at Miami, 1 p.m. (CBS)
Buffalo at New York Giants, 1 p.m. (CBS)
Seattle at Pittsburgh, 1 p.m. (FOX)
Indianapolis at Tennessee, 1 p.m. (CBS)
Dallas at Washington, 1 p.m. (FOX)
Kansas City at Oakland, 4:05 p.m. (CBS)
Chicago at Denver, 4:25 p.m. (FOX)
New Orleans at Los Angeles Rams, 4:25 p.m. (FOX)

Monday, September 16
Cleveland at New York Jets, 8:15 p.m. (ESPN)#

WEEK 3
Thursday, September 19
Tennessee at Jacksonville, 8:20 p.m. (NFL Network)

Sunday, September 22
ATLANTA at Indianapolis, 1 p.m. (CBS)
Cincinnati at Buffalo, 1 p.m. (CBS)
Miami at Dallas, 1 p.m. (FOX)#
Denver at Green Bay, 1 p.m. (FOX)
Baltimore at Kansas City, 1 p.m. (CBS)
Oakland at Minnesota, 1 p.m. (FOX)
New York Jets at New England, 1 p.m. (CBS)
Detroit at Philadelphia, 1 p.m. (FOX)
Carolina at Arizona, 4:05 p.m. (FOX)
New York Giants at Tampa Bay, 4:05 p.m. (FOX)
Houston at Los Angeles Chargers, 4:25 p.m. (CBS)
New Orleans at Seattle, 4:25 p.m. (CBS)
Pittsburgh at San Francisco, 4:25 p.m. (CBS)
Los Angeles Rams at Cleveland, 8:20 p.m. (NBC)

Monday, September 23
Chicago at Washington, 8:20 p.m. (ESPN)

WEEK 4 (Bye: San Francisco)
Thursday, September 26
Philadelphia at Green Bay, 8:20 p.m. (FOX/NFLN/Amazon)*

Sunday, September 29
Tennessee at ATLANTA, 1 p.m. (CBS)
Cleveland at Baltimore, 1 p.m. (CBS)
New England at Buffalo, 1 p.m. (CBS)
Kansas City at Detroit, 1 p.m. (FOX)
Carolina at Houston, 1 p.m. (FOX)
Oakland at Indianapolis, 1 p.m. (CBS)
Los Angeles Chargers at Miami, 1 p.m. (CBS)#
Washington at New York Giants, 1 p.m. (FOX)
Seattle at Arizona, 4:05 p.m. (FOX)
Tampa Bay at Los Angeles Rams, 4:05 p.m. (FOX)
Minnesota at Chicago, 4:25 p.m. (CBS)
Jacksonville at Denver, 4:25 p.m. (CBS)
Dallas at New Orleans, 8:20 p.m. (NBC)

Monday, September 30
Cincinnati at Pittsburgh, 8:15 p.m. (ESPN)

WEEK 5
Thursday, October 3
Los Angeles Rams at Seattle, 8:20 p.m. (FOX/NFLN/Amazon)*

Sunday, October 6
ATLANTA at Houston, 1 p.m. (FOX)
Jacksonville at Carolina, 1 p.m. (CBS)
Arizona at Cincinnati, 1 p.m. (FOX)
Tampa Bay at New Orleans, 1 p.m. (FOX)
Minnesota at New York Giants, 1 p.m. (FOX)
Chicago at Oakland, 1 p.m. (6 p.m. in London)(FOX)
New York Jets at Philadelphia, 1 p.m. (CBS)
Baltimore at Pittsburgh, 1 p.m. (CBS)
Buffalo at Tennessee, 1 p.m. (CBS)#
New England at Washington, 1 p.m. (CBS)
Denver at Los Angeles Chargers, 4:05 p.m. (CBS)
Green Bay at Dallas, 4:25 p.m. (FOX)
Indianapolis at Kansas City, 8:20 p.m. (NBC)

Monday, October 7
Cleveland at San Francisco, 8:15 p.m. (ESPN)

WEEK 6
Thursday, October 10
New York Giants at New England, 8:20 p.m. (FOX/NFL Network/Amazon)#*

Sunday, October 13
ATLANTA at Arizona, 4:05 p.m. (FOX)
Carolina at Tampa Bay, 9:30 a.m. (2:30 p.m. in London)(NFL Network)
Cincinnati at Baltimore, 1 p.m. (CBS)
Seattle at Cleveland, 1 p.m. (FOX)
New Orleans at Jacksonville, 1 p.m. (CBS)
Houston at Kansas City, 1 p.m. (CBS)
Washington at Miami, 1 p.m. (FOX)
Philadelphia at Minnesota, 1 p.m. (FOX)
San Francisco at Los Angeles Rams, 4:05 p.m. (FOX)
Tennessee at Denver, 4:25 p.m. (CBS)
Dallas Cowboys at New York Jets, 4:25 p.m. (CBS)
Pittsburgh at Los Angeles Chargers, 8:20 p.m. (NBC)

Monday, October 14
Detroit at Green Bay, 8:15 p.m. (ESPN)

WEEK 7 (Byes: Carolina,
Thursday, October 17
Kansas City at Denver, 8:20 p.m. (FOX/NFL Network/Amazon)*

Sunday, October 20
Los Angeles Rams at ATLANTA, 1 p.m. (FOX)
Miami at Buffalo, 1 p.m. (CBS)
Jacksonville at Cincinnati, 1 p.m. (CBS)
Minnesota at Detroit, 1 p.m. (FOX)
Oakland at Green Bay, 1 p.m. (CBS)#
Houston at Indianapolis, 1 p.m. (CBS)
Arizona at New York Giants, 1 p.m. (FOX)
San Francisco at Washington, 1 p.m. (FOX)
Los Angeles Chargers at Tennessee, 4:05 p.m. (CBS)
New Orleans at Chicago, 4:25 p.m. (FOX)
Baltimore at Seattle, 4:25 p.m. (FOX)
Philadelphia at Dallas, 8:20 p.m. (NBC)

Monday, October 21, 2019
New England at New York Jets, 8:15 p.m. (ESPN)

WEEK 8 (Byes: Dallas
Thursday, October 24
Washington at Minnesota, 8:20 p.m. (FOX/NFLN/Amazon)*

Sunday, October 27
Seattle at ATLANTA, 1 p.m. (FOX)
Philadelphia at Buffalo, 1 p.m. (FOX)
Los Angeles Chargers at Chicago, 1 p.m. (FOX)
New York Giants at Detroit, 1 p.m. (FOX)
Oakland at Houston, 1 p.m. (CBS)
New York Jets at Jacksonville, 1 p.m. (CBS)
Cincinnati at Los Angeles Rams, 1 p.m. (5 p.m. in London)(CBS)
Arizona at New Orleans, 1 p.m. (CBS)
Tampa Bay at Tennessee, 1 p.m. (FOX)
Carolina at San Francisco, 4:05 p.m. (FOX)
Denver at Indianapolis, 4:25 p.m. (CBS)
Cleveland at New England, 4:25 p.m. (CBS)
Green Bay at Kansas City, 8:20 p.m. (NBC)

Monday, October 28
Miami at Pittsburgh, 8:15 p.m. (ESPN)

WEEK 9 (Byes: Atlanta, New Orleans, Los Angeles Rams
Thursday, October 31
San Francisco at Arizona, 8:20 p.m. (FOX/NFLN/Amazon)*

Sunday, November 3
Houston at Jacksonville, 9:30 a.m. (2:30 p.m. in London)(NFL Network)
Washington at Buffalo, 1 p.m. (FOX)
Tennessee at Carolina, 1 p.m. (CBS)
Minnesota at Kansas City, 1 p.m. (FOX)#
New York Jets at Miami, 1 p.m. (CBS)
Chicago at Philadelphia, 1 p.m. (FOX)
Indianapolis at Pittsburgh, 1 p.m. (CBS)
Detroit at Oakland, 4:05 p.m. (FOX)
Tampa Bay at Seattle, 4:05 p.m. (FOX)
Cleveland at Denver, 4:25 p.m. (CBS)
Green Bay at Los Angeles Chargers, 4:25p (CBS)
New England at Baltimore, 8:20 p.m. (NBC)

Monday, November 4
Dallas at New York Giants, 8:15 p,m. (ESPN)

WEEK 10
Thursday, November 7, 2019
Los Angeles Chargers at Oakland, 8:20 p.m. (FOX/NFLN/Amazon)*

Sunday, November 10, 2019
ATLANTA at New Orleans, 1 p.m. (FOX)
Detroit at Chicago, 1 p.m. (CBS)
Baltimore at Cincinnati, 1 p.m. (CBS)
Buffalo at Cleveland, 1 p.m. (CBS)
Carolina at Green Bay, 1 p.m. (FOX)
New York Giants at New York Jets, 1 p.m. (FOX)
Arizona at Tampa Bay, 1 p.m. (FOX)
Kansas City at Tennessee, 1 p.m. (CBS)
Miami at Indianapolis, 4:05 p.m. (CBS)
Los Angeles Rams at Pittsburgh, 4:25 p.m. (FOX)
Minnesota at Dallas, 8:20 p.m. (NBC)

Monday, November 11, 2019
Seattle at San Francisco, 8:15 p.m. (ESPN)

WEEK 11
Thursday, November 14, 2019
Pittsburgh at Cleveland, 8:20 p.m. (FOX/NFLN/Amazon)*

Sunday, November 17, 2019
ATLANTA at Carolina, 1 p.m. (FOX)
Houston at Baltimore, 1 p.m. (CBS)
Dallas at Detroit, 1 p.m. (FOX)
Jacksonville at Indianapolis, 1 p.m. (CBS)
Buffalo at Miami, 1 p.m. (CBS)
Denver at Minnesota, 1 p.m. (CBS)
New Orleans at Tampa Bay, 1 p.m. (FOX)
New York Jets at Washington, 1 p.m. (CBS)
Arizona at San Francisco, 4:05 p.m. (FOX)
Cincinnati at Oakland, 4:25 p.m. (CBS)
New England at Philadelphia, 4:25 p.m. (CBS)#
Chicago at Los Angeles Rams, 8:20 p.m. (NBC)

Monday, November 18
Kansas City at Los Angeles Chargers (Mexico City), 8:15 p.m. (ESPN)

WEEK 12
Thursday, November 21
Indianapolis at Houston, 8:20 p.m. (FOX/NFLN/Amazon)*

Sunday, November 24
Tampa Bay at ATLANTA, 1 p.m. (FOX)
Denver at Buffalo, 1 p.m. (CBS)
New York Giants at Chicago, 1 p.m. (FOX)
Pittsburgh at Cincinnati, 1 p.m. (CBS)
Miami at Cleveland, 1 p.m. (CBS)
Carolina at New Orleans, 1 p.m. (FOX)
Oakland at New York Jets, 1 p.m. (CBS)#
Detroit at Washington, 1 p.m. (FOX)
Jacksonville at Tennessee 4:05 p.m. (CBS)
Dallas at New England, 4:25 p.m. (FOX)
Green Bay at San Francisco, 4:25 p.m. (FOX)
Seattle at Philadelphia, 8:20 p.m. (NBC)

Monday, November 25
Baltimore at Los Angeles Rams, 8:15 p.m. (ESPN)

WEEK 13
Thursday, November 28 (Thanksgiving)(Byes: NONE)
New Orleans at ATLANTA, 8:20 p.m. (NBC)
Chicago at Detroit, 12:30 p.m. (FOX)
Buffalo at Dallas, 4:30 p.m. (CBS)

Sunday, December 1
San Francisco at Baltimore, 1 p.m. (FOX)#
Washington at Carolina, 1 p.m. (CBS)
New York Jets at Cincinnati, 1 p.m. (CBS)
Tennessee at Indianapolis, 1 p.m. (CBS)
Tampa Bay at Jacksonville, 1 p.m. (FOX)
Oakland at Kansas City, 1 p.m. (CBS)
Philadelphia at Miami, 1 p.m. (FOX)
Green Bay at New York Giants, 1 p.m. (FOX)
Los Angeles Rams at Arizona, 4:05 p.m. (FOX)
Los Angeles Chargers at Denver, 4:25 p.m. (CBS)
Cleveland at Pittsburgh, 4:25 p.m. (CBS)
New England at Houston, 8:20 p.m. (NBC)

Monday, December 2
Minnesota at Seattle, 8:15 p.m. (ESPN)

WEEK 14
Thursday, December 5
Dallas at Chicago, 8:20 p.m. Bears (FOX/NFLN/Amazon)*

Sunday, December 8
Carolina at ATLANTA, 1 p.m. (FOX)
Baltimore at Buffalo, 1 p.m. (CBS)
Cincinnati at Cleveland, 1 p.m. (CBS)#
Washington at Green Bay, 1 p.m. (FOX)
Denver at Houston, 1 p.m. (CBS)
Detroit at Minnesota, 1 p.m. (FOX)
San Francisco at New Orleans, 1 p.m. (FOX)
Miami at New York Jets, 1 p.m. (CBS)
Indianapolis at Tampa Bay, 1 p.m. (CBS)
Los Angeles Chargers at Jacksonville, 4:05 p.m. (FOX)
Pittsburgh at Arizona, 4:25 p.m. (CBS)
Kansas City at New England, 4:25 p.m. (CBS)
Tennessee at Oakland, 4:25 p.m. (CBS)
Seattle at Los Angeles Rams, 8:20 p.m. (NBC)

Monday, December 9
New York Giants at Philadelphia, 8:20 p,m. (ESPN)

WEEK 15
Thursday, December 12
New York Jets at Baltimore, 8:20 p.m. (FOX/NFLN/Amazon)*

Sunday, December 15
ATLANTA at San Francisco, 4:25 p.m. (FOX)
Seattle at Carolina, 1 p.m. (FOX)
New England at Cincinnati, 1 p.m. (CBS)
Tampa Bay at Detroit, 1 p.m. (FOX)
Chicago at Green Bay, 1 p.m. (FOX)
Denver at Kansas City, 1 p.m. (CBS)
Miami at New York Giants, 1 p.m. (CBS)
Buffalo at Pittsburgh, 1 p.m. (CBS)
Houston at Tennessee, 1 p.m. (CBS)
Philadelphia at Washington, 1 p.m. (FOX)
Cleveland at Arizona, 4:05 p.m. (CBS)
Jacksonville at Oakland, 4:05 p.m. (CBS)
Los Angeles Rams at Dallas, 4:25 p.m. (FOX)
Minnesota at Los Angeles Chargers, 8:20 p.m. (NBC)

Monday, December 16
Indianapolis at New Orleans, 8:15 p.m. (ESPN)

WEEK 16
Saturday, December 21
Detroit at Denver, Time, Day and Network TBD
Oakland at Los Angeles Chargers, Time, Day and Network TBD#
Buffalo at New England, Time, Day and Network TBD
Los Angeles Rams at San Francisco, Time, Day and Network TBD
Houstonat Tampa Bay, Time, Day and Network TBD

Sunday, December 22
Jacksonville at ATLANTA, 1 p.m. (FOX)
Baltimore at Cleveland, 1 p.m. (CBS)
Carolina at Indianapolis, 1 p.m. (FOX)
Cincinnati at Miami, 1 p.m. (CBS)
Pittsburgh at New York Jets, 1 p.m. (CBS)
New Orleans at Tennessee, 1 p.m. (FOX)
New York Giants at Washington, 1 p.m. (FOX)
Dallas at Philadelphia, 4:25 p.m. (FOX)
Arizona at Seattle, 4:25 p.m. (FOX)
Kansas City at Chicago, 8:20 p.m. (NBC)

Monday, December 23
Green Bay at Minnesota, 8:15 p.m. (ESPN)

WEEK 17
Sunday, December 29
ATLANTA at Tampa Bay, 1 p.m. (FOX)
Pittsburgh at Baltimore, 1 p.m. (CBS)
New York Jets at Buffalo, 1 p.m. (CBS)
New Orleans at Carolina, 1 p.m. (FOX)
Cleveland at Cincinnati, 1 p.m. (CBS)
Washington at Dallas, 1 p.m. (FOX)
Green Bay at Detroit, 1 p.m. (FOX)
Tennessee at Houston, 1 p.m. (CBS)
Indianapolis at Jacksonville, 1 p.m. (CBS)
Los Angeles Chargers at Kansas City, 1 p.m. (CBS)
Chicago at Minnesota, 1 p.m. (FOX)
Miami at New England, 1 p.m. (CBS)
Philadelphia at New York Giants, 1 p.m. (FOX)
Oakland at Denver, 4:25 p.m. (CBS)
Arizona at Los Angeles Rams, 4:25 p.m. (FOX)
San Francisco at Seattle, 4:25 p.m. (FOX)

* NFL Network and Amazon simulcast subject to change

#NFL 100 Game of the Week (Week 17 game TBD)

In a little more than 24 hours, the 2019 National Football League schedule will see the light of day. Fans will have a chance to see when their teams are playing in addition to who their opponents will be and where they will be playing. The release of the schedule will be the biggest thing for football fans since Christmas Day.

Until the announcement is made on NFL Network Wednesday night at 8 p.m. Eastern, fans can only speculate what their schedule would look like. In the meanwhile, here’s a game you can play with your friends. Take your team’s opponents (both home and away) and try to figure out the schedule yourself. Keep in mind that the season starts the Thursday after Labor Day and we already know that da Bears and Packers will meet that Thursday night in the Windy City and there are 17 weeks in a season, which means you also have to input your team’s bye week.

Also take into consideration that there are 2 Monday night games in the opening weekend, three Thanksgiving games and at least two Saturday games late in the season. For each game you get correct, give yourself a point. Give yourself a point if you guess the Monday night game correctly and two points if you get your team’s bye week correct. There are going to be wrong answers but don’t beat yourself up. This is just for fun. Having said that, here’s what I think Atlanta’s schedule would look like.

What Atlanta’s 2019 NFL schedule might look like…

Week  1 at Arizona
Week  2 at San Francisco
Week  3 CAROLINA
Week  4 SEATTLE
Week  5 at Houston
Week  6 at New Orleans
Week  7 TENNESSEE (MONDAY)
Week  8 BYE
Week  9 LOS ANGELES RAMS (SUNDAY NIGHT)
Week 10 at Minnesota
Week 11 PHILADELPHIA
Week 12 at Tampa Bay
Week 13 JACKSONVILLE (THANKSGIVING NIGHT)
Week 14 at Carolina
Week 15 at Indianapolis
Week 16 NEW ORLEANS
Week 17 TAMPA BAY

And there were two.

The Los Angeles Rams.

The New England Patriots.

The last two in the 2018 National Football League’s version of “Survivor.” While the other 30 teams are at home after having their torches put out, they are the last two standing. They’ve out-witted the other 30 teams, they’ve outlasted the other 30. Sunday will be a chance to see who can out-survive the other.

Both the Rams and Patriots started their seasons like everyone else, with OTAs, the draft, mini-camp, preseason and a 17-week schedule where they both played 16 games. At the end of the day in Atlanta, one team will be holding the Lombardi Trophy again, sort of like Raftiki holding baby Simba in “The Lion King.” The other team? They will be picked apart like a Thanksgiving Turkey, second-guessed by everyone that can draw a breath.

This Sunday is not just any Sunday. This is Super Bowl Sunday. This is the Sunday that some of these players have been dreaming about since they were kids, playing pretend football in the backyard and hoping that their time will come. Their time is here. It’s the final game on the 2018 NFL schedule and when the clock strikes :00, the confetti flies around and the on-field interviews are taking place, it will come to an end. No more regular season football until September 5th. The winner? They get to take home the Lombardi Trophy and each player will take home $118,000, which comes out to $29,500 a quarter and they get to pick last in the upcoming draft. As for the losing team? No trophy, they get to pick 31st and each player will get $59,000 (or $14,750 per quarter).

What else is at stake, you ask?

With a New England victory…
•The Patriots will have captured their sixth Super Bowl championship, tied with Pittsburgh (six) for most in NFL history.
•New England will have won its 37th postseason game, surpassing Pittsburgh (36) for the most all-time.
•Head coach Bill Belichick joins George Halas and Curly Lambeau as the only coaches ever to win six NFL championships.
•Quarterback Tom Brady has now won six Super Bowls, surpassing Pro Football Hall of Famer Charles Haley (five) for the most of any player. His Rams counterpart Jared Goff was 7 years old when Brady won his first Lombardi.

With a Los Angeles win…
•The Rams will celebrate the second Super Bowl victory in the history of their franchise (SB XXXIV) and their first in Los Angeles.
•At age 33, head coach Sean McVay becomes the youngest coach ever to win the Super Bowl. Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin held the previous mark at age 36.
•Quarterback Jared Goff becomes the first quarterback selected number 1 overall to lead his team to a Super Bowl victory within his first three seasons.

Belichick and Brady will be making their ninth 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.

Los Angeles Rams head coach Sean McVay, who turns 33 years and 10 days old on Super Bowl Sunday, is the youngest head coach to lead his team to the Super Bowl. In each of the past two seasons under McVay, the Rams have ranked first or second in points per game. His counterpart on the other side of the field? Bill Belichick is 66 and turns 67 in April.

Rams quarterback Jared Goff, the No. 1 overall selection in the 2016 NFL Draft, is the first quarterback selected number 1 overall to reach the Super Bowl within his first three seasons. Four quarterbacks (Pro Football Hall of Famers Troy Aikman and John Elway, Drew Bledsoe and Eli Manning) each reached the Super Bowl in their fourth season.

Brady vs. Goff. Two QBs with a huge age difference led their teams to this point in time. Both clubs won their divisions, both were two seeds in their respective conferences and both won their last games on the road in overtime and both teams beat the top seeds. The bigger picture? Brady won his first Super Bowl the last time the two met in the post season. When Sunday’s game kicks off, Brady will be 42 years old, while Goff is 25 (Goff was seven years old when the Brady-Bilichick duo won their first Lombardi).

The Rams fought their way back against New Orleans in the NFC Championship game at the Mercedes Benz Superdome and came away with a 26-23 overtime win over Drew Brees and the Saints. Los Angeles trailed 13-10 at the half after the Saints rushed out to a 13-0 lead at the end of the first quarter as the Saints used a pair of Wil Lutz field goals and a Brees TD pass to TE Garrett Griffin to open the scoring in the contest. Los Angeles shut out the Saints in the second quarter, thanks to a 6-yard TD run by Todd Gurley III and a Greg Zuerlein field goal to tally their first points of the game. New Orleans would push the lead back to 10 with 8:34 left in the third when backup QB Taysom Hill and Brees connected on a 2-yard toss before the Rams would even things up when TE Tyler Higbee and Goff connected with 3:06 left in the third and Zuerlin booted a 24-yard field goal with 5:03 left in the contest.

New Orleans was not going quietly and got the ball back with 5:03 left in regulation and started the drive they thought would give them the win and there was some controversy in that drive when Saints WR Michael Thomas and Rams CB Michael Roby-Coleman collided on a pass attempt that many Saints fans and players thought was pass interference but was not called and the pass was ruled incomplete, much to the anger of Saints fans and head coach Sean Payton. (Roby-Coleman was eventually fined by the league for the helmet to helmet hit). The Saints had to settle for a 31-yard field goal from Lutz with 1:41 left before the Rams stormed back with 15 seconds left in regulation to re-tie the contest and send the contest into the extra period after Brees knelt the ball down. New Orleans would win the toss in the overtime and got the ball first in the overtime and kept the ball for only four plays, getting as close as their own 36-yard line when Brees was picked off by S John Johnson II inside Saints territory. The Rams wasted very little time or distance, using a 5-play, 15-yard drive that took 2:12 for them to set up a 57-yard field goal try. After the Saints burned a timeout to ice the kicker, Zeurlein connected on that 57-yard try to send the Rams into the Super Bowl.

The Rams outrushed New Orleans 77-48 and Goff threw for 297 yards and a TD with an interception and a sack, while Rams WR Brandon Cooks burned his former team for 107 yards on seven catches. Brees threw for 249 yards with the two TD tosses, while being sacked twice and throwing the interception that ended New Orleans’ hopes of coming to Atlanta. Los Angeles went 6 of 16 on third down (they were 1 for 1 on fourth down) and ruled the clock as they kept the ball for 32:36 (including the overtime), while the Saints went 6 for 14 on third down, keeping the ball for 30:41.

New England took a 14-0 lead with them to the intermission against Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead in the AFC Championship game, only to see the Chiefs rally in the final 15 minutes of play and Brady and the Patriots would need overtime to take the 37-31 win on the road. Rookie RB Sony Michel and WR Phillip Dorsett would open the scoring for New England; Michel scoring on a 1-yard run early in the first quarter and Dorsett catching a 29-yard pass from Brady to take the 14-point lead at the break. Kansas City would respond in the third quarter as Mahomes and TE Travis Kelce connected on a 12-yard TD toss in the third to end New England’s bid for a shutout before Patriots K Stephen Gostkowski would push the lead back to 10 with a 47-yard field goal late in the quarter.

The Chiefs would then go to work in the final quarter of regulation, using a pair of Damien Williams TD runs to eventually take a 21-17 lead with 7:45 left in the contest. That lead would not last long as Michel scored on a 10-yard romp with 3:32 left. Kansas City then responded and took the lead back with 2:03 left when Williams scored from two yards out. The Chiefs’ lead did not last very long as New England’s Rex Burkhead gave his team a 31-28 lead back with 39 seconds left. Kansas City roared back again with 8 seconds left in regulation as Harrison Butker connected on a 39 yard field goal to tie things up at 31-31.

The Butker field goal would be the last time the Chiefs would see the ball as New England would win the coin toss in overtime and played ball control in the extra period, using a 13-play, 75-yard drive that used 4:52 of clock and sent Chiefs fans home in a less than good mood when Burkhead gave his team the win, scoring from two yards out to take the win. Michel rushed for 113 yards with the two TDs as the Patriots outrushed Kansas City 176-41. Brady threw for 348 yards with the TD toss and one interception (he was not sacked), while Mahomes threw for 295 yards with three TDs and four sacks but no interceptions. Kansas City, who saw their hopes dashed when DE Dee Ford lined up in the neutral zone, erasing a potential Brady interception in the final quarter, went 4 for 9 on third down and kept the ball for 20:53, while New England ruled the clock and kept the ball for 43:59 (including the 4:52 in overtime), while going 13 of 19 on third down, 1 for 2 on fourth down.

They met in Foxoboro in the 2016 season in week 13 and the Patriots were 26-10 winners at Gillette Stadium. New England scored their first 17 points of the contest uncontested before the Rams rallied in the final 30 minutes of play, outscoring New England 10-9. The Rams were held to 36 rushing yards, while New England tallied 133, with LeGarrett Blount leading the way with 88 yards and a rushing TD, while Brady threw for 269 yards without a sack or interception (Goff threw for 161 yards with a pair of interceptions and four sacks; both Goff and Brady each had a TD pass). The Rams were a dismal 1 of 12 on third down (they were 1 of 1 on fourth down) and they would keep the ball for 22:03, while New England ruled the clock and kept the ball for 37:57, while going 4 of 16 on third down, 2 of 2 on fourth down.

In the week 13 contest in Foxboro, the Pats covered the 13 1/2-point spread, winning by 16 but both clubs missed the 44 1/2 over/under as they combined for 36 points.

The Rams and Patriots met once in post-season play and that was in Super Bowl XXXVI, which New England won in the final seconds 20-17 in New Orleans, when the Rams were in St. Louis. That contest was the start of the Brady-Bill Belichick era as the Rams, who were in St. Louis, won the Lombardi Trophy the year before in Atlanta. New England erased a 3-0 first quarter deficit and took a 14-3 lead with them to the break in the Big Easy. The Pats then added an Adam Vinatieri field goal in the third quarter to lead by 14 before the Rams scored a pair of TDs in the fourth, one with Kurt Warner using his legs to score from two yards out, then Warner used his arm, connecting with WR Ricky Proehl with 90 seconds left in regulation. New England would use all of the 90 seconds that was left and made their way down the field, using a 9-play, 53-yard drive that ended with Vinatieri connecting on a 48-yard field goal as time expired. In picking up his first Super Bowl win, Brady threw for 145 yards and a TD with a sack but no interceptions, while Warner threw for 365 yards and the game-tying TD with three sacks and a pair of interceptions. New England outrushed the Rams 133-90 and went 2 for 11 on third down and kept the ball for 26:30 (including the final 90 seconds of the contest), while the Rams were 5 for 13 on third down and kept the ball for 33:30.

Yes, this is the last game of the year. When next Sunday rolls around, most of America will be forced to wait for baseball and watch golf, basketball or those gosh-awful Lifetime movies on Sunday. It’s also the last Sunday of “THE DRILL” 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 58 last June and dates a 43-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?”)

New England, according to the boys and girls in Vegas, are favored by 2 1/2 with a 56 1/2 over/under. Both numbers make a lot of sense. For the winners, they get to go to Disney World and the Lombardi Trophy. As for the loser? Let’s just say that sports talk shows will be second-guessing them over and over and over until the draft. For the championship week, we went 1-1 and for the season, we are now 150-112. The end is nigh for the 2018 season. No more NFL until pre-season. It’s time to pick a winner, Jimmy, to paraphrase Robert Redford from “The Natural.” Jimmy’s from LA and he’s going with the Rams. We are too. Rams win and cover the 2 1/2.

Broadcast Information – 6:30 p.m. Eastern on CBS: Jim Nantz, Tony Romo, Tracy Wolfson, Jay Feely, Gene Steratore; WESTWOOD ONE: Kevin Harlan, Kurt Warner, Mike Holmgren, Tony Boselli, Ed Werder; SIRIUS: 88 (WestWood1), 82 (New England), 83 (Los Angeles Rams); XM: 88 (WestWood1), 226 (New England), 225 (Los Angeles Rams)

Referee: John Parry

Injury Report

New England – New England reports no injuries

Los Angeles Rams – Los Angeles Rams report no injuries

Weather: Game indoors; if roof is open, partly cloudy and 55 degrees.

Broadcast Information and Injury Report courtesy the National Football League, odds courtesy Don Best, weather information courtesy The Weather Channel. (Note: Weather information is based on kickoff local time)

Sunday Broadcast Information (All times Eastern)

NFC – Los Angeles Rams at New Orleans, 3:05 p.m. on FOX: Joe Buck, Troy Aikman, Erin Andrews (Field reporter), Chris Myers (Field reporter); WESTWOOD ONE: Kevin Harlan, Kurt Warner, Ed Werder; SIRIUS: 88 (WW1), 83 (Los Angeles Rams), 82 (New Orleans); XM: 88 (WW1), 83 (Los Angeles Rams), 82 (New Orleans)

AFC – New England at Kansas City, 6:40 p.m. on CBS: Jim Nantz, Tony Romo, Tracy Wolfson, Jay Feely, Gene Steratore; WESTWOOD ONE: Kevin Kugler, Tony Boselli, Ross Tucker; SIRIUS: 88 (WW1), 82 (New England ), 83 (Kansas City); XM: 88 (WW1), 226 (New England ), 225 (Kansas City)

Sunday Officials
NFC – Los Angeles Rams at New Orleans, 3:05 p.m.: Bill Vinovich
AFC – New England at Kansas City, 6:40 p.m.: Clete Blakeman

Sunday’s Odds (Home teams listed in CAPS)

Sunday’s Games
Favorite         Spread   Underdog                 O/U
NEW ORLEANS      – 3 1/2  Los Angeles Rams         57 1/2
KANSAS CITY      – 3      New England              56
Sunday’s Injury Report

NFC – Los Angeles Rams at New Orleans, 3:05 p.m.

Los Angeles Rams – Los Angeles Rams report no injuries

New Orleans
OUT: WR Keith Kirkwood (Calf)
QUESTIONABLE: TE Ben Watson (Illness)

AFC – New England at Kansas City, 6:40 p.m.

New England – New England reports no injuries
OUT: LB Dorian O’Daniel (Ankle)

Sunday Weather
NFC – Los Angeles Rams at New Orleans, 3:05 p.m.: Game indoors
AFC – New England at Kansas City, 6:40 p.m.: Cloudy and 26 degrees

Broadcast Information and Injury Report courtesy the National Football League, odds courtesy Don Best, weather information courtesy The Weather Channel. (Note: Weather information is based on kickoff local time)

And then there were four.

It’s the NFL’s Final Four. The last four teams standing before Super Bowl LIII in Atlanta in two weeks. These are the survivors and at the end of the day, there will be two teams making their way toward the Big Peach, while the other two teams will be clearing out their lockers come Monday. While the other 28 teams are getting ready for the Senior Bowl, the 2019 NFL draft and OTA’s, the remaining four teams are playing a meaningful football game and these games are important.

The formula stays pretty much the same and it’s so easy, even a five-year old gets it.

You win… you get to go to Atlanta.

Lose… your next game is next year.

32 teams started the year fighting for the Lombardi Trophy, fighting heat, bugs, sweat, sleeping in dorms for the first time since college, reading playbooks that make War and Peace look like the Sunday funnies. Four pre-seaason games, 16 regular season games and the postseason. All that comes to an end in two weeks. When Super Bowl LIII comes to an end in Atlanta, someone’s going to be holding the Lombardi Trophy and yelling into a camera “I’m going to Disney World!” The losers? They’re going to be second-guessed and picked apart like a turkey at Thanksgiving the entire off-season. Second meetings are all about revenge for the losers and a chance for the winners to make a statement.

What’s at stake, you ask? Trophies and cash, for openers, as well as a chance to go to Atlanta. The AFC winner will be the American Football Conference Championship and the Lamar Hunt Trophy, while the NFC winner will be the proud owners of the George Halas Trophy. Each player will be paid $54,000 (which breaks down to $13,500 a quarter) for their participation in the championship games.

WHAT TO LOOK FOR

HIGH OCTANE OFFENSES: On Championship Sunday, the Super Bowl LIII participants will be decided. In the NFC, the Los Angeles Rams take on New Orleans at 3:05 p.m. on FOX, while New England travels to Arrowhead Stadium to face Kansas City at 6:40 p.m. on CBS in the AFC. The Conference Championships feature the four highest-scoring teams from the regular season for the first time in the Super Bowl era.

With victories by the Rams and Chiefs on Sunday, the Super Bowl would feature the two highest-scoring teams from the regular season for the fifth time since 1970 and the first time since 1997.

The Super Bowls featuring the two highest-scoring teams from the regular season since 1970:

SEASON: NO. 1 OFFENSE – NO. 2 OFFENSE (SUPER BOWL)
1997: Denver – Green Bay (XXXII)
1996: Green Bay – New England (XXXI)
1991: Washington – Buffalo (XXVI)
1984: Miami – San Francisco (XIX)

THE PATRIOT WAY: The New England Patriots have reached the Super Bowl in each of the past two seasons. With a win against Kansas City on Sunday, the Patriots would join the Buffalo Bills (1990-93) and Miami Dolphins (1971-73) as the only teams in the Super Bowl era to appear in three consecutive Super Bowls.

The teams to appear in at least three consecutive Super Bowls in the Super Bowl era:

TEAM (SEASONS / CONSECUTIVE SUPER BOWLS; SUPER BOWLS)
Buffalo (1990-93 / 4; XXV-XXVIII)
Miami (1971-73 / 3; VI-VIII)
New England (2016-17 / 2; LI-LII)*
*Active streak

HIGH SEED ADVANTAGE: With victories by top seeds Kansas City (AFC) and New Orleans (NFC) on Sunday, it would mark the 14th time since the NFL began seeding teams in 1975 that both top seeds faced off in the Super Bowl and the fifth time in the past six seasons (2013-15, 2017).

With wins on Sunday by both the Chiefs and Saints, it would mark the fifth time since 1975 that consecutive seasons have featured a Super Bowl matchup of the No. 1 seeds.

The Super Bowls featuring both No. 1 seeds in consecutive seasons since the NFL began seeding teams in 1975:

SEASONS: SUPER BOWLS
2013-15: XLVIII-50
1983-84: XVIII-XIX
1976-77: XI-XII​

With a win, the Chiefs can become the sixth consecutive number seed to represent the AFC in the Super Bowl, surpassing five consecutive Super Bowls featuring the AFC’s number one seed (1987-1991) for the longest streak by the conference since 1975.

A victory by Kansas City would also mark the second time that either conference has had a streak of six consecutive seasons with a Super Bowl featuring their number one seed since 1975 (NFC – six consecutive seasons from 1981-86).

MAGICAL MAHOMES: Kansas City quarterback Patrick Mahomes passed for 278 yards in his postseason debut last weekend and ranked second in passing yards (5,097) during the regular season.

With a Chiefs victory against New England, Mahomes would become the fourth quarterback to pass for at least 5,000 yards and reach the Super Bowl in the same season.

The quarterbacks to pass for at least 5,000 yards and reach the Super Bowl in the same season:

PLAYER, TEAM (SEASON: PASSING YARDS – SUPER BOWL)
Peyton Manning, Denver (2013: 5,477 – XLVIII)
Tom Brady, New England (2011: 5,235 – XLVI)
Dan Marino, Miami (1984: 5,084 – XIX)^
^Pro Football Hall of Famer

EASY BREESY: New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees passed for 301 yards with two touchdowns in the Saints’ Divisional Playoffs win against Philadelphia.

With 300 passing yards on Sunday, Brees would tie Peyton Mannign (nine games) for the second-most playoff games with at least 300 passing yards.

The players with the most postseason games with at least 300 passing yards:

PLAYER – TEAM(S) (POSTSEASON GAMES WITH 300+ PASS YARDS)
Tom Brady – New England (15)*
Peyton Manning – Indianapolis and Denver (9)
Drew Brees – San Diego and New Orleans (8)*
*Active in Conference Championships

GREAT GURLEY: Los Angeles Rams running back Todd Gurley rushed for 115 yards and a touchdown in the Rams’ Divisional round victory against Dallas.

Gurley, who has rushed for at least 100 yards in each of his first two postseason appearances, can join Arian Foster as the only players in postseason history to rush for at least 100 yards in each of their first three playoff games.

The players with at least 100 rushing yards in each of their first three postseason games:

PLAYER, TEAM (DATES)(GAMES)
Arian Foster, Houston (1/7/12-1/5/13)(3)
Todd Gurley, Los Angeles Rams (1/6/18-1/12/19)(2)*
*Active streak

CATCH & RUN: New England running back JAMES WHITE had 15 receptions in the Divisional Playoffs, tied with Darren Sproles  (January 14, 2012 with New Orleans) for the most receptions by a player in a single postseason game in the Super Bowl era.

With at least 10 receptions on Sunday at Kansas City, White would become the fourth player in the Super Bowl era to record consecutive postseason games with at least 10 catches.

The players with consecutive postseason games with at least 10 receptions in the Super Bowl era:

PLAYER, TEAM (DATES)(CONSECUTIVE GAMES)
Tony Nathan, Miami (1/20/85-1/4/86)(2)
Jerry Rice, San Francisco (1/29/95-1/6-96)(2)^
Steve Smith, Sr., Carolina (1/8/06-1/15/06 (2)
^Pro Football Hall of Famer

Patriots running back Sony Michel rushed for 129 yards and three touchdowns in the team’s Divisional Playoffs victory. With one rushing touchdown on Sunday, Michel can tie the postseason record for the most rushing touchdowns by a rookie.

The rookies with the most rushing touchdowns in a single postseason:

PLAYER, TEAM (SEASON – RUSH TDS)
Leonard Fournette, Jacksonville (2017 – 4)
Jamal Lewis, Baltimore (2000 – 4)
William Floyd, San Francisco (1994 – 4)
Tony Dorsett, Dallas (1997 – 4)^
Norm Standlee, Chicago (1941 – 4)
Sony Michel, New England (2018 – 3)*
*Active
^Pro Football Hall of Famer

As was the case for the entire playoffs and the Super Bowl, everything is going to be “DRILL WORTHY!” (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 58 last June and dates a 43-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?”)

We struggled in the Wild Card round, going 1-3 but bounced back in the Divisional round, going 3-1, which for the year makes us 149-111. Both games are rematches from the 2018 regular season schedule (New England and Kansas City met in Foxboro in week six, the Rams and Saints met in New Orleans in week nine), which means that there are no secrets. One seeds playing at home against two seeds. Playoff football at its finest. Hollywood couldn’t have written a better script.

Two games left in the post-season. We can’t say it enough but it bears repeating.

Win… you go to Atlanta in two weeks.

Lose… your next game is next year.

With that, here are the Sunday championship picks.

NFC – Los Angeles Rams (13-3, 2nd seed) at New Orleans (13-3, 1st seed), 3:05 p.m. on FOX. Championship Sunday gets underway in the Big Easy as the Los Angeles Rams and New Orleans Saints meet in a week nine rematch to decide who will be the NFC’s representative to Super Bowl LIII. Both teams were at home last week after their first round byes and both clubs had close wins at home.

The Rams, winners of the NFC West, held off a late Dallas rally last Saturday night in Los Angeles as they came away with the 30-22 win at the Coliseum in the NFC Divisional Game. Los Angeles erased a 7-3 deficit at the end of the first 15 minutes of play, took a 20-7 lead with them to the intermission and held off a late Cowboys rally in the second half that saw Dallas outscore the Rams 15-10 in the final 30 minutes of action. The Rams outrushed Dallas 273-50 and Rams’ running backs Todd Gurley (115 yards, TD) and C.J. Anderson (123 yards, 2 TDS) each tallied 100 yards for their team, while Jared Goff threw for 186 yards with no sacks (Dallas’ Dak Prescott threw for 266 yards with a TD to Amari Cooper with a sack; neither Goff or Presscott threw an interception). The Rams were 5 of 11 on third down (they were 2 of 2 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 36:13, while the Cowboys held on to the ball for 23:47, going 1 for 10 on third down, 3 for 4 on fourth down.

New Orleans trailed Philadelphia 14-0 early in their contest at the Mercedes Benz Superdome, then rallied to take a 20-14 win over the Eagles to advance to the championship round. The Saints proceeded to chip away at Philadelphia’s lead and trailed 14-10 at the half before scoring their final 10 points of the contest unchallenged, taking the lead for keeps with 1:40 left in the third when Drew Brees and WR Michael Thomas connected on a 2-yard TD pass, part of an 18-play, 92-yard drive that took 11:29 of playing time (17 minutes of actual time). Saints K Wil Lutz would add a 39-yard field goal early in the final 15 minutes of play to make the contest a 6-point affair. Philadelphia would later get the ball back in the final minutes of the game and got as close as the Saints’ 27-yard line when Nick Foles’ pass intended for Alshon Jeffery deflected off Jeffery’s hands and was intercepted by Marshawn Lattimore, The Saints then proceeded to run out the clock and take the win in front of the home folks. New Orleans outrushed Philadelphia 137-49, with Saints RB Alvin Kamara leading all rushers with 71 yards and Brees throwing for 301 yards with a pair of TDs to go with a pair of sacks and an interception, while Foles threw for 201 yards with a TD and two sacks. New Orleans went 8 for 15 on third down, 2 of 2 on fourth down (including a fake punt run by backup QB Taysom Hill) and kept the ball for 37:50, while the Eagles were 2 of 7 on third downs, holding on to the ball for 22:10.

In the week nine contest in the Big Easy, New Orleans broke a 35-35 fourth quarter tie in the Big Easy and took a 45-35 decision against the Los Angeles Rams last Sunday afternoon to end the Rams’ 8-game win streak. New Orleans led 35-14 going into the intermission before the Rams would pull themselves to within 11 as K Greg Zuerlein connected on a 56-yard field goal as time expired. Los Angeles then scored 10 third quarter points without a challenge, then opened the fourth quarter, tying things up at 35-35 thanks to a pair of TD passes from Jared Goff (one to RB Malcon Brown, the other to WR Cooper Kupp) and a Zuerlein field goal before New Orleans took control in the fourth quarter to take the lead back and for keeps. New Orleans outrushed the Rams 141-92 and Goff threw for 391 yards with three TDs an an interception, while Brees threw for 346 yards and four TDs, including a TD that drew the ire of the game officials when WR Michael Thomas pulled out a cell phone from underneath the goal post padding, paying homage to former Saints player Joe Horn (neither man was sacked, Goff threw the only interception in the contest). The Rams were 3 for 8 on third down conversions (they were 0 of 2 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 26:19, while the Saints ruled the clock and held on to the ball for 33:41, going 7 of 12 on third down, 2 of 2 on fourth down.

In the week nine contest in the Big Easy, the Saints were a 1-point favorite and they covered, winning by 10 and both teams took care of the 60 1/2 over/under, as both teams combined for 80 points. This time, the Saints are favored by 3 1/2 and the over/under’s 56. There’s a good chance the over/under could be reached by halftime. The Saints want to prove that the first meeting was not a fluke while the Rams are seeking revenge. Revenge wins out here. Hooray for Hollywood! Rams pull the upset in the Big Easy and covers the 3 1/2.

AFC – New England (11-5, 2nd seed) at Kansas City (12-4, 1st seed), 6:40 p.m. on CBS. Tom Brady vs. Patrick Mahomes. They meet again, this time in central America. The Chiefs host the Patriots in a week six rematch at Arrownhead to become the AFC’s representative to Super Bowl LIII in Atlanta. Both teams were winners at home in last week’s action.

New England led the Los Angeles Chargers 35-7 at the break at Foxboro and came out on top 41-28 at Gillette Stadium. New England broke a 7-7 tie early in the first quarter as rookie RB Sony Michel would give the Patriots the lead back for keeps, scoring the first of his three rushing TDs late in the period (Michel would then add a second rushing score before halftime). New England outrushed the Bolts 155-19, with Michel leading the eay with 129 yards and Brady threw for 343 yards and a TD without being sacked or picked off, while Philip Rivers threw for 331 yards and three TDs (two of the passes coming late in the contest) and was scked twice and picked off once. While New England was 50 percent on third down tries (the Pats were 7 of 14), they were perfect on fourth down tries, going 1 for 1 and held the ball for 38:20, while the Chargers kept the pigskin for 21:40, going 5 of 13 on third down, 1 for 1 on fourth down.

The Chiefs opened Divisonal Weekend in chilly snowy Kansas City and took care of Andrew Luck and the Indianapolis Colts 31-13 at Arrowhead Saturday afternoon. Kansas City led 17-0 early in the contest before the Colts got their first score thanks to a Chiefs’ special teams blunder when Zeke Pascal recoveed a blocked punt in the end zone to put themselves on the scoreboard. Mahomes then took matters into his own feet, scoring on a four-yard romp late in the second quarter to take a 24-7 lead with them to the intermission. Luck and T.Y. Hilton would pull the Colts to within 11 late in the fourth quarter before Kansas City would seal Indianapolis’ fate when RB Damien Williams, who opened the game’s scoring, closed it out with a six-yard run to take the win. Williams accounted for 129 yards to lead all rushers as the Chiefs outrushed the Colts 180-87 and Mahomes threw for 278 yards and despite being sacked four times, did not throw an interception, while Luck threw for 203 yards with three sacks and the lone TD toss to Hilton. While Kansas City floundered on third down tries at 4 of 14, they struck oil on fourth down, going 3 of 4 and ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 39:49, while the Colts were a dismal 0 for 9 on third down (they were 1 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 20:11.

The Patriots knocked Kansas City out of the ranks of the unbeatens in the week six Sunday night contest in Foxboro, coming away 43-40 last second winners over the Chiefs at Gillette Stadium. Brady and New England led 24-13 at the intermission before the Chiefs would rally in the second half, outscoring New England 31-19 in the final 30 minutes of action. Kansas City took a 33-30 lead with 8:38 left when Tyreek Hill and Mahomes (352 yards, four TDs, two interceptions) connected on a 1-yard TD pass. That lead would not last long as Brady took matters into his own hands and feet, scoring from 4 yards out and the Pats would add to that lead when Stephen Gostkowski booted a 52-yarder to lead 40-33. The Chiefs were not going away quietly as Hill and Mahomes hooked up again with 3:03 left to re-tie the contest. New England went into a surgeon-like mode in the final 3:03, using a 7-play, 65-yard drive that used all the available time left in regulation when Gostkowski booted a 28-yard field goal as time expired. Brady threw for 340 yards with a TD toss to Josh Edelman as New England outrushed Kansas City 173-94 (New England rookie RB Sony Michel led everyone with 106 yards on the ground with a pair of TDs). New England was 7 of 13 on third down (the Pats were 0 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 36:09 (including the final drive), while the Chiefs were 4 of 10 on third down (1 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 23:51.

New England in the week six Sunday night contest was favored by 3 1/2 but won by 3. Both clubs manged to wipe the 60 over/under off the face of the Earth, combining to score 83 points in Foxboro. The boys and girls in Vegas like the Chiefs as a 3-point favorite with a 56 over/under. For the Pats, they look to go back to the Super Bowl and erase the memory of what happened to them in Minneapolis; for the Chiefs, it will be their first trip to the big game since Hank Stram wore that blazer as he and Len Dawson took Minnesota to task in New Orleans. Everything’s up to date in Kansas City and so are the Chiefs. Pats make this one close but Chiefs prevail at Arrowhead.