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2007 National Football League season
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Regular season
Duration September 6 2007 - December 30 2007
Playoffs
Start date January 5 2008
AFC Champions New England Patriots
NFC Champions New York Giants
Super Bowl XLII
Date February 3 2008
Site University of Phoenix Stadium, Glendale, Arizona
Champions {{{sb_champions}}}
Champions New York Giants
Pro Bowl
Date February 10 2008
National Football League seasons
 < 2006 2008 > 

The 2007 season of the National Football League (NFL) was the 88th season played by the major professional American football league in the United States. Regular-season play was held from September 6 to December 30.

The New England Patriots became the first team to complete the regular season undefeated since the league expanded to a 16-game regular season in 1978. However, four weeks after the playoffs began on January 5 2008, the Patriots were upset by the New York Giants in Super Bowl XLII, the league championship game at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona on February 3, 17-14.

ScheduleEdit

On March 26, 2007, the league announced the aforementioned opening Saints-Colts Kickoff Game on September 6 that would be telecast on NBC. Pre-game activities featured Indiana native John Mellencamp, Faith Hill, and Kelly Clarkson. The entertainment portion of events started 30 minutes earlier than the scheduled start time of the game, leading up to the unveiling of the Colts' Super Bowl XLI championship banner. The opening events were simulcast on NFL Network.

The Dallas Cowboys hosted the New York Giants in the first Sunday night game September 9 at 8:15 p.m. US EDT. Monday Night Football on ESPN kicked off with a doubleheader on September 10 with the Cincinnati Bengals hosting the Baltimore Ravens at 7:00 p.m. US EDT, and the San Francisco 49ers hosting the Arizona Cardinals at 10:15 p.m. US EDT. The 49ers paid tribute to three-time Super Bowl winning head coach Bill Walsh, who died July 30, in that game.

For the second year in a row, three games were also held on the United States' Thanksgiving Day (November 22). In addition to the traditional games hosted by the Detroit Lions and Cowboys (with those teams respectively playing the Green Bay Packers and the New York Jets, with the Packers-Lions game starting at 12:30 p.m. US EST and the Jets-Cowboys game kicking off at 4:15 p.m. US EST), the Colts faced the Atlanta Falcons in the Georgia Dome, with kickoff at 8:15 p.m. US EST.

Based on the NFL's scheduling formula, the intraconference and interconference matchups for 2007 were:


Hall of Fame GameEdit

The Hall of Fame Game was played in Canton, Ohio on Sunday August 5 2007, with the Pittsburgh Steelers defeating the Saints by a score of 20-7;[1] the game was televised by the NFL Network, replacing NBC, who had been previously scheduled to broadcast the China Bowl exhibition game from Beijing, China. However, the league postponed that game until 2009.

Flex schedulingEdit

The NFL entered its second year of flexible scheduling in the final weeks of the season. In each of the Sunday night contests from Weeks 11 through 17, NBC had the option of switching its Sunday night game for a more favorable contest, up to 12 days before the game's start.[2] In addition to an extra week of flexible scheduling (because of the conflict with scheduling Christmas Eve the previous season, which NBC did not do (instead opting to air a game on Christmas Day)), the NFL slightly changed its flex-schedule procedure. In 2006, the league did not reveal its predetermined Sunday night game; the reason given by the league was to avoid embarrassing the teams switched out for a more compelling game.[3] In 2007, the league announced all predetermined matchups, with a footnote on the games subject to flex scheduling.[4] Also, the network that carries the "doubleheader" week game (either CBS or FOX) will be able to switch one game per week into the 4:15 PM (US ET) time slot, except in the final week, when NBC will select one game for the 8:15 PM slot, and both CBS and FOX will have doubleheader games on December 30th. The first flex game was the New England Patriots visiting the Buffalo Bills on November 18. The next flexing came when it was announced that the December 23 Washington Redskins-Minnesota Vikings game was moved to 8:15 PM on NBC, replacing the Tampa Bay Buccaneers-San Francisco 49ers contest, which was moved to 4:05 PM to be aired on FOX. It was announced on December 23rd the Tennessee Titans-Indianapolis Colts game, originally scheduled for a 1 PM kickoff on CBS, would be the December 30th "flex game" and airing at 8:15 PM on NBC, replacing the Kansas City Chiefs-New York Jets game, which was moved to 4:15 PM on CBS, along with the Pittsburgh Steelers-Baltimore Ravens contest. Additionally, the Dallas Cowboys-Washington Redskins game was switched on FOX from 1 PM kickoff to 4:15 PM.

Going globalEdit

In October 2006, NFL club owners approved a plan to stage up to two international regular season games per season beginning in 2007 and continuing through at least 2011.[5] On February 2 2007, the league announced that the Week Eight contest between the New York Giants and the Miami Dolphins would be played at Wembley Stadium in London on October 28 at 5 p.m. UTC, which is 1 p.m. EDT)[6][7] As the Giants were the away-team designate from the NFC, Fox broadcast the game in the USA according to league broadcast contract rules.[8]

The league was scheduled to hold a preseason game called the China Bowl on August 8 2007 between the New England Patriots and the Seattle Seahawks at Workers Stadium in Beijing, China. However, with all efforts being put into the London regular season game, plans have been postponed until 2009 as Beijing will host the 2008 Summer Olympics.

Final regular season standingsEdit

Qualified for playoffs

Clinched playoff seeds are marked in parentheses

W = Wins, L = Losses, T = Ties, PCT = Winning Percentage, PF= Points For, PA = Points Against

AFC East
TeamWLTPCTPFPA 
(1) New England Patriots 16001.000589274 Details
Buffalo Bills 790.438252354 Details
New York Jets 4120.250268355 Details
Miami Dolphins 1150.063267437 Details
AFC North
TeamWLTPCTPFPA 
(4) Pittsburgh Steelers [a] 1060.625393269 Details
Cleveland Browns 1060.625402382 Details
Cincinnati Bengals 790.438380385 Details
Baltimore Ravens 5110.313275384 Details
AFC South
TeamWLTPCTPFPA 
(2) Indianapolis Colts 1330.813450262 Details
(5) Jacksonville Jaguars 1150.688411304 Details
(6) Tennessee Titans [e] 1060.625301297 Details
Houston Texans 880.500379384 Details
AFC West
TeamWLTPCTPFPA 
(3) San Diego Chargers 1150.688412284 Details
Denver Broncos 790.438320409 Details
Kansas City Chiefs [d] 4120.250226335 Details
Oakland Raiders 4120.250283398 Details
NFC East
TeamWLTPCTPFPA 
(1) Dallas Cowboys 1330.813455325 Details
(5) New York Giants 1060.625373351 Details
(6) Washington Redskins 970.563334310 Details
Philadelphia Eagles 880.500336300 Details
NFC North
TeamWLTPCTPFPA 
(2) Green Bay Packers 1330.813435291 Details
Minnesota Vikings 880.500365311 Details
Detroit Lions [b] 790.438346444 Details
Chicago Bears 790.438334348 Details
NFC South
TeamWLTPCTPFPA 
(4) Tampa Bay Buccaneers 970.563334270 Details
Carolina Panthers [c] 790.438267347 Details
New Orleans Saints 790.438379388 Details
Atlanta Falcons 4120.250259414 Details
NFC West
TeamWLTPCTPFPA 
(3) Seattle Seahawks 1060.625393291 Details
Arizona Cardinals 880.500404399 Details
San Francisco 49ers 5110.313219364 Details
St. Louis Rams 3130.188263438 Details

Tiebreakers
  • a  Pittsburgh finished in first place in the AFC North over Cleveland based on a head-to-head sweep.
  • b  Detroit finished in third place in the NFC North over Chicago based on a head-to-head sweep over Chicago.
  • c  Carolina finished in second place in the NFC South over New Orleans based on a better conference record (7-5 to New Orleans' 6-6).
  • d  Kansas City finished in third place in the AFC West over Oakland based on a better record against common opponents. (3-11 to Oakland's 2-12).
  • e  Tennessee clinched the AFC #6 seed over Cleveland based on a better record against common opponents. (4-1 to Cleveland's 3-2).

PlayoffsEdit

Template:NFL seeds 2002-

AFCEdit

  • Wild-Card playoffs
    • January 5: Jaguars 31, Steelers 29
    • January 6: Chargers 17, Titans 6
  • Divisional playoffs
    • January 12: Patriots 31, Jaguars 20
    • January 13: Chargers 28, Colts 24
  • AFC Championship
    • January 20: Patriots 21, Chargers 12

NFCEdit

  • Wild-Card playoffs
    • January 5: Seahawks 35, Redskins 14
    • January 6: Giants 24, Buccaneers 14
  • Divisional playoffs
    • January 12: Packers 42, Seahawks 20
    • January 13: Giants 21, Cowboys 17
  • NFC Championship
    • January 20: Giants 23, Packers 20 (overtime)

Super Bowl XLIIEdit

  • February 3 in Glendale, Arizona: Giants 17, Patriots 14

2008 AFC-NFC Pro Bowl All-Star GameEdit

Rule changesEdit

The following rule changes were passed at the league's annual owners meeting in Phoenix, Arizona during the week of March 25-28:

  • The instant replay system, used since the 1999 season, was finally made a permanent officiating tool.[9] Previously, it was renewed on a biennial basis.
  • The system has also been upgraded to use high-definition technology. However, the systems at Texas Stadium (Dallas Cowboys), RCA Dome (Indianapolis Colts), and Giants Stadium (New York Giants and Jets) will not receive the HDTV updates since those stadiums will be replaced over the next few years.[10] One reason that the technology was improved was that fans with high-definition televisions at home were having better views on replays than the officials and according to Dean Blandino, the NFL's instant replay director "that could have bit us in the rear if we continued [with the old system]." In addition, the amount of time allotted for the referee to review a play was reduced from 90 seconds to one minute.[11]
  • After a play is over, players who spike the ball in the field of play, other than in the end zone, will receive a 5-yard delay of game penalty.[11]
  • Forward passes that unintentionally hit an offensive lineman before an eligible receiver will no longer be an illegal touching penalty, but deliberate actions are still penalized.[11]
  • Roughing-the-passer penalties will not be called on a defender engaged with a quarterback who simply extends his arms and shoves the passer to the ground.[11]
  • During situations where crowd noise becomes a problem (when it becomes too loud that it prevents the offensive team from hearing its signals), the offense can no longer ask the referee to reset the play clock.[11]
  • It is necessary to have the ball touch the pylon or break the plane above the pylon to count as a touchdown. Previously, a player just had to have some portion of his body over the goal line or pylon to count a touchdown[12]
  • A completed catch is now when a receiver gets two feet down and has control of the ball. Previously, a receiver had to make "a football move" in addition to having control of the ball for a reception.[13]
  • Players will be subject to a fine from the league for playing with an unbuckled chin strap. Officials will not penalize for chin strap violations during a game.[13]

TelevisionEdit

Template:More The 2007 season marked the second year of the current television contracts with NBC, CBS, Fox, ESPN, and the NFL Network. The pre-game shows made some changes, with former Steelers coach Bill Cowher joining host James Brown, Boomer Esaison, Shannon Sharpe and Dan Marino on CBS's The NFL Today. On FOX, after one season on the road, FOX NFL Sunday returned to Los Angeles as Curt Menefee took over as full-time host. Chris Rose, who had been doing in in-game updates of other NFL games, was reverted to a part-time play-by-play role.

The biggest changes were at NBC and ESPN. Michael Irvin's contract with ESPN was not renewed, and former coach Bill Parcells returned to the network after four years as Cowboys head coach. Parcells left before the season ended to become the Miami Dolphins VP of Player Personnel. Another pair of former Cowboys, Emmitt Smith and Keyshawn Johnson also provided roles in the studio for Sunday NFL Countdown and Monday Night Countdown. At Monday Night Football, Joe Theismann was dropped (and would later resign from the network) after seventeen years in the booth between the Sunday and Monday Night packages, and former Philadelphia Eagles quarterback and current Philadelphia Soul (AFL) president Ron Jaworski took his place alongside Mike Tirico and Tony Kornheiser. Part of the reason that Jaworski replaced Theismann was because of his chemistry with Kornheiser on Pardon The Interruption, where Jaworski was a frequent guest during the football season.

NBC's Football Night in America also made two changes. MSNBC Countdown anchor Keith Olbermann joined Bob Costas and Cris Collinsworth as another co-host, while Sterling Sharpe exited as a studio analyst, and former New York Giants running back Tiki Barber replaced him. In another change, Faith Hill took over singing "Waiting All Day For Sunday Night" for Pink.

In the second year of the NFL Network's "Run to the Playoffs", Marshall Faulk and Deion Sanders replaced Dick Vermeil for two games when Collinsworth was unavailable. An unforced change saw Bryant Gumbel miss the Broncos-Texans game December 13 due to a sore throat and NBC announcer Tom Hammond step into Gumbel's play by play role in what turned out to be more or less a preview of one of NBC's Wild Card Game announcing teams.

Controversy surrounding NFL Network coverageEdit

See also: NFL Network#Distribution controversy and 2007 New England Patriots-New York Giants game

The dispute between the NFL Network and various cable companies involving the distribution of the cable channel continued throughout the season, getting the attention of government officials when the NFL Network was scheduled to televise two high-profile regular season games: the Packers-Cowboys game on November 29 and the Patriots-Giants game on December 29. In the case of the Packers-Cowboys game, the lack of carriage was so limited that even Governor of Wisconsin Jim Doyle went to his brother's house to watch the game on satellite (which is where the majority of the viewers watch the network). The contest drew a network record 10.1 million viewers, a high-water mark at that time.

Some politicians urged the league to seek a resolution to conflict. In December, Massachusetts Senator John Kerry wrote a letter to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell asking for the league to settle their differences in time for the Patriots-Giants game. Because the game, as it turned out, would be the Patriots' attempt to seal the record that would make them the first undefeated team in 35 years, Kerry urged for a solution to be decided upon in time so that Americans can witness "an historic event."[14] Also, Pennsylvania Senator Arlen Specter threatened to introduce legislation to eliminate the league's freedom from antitrust laws.[15]

On December 26, the NFL announced that, despite initial plans to broadcast the game only on the NFL Network, the game would be presented in a three-network simulcast with both CBS and NBC, the first time an NFL game would be broadcast on three networks, and the first simulcast of any pro football game since Super Bowl I.[16] Nielsen ratings saw CBS with 15.7 million viewers, NBC with 13.2 million viewers and NFL Network with 4.5 million viewers for the game. In addition, local stations in New York City (WWOR-TV in nearby Secaucus, New Jersey), Boston (WCVB-TV), and Manchester, New Hampshire (WMUR-TV), all previously signed on to carry the game in the teams' home markets, added 1.2 million viewers, making it the most watched TV show since the 2007 Oscars and the most watched regular season NFL telecast in twelve years.

Coaching changesEdit

The following teams hired new head coaches prior to the start of the 2007 season:

Team 2007 Coach Former Coach Reason for leaving Story/Accomplishments
Atlanta Falcons Bobby Petrino, former head coach, University of Louisville (Resigned after going 3-10 to take job at University of Arkansas; Emmitt Thomas took over and went 1-2 as interim coach.) Jim Mora Fired Hired in 2004 and subsequently led the Falcons to the NFC Championship Game. However, Atlanta went 8-8 in 2005 before going 7-9 in 2006, losing the last final three games.
Arizona Cardinals Ken Whisenhunt, former offensive coordinator, Pittsburgh Steelers Dennis Green Fired Hired in 2004. However, the Cardinals suffered three consecutive losing seasons under him, including a loss to the Chicago Bears after blowing a 20-point lead that prompted Green to throw an infamous tirade during the post-game media conference saying, "They are who we thought they were, and we let em' off the hook!"
Dallas Cowboys Wade Phillips, former defensive coordinator, San Diego Chargers Bill Parcells Retired Hired in 2003. Led the Cowboys to the playoffs in two of his four seasons as Dallas head coach, but never won a postseason game.
Miami Dolphins Cam Cameron, former offensive coordinator, San Diego Chargers Nick Saban Resigned to coach the University of Alabama Hired in 2005 and finished the year 9-7, narrowly missing the playoffs. Went 6-10 in 2006, first losing record as a head coach.
Oakland Raiders Lane Kiffin, former offensive coordinator, Southern California Art Shell Fired Re-hired in 2006 after having previously served as Raiders head coach, 1989–94. However in his first and only season back, the team finished with its worst record, 2-14, since 1963.
Pittsburgh Steelers Mike Tomlin, former defensive coordinator, Minnesota Vikings Bill Cowher Retired Hired in 1992 and led the Steelers to an appearance in Super Bowl XXX and a victory in Super Bowl XL.
San Diego Chargers Norv Turner, former offensive coordinator, San Francisco 49ers Marty Schottenheimer Fired Hired in 2002. Led the Chargers to two playoff appearances, but a strained relationship with general manager A.J. Smith led to his ousting.

MilestonesEdit

The following teams and players set all-time NFL records during the regular season:

Record Player/Team Date/Opponent Previous Record Holder
Longest Kickoff Return Ellis Hobbs, New England (108 yards)[a] September 9, at N.Y. Jets Tied by 3 players (106)
Most Regular-Season Wins by a Quarterback, Career Brett Favre, Green Bay (160) September 16, at N.Y. Giants John Elway, 1983-1998 (148)
Most Touchdown Passes, Career Brett Favre, Green Bay (442) September 30, at Minnesota Dan Marino, 1983-1999 (420)
Most Pass Attempts, Career Brett Favre, Green Bay (8,758) September 30, at Minnesota Dan Marino, 1983-1999
(8,358)
Most Points Scored by a Team, Fourth Quarter Detroit Lions (34) September 30, vs. Chicago Tied by 3 teams (31)
Most Touchdown Catches by a Tight End, Career Tony Gonzalez, Kansas City (66) October 14, vs. Cincinnati Shannon Sharpe, 1990-2003 (62)
Most Passes Had Intercepted, Career Brett Favre, Green Bay (288) October 14, vs. Washington George Blanda, 1949-1975 (277)
Most Field Goals, Game Rob Bironas, Tennessee (8) October 21, at Houston Tied by 4 players (7)
Most Consecutive Seasons in One Stadium Lambeau Field,
Green Bay Packers
2007 marks 51st season. Wrigley Field, Chicago Bears (50 years, 1921-1970)
Longest Return of a Missed Field Goal/
Longest Play in NFL History
Antonio Cromartie, San Diego (109 yards)[17] November 4, at Minnesota Tied by 2 players (108 yards) /
Tied by 3 players (108 yards)[a]
Most Rushing Yards, Game Adrian Peterson, Minnesota (296) [18] November 4, vs. San Diego Jamal Lewis, 2003 (295)
Most Consecutive Games with Three Touchdown Passes Tom Brady, New England (10 games)[19] November 4, at Indianapolis Peyton Manning (8 games)
Most Games with Three Touchdown Passes, Career Brett Favre, Green Bay (63) November 22, at Detroit Dan Marino, 1983-1999 (62)
Most Yards Passing, Career Brett Favre, Green Bay (61,655) December 16, at St. Louis Dan Marino, 1983-1999 (61,361)
Consecutive 12+ win seasons 2003-present Indianapolis (5)[20] December 16, at Oakland 1992-1995 Dallas (4)
Most Touchdowns Scored, Season New England Patriots (75) December 23, vs. Miami Miami Dolphins, 1984 (69)
Most Points After Touchdown Kicked, Season/
Most Point After Touchdown Attempts, Season
Stephen Gostkowski, New England (74/74) December 16, vs. N.Y. Jets/
December 23, vs. Miami
Uwe von Schamann, 1984 (66 PATs) /
Uwe von Schamann, 1984 (70 attempts)
Most Points, Season New England Patriots (589) December 29, at N.Y. Giants Minnesota, 1998 (556)
Most Touchdown Passes, Season Tom Brady, New England (50) December 29, at N.Y. Giants Peyton Manning, Indianapolis, 2004 (49)
Most Receiving Touchdowns, Season Randy Moss, New England (23) December 29, at N.Y. Giants Jerry Rice, San Francisco, 1987 (22)
Most Points After Touchdown, No Misses, Season Stephen Gostkowski, New England (74/74) December 29, at N.Y. Giants Jeff Wilkins, St. Louis, 1999 (64/64)
Most Games Won, Season New England (16) December 29, at N.Y. Giants Tied by 4 teams (15)
Most Consecutive Games Won, Start of Season/
Most Consecutive Games Without Defeat, Start of Season
New England (16) December 29, at N.Y. Giants Miami, 1972 (14)
Most Consecutive Games Won, End of Season/
Most Consecutive Games Without Defeat, End of Season
New England (16) December 29, at N.Y. Giants Tied by 2 teams (14)
Most Consecutive Regular Season Games Won New England, 2006-07 (19) December 29, at N.Y. Giants New England, 2003-04 (18)
Most Kick Returns for a Touchdown, Season Devin Hester, Chicago (6: 4 punts and 2 kickoffs)[21] December 30, vs. New Orleans Devin Hester, 2006 (5: 3 punts and 2 kickoffs)
Most Passes Completed, Season Drew Brees, New Orleans (443) December 30, at Chicago Rich Gannon, Oakland, 2002 (418)
Most Receptions by a Tight End, Career Tony Gonzalez, Kansas City (816) December 30, at N.Y. Jets Shannon Sharpe, 1990-2003 (815)
a  Hobbs' kickoff return was also, at the time, tied for the longest play in NFL history until Cromartie broke the record.

Regular season statistical leadersEdit

Team
Points scored New England Patriots (589)
Total yards gained New England Patriots (6,580)
Yards rushing Minnesota Vikings (2,634)
Yards passing New England Patriots (4,731)
Fewest points allowed Indianapolis Colts (262)
Fewest total yards allowed Pittsburgh Steelers (4,262)
Fewest rushing yards allowed Minnesota Vikings (1,185)
Fewest passing yards allowed Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2,728)
Individual
Scoring Mason Crosby, Green Bay (141 points)
Touchdowns Randy Moss, New England (23 TDs)
Most field goals made Rob Bironas, Tennessee (35 FGs)
Rushing LaDainian Tomlinson, San Diego (1,474 yards)
Passer rating Tom Brady, New England (117.2 rating)
Passing touchdowns Tom Brady, New England (50 TDs)
Passing yards Tom Brady, New England (4,806 yards)
Pass receptions T. J. Houshmandzadeh, Cincinnati and Wes Welker, New England (112 catches)
Pass receiving yards Reggie Wayne, Indianapolis (1,510 yards)
Punt returns Devin Hester, Chicago (42 for 651 yards, 15.5 average yards)
Kickoff returns Josh Cribbs, Cleveland (59 for 1,809 yards, 30.7 average yards)
Interceptions Antonio Cromartie, San Diego (10)
Punting Shane Lechler, Oakland (73 for 3,585 yards, 49.1 average yards)
Sacks Jared Allen, Kansas City (15.5)

AwardsEdit

Most Valuable Player Tom Brady, New England Patriots[22]
Coach of the Year Bill Belichick, New England Patriots [23]
Offensive Player of the Year Tom Brady, New England Patriots[24]
Defensive Player of the Year Bob Sanders, Safety, Indianapolis Colts[25]
Offensive Rookie of the Year Adrian Peterson, Running back, Minnesota Vikings
Defensive Rookie of the Year Patrick Willis, Linebacker, San Francisco 49ers [26]
NFL Comeback Player of the Year Greg Ellis, Dallas Cowboys[27]
Super Bowl Most Valuable Player Award Eli Manning, New York Giants

All-Pro Team

Special teams
KickerRob Bironas, Tennessee
PunterAndy Lee, San Francisco
Kick returnerDevin Hester, Chicago

EventsEdit

Player conduct off the fieldEdit

For more details on this topic, see National Football League player conduct controversy.

The NFLPA, led by their president Gene Upshaw and NFL commissioner Roger Goodell are going to be working with player conduct in the form of suspensions for off the field conduct in light of the more than fifty arrests by local law enforcement since the start of the 2006 season. The hardest hit so far came on April 10 when Adam Jones of the Tennessee Titans was suspended for the entire season for his five arrests, the most blatant while in Las Vegas for the NBA All-Star Weekend in February where he caused a riot/shooting in a strip club. That same day, Chris Henry of the Cincinnati Bengals was suspended for the first eight games of the season for his run-ins with the legal system. The other big name that has been caught in the web of controversy was Falcons' quarterback Michael Vick. Vick was charged on July 24 with dogfighting and animal abuse, and has been suspended indefinitely following a guilty plea in the case, on which he was sentenced to 23 months in prison (retroactive to November) and three years probation on December 10. [28]

Death of Marquise HillEdit

On the evening of May 27, 2007, Marquise Hill, a defensive end for the New England Patriots and a friend fell off a jet ski in Lake Pontchartrain, north of New Orleans.[29] The two were wearing neither personal flotation nor tracking devices. The friend was rescued and sent to Tulane University|Tulane]] Medical Center, but Hill did not survive; his body was found the next day.[30] The Patriots honored Hill, the first Patriots player to die while still a member of the team,[31] by wearing black circular decals on their helmets with Hill's number, 91.

Death of Sean TaylorEdit

Fourth-year player Sean Taylor, a defensive back for the Redskins, was shot in his home near Miami, Florida on November 26. Armed with a machete, Taylor confronted robbers — Eric Rivera, the 17-year-old gunman, 18-year-old Charles Wadlow, and 20-year-olds Jason Mitchell and Venjah Hunte — who were breaking into his home. Rivera fired two shots from his 9 mm gun, one missing and the other hitting Taylor's leg, going from his right groin to his his left according to an autopsy obtained by Associated Press. He died from his injuries the next day.[32] For the remainder of the season, the Redskins honored him with a black patch on their right shoulder of the player uniform jerseys, while all 32 teams honored Taylor by applying a decal with his playing number (21) on the left back side of their helmets. Taylor's memory was honored in all games during Week 13 and all three Redskins representatives in the Pro Bowl wore number 21 in his honor. All four men involved are being held without bail pending a trial.

SpygateEdit

During the Patriots season opening game at The Meadowlands against the Jets, a Patriots camera staffer was ejected from the Patriots sideline and was accused of videotaping the Jets' defensive coaches relaying signals. The end result was that the team was fined $250,000, head coach Bill Belicheck was docked $500,000 (the maximum fine that could be imposed) and also stripped of their first round selection of the 2008 NFL Draft. If the Pats had failed to make the playoffs, the penalty would have been their second and third round picks. The team was allowed to keep their other first-round pick acquired from the San Francisco 49ers during the previous year's selection meeting.

Other eventsEdit

File:National Football League 2008.svg
  • This was the final season the classic NFL Shield logo, which had not changed since 1980, was used. An updated version first seen on August 31 in USA Today will be put into use starting with the 2008 NFL Draft in April. The new logo design features eight stars (one for each division) instead of the current 25 stars, the football now resembles that on the top of the Vince Lombardi Trophy, given to the Super Bowl champion and the lettering and point has been updated and modified to that of the league's current typeface for other logos.
  • The 2007 season was the last in the RCA Dome for the Indianapolis Colts, who moved there from Baltimore in 1984. The franchise will move to the new Lucas Oil Stadium in time for the 2008 season, located literally down the street. The dome will be demolished, and an extension to the Indiana Convention Center will replace the stadium.
  • The Redskins celebrated their 75th anniversary (actually their 76th season) season as the franchise was founded in 1932 as the Boston Braves, and wore Vince Lombardi-styled uniforms against the New York Giants on September 23. The Philadelphia Eagles and their cross-state rival Pittsburgh Steelers also celebrated their respective 75th seasons, having been founded in 1933. The Eagles wore replicas of their inaugural season uniforms against the Detroit Lions on September 23, while the Steelers wore 1960 uniforms against the Buffalo Bills on September 16 and did so again when the Baltimore Ravens visited on November 5.
  • Throwback uniforms were not just limited to team anniversary celebrations. The Cleveland Browns wore their 1957 throwbacks in a 27-17 win against the Houston Texans on November 25, the Minnesota Vikings wore 1970's uniforms against the Packers on September 30, while the Jets honored their historic predecessors on October 14 against the Eagles and in a rare instance, wore them in a road game at Miami December 2 by wearing the New York Titans' 1960 through 1962 uniforms. The team did not become the Jets until 1963. The Cowboys wore their 1960 uniforms on November 29th against the Packers, and the Bills wore their 1960's throwbacks at home against Dallas October 7 and against Miami December 9.
  • San Francisco 49ers coach Mike Nolan and Jaguars coach Jack Del Rio both wore a suit on the sidelines for all of the team's home games to honor Nolan's father, former 49ers and Saints coach Dick Nolan. In 2006, both coaches were allowed to wear a suit on the sidelines for a maximum of two home games. Del Rio did not wear a suit in the September 16th game against the Falcons due to the extreme heat in Jacksonville that day. Nolan wore a suit at the Meadowlands against the Giants on October 21st.
  • The 49ers also honored the late Bill Walsh, coach of their wins in Super Bowls XVI, XIX, and XXIII by wearing throwback uniforms from the 1980s in their opener on September 10th against the Arizona Cardinals. Mike Nolan had been considering wearing the 1980s uniforms for the entire season to honor Walsh's memory. The retro uniforms were worn again on November 18th against the Seahawks. In addition, all season long, the team wore a black football-shaped decal on their helmets with the initials "BW" in white.
  • The Kansas City Chiefs honored their late former owner and team founder Lamar Hunt by wearing special American Football League logo patches on their jerseys with the letters "LH" emblazoned inside the logo's football. Originally meant to be a one-season tribute, the Chiefs announced that as of the 2008 NFL season, the patch will be a permanent fixture on the jerseys.
  • Teams that have permanent captains are allowed (on a team-by-team basis) to wear a "C" patch (similar to those in ice hockey) on their right shoulder. The patch is in team colors with four stars under the "C". A gold star is placed on a bar below the "C" signaling how many years (with a maximum of four years) that player has been captain.
  • The ESPN Monday Night Football game between the unbeaten New England Patriots and the Baltimore Ravens on December 3 drew the highest basic cable rating in history, with over 17.5 million viewers, beating the premiere of Disney Channel's High School Musical 2, which set the previous record on August 17. The previous high water mark was a MNF telecast between the New York Giants and the Dallas Cowboys on October 23 2006, drawing over 16 million viewers.

ReferencesEdit

  1. "Steelers start strong in 20-7 victory", Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 2007-08-06. Retrieved on 2008-01-28. 
  2. The flexible-scheduling policy also allows a shorter time window for changing Week 17 games prior to the game.
  3. Hiestand, Michael. "Process of game-time decisions will eliminate TV duds, create chaos", USA Today, 2006-04-05. Retrieved on 2007-04-11. 
  4. 2007 prime-time schedule. NFL (2007-04-11). Retrieved on 2007-04-11.
  5. "Resolution approved for international games", NFL.com, 2006-10-24. Retrieved on 2007-01-11. 
  6. "London to host 2007 regular-season game", NFL.com, 2007-01-16. Retrieved on 2007-02-10. 
  7. Dolphins will host Giants in a game in London. ESPN.com (2007-02-01). Retrieved on 2007-02-02.
  8. Eisen, Michael. "Giants to Face Dolphins in London", Giants.com, 2007-02-02. Retrieved on 2007-09-11. 
  9. "Owners vote to make replay permanent", NFL.com, 2007-03-27. Retrieved on 2007-03-28. 
  10. "Replay now permanent in NFL", SI.com, 2007-03-27. Retrieved on 2007-03-28. 
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 11.3 11.4 "Henry to meet with Goodell; new rules passed", NFL.com, 2007-03-28. Retrieved on 2007-03-28. 
  12. "Rule changes for 2007 NFL season", HoustonTexans.com, 2007-08-03. Retrieved on 2007-08-22. 
  13. 13.0 13.1 Moore, J. Michael. "Notebook: Officials outline rule changes", Atlanta Falcons, 2007-08-03. Retrieved on 2007-11-24. 
  14. Reiss, Mike. Kerry presses on NFL Network The Boston Globe, 6 December 2007.
  15. Specter Wants to Revisit NFL's Antitrust Status Washington Post, 8 December 2007.
  16. Patriots' historic game to be available to all of America, after all NFL.com, Accessed 26 December 2007.
  17. San Diego's Cromartie sets NFL record with 109-yard FG return. Associated Press.
  18. Peterson's record day leads Vikings past Chargers. Associated Press.
  19. Patriots: Tom's got you, Babe. Providence Journal Online.
  20. Colts clip Raiders for fifth straight AFC South title.
  21. ESPN - Hester scores on sixth kick return in 2007 to break own record - NFL
  22. Brady wins MVP Award ESPN.com
  23. Perfect season lifts Belichick to second AP Coach of Year honor
  24. Brady wins Offensive Player of the Year Award SI.com
  25. Colts Sanders wins NFL Defensive Player of the Year Award NFL.com
  26. 49ers’ Willis named AP’s top defensive rookie - NFL - MSNBC.com
  27. Ellis named Comeback Player
  28. Vick suspended indefinitely after filing plea (2007-08-27).
  29. "Hero told friend: ‘Be calm, Don’t panic’", Boston Herald, 2007-06-03. 
  30. "Body of ex-LSU star found in Lake Pontchartrain", WWLTV.com, 4:06 PM ET, May 28 2007. 
  31. "Tragic history", Boston.com, 2007-05-29. 
  32. Redskins safety Taylor dies day after being shot. The Associated Press. The Associated Press (2007-11-27). Retrieved on 2007-11-27.

See alsoEdit

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