2010 NFL season

Last updated

2010 National Football League season
Regular season
DurationSeptember 9, 2010 – January 2, 2011
Start dateJanuary 8, 2011 – January 23, 2011 [1]
AFC Champions Pittsburgh Steelers
NFC Champions Green Bay Packers
Super Bowl XLV
DateFebruary 6, 2011 [2]
Site Cowboys Stadium, Arlington, Texas
Champions Green Bay Packers
Pro Bowl
DateJanuary 30, 2011 [3]
Site Aloha Stadium, Halawa, Honolulu, Hawaii
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The 2010 NFL season was the 91st regular season of the National Football League (NFL) and the 45th of the Super Bowl era.


The regular season began with the NFL Kickoff game on NBC on Thursday, September 9, at the Louisiana Superdome as the New Orleans Saints, the Super Bowl XLIV champions, defeated the Minnesota Vikings.

Tom Brady, quarterback of the New England Patriots, was named NFL MVP for the 2010 season. In Super Bowl XLV, the league's championship game played at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas, the Green Bay Packers defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers to win their fourth Super Bowl, spoiling the Steelers' chance for a seventh title. [2] This season also marked the first full-length season in which a team with a losing record made the playoffs, when the Seattle Seahawks won the NFC West with a 7–9 record, after defeating the St. Louis Rams in Week 17 to clinch the division title. One week later, the Seahawks dethroned the defending champion New Orleans Saints in the wild-card round, to become the first ever sub-.500 playoff team to win a postseason game.

This season marked the last time a game was played on a Tuesday night until 2020.

Labor issues

NFL owners voted in 2008 to opt out of their collective bargaining agreement (CBA) with the National Football League Players Association (NFLPA) as of the end of the 2010 season. (The vote was 23 in favor, 9 against; the extension measure needed 24 to pass, which would have set the CBA to expire after the 2012 season). Since a new CBA was not reached with the NFLPA, 2010 was an uncapped season, [4] meaning that there was no salary cap or salary floor between which teams had to operate. [5] Also, the uncapped season limited unrestricted free agency only to players with at least six years of experience, as opposed to four under a capped season. [5] The final eight teams alive in the 2009–10 NFL playoffs (Arizona, Dallas, Minnesota and New Orleans in the NFC; and Baltimore, Indianapolis, the New York Jets and San Diego in the AFC) were restricted in the free agents they could sign. [5]

The issue of a CBA continued into the 2011 NFL season, affecting most of the off-season.

Player movement

Free agency began on March 5, 2010.

Free agency

Notable players to change teams during free agency included:


The following notable trades were made during the 2010 league year:


The league's 75th annual selection meeting, more commonly known as the NFL Draft, took place at Radio City Music Hall in New York City from April 22–24, the first time that the draft was held over three days instead of the usual two. [35] In the draft with the first overall pick, the St. Louis Rams chose quarterback Sam Bradford from the University of Oklahoma.

Officiating changes

Mike Pereira resigned as the league's Vice President of Officiating. He had led the NFL's officiating since 2001. Carl Johnson was named as Pereira's successor.

Clete Blakeman was promoted to referee, and Don Carey returned to his back judge position.

Rule changes

The following rule changes were passed at the league's annual owners meeting in March:

Crowd noise

The NFL relaxed all rules regarding crowd noise, citing the need to increase the in-stadium experience to lure more fans to attend games. In addition, the league cited the advances in the coach-to-quarterback radio communications, and more visiting teams using silent snap counts as an alternative to overcome crowd noise. [41]

The NFL's rules to "legislate the fans", and help visiting offensive players hear the snap count, have been controversial from the start. In one notorious example, then-Cincinnati Bengals head coach Sam Wyche and then-quarterback Boomer Esiason "protested" the crowd noise rules during a 1989 nationally televised preseason game against the New Orleans Saints by constantly complaining to the referee about the loud crowd noise inside the Superdome. [42]

The league will still allow stadiums to post visual noise meters and other scoreboard messages to incite fans to make noise, but they must cease when the play clock is down to 15 seconds. However, home teams are still prohibited from pumping in artificial crowd noise. [41]

Crackdown on illegal hits

After several violent hits throughout the NFL made the news in Week 3, the league announced that it would consider suspending players for illegal hits, such as helmet-to-helmet hits or other blows to the head. [43] (Previously, players could only be fined for such hits.) The league also instructed all officials and referees to have an even higher level of attention toward flagrant hits. [44] Game officials were also instructed to err on the side of safety, and throw flags even when in doubt. [45]

The crackdown has been controversial. Many defensive players have complained that the league is being too strict in their interpretation of what constitutes an "illegal hit", and that it forces them to behave significantly differently from how they were taught to play the game. [43] [44] Another concern is the league's instructions to game officials to err on the side of caution, since questionable calls late in close games significantly affect their outcome. However, the medical community has supported the move, believing that it will help reduce concussions and other head injuries. [44]

The league did not end up suspending any players for violent or illegal hits, however several players were fined for these types of hits within the first few weeks of the crackdown.

2010 deaths

Pro Football Hall of Fame


The Pro Football Hall of Fame Game was held on Sunday, August 8, 2010, at 8:00 pm EDT on NBC, with the Dallas Cowboys defeating the Cincinnati Bengals, 16–7 [54] at Fawcett Stadium in Canton, Ohio. [55] The remainder of the preseason game matchups were announced March 31, 2010. Highlights, among others, include the New York Giants and New York Jets facing off in the first-ever game at New Meadowlands Stadium on ESPN. [56] The preseason game in the Bills Toronto Series featured the host Bills defeating the Indianapolis Colts in Toronto on Thursday, August 19 by a score of 34–21. [57] Exact dates and times for most games were announced in April, shortly after the regular season games were announced.

Regular season

The 2010 regular season was the first year that the league used a modified version of the scheduling formula that was first introduced in 2002, in which all teams play each other at least once every four years, and play in every other team's stadium at least once every eight years (notwithstanding the regular season games played overseas as part of the NFL International Series). Under the original 2002 formula, since the pairings were strictly based on alphabetical order, those teams scheduled to play the entire AFC West had to travel to both Oakland and San Diego in the same season, while those teams playing the entire NFC West had to make their way to both San Francisco and Seattle. [58] In 2008, the New England and New York Jets each had to make cross-country trips to all four of the aforementioned West Coast teams. In an effort to relieve east coast teams from having to travel to the West Coast multiple times during the same season, teams will only have to visit one West Coast team (AFC West or NFC West), plus one western team from the same division closer to the Midwest, under the 2010 modified formula. Specifically, those teams traveling to Oakland (Las Vegas since 2020) will also play at Denver, while those playing at San Diego (Los Angeles since 2017) will also play at Kansas City. For teams scheduled to play the NFC West, those traveling to San Francisco will also go to Arizona, while those scheduled to play in Seattle will then go to St. Louis (this became moot in 2016 when the Rams returned to Los Angeles). [58] [59] [60]

For the 2010 season, the intraconference and interconference matchups are:



The entire 2010 regular-season schedule was unveiled at 7:00 pm EDT on Tuesday, April 20. Additionally, schedule release shows aired on both the NFL Network and as a SportsCenter special on ESPN2. [61]

Opening weekend

St. Louis against home to Carolina in Week 8 of the season, on October 31, 2010 NFL Rams vs Panthers 2010.jpg
St. Louis against home to Carolina in Week 8 of the season, on October 31, 2010

The NFL Kickoff Game, the first game of the season, took place on Thursday, September 9, starting at 8:35 pm EDT, with the Super Bowl XLIV champion New Orleans Saints hosting the Minnesota Vikings, in a rematch of the 2009 NFC Championship Game, with New Orleans winning. Like in previous years, the opening week's prime-time games were expected to be announced at the NFL's annual owners meetings in late March, but that wasn't the case this year, with the schedule announced on April 20. [62]

On March 15, the NFL announced that both the New York Giants and New York Jets would play at home during Week 1 to open New Meadowlands Stadium. [63] The Giants played on Sunday afternoon against the Carolina Panthers and the Jets opened ESPN's Monday Night Football schedule against the Baltimore Ravens the next night. For the nightcap, the San Diego Chargers traveled to play their division rivals the Kansas City Chiefs, marking the first time that a team from outside the Mountain or Pacific Time Zones has played in, or hosted, the "late" (10:15 pm ET) game.

International play

The 2010 season featured one International game, played at Wembley Stadium in London. [64] The teams for this game were confirmed on January 15, 2010, with the San Francisco 49ers playing host to the Denver Broncos on October 31, at 1:00 pm EDT (5:00 pm GMT), [65] with San Francisco winning.

The following week, the third regular-season game of the Bills Toronto Series featured the Buffalo Bills hosting the Chicago Bears at Toronto's Rogers Centre on November 7 at 1 pm EST, marking the first time that the regular-season portion of the series has taken place during the Canadian Football League season and the first time an NFC opponent played in the series. [66]

Sunday Night Football vs. World Series

On October 31, NBC aired a Sunday Night Football game, the Pittsburgh Steelers at the New Orleans Saints, against Fox's coverage of the Game 4 of the 2010 World Series, a practice the league had traditionally avoided. [67] The Saints won this game 20–10.


As has been the case since 2006, three games were scheduled for Thursday, November 25, with the New England Patriots at the Detroit Lions and the New Orleans Saints at the Dallas Cowboys in the traditional afternoon doubleheader, and the Cincinnati Bengals at the New York Jets in primetime. New England, New Orleans, and New York won the games.


Christmas Day landed on a Saturday in 2010. The league scheduled one game, the Dallas Cowboys at the Arizona Cardinals that evening, airing on NFL Network. Arizona won the game.

Week 17: Division games only

The entire Week 17 schedule, played on January 2, consisted solely of divisional contests, in an attempt to increase competition after several cases over the last few seasons of playoff-bound teams resting their regular starters and playing their reserves. This has continued since then. [68]

Scheduling changes

  • The PhiladelphiaChicago and Tampa BayBaltimore games in Week 12 were moved from 1:00 pm EST to 4:15 pm EST. [69]
  • The Atlanta–Tampa Bay game in Week 13 was moved from 1:00 pm to 4:15 pm EST. [70]
  • The New England–Chicago game in Week 14 was moved from 1:00 pm to 4:15 pm EST [71]
  • The Week 14 New York Giants-Minnesota game was changed from Sunday, December 12 at 1:00 pm EST to Monday, December 13 at 8:20 pm EST because of the collapse of the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome's roof. (See "Stadiums" below.)
  • By way of flexible scheduling, three game times were changed in Week 16: The Minnesota–Philadelphia game, originally scheduled for 1:00 pm EST on Fox, was flexed into the 8:20 pm time slot on NBC's Sunday Night Football. The originally-scheduled NBC Sunday Night game between the San DiegoCincinnati was changed to a 4:05 pm EST kickoff on CBS. The Seattle–Tampa Bay game was moved from 1:00 pm to 4:15 pm EST. [72]
    • The Minnesota-Philadelphia game was then postponed to Tuesday, December 28 at 8 pm due to public safety concerns resulting from an anticipated snowstorm in Philadelphia, even though no snow had fallen at the time of the postponement. The resulting game was the first Tuesday NFL game since 1946. [73]
  • By way of flexible scheduling, the following Week 17 games were changed: The St. Louis-Seattle game, originally scheduled at 4:15 pm EST, was moved onto Sunday Night Football. Also, the Jacksonville-Houston, Tennessee-Indianapolis, Chicago-Green Bay, Dallas-Philadelphia and New York Giants-Washington matches were all rescheduled from 1:00 pm to the 4:15 pm slot. [74] Except for Cowboys-Eagles, all these games carried playoff implications. (Per its flexible scheduling rules for Week 17, the league had to commit to move these games a full six days in advance before the aforementioned Week 16 Vikings-Eagles game eventually played out on that Tuesday night. Had Philadelphia won that game instead of Minnesota, they would have still been in contention for a first round playoff bye. [75] )

Regular season standings



Division winners
1 New England Patriots East1420.8755–110–2.504.504W8
2 [lower-alpha 1] Pittsburgh Steelers North1240.7505–19–3.500.417W2
3 [lower-alpha 2] Indianapolis Colts South1060.6254–28–4.473.425W4
4 [lower-alpha 2] Kansas City Chiefs West1060.6252–46–6.414.381L1
Wild cards
5 [lower-alpha 1] Baltimore Ravens North1240.7504–29–3.484.422W4
6 New York Jets East1150.6884–29–3.492.409W1
Did not qualify for the postseason
7 San Diego Chargers West970.5633–37–5.457.410W1
8 [lower-alpha 3] Jacksonville Jaguars South880.5003–37–5.453.383L3
9 [lower-alpha 3] Oakland Raiders West880.5006–06–6.469.469W1
10 Miami Dolphins East790.4382–45–7.539.438L3
11 [lower-alpha 4] Houston Texans South6100.3753–35–7.523.500W1
12 [lower-alpha 4] Tennessee Titans South6100.3752–43–9.508.500L2
13 Cleveland Browns North5110.3131–53–9.570.475L4
14 [lower-alpha 5] Denver Broncos West4120.2501–53–9.516.453L1
15 [lower-alpha 5] [lower-alpha 6] Buffalo Bills East4120.2501–53–9.578.344L2
16 [lower-alpha 5] [lower-alpha 6] Cincinnati Bengals North4120.2502–43–9.582.438L1
Tiebreakers [lower-alpha 7]
  1. 1 2 Pittsburgh clinched the AFC North title instead of Baltimore based on division record (5–1 to Baltimore's 4–2).
  2. 1 2 Indianapolis clinched the AFC No. 3 seed instead of Kansas City based on a head-to-head victory.
  3. 1 2 Jacksonville finished ahead of Oakland based on head-to-head victory.
  4. 1 2 Houston finished ahead of Tennessee in the AFC South based on division record (3–3 to Tennessee's 2–4).
  5. 1 2 3 Denver finished ahead of Buffalo and Cincinnati based on strength of victory.
  6. 1 2 Buffalo finished ahead of Cincinnati based on head-to-head victory.
  7. When breaking ties for three or more teams under the NFL's rules, they are first broken within divisions, then comparing only the highest ranked remaining team from each division.
Division winners
1 Atlanta Falcons South1330.8135–110–2.484.438W1
2 Chicago Bears North1150.6885–18–4.473.420L1
3 [lower-alpha 1] Philadelphia Eagles East1060.6254–27–5.492.506L2
4 [lower-alpha 2] Seattle Seahawks West790.4384–26–6.484.402W1
Wild cards
5 New Orleans Saints South1150.6884–29–3.469.426L1
6 [lower-alpha 3] Green Bay Packers North1060.6254–28–4.520.475W2
Did not qualify for the postseason
7 [lower-alpha 1] [lower-alpha 3] New York Giants East1060.6253–38–4.453.400W1
8 [lower-alpha 3] Tampa Bay Buccaneers South1060.6253–38–4.477.344W2
9 [lower-alpha 2] St. Louis Rams West790.4383–35–7.449.348L1
10 [lower-alpha 4] [lower-alpha 5] Detroit Lions North6100.3752–45–7.543.479W4
11 [lower-alpha 4] [lower-alpha 5] Minnesota Vikings North6100.3751–55–7.539.385L1
12 [lower-alpha 4] [lower-alpha 6] San Francisco 49ers West6100.3754–24–8.488.375W1
13 [lower-alpha 4] [lower-alpha 7] [lower-alpha 6] Dallas Cowboys East6100.3753–34–8.512.500W1
14 [lower-alpha 4] [lower-alpha 7] Washington Redskins East6100.3752–44–8.516.531L1
15 Arizona Cardinals West5110.3131–53–9.465.450L1
16 Carolina Panthers South2140.1250–62–10.574.344L2
Tiebreakers [lower-alpha 8]
  1. 1 2 Philadelphia clinched the NFC East title based on a head-to-head sweep over the New York Giants.
  2. 1 2 Seattle clinched the NFC West title instead of St. Louis based on division record (4–2 to St. Louis' 3–3).
  3. 1 2 3 Green Bay clinched the NFC No. 6 seed based on better strength of victory (.475) than the New York Giants (.400) and Tampa Bay (.344).
  4. 1 2 3 4 5 Detroit and Minnesota finished ahead of San Francisco, Dallas and Washington based on conference record (5–7 to 4–8).
  5. 1 2 Detroit finished ahead of Minnesota in the NFC North based on division record (2–4 to Minnesota's 1–5).
  6. 1 2 San Francisco finished ahead of Dallas based on record versus common opponents.
  7. 1 2 Dallas finished ahead of Washington in the NFC East based on division record (3–3 to Washington's 2–4).
  8. When breaking ties for three or more teams under the NFL's rules, they are first broken within divisions, then comparing only the highest ranked remaining team from each division.


The 2010–11 NFL playoff tournament began January 8–9, 2011 with wild card weekend. Following that, the divisional playoffs set the matchups for the NFC Championship Game, to be played at 3:00 pm EST on January 23, and the AFC Championship Game, to be played at 6:30 pm EST.

After a backlash from players and critics about the previous season's Pro Bowl being played at Sun Life Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida, in the contiguous United States, the 2011 Pro Bowl was played at Aloha Stadium in Halawa, Honolulu, Hawaiʻi. [77] The date was January 30, 2011, the week before the Super Bowl. An NFL spokesman stated that "Plans for future Pro Bowls are not final." [78] Indianapolis Colts President Bill Polian has stated his objections to the format, and is in favor of returning the game to after the Super Bowl as in previous years. [79]

The annual Pro Bowl had previously been played in Hawaii for 30 consecutive seasons from 1980 to 2009. [80] However, the NFL and State of Hawaiʻi officials only agreed to a two-year deal to hold the Pro Bowl at Aloha Stadium in 2011 and 2012. [80] This gives the option of playing the Pro Bowl in Hawaiʻi on a rotational basis with the mainland, so it both maintains the traditional ties of holding it on the islands and providing accessibility to fans when played in the contiguous 48 states. [80]

Super Bowl XLV, was held at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas, on February 6, 2011, and was the NFL's final event of the 2010 season.

Within each conference, the four division winners and the two wild card teams (the top two non-division winners with the best overall regular season records) qualified for the playoffs. The four division winners are seeded 1 through 4 based on their overall won-lost-tied record, and the wild card teams are seeded 5 and 6. The NFL does not use a fixed bracket playoff system, and there are no restrictions regarding teams from the same division matching up in any round. In the first round, dubbed the wild-card playoffs or wild-card weekend, the third-seeded division winner hosts the sixth seed wild card, and the fourth seed hosts the fifth. The 1 and 2 seeds from each conference then receive a bye in the first round. In the second round, the divisional playoffs, the number 1 seed hosts the worst surviving seed from the first round (seed 4, 5, or 6), while the number 2 seed will play the other team (seed 3, 4, or 5). The two surviving teams from each conference's divisional playoff games then meet in the respective AFC and NFC Conference Championship games, hosted by the higher seed. Although the Super Bowl, the fourth and final round of the playoffs, is played at a neutral site, the designated home team is based on an annual rotation by conference. [81]

Playoff seeds
1 New England Patriots (East winner) Atlanta Falcons (South winner)
2 Pittsburgh Steelers (North winner) Chicago Bears (North winner)
3 Indianapolis Colts (South winner) Philadelphia Eagles (East winner)
4 Kansas City Chiefs (West winner) Seattle Seahawks (West winner)
5 Baltimore Ravens (wild card) New Orleans Saints (wild card)
6 New York Jets (wild card) Green Bay Packers (wild card)

    Playoffs bracket

    Jan 8 – Lucas Oil Stadium Jan 16 – Gillette Stadium
    6 NY Jets 17
    6NY Jets28
    3 Indianapolis 16Jan 23 – Heinz Field
    1 New England 21
    Jan 9 – Arrowhead Stadium 6NY Jets19
    Jan 15 – Heinz Field
    5 Baltimore 30AFC Championship
    4 Kansas City 7Feb 6 – Cowboys Stadium
    2 Pittsburgh 31
    Wild Card playoffs
    Divisional playoffs
    Jan 9 – Lincoln Financial Field A2Pittsburgh25
    Jan 15 – Georgia Dome
    N6Green Bay31
    6 Green Bay 21 Super Bowl XLV
    6Green Bay48
    3 Philadelphia 16Jan 23 – Soldier Field
    1 Atlanta 21
    Jan 8Qwest Field 6Green Bay21
    Jan 16 – Soldier Field
    5 New Orleans 36NFC Championship
    4 Seattle 41
    2 Chicago 35

    Super Bowl and conference logo, trophy changes

    Starting with Super Bowl XLV, the template of all Super Bowl logos will virtually remain the same. The only differences from year to year will be the stadium backdrop and the Roman numerals for the game as well as colors of the area. For Super Bowl XLV, Cowboys Stadium is featured and "XLV" signifying the forty-fifth Super Bowl game. [82]

    The NFL also introduced new Lamar Hunt and George Halas trophies for the AFC and NFC Championship games. The trophies were changed from a brown base with an 'A' or 'N' on top of it surrounded by players layered on a frieze upon a wall, to silver trophies in the make of a football. [82] Additionally, both the NFC and AFC logos were revamped and recolored to reflect the current shield adopted two years earlier and with four stars running down the inside on both logos top to bottom from left to right instead of the six surrounding the AFC and three down the side of the NFC logo as each conference has four divisions. In addition, all event and playoff logos have undergone a complete makeover in a new logo system. [83]

    Records and milestones





    Special teams


    Playoff records

    All-time records set or tied

    Milestones and firsts

    Regular season statistical leaders

    Individual [87]
    Scoring leader David Akers, Philadelphia (143)
    Touchdowns Arian Foster, Houston (18 TDs)
    Most field goals made Josh Brown, St. Louis and Sebastian Janikowski, Oakland (33 FGs)
    Rushing Arian Foster, Houston (1,616 yards)
    Passer rating Tom Brady, New England (111.0 rating)
    Passing touchdownsTom Brady, New England (36 TDs)
    Passing yards Philip Rivers, San Diego (4,710 yards)
    Pass receptions Roddy White, Atlanta (115 catches)
    Pass receiving yards Brandon Lloyd, Denver (1,448 yards)
    Combined tackles Jerod Mayo, New England (175 tackles)
    Interceptions Ed Reed, Baltimore (8)
    Punting Donnie Jones, St. Louis (4,276 yards, 45.5 average yards)
    Sacks DeMarcus Ware, Dallas (15.5)


    All-Pro team

    The following players were named All-Pro:

    Quarterback Tom Brady, New England
    Running back Arian Foster, Houston
    Jamaal Charles, Kansas City
    Maurice Jones-Drew, Jacksonville
    Fullback Vonta Leach, Houston
    Wide receiver Roddy White, Atlanta
    Reggie Wayne, Indianapolis
    Andre Johnson, Houston
    Tight end Jason Witten, Dallas
    Offensive tackle Joe Thomas, Cleveland
    Jake Long, Miami
    Offensive guard Jahri Evans, New Orleans
    Logan Mankins, New England
    Chris Snee, NY Giants
    Center Nick Mangold, NY Jets
    Defensive end Julius Peppers, Chicago
    John Abraham, Atlanta
    Justin Tuck, NY Giants
    Defensive tackle Haloti Ngata, Baltimore
    Ndamukong Suh, Detroit
    Outside linebacker Clay Matthews III, Green Bay
    James Harrison, Pittsburgh
    Cameron Wake, Miami
    Inside linebacker Jerod Mayo, New England
    Patrick Willis, San Francisco
    Cornerback Darrelle Revis, NY Jets
    Nnamdi Asomugha, Oakland
    Asante Samuel, Philadelphia
    Devin McCourty, New England
    Safety Troy Polamalu, Pittsburgh
    Ed Reed, Baltimore
    Special teams
    Kicker Billy Cundiff, Baltimore
    David Akers, Philadelphia
    Punter Shane Lechler, Oakland
    Kick returner Devin Hester, Chicago
    Leon Washington, Seattle
    Punt returner Devin Hester, Chicago
    Special Teams Eric Weems, Atlanta

    Players of the Week

    The following were the players of the week during the 2010 season:

    WeekFedEx Air Player of the WeekFedEx Ground Player of the WeekPepsi Rookie of the Week
    1QB Jay Cutler, Chicago Bears RB Arian Foster, Houston Texans WR Dexter McCluster, Kansas City Chiefs
    2QB Matt Schaub, Houston Texans RB LeSean McCoy, Philadelphia Eagles RB Jahvid Best, Detroit Lions
    3QB Michael Vick, Philadelphia Eagles RB Adrian Peterson, Minnesota Vikings TE Tony Moeaki, Kansas City Chiefs
    4QB Kyle Orton, Denver Broncos RB LaDainian Tomlinson, New York Jets QB Sam Bradford, St. Louis Rams
    5QB Shaun Hill, Detroit Lions RB Matt Forte, Chicago Bears QB Max Hall, Arizona Cardinals
    6QB Kevin Kolb, Philadelphia Eagles RB Chris Ivory, New Orleans Saints RB Chris Ivory, New Orleans Saints
    7QB Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons RB Darren McFadden, Oakland Raiders WR Dez Bryant, Dallas Cowboys
    8QB Jason Campbell, Oakland Raiders RB Jamaal Charles, Kansas City Chiefs DT Ndamukong Suh, Detroit Lions
    9QB Brett Favre, Minnesota Vikings RB Peyton Hillis, Cleveland Browns WR Jacoby Ford, Oakland Raiders
    10QB Michael Vick, Philadelphia Eagles RB Fred Jackson, Buffalo Bills QB Tim Tebow, Denver Broncos
    11QB Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers RB Maurice Jones-Drew, Jacksonville Jaguars PR Bryan McCann, Dallas Cowboys
    12QB Matt Cassel, Kansas City Chiefs RB Peyton Hillis, Cleveland Browns QB Sam Bradford, St. Louis Rams
    13QB Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers RB Maurice Jones-Drew, Jacksonville Jaguars LB Sean Lee, Dallas Cowboys
    14QB Tom Brady, New England Patriots RB Darren McFadden, Oakland Raiders TE Rob Gronkowski, New England Patriots
    15QB Michael Vick, Philadelphia Eagles RB Ray Rice, Baltimore Ravens TE Aaron Hernandez, New England Patriots
    16QB Josh Freeman, Tampa Bay Buccaneers RB LeGarrette Blount, Tampa Bay Buccaneers QB Tim Tebow, Denver Broncos
    17QB Josh Freeman, Tampa Bay Buccaneers RB Arian Foster, Houston Texans TE Rob Gronkowski, New England Patriots

    Regular season awards

    AP Defensive Player of the Year Troy Polamalu Strong Safety Pittsburgh Steelers
    AP Offensive Player of the Year Tom Brady Quarterback New England Patriots
    AP Coach of the Year Bill Belichick Head CoachNew England Patriots
    AP Offensive Rookie of the Year Sam Bradford Quarterback St. Louis Rams
    AP Defensive Rookie of the Year Ndamukong Suh Defensive tackle Detroit Lions
    AP Comeback Player of the Year Michael Vick Quarterback Philadelphia Eagles
    AP Most Valuable Player Tom Brady Quarterback New England Patriots
    Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Madieu Williams Free Safety Minnesota Vikings
    Pepsi Rookie of the Year Ndamukong Suh Defensive tackle Detroit Lions
    Super Bowl Most Valuable Player Aaron Rodgers Quarterback Green Bay Packers

    Team superlatives


    • Most points scored: New England, 518
    • Fewest points scored: Carolina, 196
    • Most total offensive yards: San Diego, 6,329
    • Fewest total offensive yards: Carolina, 4,135
    • Most total passing yards: Indianapolis, 4,609
    • Fewest total passing yards: Carolina, 2,289
    • Most rushing yards: Kansas City, 2,627
    • Fewest rushing yards: Arizona, 1,388



    • Fewest points allowed: Pittsburgh, 232
    • Most points allowed: Denver, 471
    • Fewest total yards allowed: San Diego, 4,345
    • Most total yards allowed: Denver, 6,253
    • Fewest passing yards allowed: San Diego, 2,845
    • Most passing yards allowed: Houston, 4,280
    • Fewest rushing yards allowed: Pittsburgh, 1,004
    • Most rushing yards allowed: Buffalo, 2,714


    Coaching changes


    Team2009 Head Coach2009 Interim2010 Head CoachReason for leavingNotes
    Buffalo Bills Dick Jauron Perry Fewell Chan Gailey FiredJauron was fired after nine games into the 2009 season after compiling a 24–33 (.421) record, including a 3–6 record at the time of his firing, in 3½ years. Fewell, the Bills' defensive coordinator, was the interim head coach for the rest of the season and went 3–4 (.429) in that capacity; he was hired to be defensive coordinator for the New York Giants January 14. Jauron was hired as defensive backs coach for the Philadelphia Eagles.

    Gailey, whom previously served as head coach of the Dallas Cowboys from 19981999 and Georgia Tech from 2002 to 2007, was last seen in the NFL as the Kansas City Chiefs' offensive coordinator before Todd Haley fired him prior to the 2009 regular season, and was named the new Bills coach on January 19; he was recommended to the Bills by former Pittsburgh Steelers coach Bill Cowher, whom Gailey served under from 1994 to 1997.

    Washington Redskins Jim Zorn Mike Shanahan FiredZorn, who was first hired to be offensive coordinator but had never been a head coach before being given the coaching reins, went out to a 6–2 start in the first half of 2008, but fell dramatically afterwards, and in his two seasons went 12–20 (.375) as the Redskins coach before being relieved of his duties following the completion of the 2009 season.

    On January 5, 2010, Shanahan, the former Super Bowl-winning head coach of Denver Broncos from 1995 to 2008, was hired as the Redskins' new coach. Zorn was hired January 30, 2010, to be the quarterbacks coach for the Baltimore Ravens.

    Seattle Seahawks Jim L. Mora Pete Carroll FiredMora was fired after compiling a 5–11 (.313) record in his only season as head coach as the Seahawks lost the last four games of the 2009 season, being outscored 123–37. Mora wouldn't hold another coaching position until 2012, when he was hired as the head coach of UCLA and 10 years later, the UConn Huskies, both teams in the collegiate level.

    Carroll had spent the past eight years as the head coach of USC, having won a share of the 2003 and the outright 2004 national championships; however, many of Carroll's achievements at USC may be stricken from the record books due to improprieties involving Reggie Bush. He had previously been the head coach of the New York Jets in 1994 and New England Patriots from 1997 to 1999, with a career 33–31 record.


    Team2010 CoachInterimReason for leavingNotes
    Dallas Cowboys Wade Phillips Jason Garrett FiredPhillips, son of former NFL head coach Bum Phillips, was fired on November 8 following a 45–7 Week 9 loss against the Green Bay Packers. Garrett was their offensive coordinator and head-coach in waiting prior to being promoted. Phillips later was hired by the Houston Texans as their defensive coordinator. Garrett was named the full-time head coach January 6, four days after the season ended.
    Minnesota Vikings Brad Childress Leslie Frazier FiredChildress was fired on November 22 following a Week 11 loss against the Green Bay Packers, 31–3. The Vikings entered week 12 with a 3–7 record, second-to-last in the NFC North. Childress also faced controversy by releasing Randy Moss without the approval of owner Zygi Wilf and lost control over the locker room. [90] Frazier was given position full-time prior to the Vikings' regular season finale in Detroit.
    Denver Broncos Josh McDaniels Eric Studesville FiredMcDaniels was fired on December 5, following a 10–6 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 13. After a 6–0 start in the 2009 season, the Broncos lost 17 of their next 22 games, and became subject to a videotaping scandal. [91]
    San Francisco 49ers Mike Singletary Jim Tomsula FiredSingletary was fired on December 26, following a 25–17 loss to the St. Louis Rams in Week 16, which officially eliminated the 49ers from playoff contention. Heavily favored to win the NFC West, the 49ers instead started the 2010 season with an 0–5 record. Singletary also faced controversy by switching between starting quarterbacks Alex Smith and Troy Smith at least three different times during the season, [92] and unsuccessfully trying to mold the team like the 1985 Chicago Bears. [93]


    New Meadowlands Stadium New Meadowlands stadium exterior.jpg
    New Meadowlands Stadium
    Arrowhead Stadium after renovations. Arrowhead Stadium 2010.JPG
    Arrowhead Stadium after renovations.

    New Meadowlands Stadium opened in 2010, replacing Giants Stadium as the home of both the New York Giants and the New York Jets. The new stadium is located a few hundred feet away from the old building in the parking lot of Meadowlands Sports Complex in East Rutherford, New Jersey. Unlike Giants Stadium (in which the Giants were the sole NFL tenant until the 1984 season), the new Meadowlands Stadium will be a 50/50 partnership between both New York teams. The Giants played their first regular season game on September 12 against the Carolina Panthers, while the Jets played the following night against the Baltimore Ravens in the first game of a Monday Night Football doubleheader.

    Arrowhead Stadium, home of the Kansas City Chiefs since 1972, underwent a two-year $375 million renovation project which was completed and unveiled in July 2010. The stadium hosted the second game of the Monday Night Football opening weekend doubleheader when the Chiefs played the San Diego Chargers.

    M&T Bank Stadium, home of the Baltimore Ravens, installed FieldTurf prior to the 2010 season. The field had been Sportexe Momentum Turf since 2002 and grass before that.

    Prior to Week 14, the inflatable roof of the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome, home of the Minnesota Vikings, buckled and tore as a result of heavy snowfall in Minneapolis, spilling snow onto Mall of America field and rendering the stadium unusable for the remainder of the Vikings' season. [94] The Vikings' scheduled home game against the New York Giants was moved to Detroit's Ford Field and postponed to a 7:20 pm EST kickoff on Monday. Though stadium workers were initially "optimistic" that the roof could be repaired before the Vikings faced the Chicago Bears on December 20, [95] stadium officials determined that such a repair was not possible in that time frame and the game was moved to TCF Bank Stadium. [96] [97]

    Two stadiums received new naming rights: On January 20, LandShark Stadium, the home field of the Miami Dolphins, was renamed Sun Life Stadium. The Dolphins' home field, originally named Joe Robbie Stadium from 1987–1996, has undergone several name changes in its history, including Pro Player Stadium (1996–2005), Dolphin Stadium (2006–2009), and most recently, LandShark Stadium. [98] On July 27, Jacksonville Municipal Stadium, the home field of the Jacksonville Jaguars, was renamed EverBank Field. [99]


    In the 2010 season, the Washington Redskins were the only team who made a major change to their main uniforms, wearing gold pants with their burgundy jerseys, and except for a game against the Packers, wore them for home games instead of their white jerseys and red pants. The white pants were not abandoned entirely, and were worn together with the burgundy jerseys for the two away games (and one home game) in which their opponent wore white at home. This was made possible with a sleeve modification, in which the broad yellow and white stripes were severely shrunken on an elastic band (same for white jerseys) so that when wearing the gold pants, the team also wore the retro style socks that had a different stripe pattern matching the sleeves of the day, so there is no longer a stripe design conflict.

    The Green Bay Packers became the first team to officially unveil a third uniform for 2010, a throwback uniform based on their 1929 uniforms when they won their first NFL championship. The throwbacks are as accurate as possible while complying with current NFL guidelines, with a brown modern-shell helmet in place of the leather helmets of 1929, along with blue jerseys and gold circles with the jersey numbers nested within the circles, and brown pants. Like throwbacks worn in recent seasons by the San Diego Chargers, Dallas Cowboys, Buffalo Bills, New York Jets, and the archrival Minnesota Vikings, these throwbacks will be a permanent addition to the Packers uniforms, unlike throwbacks worn by the Detroit Lions and Pittsburgh Steelers that were intended as one-time deals but made permanent, as well as several one-shot throwbacks in recent years. The new Packers throwbacks replace the previous throwbacks (which comprised the current helmets with the "G" logo and stripes removed, white jerseys with plain green lettering, and tan pants) worn sporadically since the early 2000s (decade).

    Also going the throwback route were the Chicago Bears, who harkened back to the Sid Luckman era with a 1940s set, replacing the pumpkin orange third jerseys, and the Indianapolis Colts, who will wear 1955 throwbacks as well. Since the Colts only have two colors, they only have previously worn a throwback jersey once in their history, in 2004. The difference between the 2004 throwback and the 2010 throwback is the helmet color, which reverses the 2004 scheme.

    The Arizona Cardinals, who were the only team to not wear a third jersey in any form since the NFL allowed third jerseys in 2002, unveiled a black third jersey to be worn in 2010.

    The Philadelphia Eagles have adopted their 1960 championship uniforms that were worn September 12 against the Packers, the team they beat to win their last championship in celebration of the 50th anniversary of that game.

    The Tennessee Titans returned to using navy blue jerseys as their third jersey, after a one-year hiatus in which they wore light blue Houston Oilers throwback jerseys in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the American Football League, but did not wear them for any game in 2010.

    The Pittsburgh Steelers wore their throwbacks against the Cleveland Browns on October 17 and against the New England Patriots on November 14. [100]

    The Seattle Seahawks have retired the neon green uniform worn for one game in 2009 against Chicago, which was in turn an offshoot from an April Fools' Day joke written about by Uni Watch founder Paul Lukas that year. [101]


    This is the fifth season under the television contracts with the league's television partners: CBS (all AFC Sunday afternoon away games and one Thanksgiving game), Fox (all NFC Sunday afternoon away games and one Thanksgiving game), NBC (17 Sunday night games and the kickoff game), ESPN (17 Monday night games over sixteen weeks), NFL Network (eight late-season games on Thursday and Saturday nights, including one Thanksgiving game), and DirecTV's NFL Sunday Ticket package. These contracts ran through at least 2013.

    Joe Theismann joined Bob Papa and Matt Millen in a three-man booth for NFL Network, while Keith Olbermann left his position as co-host of NBC's Football Night in America .

    In national radio, this is the second year on Westwood One's most recent contract extension. The network also agreed to a four-year extension on December 23, 2010.

    Nielsen Ratings for the fall 2010 television season have shown viewership increases of up to 10 percent for most of the NFL's broadcast partners; eighteen of the twenty most watched television broadcasts of the season have so far been NFL games. [102]

    Related Research Articles

    <span class="mw-page-title-main">NFC Championship Game</span> Semifinal championship football game in the NFL

    The NFC Championship Game is the annual championship game of the National Football Conference (NFC) and one of the two semifinal playoff games of the National Football League (NFL), the largest professional American football league in the world. The game is played on the last Sunday in January by the two remaining playoff teams, following the NFC postseason's first two rounds. The NFC champion then advances to face the winner of the AFC Championship Game in the Super Bowl.

    The 2002 NFL season was the 83rd regular season of the National Football League (NFL).

    The 1986 NFL season was the 67th regular season of the National Football League. Defending Super Bowl Champion Chicago Bears shared the league’s best record with the Giants at 14–2, with the Giants claiming the spot in the NFC by tiebreakers. In the AFC, the Cleveland Browns earned home-field advantage with a record of 12–4, and they hosted the New York Jets in round one of the AFC playoffs. The Jets had started the season at 10–1 before losing their final five contests. The game went to double OT, with the Browns finally prevailing 23–20. The following Sunday, John Elway and the Denver Broncos defeated the Browns by an identical score in a game known for The Drive, where Elway drove his team 98 yards to send the game to overtime to win. The Giants would defeat their rival Washington Redskins in the NFC title game, blanking them 17–0 to advance to their first Super Bowl. The season ended with Super Bowl XXI when the New York Giants defeated the Denver Broncos 39–20 at the Rose Bowl to win their first league title in 30 years.

    The 2007 NFL season was the 88th regular season of the National Football League (NFL).

    The following is a detailed list of results and scores from National Football League games aired on NBC under the game package NBC Sunday Night Football. The list includes both regular season and post-season game results, both produced by NBC Sports, from the 2006 NFL season to the present.

    <span class="mw-page-title-main">2009 NFL season</span> 2009 National Football League season

    The 2009 NFL season was the 90th season in the history of the National Football League (NFL). The 50th anniversary of the original eight charter members of the American Football League was celebrated during this season.

    As with all sports leagues, there are a number of significant rivalries between teams and notable players in the National Football League (NFL). Rivalries are occasionally created due to a particular event that causes bad blood between teams, players, coaches, or owners, but for the most part, they arise simply due to the frequency with which some teams play each other, and sometimes exist for geographic reasons.

    The 2011 NFL season was the 92nd regular season of the National Football League (NFL) and the 46th of the Super Bowl era. It began on Thursday, September 8, 2011, with the Super Bowl XLV champion Green Bay Packers defeating the Super Bowl XLIV champion New Orleans Saints at Lambeau Field and ended with Super Bowl XLVI, the league's championship game, on February 5, 2012, at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis where the New York Giants defeated the New England Patriots.

    The 2012 NFL season was the 93rd season of the National Football League (NFL) and the 47th of the Super Bowl era. It began on Wednesday, September 5, 2012, with the defending Super Bowl XLVI champion New York Giants falling to the Dallas Cowboys in the 2012 NFL Kickoff game at MetLife Stadium, and ended with Super Bowl XLVII, the league's championship game, on Sunday, February 3, 2013, at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, with the Jim Harbaugh-coached San Francisco 49ers facing the John Harbaugh-coached Baltimore Ravens. The Ravens won the game, which marked the first time two brothers were head coaches for opposing teams in the championship game.

    The 2013 NFL season was the 94th season in the history of the National Football League (NFL) and the 48th of the Super Bowl era. The season saw the Seattle Seahawks capture the first championship in the franchise's 38 years in the league with a lopsided victory over the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl XLVIII, the league's championship game. The Super Bowl was played at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey, on Sunday, February 2, 2014. It was the first Super Bowl hosted by New Jersey and the first to be held outdoors in a cold weather environment. The Seahawks scored 12 seconds into the game and held the lead the rest of the way on the back of their Legion of Boom defense.

    <span class="mw-page-title-main">2011 San Francisco 49ers season</span> NFL team season

    The 2011 San Francisco 49ers season was the franchise's 66th season overall, and 62nd in the National Football League (NFL). It was the first season under head coach Jim Harbaugh and general manager Trent Baalke. The 49ers rebounded from their disappointing 2010 season to end their streak of eight consecutive non-winning seasons. After defeating the St. Louis Rams in week 13 and attaining a 10–2 record, the team clinched the NFC West and made their first playoff appearance since 2002. The 49ers ended the regular season with a 13–3 record, their best since 1997, and earned a bye in the first round of the playoffs. In the Divisional Playoffs they defeated the New Orleans Saints 36–32 and were in the NFC Championship for the first time since 1997- they lost to the eventual Super Bowl champion New York Giants in overtime by a score of 20–17, coming just short of returning to the Super Bowl for the first time since 1994.

    <span class="mw-page-title-main">2013 Pro Bowl</span> National Football League all-star game

    The 2013 Pro Bowl was the National Football League (NFL)'s sixty-third annual all-star game which featured players from the 2012 season. It took place at 2:30 pm Hawaii–Aleutian Time on Sunday, January 27, 2013 at the Aloha Stadium in Honolulu, Hawaii. The game was televised nationally by NBC in place of CBS. The game was delayed for 30 minutes due to flash flood warnings.

    The 2016 NFL season was the 97th season in the history of the National Football League (NFL) and the 51st of the Super Bowl era. The season began on September 8, 2016, with the defending Super Bowl 50 champion Denver Broncos defeating the Carolina Panthers in the NFL Kickoff Game in a rematch of the Super Bowl. The season concluded with Super Bowl LI, the league's championship game on February 5, 2017, at NRG Stadium in Houston with the New England Patriots defeating the Atlanta Falcons. For the first time since the 2003 NFL season, neither of the previous season's Super Bowl participants made the playoffs.

    <span class="mw-page-title-main">2014 Seattle Seahawks season</span> 39th season in franchise history; second Super Bowl loss

    The 2014 season was the Seattle Seahawks' 39th in the National Football League (NFL) and their fifth under head coach Pete Carroll. The Seahawks started the season as the defending Super Bowl champions for the first time in franchise history.

    The 2018 NFL season was the 99th season of the National Football League (NFL) and the 53rd of the Super Bowl era. The season began on September 6, 2018, with the NFL Kickoff Game with the defending Super Bowl LII champion Philadelphia Eagles defeating the Atlanta Falcons. The season concluded with Super Bowl LIII, the league's championship game, on February 3, 2019, at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia, in which the New England Patriots defeated the Los Angeles Rams for their sixth Super Bowl championship and their third title in five years.

    <span class="mw-page-title-main">2017 Minnesota Vikings season</span> NFL team season

    The 2017 season was the Minnesota Vikings' 57th in the National Football League, and their fourth under head coach Mike Zimmer. With the team's home stadium, U.S. Bank Stadium, scheduled to host Super Bowl LII at the end of the season, the Vikings attempted to make history as the first team to play the Super Bowl on their home field; in recording their best regular season record since 1998, they clinched a first-round bye for the first time since 2009 and became the eighth team in the Super Bowl era to qualify for the playoffs in a season in which their stadium hosted the Super Bowl. They defeated the New Orleans Saints in the divisional round 29–24 on a walk-off play referred to as the "Minneapolis Miracle", but lost 38–7 to the eventual Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles in the NFC Championship Game.

    <span class="mw-page-title-main">2018 Philadelphia Eagles season</span> 86th season in franchise history

    The 2018 season was the Philadelphia Eagles' 86th season in the National Football League and their third under head coach Doug Pederson.

    <span class="mw-page-title-main">2019 Minnesota Vikings season</span> 59th season in franchise history

    The 2019 season was the Minnesota Vikings' 59th in the National Football League (NFL), their fourth playing home games at U.S. Bank Stadium and their sixth under head coach Mike Zimmer. They improved on their 8–7–1 campaign from 2018 with a Week 14 win over the Detroit Lions, and returned to the playoffs following a one-year absence after the Los Angeles Rams lost to the San Francisco 49ers in Week 16. That week, the Vikings were eliminated from contention for the NFC North division title, losing 23–10 to the Green Bay Packers. They defeated the New Orleans Saints 26–20 in overtime in the Wild Card round but lost 27–10 to the eventual NFC champion San Francisco 49ers in the Divisional Round.

    <span class="mw-page-title-main">2019 Philadelphia Eagles season</span> 87th season in franchise history

    The 2019 season was the Philadelphia Eagles' 87th in the National Football League (NFL) and fourth under head coach Doug Pederson. The Eagles acquired many key players, including wide receiver DeSean Jackson, running back Jordan Howard and defensive tackle Malik Jackson. With these offseason moves, the Eagles were listed as Super Bowl contenders. However, inconsistent play aided by injuries on both sides of the ball plagued the Eagles early in the year. Despite a 5–7 start, the Eagles won their last four games against divisional opponents and matched their 9–7 record from 2018. The Eagles clinched the NFC East division title, but were defeated by the Seattle Seahawks in the Wild Card round by a score of 17–9.

    The 2023 NFL season is scheduled to be the 104th season of the National Football League (NFL). The season will begin on September 7, 2023, with defending Super Bowl LVII champion Kansas City hosting Detroit in the NFL Kickoff Game, and end on January 7, 2024.


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