2007 NFL season

2007 NFL season

Infobox NFL
year = 2007
NFLchampion = New York Giants
regular_season = September 6 2007 - December 30 2007
playoffs_start = January 5 2008
AFCchampion = New England Patriots
NFCchampion = New York Giants
sb_name = XLII
sb_date = February 3 2008
sb_site = University of Phoenix Stadium, Glendale, Arizona
pb_date = February 10 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.


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 respectively), 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:cite book | title=2006 NFL Record and Fact Book | id=ISBN 1-933405-32-5 | pages=16]

*AFC East vs. AFC North
*AFC West vs. AFC South
*NFC East vs. NFC North
*NFC West vs. NFC South
*AFC East vs. NFC East
*AFC North vs. NFC West
*AFC South vs. NFC South
*AFC West vs. NFC North

Hall of Fame Game

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; [cite news | url=http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07218/807333-66.stm | title=Steelers start strong in 20-7 victory | publisher=Pittsburgh Post-Gazette | date=2007-08-06 | accessdate=2008-01-28] 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 scheduling

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. [ The flexible-scheduling policy also allows a shorter time window for changing Week 17 games prior to the game.] 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.cite news
title=Process of game-time decisions will eliminate TV duds, create chaos
publisher=USA Today
author= Hiestand, Michael
] In 2007, the league announced all predetermined matchups, with a footnote on the games subject to flex scheduling.cite web
title=2007 prime-time schedule
] 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 (USET) 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 global

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.cite news | url=http://www.nfl.com/news/story/9752443 | title=Resolution approved for international games | publisher= [http://www.nfl.com/ NFL.com] | date=2006-10-24 | accessdate=2007-01-11] 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)cite news | url=http://www.nfl.com/news/story/9971024 | title=London to host 2007 regular-season game | publisher= [http://www.nfl.com/ NFL.com] | date=2007-01-16 | accessdate=2007-02-10] [ cite web
title=Dolphins will host Giants in a game in London
] As the Giants were the away-team designate from the NFC, Fox broadcast the game in the USA according to league broadcast contract rules. [cite news
title=Giants to Face Dolphins in London
author=Eisen, Michael
publisher=Giants.com | date=2007-02-02 | accessdate=2007-09-11

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 standings

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

"Clinched playoff seeds are marked in parentheses and shaded in green"

The following head coaches were fired or resigned during the 2007 season:



Player conduct off the field

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 "Pacman" 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 was accused of causing 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. [web cite| url=http://www.nfl.com/news/story?id=09000d5d801c1644&template=with-video&confirm=true |title=Vick suspended indefinitely after filing plea |date=2007-08-27]

Death of Marquise Hill

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. [cite news | url=http://news.bostonherald.com/localRegional/view.bg?articleid=1004553 | title =Hero told friend: ‘Be calm, Don’t panic’ | date=2007-06-03 | publisher=Boston Herald] The two were wearing neither personal flotation nor tracking devices. The friend was rescued and sent to Tulane Medical Center, but Hill did not survive; his body was found the next day. [cite news | url=http://www.wwltv.com/local/stories/wwl052807tplsu.1aa969dc.html | title =Body of ex-LSU star found in Lake Pontchartrain | date=4:06 PM ET, May 28 2007 | publisher=WWLTV.com] The Patriots honored Hill, the first Patriots player to die while still a member of the team, [cite news | url=http://www.boston.com/sports/football/patriots/articles/2007/05/29/tragic_history/ | title =Tragic history | date=2007-05-29 | publisher=Boston.com] by wearing black circular decals on their helmets with Hill's number, 91.

Death of Sean Taylor

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. [cite web|url=http://www.nfl.com/news/story;jsessionid=9EF67272BEB9224E883F00665CB0D53A?id=09000d5d804946ac&template=with-video&confirm=true|title=Redskins safety Taylor dies day after being shot|date=2007-11-27|accessdate=2007-11-27|work=The Associated Press|publisher=The Associated Press] 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.


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 events

*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 was 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 23 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 had played there since 1984. The franchise will move to the new Lucas Oil Stadium in time for the 2008 season, located literally across 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 (in the same game that Brett Favre passed Dan Marino for most touchdown passes in NFL history), 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, joining the Chicago Bears (for George Halas) and Cleveland Browns (for Al Lerner) for such memorial patches.
*Teams that have permanent captains are allowed 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 Pittsburgh Steelers--who were using up two patches as it was for the season with their own logo (which was already part of the standard uniforms) and the team's 75th anniversary logo--and Oakland Raiders elected not to use the "C" patch.
* 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.


ee also

*2007 NFL Draft
*Super Bowl XLII

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