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September 6, 2017 NFL
For football fans, the start of the season gives us the magical feelings of hope, anticipation, and excitement. It reminds us of what is so special about football—anything can happen. This could be, as all fans say, "our year!"

As great as it is, we are continually looking for ways to make the football experience even more compelling for players and fans alike, and this season is no different:

  • Officiating: Accuracy and consistency are imperative to the quality of the game—this season we made two important officiating changes. First, we will bring on full-time game officials to enhance consistency between officials. Second, replay decisions, under our centralized replay model, will now be made from New York. As part of this, the referee on the field will continue to play an important role in the consultation process for a replay decision and will be aided, for the first time, by the use of a handheld Surface tablet that will be brought to him on the field.
  • Health and Safety: We made a number of rules changes to reduce the risk of injuries—especially to the head and neck. Under the leadership of our newly appointed Chief Medical Officer, we enhanced the NFL Game Day Concussion Diagnosis and Management Protocol to reflect the most up-to-date medical consensus on the identification, diagnosis, and treatment of concussions. We continue to invest in and support innovations to advance sports safety, including one you'll see this season—a new helmet with a soft outer shell designed to reduce impact forces, which ranked among the top-performing helmets.
  • Celebrations: We heard from our players that they should be able to express themselves more on the field, so we've relaxed our rules to allow players to have more fun after they make big plays.
  • Fan Experience: Always looking to make the game more engaging, we are implementing changes to improve the pace and minimize unnecessary disruptions to the action on the field. We also continue to explore innovative ways to deliver games to you as you have many new ways to watch programming. We are excited to partner with Amazon on Thursday Night Football to better serve our fans and welcome in those abroad in more than 200 countries and territories.
I can't wait to experience this season with you—the unpredictability, the remarkable drive of our players, and the road to the playoffs and the Super Bowl.

Continuing a decades-long trend, we had numerous teams that missed the postseason in 2015—Atlanta, Dallas, Detroit, Miami, the New York Giants, and Oakland—advance to the 2016 playoffs.

Who will it be this year? Will it be your team? It's time to find out. Let the show begin!
Roger Goodell
NFL
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