Archive for January, 2012

NFL Stars Take Center Stage as 2012 Pro Bowl Kicks Off Super Bowl Week

The NFL’s best will be in the spotlight on Sunday, January 29 (7:00 PM ET, NBC) as the 2012 Pro Bowl kicks off Super Bowl Week.

The NFL All-Star Game will take place once again at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu, Hawaii and will be the signature event to start the week leading up to Super Bowl XLVI between the New England Patriots and New York Giants in Indianapolis (Sunday, February 5, NBC).

“Being selected to represent the NFC team in the Pro Bowl is a tremendous honor,” says New Orleans Saints tight end JIMMY GRAHAM. “I think any guy who gets named to the Pro Bowl realizes that it’s a heck of a compliment and I am grateful and humbled by it.”

For the third consecutive year, the Pro Bowl will be played the week before the Super Bowl. The 2011 Pro Bowl on FOX was watched by an average of 13.4 million viewers, the most for a Pro Bowl since 1997 (13.5 million viewers), making it the most-watched All-Star game of any sport since 2009.

For the complete release, click here

AFC & NFC Championship Game What to Look For — A Look Back

BRADY BUNCH OF RECORDS: New England quarterback TOM BRADY completed 22 of 36 passes (61.1 percent) for 239 yards in the Patriots’ 23-20 victory over the Baltimore Ravens.

 Brady has passed for 5,009 yards in his postseason career, the fourth-most in NFL playoff history after surpassing Pro Football Hall of Fame quarterback JOHN ELWAY on Sunday.

 For the complete release, click here.

Most watched conference championship Sunday in 30 years

AVERAGE OF 53.7 MILLION VIEWERS WATCHED EACH GAME

 GIANTS-49ERS THIRD MOST-WATCHED CONF. CHAMPIONSHIP EVER

RECORD FIVE 2011 PLAYOFF GAMES TOP 35 MILLION VIEWERS

Football fans across America continue to tune in to NFL games, resulting in the most-watched conference championship Sunday in 30 years.  An average of 53.7 million viewers watched NFL games last weekend, the most for an NFL conference championship Sunday since January 1982 (game-by-game comparison below).

The New York Giants-San Francisco 49ers NFC Championship Game on FOX drew 57.6 million viewers to rank as the third most-watched conference championship game ever (chart below).

The Baltimore Ravens-New England Patriots AFC Championship Game on CBS drew 48.7 million viewers.  The conference championship games are television’s two most-watched shows since Super Bowl XLV.

In addition, a record five 2011 playoff games averaged at least 35 million viewers – up from four in 2010.
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Matt Birk, Philip Rivers & Charles Tillman Named Finalists for Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award

WINNER TO BE ANNOUNCED AT NFL HONORS BEFORE SUPER BOWL XLVI

 Three community-minded NFL players will be recognized during Super Bowl week as finalists for the WALTER PAYTON NFL MAN OF THE YEAR AWARD, it was announced today. MATT BIRK of the Baltimore Ravens, PHILIP RIVERS of the San Diego Chargers and CHARLES TILLMAN of the Chicago Bears are the top candidates for this year’s award, named for the legendary Bears running back who died in 1999.  

 The Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award is the only league award that recognizes a player’s off-the-field community service as well as his playing excellence. 

The winner of the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award will be announced in Indianapolis, the site of Super Bowl XLVI, during NFL Honors, a two-hour primetime awards special to air nationally on February 4 from    9-11 p.m. EST on NBC. 

For the complete release, click here.

St. Louis Rams to Host Regular-Season Game in United Kingdom in Each of Next Three Years

RAMS FACE NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS AT WEMBLEY STADIUM ON SUNDAY, OCTOBER 28

 In an unprecedented step that begins the next chapter of the NFL’s continued momentum of growing the international fan base, the St. Louis Rams have committed to becoming the first NFL team to play regular-season games abroad on an annual basis, the league announced today.

The Rams will play one regular-season home game in the U.K. in 2012, 2013 and 2014, beginning with a game against the New England Patriots on Sunday, October 28, 2012 at London’s historic Wembley Stadium.  The game will kick off at 1:00 p.m. ET (5:00 p.m. UK) and be televised live in the United States on CBS. 

 “The response to NFL games in the U.K. among our British fans has been exceptional,” said NFL Commissioner ROGER GOODELL.  “We are confident that having the Rams host one game in the U.K. in each of the next three seasons will allow us to better serve the growing popularity of our sport beyond the borders of the United States.” 
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65 Players Granted Special Eligibility for 2012 NFL Draft

The National Football League announced today the names of 65 players who have been granted special eligibility for the 2012 NFL Draft on April 26-28 in New York. 

Each of the 65 players has met the league’s three-year eligibility rule and each has submitted a written application in which he renounced his remaining college football eligibility.  The deadline for receiving applications was January 15. 

The NFL Draft will kick off in primetime for the third consecutive year.  The first round will be held on Thursday, April 26 at 8:00 PM ET.  The second and third rounds are set for Friday, April 27 at 7:00 PM ET.  Rounds four through seven will be held on Saturday, April 28 at noon ET.  
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What to Look For — AFC & NFC Championship Game

For the AFC Championship Game What to Look For release, click here.

For the NFC Championship Game What to Look For release, click here.

AFC & NFC Championship Game Capsules

For AFC Championship Game capsules, click here.

For NFC Championship Game capsules, click here.

Championship Weekend Preview

NFL’S “FANTASTIC FOUR” READY FOR CHAMPIONSHIP WEEKEND

 “This is playoff football,” says Baltimore Ravens linebacker RAY LEWIS. “Year after year, time after time, great competition is going against each other. It really doesn’t get any better. That’s what playoff football is all about.”

 For the first time since 2006, the final four teams are all division champions

  Visitor Home Time Network
AFC Championship Game Baltimore Ravens New England Patriots 3:00 PM ET CBS
NFC Championship Game New York Giants San Francisco 49ers 6:30 PM ET FOX

 In the AFC Divisional Playoffs, the No. 2 seeded Ravens outlasted No. 3 Houston in Baltimore by a score of 20-13. Quarterback JOE FLACCO threw a pair of first-quarter touchdown passes as the Ravens built a 17-3 lead they would not relinquish. 

Baltimore will travel to New England to face the top-seeded Patriots, who set a single-game franchise playoff record for points scored in their 45-10 home victory over Denver on Saturday night.  

The Giants advanced to the NFC Championship Game by winning in Green Bay and eliminating the No. 1 seeded Packers. New York, which beat the Packers 23-20 in overtime en route to Super Bowl XLII, won 37-20 on Sunday afternoon and became the first NFL team to win two road playoff games in Green Bay

San Francisco moved on with a 36-32 home victory in a back-and-forth contest with New Orleans, with quarterback ALEX SMITH and tight end VERNON DAVIS eliciting memories of “The Catch” as they connected on a game-winning touchdown pass with nine seconds left in the fourth quarter.

With each of the four remaining playoff clubs looking to capitalize on the momentum built this past weekend in hopes of advancing to Super Bowl XLVI, they’ll have their work cut out for them on Championship Weekend.

For the complete release, click here.

2012 Pro Bowl Community Events

In celebration of the 2012 Pro Bowl, the NFL will host a series of community events throughout Oahu in the days leading up to the game. From tree plantings to the third annual “NFL PLAY 60 Community Blitz,” the events will enable the NFL and its players to give back to the Oahu community and thank them for sharing the spirit of Aloha.

During the Blitz, launched in partnership with NFL PLAYERS and P&G, Pro Bowl players, NFL representatives and local volunteers will take part in four service projects across Oahu on Thursday, January 26 and one on Friday, January 27. The projects are designed to help local children stay healthy and active as part of NFL PLAY 60, the league’s campaign to fight childhood obesity, as well as to show support for our nation’s military, with four events occurring on military bases around the Island.

During the Blitz, NFL players, P&G representatives including The Ultimate P&G Super Parent, Joanne McShalley from Baltimore, and volunteers will work with non-profit KaBOOM! to build a playground at  Ke Kula ‘o Samuel M. Kamakau Laboratory Public Charter School’s new campus. For the past 12 years, the school has been without a playground. Health and wellness is a major component at this K-12 family-based Hawaiian language immersion school. This outdoor play site will give students another opportunity to live healthy lifestyles through play and learning.

At another Blitz site, Special Olympians will spend time with players and take part in a special NFL Punt, Pass & Kick competition at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam.

For the complete release, click here.