The AP will be sending the following season-ending NFL stories:
Jon Gruden’s return to Oakland was one of the biggest headlines of the offseason, but the Raiders have been a dud in year one of the makeover. Blame the nation’s obsession with fantasy football or the endless coverage of the sport in a round-the-clock news cycle, or a high-pressure, unpredictable league, but for all the breakout and record-setting performers in the NFL each season there are always plenty of disappointments, too. Jacksonville running back Leonard Fournette hasn’t been healthy, and neither has his performance, along with the rest of the Jaguars. Le’Veon Bell? He never set foot on the field with the Pittsburgh Steelers. By Pro Football Writer Dave Campbell. UPCOMING: For Dec. 21 release: 650 words, photos.
From Cleveland’s Baker Mayfield at the top to Leighton Vander Esch of Dallas roughly in the middle to Baltimore’s Lamar Jackson at the end, plenty of first-round draft picks have had an impact as rookies in the NFL. By Pro Football Writer Schuyler Dixon. For Dec. 25 release: 800 words, photos.
Philip Lindsay didn’t receive an invitation to the NFL scouting combine and his name wasn’t called during the draft, but the talented running back heads the list of undrafted rookies who’ve made an impact this season. By Pro Football Writer Rob Maaddi. For Dec. 25 release: 800 words, photos.
For all the excitement over the likes of Patrick Mahomes and Baker Mayfield, two of the baby-faced, new-age quarterbacks bringing their spread DNA from college towns to NFL cities, old standbys had a major say in the playoff pecking order. Such guys as Aaron Donald, J.J. Watt, Khalil Mack, Travis Kelce, Kyle Fuller, and Adam Vinatieri. By Pro Football Writer Arnie Stapleton. For Dec. 26 release: 800 words, photos.
FBN--ON FOOTBALL-OFFBEAT AWARDS.
A look at some awards for which there are no prime-time TV shows or plaques, from best play to worst, best game to worst. By Pro Football Writer Barry Wilner. For Dec. 28 release: 900 words, photos.
FBN--WHERE’S THE D?
With all the rule changes and dynamic offenses that dominate these days, it’s hard to imagine there can be a defense that leads a team on the Super Bowl run the way the Legion of Boom did in Seattle, or Von Miller and Co. in Denver did just a few years ago. A few teams will try this season, most notably Chicago and perhaps Dallas and Seattle. By Pro Football Writer Josh Dubow. For Jan. 2 release: 850 words, photos.
After years of declines, most of the NFL’s television packages experienced ratings increases this season due to less scrutiny to off-field events and better prime-time matchups. By Joe Reedy. For release Jan. 4: 700 words.
FBN--TIM DAHLBERG-NFL OFFICIATING
Tim Dahlberg takes a look at a rough year for NFL officiating, and how it could impact the playoffs and Super Bowl.
By AP Columnist Tim Dahlberg. For Jan. 4 release: 800 words, photos.