Tag Archives: L.A. Chargers

HBO SPORTS AND NFL FILMS RETURN WITH HARD KNOCKS: LOS ANGELES, CHRONICLING THE PRESEASON OF THE CHARGERS AND RAMS

HBO SPORTS® AND NFL FILMS RETURN WITH AN UNPRECEDENTED EDITION OF TELEVISION’S MOST ACCLAIMED SPORTS REALITY FRANCHISE

WHEN HARD KNOCKS: LOS ANGELES,

CHRONICLING THE PRESEASON OF THE CHARGERS AND RAMS

DEBUTS AUGUST 11, EXCLUSIVELY ON HBO

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HBO Sports, NFL Media And NFL Films 

Announce Multi-Year Renewal Of The Franchise

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HBO Sports, NFL Films and the two Los Angeles-based NFL franchises are teaming up for an unprecedented and unfiltered all-access look at what it takes to make it in the National Football League when HARD KNOCKS: LOS ANGELES kicks off its five-episode season this summer. One of the fastest-turnaround programs on TV, the 15th edition of the 18-time Sports Emmy®-winning series debuts TUESDAY, AUG. 11 (10:00-11:00 p.m. ET/PT), with other hour-long episodes of the first sports-based reality series debuting subsequent Tuesdays at the same time, culminating in the Sept. 8 season finale.

HARD KNOCKS will have encore plays Wednesday nights and will be available to stream on HBO via HBO Max and partners’ platforms.

In an unprecedented programming move, the 2020 edition of the venerable series will spotlight both Los Angeles NFL teams: The Los Angeles Chargers of the AFC West and the Los Angeles Rams of the NFC West. The two franchises are set to share the spectacular new 70,000-seat SoFi stadium that is nearing completion in Inglewood, California.​

The arrival of HARD KNOCKS each August is a unique NFL tradition and NFL FILMS and HBO Sports are making plans for an all-new season of the most acclaimed serialized sports series on television. 

One of sports television’s most successful and enduring partnerships, HBO Sports, NFL Media and NFL Films have reached agreement on a multi-year extension of the HARD KNOCKS franchise. 

“The HARD KNOCKS franchise continues to excel as the preeminent sports reality series,” says Peter Nelson, Executive Vice President, HBO Sports.  “Our partnership with NFL Films, which dates back to 1977, consistently produces groundbreaking television programming. We are grateful to the Chargers and Rams organizations to be able to present the 2020 training camp experience.”

“NFL Films cherishes the relationship we’ve had with HBO for over four decades, and specifically with the HARD KNOCKS franchise since 2001,” says NFL Films senior executive Ross Ketover. “To be able to announce this extension as we embark on an unprecedented two team series this summer brings us incredible pride and only heightens our excitement for the return of football.”

Camera crews will head to southern California in the next few weeks to begin filming, with the action heating up in August when the cinéma vérité show focuses on the daily lives and routines of players and coaches.

Under fourth-year head coach Sean McVay, the Rams are just a season removed from a Super Bowl appearance and have a roster featuring an intriguing mix of high-profile players, established veterans, and free-agent acquisitions. 

After an injury-plagued 2019 campaign, the Los Angeles Chargers are looking for a return to the winning formula that helped them finish tied for the AFC’s best record in 2018. Led by fourth-year head coach Anthony Lynn, the Chargers overhauled roster features young, rising stars on both sides of the ball, a new quarterback behind center and an influx of veteran talent added this offseason.

Both franchises will also be debuting new logos and uniforms when they open their new, state-of-the-art SoFi Stadium home later this year. 

Los Angeles Chargers Head Coach Anthony Lynn said, “Having been part of Hard Knocks before when I was with the New York Jets, my biggest takeaway from that whole experience was that you get out of it what you put into it. There’s a reason that season was probably the most popular Hard Knocks ever. If you’re going to do a show, do it right. You can’t fake it. We didn’t have a problem providing access because we built a relationship with the crew. There was a mutual trust that exists to this day with those people, and many of them will actually be working on this year’s show. Broadcasting your internal business all over the world isn’t something you regularly want to do, but in a year with as many challenges as this one has had, I’m glad we can be part of bringing football back to the fans this summer.”

“We are looking forward to having Hard Knocks in our camp this year,” said Los Angeles Rams Head Coach Sean McVay.  “Hard Knocks always offers a rare opportunity for our fans to see our players’ hard work to prepare for the season, as well as gives them a peek behind the curtain to observe these guys off the field, too.  This year will be special because the show will also get an unprecedented look at SoFi Stadium, Stan Kroenke’s vision for professional football in L.A.”

Dedicated NFL Films production crews will be in both southern California training camps, shooting more than 2,300 hours of footage over the course of the series, offering an inside look at the daily rigors of an NFL training camp. With access to players’ and coaches’ meeting rooms, training rooms, living quarters and practice fields, HARD KNOCKS will document hours of conditioning practices and meetings, chronicling players as they compete for a roster spot and bond off the field.

HBO has aired 72 memorable episodes and one anniversary special in its first 14 seasons.  No other sports reality series can match the production excellence, critical acclaim, awards and audience numbers posted by HARD KNOCKS. Episodes have averaged four million viewers over the past four years. 

Winner of 18 Sports Emmy® Awards to date, HARD KNOCKS launched with the Baltimore Ravens in 2001, followed by the Dallas Cowboys in 2002, and resumed in 2007 with the Kansas City Chiefs, subsequently spotlighting the Cowboys (2008), Cincinnati Bengals (2009), New York Jets (2010), Miami Dolphins (2012), Bengals (2013), Atlanta Falcons (2014), Houston Texans (2015) and Los Angeles Rams (2016). The 2017 edition chronicled the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and captured the Sports Emmy® for Outstanding Serialized Documentary. The widely acclaimed 2018 series with the Cleveland Browns earned two Sports Emmy® Awards for production excellence. HARD KNOCKS has won a Sports Emmy® every year it has aired since 2008.​

Eight of the last ten teams featured on HARD KNOCKS have equaled or improved their win-loss record in the regular season. The Cleveland Browns launched the transformation of their organization on HBO and went from a winless 2017 season to coming within half a game (7-8-1) of a .500 campaign.  The 2019 season saw the Raiders improve their record to 7-9 from the previous year’s 4-12 mark.  The series featuring the iconic Raider franchise averaged 4.3 million viewers per episode, generating the highest viewership for the show since 2015 and the second-best viewership numbers for HARD KNOCKS in the past ten years.

Washington Post wrote, “Turning football players into people is what HBO’s HARD KNOCKS series does so well. The massive scope, meticulous editing and time-hopping special effects that highlight a production under massive time constraints are all impressive, but it’s the film crew’s access to NFL players that makes the program special.”  USA Todaysaid, “Players’ lives and their hopes and dreams play out each NFL preseason on HARD KNOCKS. It’s that month-long human drama that makes the show so profoundly compelling.”

Winner of 129 Sports Emmy® Awards, NFL Films remains a gold standard in sports television, providing unprecedented access to and legendary storytelling about the sport of professional football. NFL Films is a part of NFL Media, the owned and operated media division of the National Football League, which is comprised of NFL Network, NFL Films, the NFL App, NFL.com and NFL RedZone.

HARD KNOCKS: LOS ANGELES will be narrated by Liev Schreiber, marking his 14th season with the show.

Press Release Courtesy of the NFL Communications Media Relations

WEEK 16 PAIRS PACKERS, VIKINGS IN NFC NORTH BATTLE 

To help celebrate the NFL’s 100th season, each week will feature an NFL 100 Game of the Week. Each game is a nod to a momentous game played, a fierce rivalry that spans decades, a matchup of original teams and/or a game in which history was made . The NFL has designated the OAKLAND RAIDERS-LOS ANGELES CHARGERSmatchup as the NFL100 Game of the Week because the contest recognizes two original AFL teams, each with ties to late Pro Football Hall of Famer AL DAVIS. From 1957-60, Davis served as the line coach at the University of Southern California before Sid Gillman tabbed him as the Los Angeles Chargers’ offensive ends coach. After helping the Chargers to two division titles in three seasons, Davis had the opportunity to lead his own team in 1963. That’s when he took over the Oakland Raiders and changed the team colors to silver and black, then personified the rival league’s exciting new image by developing the vertical passing game. The upstart AFL finalized a formal merger with the NFL later in the decade and began playing as one league in 1970.

AND DOWN THE STRETCH THEY COME: Seventeen teams remain in contention for a trip to Super Bowl LIV. Two playoff berths in each conference are up for grabs. Welcome to late December in the NFL.  

The BUFFALO BILLSGREEN BAY PACKERS and SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS have each qualified for the postseason after missing the playoffs last season. From 1990-2018 – a streak of 29 consecutive years – at least four teams have qualified for the playoffs in every season that were not in the postseason the year before. ​

The MINNESOTA VIKINGS can join that group with a win on Monday Night Football (8:15 PM ET, ESPN) at home against the Packers. Something significant will happen on Monday night. Either the Packers will clinch the division for the first time since 2016, or the Vikings will clinch a playoff berth.

It’s also a division clash featuring teams with 10-or-more wins. That has happened just three times since the beginning of the 2015 season, and for the second time the game is featuring the Packers and Vikings.

The last five games that featured teams with 10-or-more wins from the same division during the regular season:

DATEDIVISIONTEAMSRESULTSEASON RESULT
12/13/2018AFC WestL.A. Chargers (10-3)LAC, 29-28Advanced to AFC Divisional
at Kansas City (11-2)Advanced to AFC Championship
1/1/2017AFC EastNew England (13-2)NE, 35-14Won Super Bowl LI
at Miami (10-5)Advanced to AFC Wild Card
1/3/2016NFC NorthMinnesota (10-5)MIN, 20-13Advanced to NFC Wild Card
at Green Bay (10-5)Advanced to NFC Divisional
12/28/2014AFC NorthCincinnati (10-4-1)PIT, 27-17Advanced to AFC Wild Card
at Pittsburgh (10-5)Advanced to AFC Wild Card
12/28/2014NFC NorthDetroit (11-4)GB, 30-20Advanced to NFC Wild Card
at Green Bay (11-4)Advanced to NFC Championship

Green Bay head coach MATT LAFLEUR has an opportunity to become the 10th rookie head coach in NFL history to win at least 12 games in a season. 

The rookie head coaches who have won at least 12 games in NFL history, by wins:

COACH, TEAMWLTPCTSEASON
Jim Caldwell, Indianapolis1420.8752009
George Seifert, San Francisco1420.8751989
Jim Harbaugh, San Francisco1330.8132011
Steve Mariucci, San Francisco1330.8131997
John MaddenHOF, Oakland1211.8931969
Matt Nagy, Chicago1240.7502018
Barry Switzer, Dallas1240.7501994
Red Miller, Denver1220.8571977
Chuck Knox, L.A. Rams1220.8571973

IN THE NFC EAST: The DALLAS COWBOYS can clinch the NFC East division title with a road win over the PHILADELPHIA EAGLES Sunday at Lincoln Financial Field (4:25 PM ET, FOX). Winning a division has proven significant this decade as the last team to advance to the Super Bowl without winning a division title was the 2010 GREEN BAY PACKERS, who won Super Bowl XLV. Since, all 16 teams to appear in the Super Bowl have won their divisions.

IN THE AFC EAST: On Saturday (4:30 PM ET, NFL Network), the BUFFALO BILLS and NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS meet with the AFC East division title on the line. With a win, the Patriots (11-3) would take the division for an 11th year in a row. They also would reach 12 wins in a season for the 13th time and match the SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS (13 seasons) for the most seasons of 12-or-more wins since the 1970 merger. The DALLAS COWBOYS also have 12 seasons of at least 12 victories since 1970. 

Patriots quarterback TOM BRADY (538) can surpass No. 2 PEYTON MANNING (539) on the NFL’s career passing touchdowns list. And with four touchdown passes, Brady would eclipse No. 1 DREW BREES (541) and hold the record for at least 21 hours, when Brees and the Saints meet the Titans on Sunday (1:00 PM ET, FOX). 

Buffalo, meanwhile, has already clinched a playoff berth and can still win its first division title since 1995. The Bills’ bid for the division is spearheaded by quarterback JOSH ALLEN, who leads NFL quarterbacks with nine rushing touchdowns. In fact, the 2019 season has tied the single-season NFL record for the most rushing touchdowns by quarterbacks.

The seasons with the most rushing touchdowns by quarterbacks in NFL history:

SEASONRUSHING TOUCHDOWNS BY QUARTERBACKS 
201973
200273
201871
201766
201266
201166

IN THE NFC SOUTH: The NEW ORLEANS SAINTS (11-3), who clinched the division on Thanksgiving night, travel to play the TENNESSEE TITANS (8-6) on Sunday (1:00 PM ET, FOX). Including New Orleans, four NFC teams share the best record in the conference. This year marks just the second time since the NFL adopted the 16-game schedule in 1978 that four NFC clubs are tied for the conference’s best record with two-or-fewer weeks to play. It also happened in 2014, when five NFC teams were 11-4 heading into the final week.

Overall, six NFL teams have won at least 11 games, making the 2019 season just the second since 1978 in which six-or-more NFL clubs have won 11-plus through 14 games. It also happened in 2004, when six teams had at least 11 wins heading into the final two weeks. 

DREW BREES, who surpassed PEYTON MANNING’s career passing touchdowns record to close Week 15 on Monday night, also recorded his 36th career game of four-or-more touchdown passes, breaking Manning’s NFL record of 35. Brees (10,093) also needs 77 pass attempts to become the all-time leader in that category; the record is held by Pro Football Hall of Famer BRETT FAVRE (10,169).

IN THE AFC SOUTH: The HOUSTON TEXANS need a win Saturday at Tampa Bay (1:00 PM ET, NFL Network) to clinch their division for a second straight season, and for the fourth time in the last five years. Houston would join New England and Kansas City as the only NFL teams with four-or-more division titles since 2015.

NFL SCHEDULEDECEMBER 21-23

(All times Eastern)

SaturdaySunday (cont.)
Houston Texans at Tampa Bay Buccaneers1:00 PMNFLNNew Orleans Saints at Tennessee Titans1:00 PMFOX
Buffalo Bills at New England Patriots 4:30 PMNFLNNew York Giants at Washington Redskins1:00 PMFOX
Los Angeles Rams at San Francisco 49ers8:15 PMNFLNDetroit Lions at Denver Broncos4:05 PMCBS
SundayOakland Raiders at Los Angeles Chargers4:05 PMCBS
Jacksonville Jaguars at Atlanta Falcons1:00 PMFOXDallas Cowboys at Philadelphia Eagles4:25 PMFOX
Baltimore Ravens at Cleveland Browns1:00 PMCBSArizona Cardinals at Seattle Seahawks4:25 PMFOX
Carolina Panthers at Indianapolis Colts1:00 PMFOXKansas City Chiefs at Chicago Bears8:20 PMNBC
Cincinnati Bengals at Miami Dolphins1:00 PMCBSMonday
Pittsburgh Steelers at New York Jets1:00 PMCBSGreen Bay Packers at Minnesota Vikings8:15 PMESPN

Press Release Courtesy of the NFL Communications Media Relations