No matter the time of year or what’s happening in the world, you can always make it feel like NFL season. How? Well, despite the season’s very real beginning and end, popular streaming services offer loads of NFL-related content to keep fans like you close to the game.
Whether you prefer documentaries, reality TV or fictional takes on football life, read on for the best football shows, old and new, to keep you in the game year-round.
Current football series
This one is the gold standard. For over two decades, this reality sports documentary series, produced by NFL Films and HBO, has been following different teams as they prepare for the NFL season. The most recent episodes follow two teams (usually, they only focus on one)—the Los Angeles Chargers and the Los Angeles Rams—giving fans fascinating insights into how professional teams prepared to play amidst the coronavirus pandemic.
Fans get an inside look at both the professional and personal lives of the players, coaches and staff. From battles on the field for starting roles to pranks and other off-field hijinks, “Hard Knocks” is the best of reality TV and the NFL combined.
“All or Nothing”
If you like “Hard Knocks,” take a look at “All or Nothing” from Amazon Studios. Another reality sports documentary series, each season covers a professional sports franchise. But different from “Hard Knocks,” the show has an undercover aspect so athletes don’t always know they’re being filmed, and instead of covering the preseason, this series follows a team throughout the season. The NFL partners with Amazon on this series, and if no team volunteers, then the NFL chooses a team.
This show airs annually after the NFL season ends, so you can go back and catch up on past seasons now. In addition to seasons focused on the NFL, there are also seasons on Premier League and National soccer teams.
“30 for 30”
Another documentary series, ESPN’s “30 for 30” has multiple episodes dedicated to the people and places that make the NFL great. A fine example, the second “30 for 30” to air was “The Band That Wouldn’t Die,” a profile of the Colts Marching Band, which stayed after the Colts left for Indianapolis and was instrumental in promoting the return of the NFL to the city.
Players profiled in the series include Todd Marinovich, Deion Sanders, Bo Jackson, Brian Bosworth, John Elway, Dan Marino, Randy Moss, Junior Seau and Mike Vick. There’s also an episode on Madden NFL and several episodes profiling coaches, including Bill Parcells and Bill Belichick.
Relive the road to the Super Bowl for past champions with this documentary series from NFL Films. A new film is released each year, and past episodes go back as far as the 1966 Green Bay Packers.
From archival footage to audio clips and interviews, each episode tells the story of a Super Bowl champion’s journey. Players, coaches and administrators are featured with narration by a celebrity. Narrators have included stars such as Donald Sutherland, Laurence Fishburne, Tom Selleck, Paul Rudd, Edward Norton and Brad Pitt.
“The Bradshaw Bunch”
One former NFL player who always seems to be on our TV screens, whether it’s as an NFL analyst or in movies like Failure to Launch and Father Figures, is Terry Bradshaw. He’s back again, and this time we get to hang out with his entire family. “The Bradshaw Bunch” debuted last fall and follows the four-time Super Bowl champion as he navigates life as the only man in his household, surrounded by his wife and three daughters.
If you’re looking for a laugh, go ahead and binge the first season.
Football series you might have missed
Although “Ballers” is a fictional take on pro football, it has had a fair share of current and former NFL players appear in cameos, including Steven Jackson, Antonio Brown, DeSean Jackson, Terrell Suggs, Don Shula, Ndamukong Suh, Jarvis Landry and more. Famous in real life for his time as a professional wrestler, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson stars in this series as a former NFL player navigating his new career as a financial manager for current NFL players.
Fun fact: Johnson did enter the 1995 NFL Draft, but went undrafted and later signed with the Calgary Stampeders of the Canadian Football League before being cut during his first season.
There are five seasons available to binge.
“A Football Life”
NFL Films has its own documentary series, which aired on NFL Network for nine seasons. A total of 116 episodes, digging into this one will keep you busy for a while. Originally airing in 2010 as an NFL Network special on the career of Bill Parcells, it was expanded into an episodic series in the fall of 2011 and kicked off with a two-part documentary on Bill Belichick.
The series features the stories of players, coaches, owners and teams, and often includes friends, teammates and family members in the interviews.
If you love rooting for the underdog and missed “Undrafted” when it first aired on NFL Network in 2014, you can still go back and binge all three seasons. “Undrafted” features stories of players who were undrafted and working to make their NFL dreams come true. Follow these under-the-radar prospects as they prepare for the NFL Regional Combines, Pro Days and training camps.
No spoilers, of course, but some of the players profiled in the series did see their dreams come true.
Want to stream these series without any annoying buffering or playback errors? Run an internet speed test to ensure you can watch endless episodes uninterrupted.
With a steady connection and a comprehensive library of football shows to stream, you can get your NFL fix anytime. And if you like this list, check out the must-have apps you can download to stay on top of the latest NFL news, players, fantasy leagues and more.
Program availability may have changed and is subject to change. Streaming services may require a subscription and sometimes an additional fee.