Like many professional sports leagues, the NFL lets you watch nearly all of its games online or via an app. However, in other leagues you usually need just one app to watch all the games. The NFL wants you download a handful of apps, making you keep track of which app you need for the day's games.

NFL Mobile app for Verizon customers (iOS, Android)

If you are on the Verizon network, you can watch live regular season games, the playoffs, the Super Bowl, and the NFL Network on the NFL Mobile app. The app is crammed with news, alerts, stats, game highlights, and live video, and it's a clearinghouse for NFL content.

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For $1.99 a month, you can watch the NFL Network's RedZone game-day channel. For $99.99, you can buy Game Pass, which lets you listen to live home and away radio broadcasts of games.

On the negative side, the app at times can seem like more trouble than it's worth. The interface doesn't do a great job of helping you wade through the slabs of content to locate the item you want. Video can be spotty, with many reviewers on the app stores complaining about game feeds freezing or not loading at all. (I couldn't get the app to show me a live game till about halfway through last season.) And the app wants to alert you about almost anything football-related -- even with all alerts turned off via preferences, some sneak through.

Watch NFL Network app (iOS, Android)

The Watch NFL Network app doesn't give you access to most of the games. But if the NFL Network channel comes with your cable or satellite subscription, you can watch the channel -- including Thursday Night Football and the RedZone -- on your tablet through the app.

NFL Sunday Ticket (iOS, Android)

If your DirectTV subscription includes the NFL Sunday Ticket, you can watch any out-of-market game live broadcast on CBS or Fox, on your TV, computer, tablet, phone, or game console with the NFL Sunday Ticket app.

Monday Night Football on WatchESPN (iOS, Android)

With the WatchESPN app on a tablet, you can watch Monday Night Football games, if your TV provider gives you access to the service.

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Football is social

Your favorite, or not-so-favorite, social-media sites are teaming up with the NFL to stream games live or offer behind the scenes access.

Twitter, for example, will live-stream 10 Thursday Night Football games this season via its app and twitter.com. Via Twitter's Periscope, you can catch pregame live streams with players and teams.

Snapchat will again offer photos and videos from game-day activities in its Live Stories section. And this year, the NFL will have its own Discover channel, where you can find articles, images, and videos from NFL events.

The NFL has an official Instagram account where, as you might expect, you can watch monkeys riding border collies.

NFL Instagram
Clifford Colby follows the Mac and Android markets for Download.com. He's been an editor at Peachpit Press and a handful of now-dead computer magazines, including MacWeek, MacUser, and Corporate Computing.