1990 NFL season

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1990 National Football League season
Regular season
Duration September 9 – December 31, 1990
Playoffs
Start date January 5, 1991
AFC Champions Buffalo Bills
NFC Champions New York Giants
Super Bowl XXV
Date January 27, 1991
Site Tampa Stadium, Tampa, Florida
Champions New York Giants
Pro Bowl
Date February 3, 1991
Site Aloha Stadium
National Football League seasons
 < 1989 1991 > 

The 1990 NFL season was the 71st regular season of the National Football League. To increase revenue, the league changed the regular season so that all NFL teams would play their 16-game schedule over a 17-week period. Furthermore, the playoff format was expanded from 10 teams to 12 teams by adding another wild card from each conference, thus adding two more contests to the postseason tournament.

This was also the first full season for Paul Tagliabue as the Commissioner, after taking over from Pete Rozelle midway through the previous season.

ABC was given the rights to televise the two additional playoff games. Meanwhile, Turner's TNT network started to broadcast Sunday night games for the first half of the season.

On October 8, the league announced that the Super Bowl Most Valuable Player Award would be named the Pete Rozelle Trophy.[1] The season ended with Super Bowl XXV when the New York Giants defeated the Buffalo Bills.

Late in the season, with the Gulf War looming closer, the NFL announced that starting in Week 16 (and continuing until Super Bowl XXV), the league would add American flag decals to the back of the helmet.[2] The flag would return on a permanent basis in 2001 following the September 11 attacks.

Major rule changes[edit]

  • The rule for unnecessary roughness penalties is clarified so that any player who butts, spears, or rams an opponent can be ejected from the game.
  • The penalty for an illegal forward pass beyond the line of scrimmage is enforced from the spot where any part of the passer's body is beyond the line when the ball is released.
  • The following changes are made to try to speed up the game:
    • The time interval on the Play Clock (the time limit the offensive team has to snap the ball between plays) after time outs and other administrative stoppages has been reduced from 30 seconds to 25 seconds (the time interval between plays remains the same at 45 seconds).
    • Whenever a player goes out of bounds, outside of the last two minutes of the first half and outside of the last five minutes of the second half or overtime, the game clock immediately starts when the ball is spotted for the next play and the Referee signals it is ready for play.
    • Outside of the last two minutes of the first half and outside of the last five minutes of the second half or overtime, the game clock also starts following all declined penalties.

Final regular season standings[edit]

W = Wins, L = Losses, PCT = Winning Percentage, PF= Points For, PA = Points Against

Clinched playoff seeds are marked in parentheses and shaded in green. No ties occurred this season.

AFC East
Team W L PCT PF PA
(1) Buffalo Bills 13 3 .813 428 263
(4) Miami Dolphins 12 4 .750 336 242
Indianapolis Colts 7 9 .438 281 353
New York Jets 6 10 .375 295 345
New England Patriots 1 15 .063 181 446
AFC Central
Team W L PCT PF PA
(3) Cincinnati Bengals 9 7 .563 360 352
(6) Houston Oilers 9 7 .563 405 307
Pittsburgh Steelers 9 7 .563 292 240
Cleveland Browns 3 13 .188 228 462
AFC West
Team W L PCT PF PA
(2) Los Angeles Raiders 12 4 .750 337 268
(5) Kansas City Chiefs 11 5 .688 369 257
Seattle Seahawks 9 7 .563 306 286
San Diego Chargers 6 10 .375 315 281
Denver Broncos 5 11 .313 331 374
NFC East
Team W L PCT PF PA
(2) New York Giants 13 3 .813 335 211
(4) Philadelphia Eagles 10 6 .625 396 299
(5) Washington Redskins 10 6 .625 381 301
Dallas Cowboys 7 9 .438 244 308
Phoenix Cardinals 5 11 .313 268 396
NFC Central
Team W L PCT PF PA
(3) Chicago Bears 11 5 .688 348 280
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 6 10 .375 264 367
Detroit Lions 6 10 .375 373 413
Green Bay Packers 6 10 .375 271 347
Minnesota Vikings 6 10 .375 351 326
NFC West
Team W L PCT PF PA
(1) San Francisco 49ers 14 2 .875 353 239
(6) New Orleans Saints 8 8 .500 274 275
Los Angeles Rams 5 11 .313 345 412
Atlanta Falcons 5 11 .313 348 365


Tiebreakers[edit]

  • Cincinnati finished ahead of Houston and Pittsburgh in the AFC Central based on best head-to-head record (3–1 to Oilers' 2–2 to Steelers' 1–3).
  • Houston was the third AFC Wild Card based on better conference record (8–4) than Seattle (7–5) and Pittsburgh (6–6).
  • Philadelphia finished ahead of Washington in the NFC East based on better division record (5–3 to Redskins' 4–4).
  • Tampa Bay was second in NFC Central based on best head-to-head record (5–1) against Detroit (2–4), Green Bay (3–3), and Minnesota (2–4).
  • Detroit finished third in the NFC Central based on best net division points (minus 8) against Green Bay (minus 40).
  • Green Bay finished ahead of Minnesota in the NFC Central based on better conference record (5–7 to Vikings' 4–8).
  • The L.A. Rams finished ahead of Atlanta in the NFC West based on net points in division (plus 1 to Falcons' minus 31).

Playoffs[edit]

                                   
January 6, 1991 - Riverfront Stadium   January 13 - L.A. Memorial Coliseum          
 6  Houston  14
 3  Cincinnati  10
 3  Cincinnati  41     January 20 - Rich Stadium
 2  L.A. Raiders  20  
AFC
January 5, 1991 - Joe Robbie Stadium  2  L.A. Raiders  3
January 12 - Rich Stadium
   1  Buffalo  51  
 5  Kansas City  16 AFC Championship
 4  Miami  34
 4  Miami  17   January 27 - Tampa Stadium
 1  Buffalo  44  
Wild Card Playoffs  
Divisional Playoffs
January 6, 1991 - Soldier Field  A1  Buffalo  19
January 13 - Giants Stadium
   N2  N.Y. Giants  20
 6  New Orleans  6 Super Bowl XXV
 3  Chicago  3
 3  Chicago  16     January 20 - Candlestick Park
 2  N.Y. Giants  31  
NFC
January 5, 1991 - Veterans Stadium  2  N.Y. Giants  15
January 12 - Candlestick Park
   1  San Francisco  13  
 5  Washington  20 NFC Championship
 5  Washington  10
 4  Philadelphia  6  
 1  San Francisco  28  

Awards[edit]

Most Valuable Player Joe Montana, Quarterback, San Francisco
Coach of the Year Jimmy Johnson, Dallas
Offensive Player of the Year Warren Moon, Quarterback, Houston Oilers
Defensive Player of the Year Bruce Smith, Defensive End, Buffalo
Offensive Rookie of the Year Emmitt Smith, Running Back, Dallas
Defensive Rookie of the Year Mark Carrier, Safety, Chicago

References[edit]

  1. ^ "NFL History by Decade: 1981–1990". NFL.com. Archived from the original on October 6, 2008. Retrieved October 18, 2008. 
  2. ^ http://articles.latimes.com/1990-12-20/sports/sp-9743_1_flag-decals