1994 NFL season

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1994 National Football League season
NFL75th.png
NFL 75th season anniversary logo
Regular season
Duration September 4, 1994 – December 26, 1994
Playoffs
Start date December 31, 1994
AFC Champions San Diego Chargers
NFC Champions San Francisco 49ers
Super Bowl XXIX
Date January 29, 1995
Site Joe Robbie Stadium, Miami, Florida
Champions San Francisco 49ers
Pro Bowl
Date February 5, 1995
Site Aloha Stadium
National Football League seasons
 < 1993 1995 > 

The 1994 NFL season was the 75th regular season of the National Football League. To honor the NFL's 75th season, a special anniversary logo was designed and each player wore a patch on their jerseys with this logo throughout the season. Also, a selection committee of media and league personnel named a special NFL 75th Anniversary All-Time Team, honoring the best NFL players from the first 75 seasons.

The Phoenix Cardinals changed their name to Arizona Cardinals in an attempt to widen their appeal to the entire state of Arizona instead of just the Phoenix area. The name was initially resisted by Bill Bidwill.

The Seattle Seahawks played their first three regular season home games at Husky Stadium because the Kingdome, the Seahawks' regular home field, was undergoing repairs for damaged tiles on its roof. The Seahawks returned for the 2000 and 2001 seasons while their new stadium was under construction.


This was the final season that Los Angeles was represented in the NFL, before both the Rams relocated to St. Louis and the Raiders relocated back to Oakland for the following season.

This was also the first season that the then-fledgling Fox Network televised NFL games. Fox took over the National Football Conference package from CBS, who would return to televising the NFL in 1998. The league also signed an exclusivity agreement with the direct broadcast satellite (DBS) service DirecTV to launch NFL Sunday Ticket, a satellite television subscription service that offers every regular season NFL game. Today the package remains exclusive to DirecTV.

The season ended with Super Bowl XXIX when the San Francisco 49ers defeated the San Diego Chargers. Both teams had met that regular season, the second straight season that had happened, and ninth time overall.

Even though the 1994 World Series was canceled, the NFL ultimately decided not to reschedule its Thursday night contests in October for Sunday, even though they wouldn't have competed with baseball those nights.

This was also the first year of the current practice of whenever Christmas Day falls on a Sunday that most of that weekend's games were played on the Saturday afternoon of Christmas Eve. Every NFL season afterwards with Christmas Day on a Sunday has followed this same scheduling format.

Major rule changes[edit]

A package of changes were adopted to increase offensive production and scoring:

  • The two-point conversion after touchdowns is adopted.
  • The spot of the kickoff is moved from the 35-yard line to the 30-yard line. This would remain intact through the 2010 season.
  • The "Neutral zone infraction" foul is adopted. A play is automatically dead before the snap when a defensive player enters the neutral zone and causes an offensive player to react.
  • After a field goal is missed, the defensive team takes possession of the ball at the spot of the kick (instead of at the line of scrimmage) or the 20-yard line, whichever is farther from the goal line.
  • During field goal attempts and extra point tries, players on the receiving team cannot block below the waist.

Throwback jerseys[edit]

The league also honored its 75th season by having each team wear throwback uniforms during selected games. The designs varied widely in their accuracy:

  • While no attempt was made to simulate obsolete leather helmets (which were phased out in the 1950s), teams simulating uniforms from the era of leather headgear (Bears, Cardinals, Lions, Packers, Redskins, Steelers) simply removed all decals and striping from their regular hard-shell helmets.
  • All jerseys displayed the player's last name on the back side, though this practice did not become standard until 1970[1].
  • Many of the uniforms worn were not completely accurate displays of previous team uniforms. For example, the Buffalo Bills throwback contained a red helmet with a white buffalo logo with white (instead of gray) facemasks. However, the actual historic uniform displayed a white helmet with a red buffalo logo with gray facemasks. The New York Jets did the same, with green helmets and white logos and a black facemask (instead of gray). The Dallas Cowboys wore their current helmets. Ironically, the Cowboys in 2004 and the Bills In 2005 would later adopt an accurate representation of their 1960s throwbacks as their alternate uniform, while the Jets would return to their "throwback" style (albeit with a darker shade of green and green facemasks) full-time in 1998.
  • In some instances the fonts and typestyles used were only approximate matches at best, although the San Diego Chargers and Houston Oilers' throwbacks were completely accurate replications, including typefaces, of their first uniforms in 1960. The Chargers and the Oilers' successors, the Tennessee Titans, wore these throwbacks again during the American Football League's 50th anniversary celebration during the 2009 season.

Some teams occasionally wore theirs in additional games during the season, and the San Francisco 49ers wore them through the Super Bowl. They proved to be so popular that the New York Giants followed the lead of their stadium tenants and eventually returned to wearing them full-time, with very slight modifications, in 2000. And after the NFL modified its rules to allow teams to wear alternate jerseys in 2002, the San Diego Chargers selected their throwbacks as their third uniforms.

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
(3) Miami Dolphins 10 6 .625 389 327
(5) New England Patriots 10 6 .625 351 312
Indianapolis Colts 8 8 .500 307 320
Buffalo Bills 7 9 .438 340 356
New York Jets 6 10 .375 264 320
AFC Central
Team W L PCT PF PA
(1) Pittsburgh Steelers 12 4 .750 316 234
(4) Cleveland Browns 11 5 .688 340 204
Cincinnati Bengals 3 13 .188 276 406
Houston Oilers 2 14 .125 226 352
AFC West
Team W L PCT PF PA
(2) San Diego Chargers 11 5 .688 381 306
(6) Kansas City Chiefs 9 7 .563 319 298
Los Angeles Raiders 9 7 .563 303 327
Denver Broncos 7 9 .438 347 396
Seattle Seahawks 6 10 .375 287 323
NFC East
Team W L PCT PF PA
(2) Dallas Cowboys 12 4 .750 414 248
New York Giants 9 7 .563 279 305
Arizona Cardinals 8 8 .500 235 267
Philadelphia Eagles 7 9 .438 308 308
Washington Redskins 3 13 .188 320 412
NFC Central
Team W L PCT PF PA
(3) Minnesota Vikings 10 6 .625 356 314
(4) Green Bay Packers 9 7 .563 382 287
(5) Detroit Lions 9 7 .563 357 342
(6) Chicago Bears 9 7 .563 271 307
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 6 10 .375 251 351
NFC West
Team W L PCT PF PA
(1) San Francisco 49ers 13 3 .813 505 296
New Orleans Saints 7 9 .438 348 407
Atlanta Falcons 7 9 .438 317 385
Los Angeles Rams 4 12 .250 286 365


Tiebreakers[edit]

  • Miami finished ahead of New England in the AFC East based on head-to-head sweep (2–0).
  • Kansas City finished ahead of L.A. Raiders in the AFC West based on head-to-head sweep (2–0).
  • Green Bay was the first NFC Wild Card based on best head-to-head record (3–1) vs. Detroit (2–2) and Chicago (1–3) and better conference record (8–4) than N.Y. Giants (6–6).
  • Detroit was the second NFC Wild Card based on better division record (4–4) than Chicago (3–5) and head-to-head victory over N.Y. Giants (1–0).
  • Chicago was the third NFC Wild Card based on better record against common opponents (4–4) than N.Y. Giants (3–5).
  • New Orleans finished ahead of Atlanta in the NFC West based on head-to-head sweep (2–0).

Playoffs[edit]

                                   
December 31, 1994 - Joe Robbie Stadium   January 8 - Jack Murphy Stadium          
 6  Kansas City  17
 3  Miami  21
 3  Miami  27     January 15 - Three Rivers Stadium
 2  San Diego  22  
AFC
January 1, 1995 - Cleveland Stadium  2  San Diego  17
January 7 - Three Rivers Stadium
   1  Pittsburgh  13  
 5  New England  13 AFC Championship
 4  Cleveland  9
 4  Cleveland  20   January 29 - Joe Robbie Stadium
 1  Pittsburgh  29  
Wild Card Playoffs  
Divisional Playoffs
January 1, 1995 - Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome  A2  San Diego  26
January 7 - Candlestick Park
   N1  San Francisco  49
 6  Chicago  35 Super Bowl XXIX
 6  Chicago  15
 3  Minnesota  18     January 15 - Candlestick Park
 1  San Francisco  44  
NFC
December 31, 1994 - Lambeau Field  2  Dallas  28
January 8 - Texas Stadium
   1  San Francisco  38  
 5  Detroit  12 NFC Championship
 4  Green Bay  9
 4  Green Bay  16  
 2  Dallas  35  

Statistical leaders[edit]

Team[edit]

Points scored San Francisco 49ers (505)
Total yards gained Miami Dolphins (6,078)
Yards rushing Pittsburgh Steelers (2,180)
Yards passing New England Patriots (4,444)
Fewest points allowed Cleveland Browns (204)
Fewest total yards allowed Dallas Cowboys (4,313)
Fewest rushing yards allowed Minnesota Vikings (1,090)
Fewest passing yards allowed Dallas Cowboys (2,752)

Individual[edit]

Scoring John Carney, San Diego Chargers (135 points)
Touchdowns Emmitt Smith, Dallas Cowboys (22 TDs)
Most field goals made John Carney, San Diego Chargers, and Fuad Reveiz, Minnesota Vikings (34 FGs)
Rushing Barry Sanders, Detroit Lions (1,883 yards)
Passing Steve Young, San Francisco 49ers (112.8 rating)
Passing touchdowns Steve Young, San Francisco 49ers (35 TDs)
Pass receiving Cris Carter, Minnesota Vikings (122 catches)
Pass receiving yards Jerry Rice, San Francisco 49ers (1,499)
Punt returns Brian Mitchell, Washington Redskins (14.1 average yards)
Kickoff returns Mel Gray, Detroit Lions (28.4 average yards)
Interceptions Eric Turner, Cleveland Browns, and Aeneas Williams, Arizona Cardinals (9)
Punting Sean Landeta, Los Angeles Rams (44.8 average yards)
Sacks Kevin Greene, Pittsburgh Steelers (14)

Awards[edit]

Most Valuable Player Steve Young, Quarterback, San Francisco 49ers
Coach of the Year Bill Parcells, New England Patriots
Offensive Player of the Year Barry Sanders, Running Back, Detroit Lions
Defensive Player of the Year Deion Sanders, Cornerback, San Francisco 49ers
Offensive Rookie of the Year Marshall Faulk, Running Back, Indianapolis Colts
Defensive Rookie of the Year Tim Bowens, Defensive Tackle, Miami Dolphins

External links[edit]

References[edit]