1991 NFL season
|Duration||September 1 – December 23, 1991|
|Start date||December 28, 1991|
|AFC Champions||Buffalo Bills|
|NFC Champions||Washington Redskins|
|Super Bowl XXVI|
|Date||January 26, 1992|
|Site||Metrodome, Minneapolis, Minnesota|
|Date||February 2, 1992|
The 1991 NFL season was the 72nd regular season of the National Football League. The season ended with Super Bowl XXVI when the Washington Redskins defeated the Buffalo Bills 37-24 at the Metrodome in Minnesota. This was the second of four Super Bowl losses for Buffalo.
Major rule changes
- Source: Total Football: The Official Encyclopedia of the National Football League (ISBN 0-06-270174-6). pp 1583–1592.
- The definition of a drop kick, field goal, and punt is modified: all three can only be attempted from behind the line of scrimmage.
- If a foul by a player causes an injury to an opponent, a team time out will not be charged to the penalized team anytime during the game instead of only during the last two minutes of a half.
- The game clock will not start until the next snap following any change of possession, even if the player went out of bounds.
- Officials will immediately blow the play dead when a defensive player is offsides before the snap and clearly rushes beyond the offensive line in such a way that he becomes an unabated threat to the quarterback.
- A touchback will be ruled when a player fumbles the ball in the field of play and it goes out of bounds in the opponent's end zone.
- A touchback, not a safety, will also be ruled when a player fumbles the ball in his own end zone and the opponent is the one that knocks the fumble out of bounds in the end zone.
- An offensive player cannot deliberately bat a backward pass forward.
- The NFL shield was added to the yoke of the jerseys and the left thigh of the pants.
Final regular season standings
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.
|(1) Buffalo Bills||13||3||.813||458||318|
|(6) New York Jets||8||8||.500||314||293|
|New England Patriots||6||10||.375||211||305|
|(3) Houston Oilers||11||5||.688||386||251|
|(2) Denver Broncos||12||4||.750||304||235|
|(4) Kansas City Chiefs||10||6||.625||322||252|
|(5) Los Angeles Raiders||9||7||.563||298||297|
|San Diego Chargers||4||12||.250||274||342|
|(1) Washington Redskins||14||2||.875||485||224|
|(5) Dallas Cowboys||11||5||.688||342||310|
|New York Giants||8||8||.500||281||297|
|(2) Detroit Lions||12||4||.750||339||295|
|(4) Chicago Bears||11||5||.688||299||269|
|Green Bay Packers||4||12||.250||273||313|
|Tampa Bay Buccaneers||3||13||.188||199||365|
|(3) New Orleans Saints||11||5||.688||341||211|
|(6) Atlanta Falcons||10||6||.625||361||338|
|San Francisco 49ers||10||6||.625||393||239|
|Los Angeles Rams||3||13||.188||234||390|
- N.Y. Jets finished ahead of Miami in the AFC East based on head-to-head sweep (2–0).
- Chicago was the first NFC Wild Card based on better conference record than Dallas (9–3 to Cowboys' 8–4).
- Atlanta finished ahead of San Francisco in the NFC West based on head-to-head sweep (2–0), and was the third NFC Wild Card ahead of Philadelphia based on better conference record (7–5 to Eagles' 6–6).
|Dec. 29 – Astrodome||Jan. 4 – Mile High Stadium|
|3||Houston||17||Jan. 12 – Rich Stadium|
|Dec. 28 – Arrowhead Stadium||2||Denver||7|
|Jan. 5 – Rich Stadium|
|5||LA Raiders||6||AFC Championship|
|4||Kansas City||10||Jan. 26 – Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome|
|Wild Card Playoffs|
|Dec. 29 – Soldier Field||A1||Buffalo||24|
|Jan. 5 – Pontiac Silverdome|
|5||Dallas||17||Super Bowl XXVI|
|4||Chicago||13||Jan. 12 – Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium|
|Dec. 28 – Louisiana Superdome||2||Detroit||10|
|Jan. 4 – Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium|
|Most Valuable Player||Thurman Thomas, Running Back, Buffalo|
|Coach of the Year||Wayne Fontes, Detroit|
|Offensive Player of the Year||Thurman Thomas, Running Back, Buffalo|
|Defensive Player of the Year||Pat Swilling, Linebacker, New Orleans|
|Offensive Rookie of the Year||Leonard Russell, Running Back, New England|
|Defensive Rookie of the Year||Mike Croel, Linebacker, Denver|