1991 NFL season

1991 National Football League season

1991 National Football League season
Regular season
DurationSeptember 1 – December 23, 1991
Playoffs
Start dateDecember 28, 1991
AFC ChampionsBuffalo Bills
NFC ChampionsWashington Redskins
Super Bowl XXVI
DateJanuary 26, 1992
SiteMetrodome, Minneapolis, Minnesota
ChampionsWashington Redskins
Pro Bowl
DateFebruary 2, 1992
SiteAloha Stadium
1991 NFL season is located in the United States
Colts
Colts
Patriots
Patriots
Bills
Bills
Dolphins
Dolphins
Jets
Jets
Bengals
Bengals
Browns
Browns
Oilers
Oilers
Steelers
Steelers
Broncos
Broncos
Chiefs
Chiefs
Raiders
Raiders
Chargers
Chargers
Seahawks
Seahawks
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AFC teams: Yellow ffff00 pog.svg West, DeepPink pog.svg Central, Green pog.svg East
1991 NFL season is located in the United States
Cowboys
Cowboys
Giants
Giants
Eagles
Eagles
Cardinals
Cardinals
Redskins
Redskins
Bears
Bears
Lions
Lions
Packers
Packers
Vikings
Vikings
Buccaneers
Buccaneers
Falcons
Falcons
Rams
Rams
Saints
Saints
49ers
49ers
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NFC teams: Yellow ffff00 pog.svg West, DeepPink pog.svg Central, Green pog.svg East

The 1991 NFL season was the 72nd regular season of the National Football League. It was the final season for coach Chuck Noll. 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 consecutive Super Bowl losses for Buffalo.

Player movement

Transactions

  • March 26, 1991: Ronnie Lott signs with the Los Angeles Raiders as a Plan B Free Agent.[1]
  • April 2, 1991: Roger Craig signs with the Los Angeles Raiders as a Plan B Free Agent.[2]
  • August 27: The Green Bay Packers sign punter Rick Tuten, who appeared in Super Bowl XXV with the Buffalo Bills.[3]
  • September 19: The Phoenix Cardinals sign quarterback Stan Gelbaugh, who led the London Monarchs to the World Bowl '91. [4]
  • September 19: The Philadelphia Eagles sign Wide Receiver Roy Green. [4]
  • September 21: The Pittsburgh Steelers sign quarterback Rick Strom. [4]
  • September 21: The San Diego Chargers sign Wide Receiver Yancey Thigpen. [4]
  • September 26 : The San Francisco 49ers sign Defensive End Jim Burt. [4]

Trades

  • July 22: The Atlanta Falcons traded Defensive Tackle Tony Casillas to the Dallas Cowboys. [5]
  • August 14: The Los Angeles Raiders traded Vencie Glenn to the New Orleans Saints[6]
  • August 19: The New Orleans Saints traded Robert Massey to the Phoenix Cardinals [6]
  • August 21: The New Orleans Saints traded wide receiver Brett Perriman to the Detroit Lions [6]
  • August 27: The Green Bay Packers traded kicker Brad Daluiso to the Atlanta Falcons [6]
  • August 27: The Los Angeles Raiders traded quarterback Steve Beuerlein to the Dallas Cowboys[6]
  • August 28: The Chargers traded quarterback Billy Joe Tolliver to the Atlanta Falcons[6]
  • September 11: The Seattle Seahawks traded kicker Norm Johnson to the Atlanta Falcons.

Retirements

  • Four-time Super Bowl champion Mike Webster announced his retirement on March 11, 1991 after a 17-year career with a total of 245 games played at center.[7]

Draft

The 1991 NFL Draft was held from April 21 to 22, 1991 at New York City's Marriott Marquis. With the first pick, the Dallas Cowboys selected defensive tackle Russell Maryland from the University of Miami.

Officiating changes

Art McNally resigned as the league's Director of Officiating during the offseason. He had held the position since 1968.[8] Longtime NFL referee Jerry Seeman, who worked the previous season's Super Bowl XXV, was named as McNally's replacement.[9]

Jim Tunney retired after 31 years as an NFL official. He remains the only referee to have worked consecutive Super Bowls (XI, and XII).

Gene Barth died on October 11, 1991.[10] For the remainder of the 1991 season, NFL officials wore a black armband on their left sleeve with the white number 14 to honor him.

Bernie Kukar, Larry Nemmers (the side judge for Super Bowl XXV), and Stan Kemp were promoted to referee to replace Barth, Seeman, and Tunney.

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/overtime.
  • 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.

1991 deaths

Members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame

Preseason

American Bowl

A series of National Football League pre-season exhibition games that were held at sites outside the United States, a total of three games were contested.

Date Winning Team Score Losing Team Score Stadium City
July 28, 1991 Buffalo Bills 17 Philadelphia Eagles 13 Wembley Stadium United Kingdom London
August 3, 1991 San Francisco 49ers 21 Chicago Bears 7 Olympiastadion Germany Berlin
August 4, 1991 Miami Dolphins 19 Los Angeles Raiders 17 Tokyo Dome Japan Tokyo

Regular season

Scheduling formula

    Inter-conference
AFC East vs NFC Central
AFC Central vs NFC East
AFC West vs NFC West

Highlights of the 1991 season included:

  • Thanksgiving: Two games were played on Thursday, November 28, featuring Chicago at Detroit and Pittsburgh at Dallas, with Detroit and Dallas winning.

Final standings

AFC East
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W L T PCT DIV CONF PF PA STK
(1) Buffalo Bills 13 3 0 .813 7–1 10–2 458 318 L1
(6) New York Jets 8 8 0 .500 4–4 6–6 314 293 W1
Miami Dolphins 8 8 0 .500 4–4 5–7 343 349 L2
New England Patriots 6 10 0 .375 4–4 5–9 211 305 L1
Indianapolis Colts 1 15 0 .063 1–7 1–11 143 381 L6
AFC Central
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W L T PCT DIV CONF PF PA STK
(3) Houston Oilers 11 5 0 .688 5–1 10–2 386 251 L1
Pittsburgh Steelers 7 9 0 .438 4–2 7–5 292 344 W2
Cleveland Browns 6 10 0 .375 2–4 6–6 293 298 L3
Cincinnati Bengals 3 13 0 .188 1–5 2–10 263 435 W1
AFC West
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W L T PCT DIV CONF PF PA STK
(2) Denver Broncos 12 4 0 .750 5–3 10–4 304 235 W4
(4) Kansas City Chiefs 10 6 0 .625 6–2 8–4 316 252 W1
(5) Los Angeles Raiders 9 7 0 .563 5–3 7–5 298 297 L3
Seattle Seahawks 7 9 0 .438 2–6 6–6 276 261 W1
San Diego Chargers 4 12 0 .250 2–6 3–9 274 342 L1
NFC East
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W L T PCT DIV CONF PF PA STK
(1) Washington Redskins 14 2 0 .875 6–2 10–2 485 224 L1
(5) Dallas Cowboys 11 5 0 .688 5–3 8–4 342 310 W5
Philadelphia Eagles 10 6 0 .625 5–3 6–6 285 244 W1
New York Giants 8 8 0 .500 3–5 5–7 281 297 W1
Phoenix Cardinals 4 12 0 .250 1–7 3–11 196 344 L8
NFC Central
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W L T PCT DIV CONF PF PA STK
(2) Detroit Lions 12 4 0 .750 6–2 8–4 339 295 W6
(4) Chicago Bears 11 5 0 .688 7–1 9–3 299 269 L1
Minnesota Vikings 8 8 0 .500 3–5 8–6 301 306 L1
Green Bay Packers 4 12 0 .250 3–5 3–9 273 313 W1
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 3 13 0 .188 1–7 2–10 199 365 W1
NFC West
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W L T PCT DIV CONF PF PA STK
(3) New Orleans Saints 11 5 0 .688 4–2 8–4 341 211 W2
(6) Atlanta Falcons 10 6 0 .625 5–1 7–5 361 338 L1
San Francisco 49ers 10 6 0 .625 3–3 7–5 393 239 W6
Los Angeles Rams 3 13 0 .188 0–6 2–10 234 390 L10

Tiebreakers

  • 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).

Playoffs

Dec 29 – Soldier Field Jan 5 – Pontiac Silverdome
5 Dallas 17
5 Dallas 6
4 Chicago 13 Jan 12 – RFK Stadium
2 Detroit 38
NFC
Dec 28 – Louisiana Superdome 2 Detroit 10
Jan 4 – RFK Stadium
1 Washington 41
6 Atlanta 27 NFC Championship
6 Atlanta 7
3 New Orleans 20 Jan 26 – Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome
1 Washington 24
Wild Card playoffs
Divisional playoffs
Dec 29 – Astrodome N1 Washington 37
Jan 4 – Mile High Stadium
A1 Buffalo 24
6 NY Jets 10 Super Bowl XXVI
3 Houston 24
3 Houston 17 Jan 12 – Rich Stadium
2 Denver 26
AFC
Dec 28 – Arrowhead Stadium 2 Denver 7
Jan 5 – Rich Stadium
1 Buffalo 10
5 LA Raiders 6 AFC Championship
4 Kansas City 14
4 Kansas City 10
1 Buffalo 37
This box:
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Records, milestones, and notable statistics

Week 8
  • October 21: James Lofton became the oldest player to record 200 yards receiving as well as 200 yards from scrimmage in a game (35 years, 108 days), as the Buffalo Bills defeated the Cincinnati Bengals by a 35–16 final.

Awards

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
NFL Comeback Player of the Year Jim McMahon, quarterback, Philadelphia
NFL Man of the Year Anthony Muñoz, offensive tackle, Cincinnati
Super Bowl Most Valuable Player Mark Rypien, quarterback, Washington

Coaching changes

Offseason

In-season

Uniform changes

  • The NFL shield was added to the yoke of the jerseys and the left thigh of the pants. The NFL shield was also added to the right breast of the officiating uniforms.
  • The New England Patriots switched from white face masks to red.
  • The Washington Redskins switched from big block numbers to skinnier font size numbers.
  • The San Francisco 49ers removed white stripes on red socks.
    • Just before the start of training camp, owner Eddie DeBartolo unveiled a new helmet logo with "49ers" in a modern font, replacing the interlocking "SF" which had been on the team's helmets since 1962. After severe fan backlash, DeBartolo reversed course two days later.

Television

This was the second year under the league's four-year broadcast contracts with ABC, CBS, NBC, TNT, and ESPN. ABC, CBS, and NBC continued to televise Monday Night Football, the NFC package, the AFC package, respectively. Sunday night games aired on TNT during the first half of the season, and ESPN during the second half of the season.[11]

External links

  • Football Outsiders: DVOA 1991

References

  1. ^ "Raiders sign Lott on Plan B". THE BALTIMORE SUN. Retrieved November 30, 2020.
  2. ^ "ROGER CRAIG SIGNS WITH RAIDERS". CHICAGO TRIBUNE. Retrieved November 30, 2020.
  3. ^ "1991 NFL Transactions. Signings - August". National Football League. Retrieved December 3, 2020.
  4. ^ a b c d e "1991 NFL Transactions. Trades - September". National Football League. Retrieved December 3, 2020.
  5. ^ "1991 NFL Transactions. Trades - July". National Football League. Retrieved December 3, 2020.
  6. ^ a b c d e f "1991 NFL Transactions. Trades - August". National Football League. Retrieved December 3, 2020.
  7. ^ "Sports People: Pro Football; Webster Retires". New York Times. Retrieved November 30, 2020.
  8. ^ "Forty years later, NFL official denies 'Immaculate Reception' conspiracy". USA TODAY. Retrieved September 1, 2018.
  9. ^ "Former NFL referee, league supervisor of officials Jerry Seeman dies at age 77". StarTribune.com. Associated Press. November 25, 2013. Archived from the original on November 29, 2013.
  10. ^ "Gene F. Barth Dies; Was NFL Official For 20 Years", St. Louis Post-Dispatch, October 13, 1991, Edition: L5, Page: 14F
  11. ^ Brulia, Tim. "A CHRONOLOGY OF PRO FOOTBALL ON TELEVISION: Part 4" (PDF). Pro Football Researchers.
  • NFL Record and Fact Book (ISBN 1-932994-36-X)
  • NFL History 1991–2000 Archived August 23, 2006, at the Wayback Machine
  • Total Football: The Official Encyclopedia of the National Football League (ISBN 0-06-270174-6)
  • 1991 NFL season at Pro Football Reference