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1975 NFL season

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

1975 National Football League season
Regular season
DurationSeptember 21 – December 21, 1975
Start dateDecember 27, 1975
AFC ChampionsPittsburgh Steelers
NFC ChampionsDallas Cowboys
Super Bowl X
DateJanuary 18, 1976
SiteOrange Bowl, Miami, Florida
ChampionsPittsburgh Steelers
Pro Bowl
DateJanuary 26, 1976
SiteLouisiana Superdome, New Orleans
1975 NFL season is located in the United States
AFC teams: West, Central, East
1975 NFL season is located in the United States
NFC teams: West, Central, East

The 1975 NFL season was the 56th regular season of the National Football League.

Instead of a traditional Thanksgiving Day game hosted by the Dallas Cowboys, the league scheduled a Buffalo Bills at St. Louis Cardinals contest. This was the first season since 1966 that the Cowboys did not play on that holiday.

The playoff format was changed so that the division champions with the best regular season records were made the home teams for the divisional round, with the division champion advancing to the conference championship game with the best record hosting the title game. Previously, game sites rotated by division. The caveat stipulating that a wild card team could not face its own division champion in the divisional round was kept in force.

The season ended with Super Bowl X when the Pittsburgh Steelers repeated as champions by defeating the Dallas Cowboys 21–17 at the Orange Bowl in Miami.

YouTube Encyclopedic

  • 1/5
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  • 1975 NFL Season Highlights & Super Bowl X Highlights
  • 1975 MNF - Kansas City Chiefs at Dallas Cowboys (1st Half)
  • 1970-1975 NFL Thanksgiving Day Games
  • Frozen Fight Between Iconic Rivals! (Raiders vs. Steelers 1975, AFC Championship)
  • 1975 Raiders at Steelers AFC Championship



The 1975 NFL Draft was held from January 28 to 29, 1975 at New York City's Hilton at Rockefeller Center. With the first pick, the Atlanta Falcons selected quarterback Steve Bartkowski from the University of California.

New officials

Jerry Seeman, who would go on to serve as referee for Super Bowl XXIII and Super Bowl XXV before a 10-year tenure as the NFL's Director of Officiating from 1991–2001, was hired as a line judge. Fred Swearingen, the referee in the 1972 Raiders-Steelers playoff game which produced the Immaculate Reception, was demoted to his former position, field judge (now back judge). Gene Barth, the line judge on Jim Tunney's crew the previous four seasons, was promoted.

Major rule changes

  • After a fourth down incomplete pass goes in or through the end zone, the other team will take possession at the previous line of scrimmage. Previously, it resulted in a touchback.
  • The penalty for pass interference on the offensive team is reduced from 15 yards to 10.
  • If there are fouls by both teams on the same play but one results in a player ejection, the penalties will offset but the player will still be ejected.
  • Referees were equipped with wireless microphones to announce penalties and clarify complex or unusual rulings to both fans and the media. The NFL thus became the first professional league in North America to adopt this technology.

Division races

Starting in 1970, through 2001, there were three divisions (Eastern, Central and Western) in each conference. The winners of each division, and a fourth “wild card” team based on the best non-division winner, qualified for the playoffs. The tiebreaker rules were changed to start with head-to-head competition, followed by division records, records against common records, and records in conference play.

National Football Conference

Week Eastern Central Western Wild Card
1 4 teams 1–0–0 Detroit, Minnesota 1–0–0 4 teams 0–1–0 4 teams 1–0–0
2 Dallas, Washington 2–0–0 Detroit, Minnesota 2–0–0 Los Angeles 1–1–0 2 teams 2–0–0
3 Dallas 3–0–0 Minnesota 3–0–0 Los Angeles 2–1–0 3 teams 2–1–0
4 Dallas 4–0–0 Minnesota 4–0–0 Los Angeles 3–1–0 Washington, Detroit 3–1–0
5 Dallas 4–1–0 Minnesota 5–0–0 Los Angeles 4–1–0 St. Louis, Detroit 3–2–0
6 Dallas 5–1–0 Minnesota 6–0–0 Los Angeles 5–1–0 Washington* 4–2–0
7 Dallas* 5–2–0 Minnesota 7–0–0 Los Angeles 6–1–0 Washington* 5–2–0
8 Washington* 6–2–0 Minnesota 8–0–0 Los Angeles 6–2–0 St. Louis 6–2–0
9 St. Louis 7–2–0 Minnesota 9–0–0 Los Angeles 7–2–0 Dallas, Detroit, Washington 6–3–0
10 St. Louis 8–2–0 Minnesota 10–0–0 Los Angeles 8–2–0 Dallas 7–3–0
11 Dallas* 8–3–0 Minnesota 10–1–0 Los Angeles 9–2–0 St. Louis 8–3–0
12 St. Louis 9–3–0 Minnesota 11–1–0 Los Angeles 10–2–0 Dallas 8–4–0
13 St. Louis 10–3–0 Minnesota 11–2–0 Los Angeles 11–2–0 Dallas 9–4–0
14 St. Louis 11–3–0 Minnesota 12–2–0 Los Angeles 12–2–0 Dallas 10–4–0

American Football Conference

Week Eastern Central Western Wild Card
1 Baltimore, Buffalo 1–0–0 3 teams 1–0–0 Denver, Oakland 1–0–0 4 teams 1–0–0
2 Buffalo 2–0–0 Cincinnati, Houston 2–0–0 Denver, Oakland 2–0–0 2 teams 2–0–0
3 Buffalo 3–0–0 Cincinnati 3–0–0 Oakland 3–0–0 5 teams 2–1–0
4 Buffalo 4–0–0 Cincinnati 4–0–0 Oakland 3–1–0 Pittsburgh* 3–1–0
5 Buffalo* 4–1–0 Cincinnati 5–0–0 Denver* 3–2–0 Pittsburgh* 4–1–0
6 Miami 5–1–0 Cincinnati 6–0–0 Oakland 4–2–0 Houston 5–1–0
7 Miami 6–1–0 Pittsburgh* 6–1–0 Oakland 5–2–0 Cincinnati* 6–1–0
8 Miami 7–1–0 Pittsburgh* 7–1–0 Oakland 5–2–0 Cincinnati* 7–1–0
9 Miami 7–2–0 Pittsburgh* 8–1–0 Oakland 7–2–0 Cincinnati* 8–1–0
10 Miami 7–3–0 Pittsburgh 9–1–0 Oakland 8–2–0 Cincinnati 8–2–0
11 Miami 8–3–0 Pittsburgh 10–1–0 Oakland 9–2–0 Cincinnati 9–2–0
12 Miami 9–3–0 Pittsburgh 11–1–0 Oakland 10–2–0 Cincinnati 10–2–0
13 Baltimore* 9–4–0 Pittsburgh 12–1–0 Oakland 10–3–0 Cincinnati 10–3–0
14 Baltimore 10–4–0 Pittsburgh 12–2–0 Oakland 11–3–0 Cincinnati 11–3–0

Final standings


  • Baltimore finished ahead of Miami in the AFC East based on head-to-head sweep (2–0).
  • N.Y. Jets finished ahead of New England in the AFC East based on head-to-head sweep (2–0).
  • Minnesota was the top NFC playoff seed based on point rating system (Vikings were 1st in NFC in points scored and 2nd in NFC in points allowed for a combined rating of 3 while Rams were 5th in NFC in points scored and 1st in NFC in points allowed for a combined rating of 6).
  • Chicago finished ahead of Green Bay in the NFC Central based on better division record (2–4 to Packers’ 1–5).


Dec 28 – Metropolitan Stadium
4 Dallas 17
Jan 4 – Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum
1 Minnesota 14
4 Dallas 37
Dec 27 – Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum
2 Los Angeles 7
NFC Championship
3 St. Louis 23
Jan 18 – Miami Orange Bowl
2 Los Angeles 35
Divisional playoffs
N4 Dallas 17
Dec 28 – Oakland Coliseum
A1 Pittsburgh 21
Super Bowl X
4 Cincinnati 28
Jan 4 – Three Rivers Stadium
2* Oakland 31
2 Oakland 10
Dec 27 – Three Rivers Stadium
1 Pittsburgh 16
AFC Championship
3 Baltimore 10
1* Pittsburgh 28


Most Valuable Player Fran Tarkenton, quarterback, Minnesota Vikings
Coach of the Year Ted Marchibroda, Baltimore Colts
Offensive Player of the Year Fran Tarkenton, quarterback, Minnesota Vikings
Defensive Player of the Year Mel Blount, cornerback, Pittsburgh Steelers
Offensive Rookie of the Year Mike Thomas, running back, Washington Redskins
Defensive Rookie of the Year Robert Brazile, linebacker, Houston Oilers
Man of the Year Ken Anderson, quarterback, Cincinnati Bengals
Comeback Player of the Year Dave Hampton, running back, Atlanta Falcons
Super Bowl Most Valuable Player Lynn Swann, wide receiver, Pittsburgh Steelers

Coaching changes



Stadium changes

Uniform changes

  • The Houston Oilers switched from blue to white helmets.
  • The New Orleans Saints switched from gold to white pants.
  • The New York Giants introduced new uniforms that featured blue jerseys, red trim, and white pants; and white jerseys, red trim, and blue pants. This new design emphasized a widen striping pattern with the accent color white. The lowercase "ny" helmet logo was replaced by a striped uppercase "NY", while the face masks were changed from gray to white.
  • The Cleveland Browns switched from white to orange pants (stripe to match helmet). The face masks were changed from gray to white.


This was the second year under the league's four-year broadcast contracts with ABC, CBS, and NBC to televise Monday Night Football, the NFC package, and the AFC package, respectively. CBS restored The NFL Today title for its pregame show. Brent Musburger was named as its new host, former player Irv Cross as an analyst, and former Miss America Phyllis George as one of its reporters.

NBC's pregame show GrandStand made its debut, hosted by Jack Buck (who had left CBS after the previous season) and Bryant Gumbel.[1]


  1. ^ Brulia, Tim. "A CHRONOLOGY OF PRO FOOTBALL ON TELEVISION: Part 2" (PDF). Pro Football Researchers.
This page was last edited on 27 July 2023, at 12:48
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