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1990 NFL season

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

1990 National Football League season
Regular season
DurationSeptember 9 – December 31, 1990
Playoffs
Start dateJanuary 5, 1991
AFC ChampionsBuffalo Bills
NFC ChampionsNew York Giants
Super Bowl XXV
DateJanuary 27, 1991
SiteTampa Stadium, Tampa, Florida
ChampionsNew York Giants
Pro Bowl
DateFebruary 3, 1991
SiteAloha Stadium

The 1990 NFL season was the 71st regular season of the National Football League. To increase revenue, the league, for the first time since 1966, reinstated bye weeks, 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 schedule; this format remained in use until 2019 (there were four division spots and two wild card spots available with realignment in 2002). During four out of the five previous seasons, at least one team with a 10–6 record missed the playoffs, including the 11–5 Denver Broncos in 1985; meanwhile, the 10–6 San Francisco 49ers won Super Bowl XXIII, leading for calls to expand the playoff format to ensure that 10–6 teams could compete for a Super Bowl win. Ironically, the first ever sixth-seeded playoff team would not have a 10–6 record, but instead, the New Orleans Saints, with an 8–8 record, took the new playoff spot.

This was also the first full season for Paul Tagliabue as the league's 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 20–19 at Tampa Stadium. This would be the first Super Bowl appearance for Buffalo, who would lose the next three Super Bowls as well.

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.

Draft

The 1990 NFL Draft was held from April 22 to 23, 1990 at New York City's Marriott Marquis. With the first pick, the Indianapolis Colts selected quarterback Jeff George from the University of Illinois.

Officiating changes

Dick Jorgensen, who had been the referee in the previous season's Super Bowl XXIV, was diagnosed in May during the offseason with a rare blood disorder.[3] He died five months later on October 10.[4] For the remainder of the 1990 season, NFL officials wore a black armband on their left sleeve with the white number 60 to honor Jorgensen.[5]

Ben Dreith (a referee in the AFL from 1966-69, and the NFL since the merger) and Fred Wyant (a referee since 1971), were demoted to line judge. Dreith later filed a complaint to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission after the league fired him after the 1990 season, citing age discrimination as the reason for both his demotion to line judge and his dismissal.[6][7] Dreith and the NFL would later agree in 1993 to a $165,000 settlement, plus court costs and attorney fees.[8]

Gerald Austin, the side judge for Super Bowl XXIV, and Tom White, were promoted to referee. White became the first official to be promoted to referee after only one season of NFL experience since Jerry Markbreit in 1977 (Tommy Bell (1962) and Brad Allen (2014) were hired straight into the NFL as referees). After one season with having 16 officiating crews in 1989, it was reduced back to 15 crews in 1990 to handle the weekly workload of 14 games (if there were no teams with a bye week).

Ed Hochuli was hired as a back judge (now field judge) and assigned to Howard Roe's crew. Hochuli was promoted to referee two years later.

Major rule changes

  • The rule for unnecessary roughness penalties is clarified so that any player who butts, spears, or rams an opponent risks immediate disqualification.
  • 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, other than in the last two minutes of the first half and 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; and
    • other than in the last two minutes of the first half and the last five minutes of the second half or overtime the game clock also starts following all declined penalties.
  • This was the first season in which NFL teams officially had a bye week; the last time was in 1966, when the league had an odd number of teams at 15.

Final regular season standings

Tiebreakers

  • 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

Jan. 6 – Riverfront Stadium Jan. 13 – Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum
6 Houston 14
3 Cincinnati 10
3 Cincinnati 41 Jan. 20 – Rich Stadium
2 LA Raiders 20
AFC
Jan. 5 – Joe Robbie Stadium 2 LA Raiders 3
Jan. 12 – Rich Stadium
1 Buffalo 51
5 Kansas City 16 AFC Championship
4 Miami 34
4 Miami 17 Jan. 27 – Tampa Stadium
1 Buffalo 44
Wild card playoffs
Divisional playoffs
Jan. 6 – Soldier Field A1 Buffalo 19
Jan. 13 – Giants Stadium
N2 NY Giants 20
6 New Orleans 6 Super Bowl XXV
3 Chicago 3
3 Chicago 16 Jan. 20 – Candlestick Park
2 NY Giants 31
NFC
Jan. 5 – Veterans Stadium 2 NY Giants 15
Jan. 12 – Candlestick Park
1 San Francisco 13
5 Washington 20 NFC Championship
5 Washington 10
4 Philadelphia 6
1 San Francisco 28


Notable events

  • For the first time in NFL history, two teams (the 49ers and the Giants) would start the season 10–0.[9] This would not be equalled until 2009 when the Colts and the Saints both reached 13–0, and was also equalled in 2015 by the Panthers and Patriots.

Statistical leaders

Team

Points scored Buffalo Bills (428)
Total yards gained Houston Oilers (6,222)
Yards rushing Philadelphia Eagles (2,556)
Yards passing Houston Oilers (4,805)
Fewest points allowed New York Giants (211)
Fewest total yards allowed Pittsburgh Steelers (4,115)
Fewest rushing yards allowed Philadelphia Eagles (1,169)
Fewest passing yards allowed Pittsburgh Steelers (2,500)

Awards

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
NFL Man of the Year Mike Singletary, Linebacker, Chicago
NFL Comeback Player of the Year Barry Word, Running Back, Kansas City
Super Bowl Most Valuable Player Ottis Anderson, Running Back, NY Giants

Coaching changes

Offseason

In-season

Stadium changes

With New England Patriots founder Billy Sullivan no longer owning the team, having it sold to Victor Kiam in 1988 and Sullivan Stadium being taken over by Robert Kraft, the venue was renamed Foxboro Stadium.

Uniforms changes

  • The Atlanta Falcons unveiled new uniforms, switching both their primary jerseys and helmets from red to black. This was the first time the Falcons wore black jerseys since 1970, and the first time they had ever worn black helmets.
  • The New York Jets added black trim to their logo, numbers, and stripes on their pants, and changed their face masks from white to black. They also added green pants to be worn with their white jerseys.
  • The Phoenix Cardinals began wearing red pants with their white jerseys at the request of coach Joe Bugel.
  • The San Diego Chargers began wearing navy pants with their white jerseys.

References

  1. ^ "NFL History by Decade: 1981–1990". NFL.com. Archived from the original on October 6, 2008. Retrieved October 18, 2008.
  2. ^ Services, From Times Wire (December 20, 1990). "THE SIDELINES :  U.S. Flag to Grace NFL Helmets". Archived from the original on May 21, 2013. Retrieved May 5, 2018 – via LA Times.
  3. ^ "Illness-shortened careers". Reading Eagle. Pennsylvania. November 12, 1991. p. D12.
  4. ^ "NFL referee Jorgensen dies". UPI. (archives). October 10, 1990. Retrieved October 5, 2015.
  5. ^ Brulia, Tim. "NFL game officials uniforms: 1990". Gridiron Uniform Database. Retrieved October 7, 2015.
  6. ^ "NFL ref says his age reason for demotion". Spokane Chronicle. (Washington). Associated Press. September 5, 1990. p. D2.
  7. ^ "Former Referee Suing NFL" The Record (New Jersey) July 26, 1991, pp. D3
  8. ^ "NFL Pays $165,000 To Ex-Ref: Age Discrimination Suit Finally Settled" Rocky Mountain News January 6, 1993, pp. 58
  9. ^ Belock, Joe; ‘Sweet 16: Patriots and Panthers join ranks of NFL teams to begin season 10-0 ’; New York Daily News, November 24, 2015
This page was last edited on 23 June 2020, at 18:28
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