FANDOM


1972 National Football League season
Regular season
Duration September 17 – December 17, 1972
Playoffs
Start date December 23, 1972
AFC Champions Miami Dolphins
NFC Champions Washington Redskins
Super Bowl VII
Date January 14, 1973
Site L.A. Coliseum, Los Angeles, California
Champions {{{sb_champions}}}
Champions Miami Dolphins
Pro Bowl
Date January 21, 1973
National Football League seasons
 < 1971 1973 > 

The 1972 NFL season was the 53rd regular season of the National Football League. The Miami Dolphins became the first NFL team to finish a championship season undefeated and untied when they beat the Washington Redskins in Super Bowl VII.

Major rule changesEdit

  • The inbounds lines or hashmarks were moved closer to the center of the field, 23 yards, 1 foot, 9 inches from the sidelines. The hashmarks are now 18 feet, 6 inches apart (the same width as the goalposts), cutting down on severe angles for short field goal attempts.
  • If a legal receiver goes out of bounds, either accidentally or forced out, and returns to touch or catch the pass in bounds, the penalty is a loss of down (but no penalty yardage will be assessed).
  • If a punt or missed field goal crosses the receivers' goal line, a member of the receiving team may advance the ball into the field of play. Previously, the ball was dead when a scrimmage kick crossed the goal line and the receivers were awarded an automatic touchback.
  • All fouls committed by the offensive team behind the line of scrimmage will be assessed from the previous spot.
  • Tie games, previously ignored in computing of winning percentage, were made equal to a half-game win and a half-game loss.

Division racesEdit

Starting in 1970, and until 2002, 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, common opponents records, and conference play.

National Football Conference

Week Eastern Central Western Wild Card
1 3 teams 1–0–0 2 teams 1–0–0 3 teams 1–0–0 5 teams 1–0–0
2 2 teams 2–0–0 Minnesota 1–1–0 Los Angeles 1–0–1 2 teams 2–0–0
3 Washington 2–1–0 2 teams 2–1–0 2 teams 2–1–0 3 teams 2–1–0
4 Washington 3–1–0 Detroit* 3–1–0 Los Angeles 2–1–1 2 teams 3–1–0
5 Washington 4–1–0 Green Bay 4–1–0 Los Angeles 3–1–1 Dallas 4–1–0
6 Washington 5–1–0 Green Bay* 4–2–0 Los Angeles 4–1–1 4 teams 4–2–0
7 Washington 6–1–0 Green Bay* 4–3–0 Los Angeles 4–2–1 Dallas 5–2–0
8 Washington 7–1–0 Green Bay* 5–3–0 Los Angeles 5–2–1 Dallas 6–2–0
9 Washington 8–1–0 Green Bay 6–3–0 Los Angeles 5–3–1 Dallas 7–2–0
10 Washington 9–1–0 Green Bay 7–3–0 Los Angeles* 5–4–1 Dallas 8–2–0
11 Washington 10–1–0 Green Bay* 7–4–0 San Francisco 6–4–1 Dallas 8–3–0
12 Washington 11–1–0 Green Bay 8–4–0 Atlanta 7–5–0 Dallas 9–3–0
13 Washington 11–2–0 Green Bay 9–4–0 San Francisco 7–5–1 Dallas 10–3–0
14 Washington 11–3–0 Green Bay 10–4–0 San Francisco 8–5–1 Dallas 10–4–0

American Football Conference

Week Eastern Central Western Wild Card
1 2 teams 1–0–0 2 teams 1–0–0 Denver 1–0–0 2 teams 1–0–0
2 2 teams 2–0–0 Cincinnati 2–0–0 4 teams 1–1–0 2 teams 2–0–0
3 Miami 3–0–0 Cleveland 2–1–0 Kansas City 2–1–0 4 teams 2–1–0
4 Miami 4–0–0 Cincinnati 3–1–0 Kansas City 3–1–0 San Diego* 2–1–1
5 Miami 5–0–0 Cincinnati 4–1–0 Oakland 3–1–1 N.Y. Jets* 3–2–0
6 Miami 6–0–0 Cincinnati* 4–2–0 Oakland 3–2–1 Pittsburgh* 4–2–0
7 Miami 7–0–0 Cincinnati* 5–2–0 Oakland 4–2–1 Pittsburgh* 5–2–0
8 Miami 8–0–0 Pittsburgh 6–2–0 Kansas City 5–3–0 Cleveland* 5–3–0
9 Miami 9–0–0 Pittsburgh 7–2–0 Oakland 5–3–1 Cleveland* 6–3–0
10 Miami 10–0–0 Cleveland 7–3–0 Oakland 6–3–1 Pittsburgh 7–3–0
11 Miami 11–0–0 Cleveland 8–3–0 Oakland 7–3–1 Pittsburgh 8–3–0
12 Miami 12–0–0 Pittsburgh 9–3–0 Oakland 8–3–1 Cleveland 8–4–0
13 Miami 13–0–0 Pittsburgh 10–3–0 Oakland 9–3–1 Cleveland 9–4–0
14 Miami 14–0–0 Pittsburgh 11–3–0 Oakland 10–3–1 Cleveland 10–4–0

Final standingsEdit

W = Wins, L = Losses, T = Ties, PCT= Winning Percentage, PF= Points For, PA = Points Against

 x  – clinched wild card berth,  y  – clinched division title

Note: Prior to 1972, the NFL did not include tie games when calculating a team's winning percentage in the official standings

AFC East
TeamWLTPCTPFPA
y-Miami Dolphins 14001.000385171
New York Jets 770.500367324
Baltimore Colts 590.357235252
Buffalo Bills 491.321257377
New England Patriots 3110.214192446
AFC Central
TeamWLTPCTPFPA
y-Pittsburgh Steelers 1130.786343175
x-Cleveland Browns 1040.714268249
Cincinnati Bengals 860.571299229
Houston Oilers 1130.071164380
AFC West
TeamWLTPCTPFPA
y-Oakland Raiders 1031.750365248
Kansas City Chiefs 860.571287254
Denver Broncos 590.357325350
San Diego Chargers 491.321264344
NFC East
TeamWLTPCTPFPA
y-Washington Redskins 1130.786336218
x-Dallas Cowboys 1040.714319240
New York Giants 860.571331247
St. Louis Cardinals 491.321193303
Philadelphia Eagles 2111.179145352
NFC Central
TeamWLTPCTPFPA
y-Green Bay Packers 1040.714304226
Detroit Lions 851.607339290
Minnesota Vikings 770.500301252
Chicago Bears 491.321225275
NFC West
TeamWLTPCTPFPA
y-San Francisco 49ers 851.607353249
Atlanta Falcons 770.500269274
Los Angeles Rams 671.464291286
New Orleans Saints 2111.179215361



PlayoffsEdit

Note: Prior to the 1975 season, the home teams in the playoffs were decided based on a yearly rotation.
Divisional Playoffs Conf. Championship Games Super Bowl VII
                   
December 24 – Miami Orange Bowl        
 Cleveland Browns  14
December 31 – Three Rivers Stadium
 Miami Dolphins  20  
 Miami Dolphins  21
December 23 – Three Rivers Stadium
     Pittsburgh Steelers  17  
 Oakland Raiders  7
January 14 – L.A. Coliseum
 Pittsburgh Steelers  13  
 Miami Dolphins  14
December 23 – Candlestick Park    
   Washington Redskins  7
 Dallas Cowboys  30
December 31 – RFK Stadium
 San Francisco 49ers  28  
 Dallas Cowboys  3
December 24 – RFK Stadium
     Washington Redskins  26  
 Green Bay Packers  3
 Washington Redskins  16  
 

AwardsEdit

Most Valuable PlayerLarry Brown, Running Back, Washington
Coach of the YearDon Shula, Miami
Offensive Player of the YearLarry Brown, Running Back, Washington
Defensive Player of the YearJoe Greene, Defensive End, Pittsburgh
Offensive Rookie of the YearFranco Harris, Running Back, Pittsburgh
Defensive Rookie of the YearWillie Buchanon, Cornerback, Green Bay

ReferencesEdit

Template:1972 NFL season by team

NFL seasons

Early Era (1920-1969)

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Modern Era (1970-present)
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