|1979 National Football League season|
|Duration||September 1 – December 17, 1979|
|Start date||December 23, 1979|
|AFC Champions||Pittsburgh Steelers|
|NFC Champions||Los Angeles Rams|
|Super Bowl XIV|
|Date||January 20, 1980|
|Site||Rose Bowl, Pasadena, California|
|Date||January 27, 1980|
|National Football League seasons
The 1979 NFL season was the 60th regular season of the National Football League. The season ended with Super Bowl XIV when the Pittsburgh Steelers defeated the Los Angeles Rams. It was also the 20th anniversary of the American Football League.
Major rule changes
- Whenever the quarterback is sacked, the clock will be stopped for at least five seconds and then restarted again.
- If a fair catch is made, or signaled and awarded to a team because of interference, on the last play of a half, the period can be extended and the team can run one play.
- Defensive linemen can wear numbers 90 to 99.
- Centers are included as the interior offensive linemen in the uniform numbering system.
- Players are prohibited from wearing torn or altered equipment. Tear-away jerseys are banned.
- During kickoffs, punts, and field goal attempts, players on the receiving team cannot block below the waist.
- The zone in which crackback blocks are prohibited is extended from 3 yards on either side of the line of scrimmage to 5.
- Players cannot use their helmets to butt, spear, or ram an opponent. Any player who uses the crown or the top of his helmet unnecessarily will be called for unnecessary roughness.
- In order to prevent incidents such as the Holy Roller game, the following change is made: If an offensive player fumbles during a fourth down play, or during any down played after the two minute warning in a half, only the fumbling player can recover and/or advance the ball. This change is known as the "Ken Stabler rule" after the Oakland Raiders quarterback who made the infamous play in the Holy Roller game.
- Referees were outfitted with black identifying hats, while all other officials continued to wear white hats.
- For the first time, each official's position was identified on his shirt. The position was abbreviated on the front pocket of the shirt and then spelled out on the back above the number.
- The numbering system for officials was altered, with officials numbered separately by position rather than as an entire group, making duplicate numbers among officials common.
Starting in 1978, ten teams qualified for the playoffs: the winners of each of the divisions, and two wild-card teams in each conference.
National Football Conference
|Week||NFC East||NFC Central||NFC West||Wild Card||Wild Card|
|1||Dallas, Philadelphia||1–0||3 teams||1–0||Atlanta||1–0|
|2||Dallas||2–0||Tampa Bay, Chicago||2–0||Atlanta||2–0|
|3||Dallas||3–0||Tampa Bay||3–0||Atlanta, L.A.||2–1|
|4||Dallas, Philadelphia, Washington||3–1||Tampa Bay||4–0||Atlanta, L.A.||2–2||Chicago||2–2||Minnesota||2–2|
|5||Dallas, Philadelphia, Washington||4–1||Tampa Bay||5–0||L.A.||3–2||Minnesota||3–2||4 teams||2–3|
|6||Dallas, Philadelphia||5–1||Tampa Bay||5–1||L.A.||4–2||Washington||4–2||3 teams||3–3|
|7||Dallas, Philadelphia||6–1||Tampa Bay||5–2||L.A.||4–3||Washington||5–2||5 teams||3–4|
|8||Dallas||7–1||Tampa Bay||6–2||L.A., New Orleans||4–4||Philadelphia, Washington||6–2||Minnesota||4–4|
|9||Dallas||7–2||Tampa Bay||7–2||L.A.||5–4||Philadelphia, Washington||6–3||4 teams||4–5|
|10||Dallas||8–2||Tampa Bay||7–3||L.A., New Orleans||5–5||Philadelphia, Washington||6–4||Chicago||5–5|
|11||Dallas||8–3||Tampa Bay||8–3||New Orleans||6–5||Philadelphia, Washington||7–4||Chicago||6–5|
|12||Dallas, Philadelphia, Washington||8–4||Tampa Bay||9–3||L.A., New Orleans||6–6||Chicago||7–5||Giants, Minnesota||5–7|
|13||Philadelphia||9–4||Tampa Bay||9–4||L.A., New Orleans||7–6||Dallas, Washington||8–5||Chicago||7–6|
|14||Philadelphia||10–4||Tampa Bay||9–5||L.A.||8–6||Dallas, Washington||9–5||Chicago||8–6|
|15||Dallas, Philadelphia, Washington||10–5||Tampa Bay, Chicago||9–6||L.A.||9–6||Minnesota, New Orleans||8–7||Giants||6–9|
American Football Conference
|Week||AFC East||AFC Central||AFC West||Wild Card||Wild Card|
|1||Miami||1–0||3 teams||1–0||4 teams||1–0|
|2||Miami||2–0||Pittsburgh, Cleveland||2–0||San Diego||2–0|
|3||Miami||3–0||Pittsburgh, Cleveland||3–0||San Diego||3–0||New England, Houston, Denver||2–1|
|4||Miami||4–0||Pittsburgh, Cleveland||4–0||San Diego, Denver||3–1||New England, Houston||3–1||Buffalo, Kansas City||2–2|
|5||Miami||4–1||Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Houston||4–1||San Diego||4–1||New England, Denver, Buffalo, Kansas City||3–2||Jets, Oakland||2–3|
|6||Miami, New England||4–2||Pittsburgh||5–1||San Diego, Denver, Kansas City||4–2||Cleveland, Houston||4–2||Buffalo, Oakland||3–3|
|7||Miami, New England||5–2||Pittsburgh, Houston||5–2||San Diego, Denver||5–2||Cleveland, Kansas City, Oakland||4–3||Buffalo, Jets||3–4|
|8||New England||6–2||Pittsburgh||6–2||San Diego||6–2||Miami, Cleveland, Houston, Denver||5–3||Jets, Kansas City, Oakland||4–4|
|9||Miami, New England||6–3||Pittsburgh||7–2||San Diego, Denver||6–3||Cleveland, Houston||6–3||Oakland||5–4|
|10||New England||7–3||Pittsburgh||8–2||San Diego, Denver||7–3||Cleveland, Houston||7–3||Miami, Oakland||6–4|
|11||Miami, New England||7–4||Pittsburgh||9–2||San Diego, Denver||8–3||Houston||8–3||Cleveland||7–4|
|12||New England||8–4||Pittsburgh, Houston||9–3||San Diego, Denver||9–3||Cleveland||8–4||Miami||7–5|
|13||Miami, New England||8–5||Pittsburgh, Houston||10–3||San Diego||10–3||Denver||9–4||Cleveland||8–5|
|14||Miami||9–5||Pittsburgh||11–3||San Diego, Denver||10–4||Houston||10–4||Cleveland||9–5|
|15||Miami||10–5||Pittsburgh, Houston||11–4||San Diego||11–4||Denver||10–5||Cleveland, Oakland||9–6|
W = Wins, L = Losses, T = Ties, PCT = Winning Percentage, PF= Points For, PA = Points Against
wild card berth, – clinched division title– clinched
|New England Patriots||9||7||0||.563||411||326|
|New York Jets||8||8||0||.500||337||383|
|y-San Diego Chargers||12||4||0||.750||411||246|
|Kansas City Chiefs||7||9||0||.438||238||262|
|New York Giants||6||10||0||.375||237||323|
|St. Louis Cardinals||5||11||0||.313||307||358|
|y-Tampa Bay Buccaneers||10||6||0||.625||273||237|
|Green Bay Packers||5||11||0||.313||246||316|
|y-Los Angeles Rams||9||7||0||.563||323||309|
|New Orleans Saints||8||8||0||.500||370||360|
|San Francisco 49ers||2||14||0||.125||308||416|
- San Diego was the top AFC playoff seed based on head-to-head victory over Pittsburgh (1–0).
- Seattle finished ahead of Oakland in the AFC West based on head-to-head sweep (2–0).
- Dallas finished ahead of Philadelphia in the NFC East based on better conference record (10–2 to Eagles' 9–3).
- Tampa Bay finished ahead of Chicago in the NFC Central based on a better division record (6–2 to Bears' 5–3).
- Chicago was the second NFC Wild Card ahead of Washington based on better net points in all games (57 to Redskins' 53).
- Main article: 1979–80 NFL playoffs
- Home team in capitals
- Wild-Card playoff: HOUSTON 13, Denver 7
- Divisional playoffs: Houston 17, SAN DIEGO 14; PITTSBURGH 34, Miami 14
- AFC Championship: PITTSBURGH 27, Houston 13 at Three Rivers Stadium, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, January 6, 1980
- Wild-Card playoff: PHILADELPHIA 27, Chicago 17
- Divisional playoffs: TAMPA BAY 24, Philadelphia 17; Los Angeles 21, DALLAS 19
- NFC Championship: Los Angeles 9, TAMPA BAY 0 at Tampa Stadium, Tampa, Florida, January 6, 1980
- Super Bowl XIV: Pittsburgh (AFC) 31, Los Angeles (NFC) 19, at Rose Bowl, Pasadena, California, January 20, 1980
|Most Valuable Player||Earl Campbell, Running Back, Houston Oilers|
|Coach of the Year||Jack Pardee, Washington|
|Offensive Player of the Year||Earl Campbell, Running Back, Houston Oilers|
|Defensive Player of the Year||Lee Roy Selmon, Defensive End, Tampa Bay|
|Offensive Rookie of the Year||Ottis Anderson, Running Back, St. Louis Cardinals|
|Defensive Rookie of the Year||Jim Haslett, Linebacker, Buffalo|
- Rules of the Name, or How The Emmitt Rule Became The Emmitt Rule (URL last accessed March 1, 2006)
- NFL Record and Fact Book (ISBN 1-932994-36-X)
- 1979 season in details
- NFL History 1971–1980 (Last accessed December 4, 2005)
- Total Football: The Official Encyclopedia of the National Football League (ISBN 0-06-270174-6)
Template:1979 NFL season by team
Early Era (1920-1969)
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