1980 National Football League season
Regular season
Duration September 7 – December 22, 1980
Playoffs
Start date December 28, 1980
AFC Champions Oakland Raiders
NFC Champions Philadelphia Eagles
Super Bowl XV
Date January 25, 1981
Site Louisiana Superdome, New Orleans, Louisiana
Champions {{{sb_champions}}}
Champions Oakland Raiders
Pro Bowl
Date February 1, 1981
National Football League seasons
 < 1979 1981 > 

The 1980 NFL season was the 61st regular season of the National Football League.

After the league declined to approve the proposed move by the Raiders from Oakland, California to Los Angeles, the team along with the Los Angeles Coliseum sued the NFL for violating antitrust laws. A verdict in the trial would not be decided until before the 1982 NFL season.

Meanwhile, the season ended with Super Bowl XV when the Raiders defeated the Philadelphia Eagles.

Major rule changes[edit | edit source]

  • When efforts are made by the offense to conserve time, 10 seconds will be run off the clock before the ball is permitted to be put back into play.[1]
  • Players are prohibited from striking, swinging, or clubbing to the head, face, or neck. The personal foul could be called whether or not the initial contact was made below the neck.
  • A "Guidelines for Captains" section was added to the rules.

Division Races[edit | edit source]

Starting in 1978, ten teams qualified for the playoffs: the winners of each of the divisions, and two wild-card teams in each conference. These are the leaders for each playoff slot, week by week. Teams listed in Week 16 indicate playoff participants.

National Football Conference[edit | edit source]

Week NFC East NFC Central NFC West Wild Card Wild Card
1 3 teams 1–0 4 teams 1–0 San Francisco 1–0
2 Philadelphia 2–0 Detroit, Tampa Bay 2–0 San Francisco 2–0
3 Philadelphia 3–0 Detroit 3–0 San Francisco 3–0 Dallas, Tampa Bay, Minnesota 2–1
4 Philadelphia, Dallas 3–1 Detroit 4–0 San Francisco 3–1 Philadelphia, Dallas 3–1 4 teams 2–2
5 Philadelphia, Dallas 4–1 Detroit 4–1 San Francisco, Los Angeles, Atlanta 3–2 Philadelphia, Dallas 4–1 San Francisco, Los Angeles, Atlanta 3–2
6 Philadelphia, Dallas 5–1 Detroit 5–1 Los Angeles 4–2 Philadelphia, Dallas 5–1 Minnesota, San Francisco, Atlanta 3–3
7 Philadelphia 6–1 Detroit 5–2 Los Angeles 5–2 Dallas 5–2 Atlanta 4–3
8 Philadelphia 7–1 Detroit 5–3 Los Angeles, Atlanta 5–3 Dallas 6–2 Los Angeles, Atlanta 5–3
9 Philadelphia 8–1 Detroit 6–3 Los Angeles, Atlanta 6–3 Dallas 7–2 Los Angeles, Atlanta 6–3
10 Philadelphia 9–1 Detroit 6–4 Atlanta 7–3 Dallas 7–3 Los Angeles 6–4
11 Philadelphia 10–1 Detroit, Minnesota 6–5 Atlanta 8–3 Dallas 8–3 Los Angeles 7–4
12 Philadelphia 11–1 Detroit 7–5 Atlanta 9–3 Dallas 9–3 Los Angeles 8–4
13 Philadelphia 11–2 Detroit, Minnesota 7–6 Atlanta 10–3 Dallas 10–3 Los Angeles 9–4
14 Philadelphia, Dallas 11–3 Minnesota 8–6 Atlanta 11–3 Philadelphia, Dallas 11–3 Los Angeles 9–5
15 Philadelphia 12–3 Minnesota 9–6 Atlanta 12–3 Dallas 11–4 Los Angeles 10–5
16 Philadelphia 12–4 Minnesota 9–7 Atlanta 12–4 Dallas 12–4 Los Angeles 11–5

American Football Conference[edit | edit source]

Week AFC East AFC Central AFC West Wild Card Wild Card
1 3 teams 1–0 Pittsburgh 1–0 San Diego, Oakland 1–0
2 Buffalo 2–0 Pittsburgh 2–0 San Diego 2–0
3 Buffalo 3–0 Pittsburgh, Houston 2–1 San Diego 3–0 Pittsburgh, Houston, Miami, New England, Oakland 2–1
4 Buffalo 4–0 Pittsburgh, Houston 3–1 San Diego 4–0 Pittsburgh, Houston, Miami, New England 3–1 Baltimore, Cleveland, Oakland, Seattle 2–2
5 Buffalo 5–0 Pittsburgh 4–1 San Diego 4–1 New England 4–1 Miami, Baltimore, Houston, Seattle 3–2
6 Buffalo, New England 5–1 Pittsburgh 4–2 San Diego 4–2 Buffalo, New England 5–1 Baltimore 4–2
7 New England 6–1 Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Houston 4–3 San Diego 5–2 Buffalo 5–2 6 teams 4–3
8 Buffalo, New England 6–2 Cleveland, Houston 5–3 San Diego, Oakland 5–3 Buffalo, New England 6–2 Cleveland, Houston, San Diego, Oakland 5–3
9 New England 7–2 Cleveland, Houston 6–3 San Diego, Oakland 6–3 Buffalo, Cleveland, Houston, San Diego, Oakland 6–3 Baltimore, Pittsburgh 5–4
10 Buffalo, New England 7–3 Cleveland, Houston 7–3 Oakland 7–3 Buffalo, New England, Cleveland, Houston 7–3 Pittsburgh, San Diego 6–4
11 Buffalo 8–3 Houston 8–3 Oakland 8–3 New England, Pittsburgh, Cleveland, San Diego 7–4 Miami, Baltimore, Denver 6–5
12 Buffalo 9–3 Cleveland, Houston 8–4 San Diego, Oakland 8–4 New England, Cleveland, Houston, San Diego, Oakland 8–4 Pittsburgh, Denver 7–5
13 Buffalo 9–4 Cleveland 9–4 San Diego, Oakland 9–4 San Diego, Oakland 9–4 New England, Pittsburgh, Houston 8–5
14 Buffalo 10–4 Cleveland 10–4 San Diego, Oakland 9–5 San Diego, Oakland, Houston 9–5 New England, Pittsburgh 8–6
15 Buffalo 10–5 Cleveland, Houston 10–5 San Diego, Oakland 10–5 Cleveland, Houston, San Diego, Oakland 10–5 New England, Pittsburgh 9–6
16 Buffalo 11–5 Cleveland 11–5 San Diego 11–5 Oakland 11–5 Houston 11–5

Final standings[edit | edit source]

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

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

AFC East
Team W L T PCT PF PA
y-Buffalo Bills 11 5 0 .688 320 260 Details
New England Patriots 10 6 0 .625 441 325 Details
Miami Dolphins 8 8 0 .500 266 305 Details
Baltimore Colts 7 9 0 .438 355 387 Details
New York Jets 4 12 0 .250 302 395 Details
AFC Central
Team W L T PCT PF PA
y-Cleveland Browns 11 5 0 .688 357 310 Details
x-Houston Oilers 11 5 0 .688 295 251 Details
Pittsburgh Steelers 9 7 0 .563 352 313 Details
Cincinnati Bengals 6 10 0 .375 244 312 Details
AFC West
Team W L T PCT PF PA
y-San Diego Chargers 11 5 0 .688 418 327 Details
x-Oakland Raiders 11 5 0 .688 364 306 Details
Kansas City Chiefs 8 8 0 .500 319 336 Details
Denver Broncos 8 8 0 .500 310 323 Details
Seattle Seahawks 4 12 0 .250 291 408 Details
NFC East
Team W L T PCT PF PA
y-Philadelphia Eagles 12 4 0 .750 384 222 Details
x-Dallas Cowboys 12 4 0 .750 454 311 Details
Washington Redskins 6 10 0 .375 261 293 Details
St. Louis Cardinals 5 11 0 .313 299 350 Details
New York Giants 4 12 0 .250 249 425 Details
NFC Central
Team W L T PCT PF PA
y-Minnesota Vikings 9 7 0 .563 317 308 Details
Detroit Lions 9 7 0 .563 334 272 Details
Chicago Bears 7 9 0 .438 304 264 Details
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 5 10 1 .344 271 341 Details
Green Bay Packers 5 10 1 .344 231 371 Details
NFC West
Team W L T PCT PF PA
y-Atlanta Falcons 12 4 0 .750 405 272 Details
x-Los Angeles Rams 11 5 0 .688 424 289 Details
San Francisco 49ers 6 10 0 .375 320 415 Details
New Orleans Saints 1 15 0 .063 291 487 Details


Tiebreakers[edit | edit source]

  • Cleveland finished ahead of Houston in the AFC Central based on better conference record (8–4 to Oilers' 7–5).
  • San Diego finished ahead of Oakland in the AFC West based on better net points in division games (plus 60 net points to Raiders' plus 37).
  • San Diego was the top AFC playoff seed based on better conference record than Cleveland and Buffalo (9–3 to Browns' 8–4 and Bills' 8–4).
  • Cleveland was the second AFC playoff seed based on better record against common opponents (5–2 to Bills' 5–3).
  • Oakland was the first AFC Wild Card based on better conference record than Houston (9–3 to Oilers' 7–5).
  • Kansas City finished ahead of Denver in the AFC West based on head-to-head sweep (2–0).
  • Philadelphia finished ahead of Dallas in the NFC East based on better net points in division games (plus 84 net points to Cowboys' plus 50).
  • Atlanta was the top NFC playoff seed based on head-to-head victory over Philadelphia (1–0).
  • Minnesota finished ahead of Detroit in the NFC Central based on better conference record (8–4 to Lions' 9–5).
  • Tampa Bay finished ahead of Green Bay in the NFC Central based on better head-to-head record (1–0–1 to Packers' 0–1–1).

Playoffs[edit | edit source]

Home team in capitals

AFC[edit | edit source]

  • Wild-Card playoff: OAKLAND 27, Houston 7
  • Divisional playoffs: SAN DIEGO 20, Buffalo 14; Oakland 14, CLEVELAND 12
  • AFC Championship: Oakland 34, SAN DIEGO 27 at Jack Murphy Stadium, San Diego, California, January 11, 1981

NFC[edit | edit source]

  • Wild-Card playoff: DALLAS 34, Los Angeles 13
  • Divisional playoffs: PHILADELPHIA 31, Minnesota 16; Dallas 30, ATLANTA 27
  • NFC Championship: PHILADELPHIA 20, Dallas 7 at Veterans Stadium, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, January 11, 1981

Super Bowl[edit | edit source]

Awards[edit | edit source]

Most Valuable Player Brian Sipe, Quarterback, Cleveland
Coach of the Year Chuck Knox, Buffalo
Offensive Player of the Year Earl Campbell, Running Back, Houston Oilers
Defensive Player of the Year Lester Hayes, Cornerback, Oakland
Offensive Rookie of the Year Billy Sims, Running Back, Detroit
Defensive Rookie of the Year Buddy Curry & Al Richardson, Linebackers, Atlanta

Footnotes[edit | edit source]

  1. Total Football: The Official Encyclopedia of the National Football League (First Edition ed.). 1997. p. 1585. Template:Citation/identifier. 

References[edit | edit source]

Template:1980 NFL season by team

NFL seasons

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