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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 changesEdit

  • 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 RacesEdit

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 ConferenceEdit

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 ConferenceEdit

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 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

AFC East
TeamWLTPCTPFPA
y-Buffalo Bills 1150.688320260 Details
New England Patriots 1060.625441325 Details
Miami Dolphins 880.500266305 Details
Baltimore Colts 790.438355387 Details
New York Jets 4120.250302395 Details
AFC Central
TeamWLTPCTPFPA
y-Cleveland Browns 1150.688357310 Details
x-Houston Oilers 1150.688295251 Details
Pittsburgh Steelers 970.563352313 Details
Cincinnati Bengals 6100.375244312 Details
AFC West
TeamWLTPCTPFPA
y-San Diego Chargers 1150.688418327 Details
x-Oakland Raiders 1150.688364306 Details
Kansas City Chiefs 880.500319336 Details
Denver Broncos 880.500310323 Details
Seattle Seahawks 4120.250291408 Details
NFC East
TeamWLTPCTPFPA
y-Philadelphia Eagles 1240.750384222 Details
x-Dallas Cowboys 1240.750454311 Details
Washington Redskins 6100.375261293 Details
St. Louis Cardinals 5110.313299350 Details
New York Giants 4120.250249425 Details
NFC Central
TeamWLTPCTPFPA
y-Minnesota Vikings 970.563317308 Details
Detroit Lions 970.563334272 Details
Chicago Bears 790.438304264 Details
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 5101.344271341 Details
Green Bay Packers 5101.344231371 Details
NFC West
TeamWLTPCTPFPA
y-Atlanta Falcons 1240.750405272 Details
x-Los Angeles Rams 1150.688424289 Details
San Francisco 49ers 6100.375320415 Details
New Orleans Saints 1150.063291487 Details


TiebreakersEdit

  • 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).

PlayoffsEdit

Home team in capitals

AFCEdit

  • 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

NFCEdit

  • 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 BowlEdit

AwardsEdit

Most Valuable PlayerBrian Sipe, Quarterback, Cleveland
Coach of the YearChuck Knox, Buffalo
Offensive Player of the YearEarl Campbell, Running Back, Houston Oilers
Defensive Player of the YearLester Hayes, Cornerback, Oakland
Offensive Rookie of the YearBilly Sims, Running Back, Detroit
Defensive Rookie of the YearBuddy Curry & Al Richardson, Linebackers, Atlanta

FootnotesEdit

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

ReferencesEdit

Template:1980 NFL season by team

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