|1988 National Football League season|
|Duration||September 4 - December 19, 1988|
|Start date||December 24, 1988|
|AFC Champions||Cincinnati Bengals|
|NFC Champions||San Francisco 49ers|
|Super Bowl XXIII|
|Date||January 22, 1989|
|Site||Joe Robbie Stadium, Miami, Florida|
|Champions||San Francisco 49ers|
|Date||January 29, 1989|
| National Football League seasons
The 1988 NFL season was the 69th regular season of the National Football League. The Cardinals relocated from St. Louis, Missouri to the Phoenix, Arizona area becoming the Phoenix Cardinals, but remained in the NFC East division.
This season marked the final coaching season for the legendary Tom Landry.
Major rule changesEdit
- A standard system of two time intervals between plays are established (and would be timed using the play clock): For normal plays, the offensive team has 45 seconds to snap the ball after the previous play is signaled dead. After time outs and other administrative stoppages, the time limit is 30 seconds beginning after the Referee signals that the ball is ready to resume play.
- If a fumble occurs during an extra point attempt, only the fumbling player can recover and/or advance the ball. This change closes a loophole in the "Stabler Fumble Rule" that was enacted during the 1979 NFL season in reaction to the Holy Roller Game.
- The penalty for "Running into the kicker" is changed from five yards and a first down to just 5 yards.
- Referees were outfitted with white hats while all other officials wore black hats, which was the standard practice in college and high school football. From 1979 through 1987, referees wore black hats while all other officials wore white hats.
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||250||284|
|New York Jets||8||7||1||.531||372||354|
|Los Angeles Raiders||7||9||0||.438||325||369|
|San Diego Chargers||6||10||0||.375||231||332|
|Kansas City Chiefs||4||11||1||.281||254||320|
|New York Giants||10||6||0||.625||359||304|
|Tampa Bay Buccaneers||5||11||0||.313||261||350|
|Green Bay Packers||4||12||0||.250||240||315|
|y-San Francisco 49ers||10||6||0||.625||369||294|
|x-Los Angeles Rams||10||6||0||.625||407||293|
|New Orleans Saints||10||6||0||.625||312||283|
- Cincinnati was the top AFC playoff seed ahead of Buffalo based on head-to-head victory (1–0).
- Indianapolis finished ahead of New England in the AFC East based on better record against common opponents (7–5 to Patriots' 6–6).
- Cleveland finished ahead of Houston in the AFC Central based on better division record (4–2 to Oilers' 3–3).
- San Francisco was the second NFC playoff seed ahead of Philadelphia on better record against common opponents (6–3 to Eagles' 5–4).
- Philadelphia finished first in the NFC East based on head-to-head sweep of N.Y. Giants (2–0).
- Washington finished third in the NFC East based on better division record (4–4) than Phoenix (3–5).
- Detroit finished fourth in the NFC Central based on head-to-head sweep of Green Bay (2–0).
- San Francisco finished first in the NFC West based on better head-to-head record (3–1) against L.A. Rams (2–2) and New Orleans (1–3).
- L.A. Rams finished second in the NFC West based on better division record (4–2) than New Orleans (3–3), and earned the last NFC Wild Card based on better conference record (8–4) than N.Y. Giants (9–5) and New Orleans (6–6).
- Main article: 1988–89 NFL playoffs
- Home team in capitals
- Wild-Card playoff: Houston 24, CLEVELAND 23
- Divisional playoffs: CINCINNATI 21, Seattle 13; BUFFALO 17, Houston 10
- AFC Championship: CINCINNATI 21, Buffalo 10 at Riverfront Stadium, Cincinnati, Ohio, January 8, 1989
- Wild-Card playoff: MINNESOTA 28, L.A. Rams 17
- Divisional playoffs: CHICAGO 20, Philadelphia 12; SAN FRANCISCO 34, Minnesota 9
- NFC Championship: San Francisco 28, CHICAGO 3 at Soldier Field, Chicago, Illinois, January 8, 1989
- Super Bowl XXIII: San Francisco (NFC) 20, Cincinnati (AFC) 16, at Joe Robbie Stadium, Miami, Florida, January 22, 1989
|Most Valuable Player||Boomer Esiason, Quarterback, Cincinnati|
|Coach of the Year||Mike Ditka, Chicago|
|Offensive Player of the Year||Roger Craig, Running Back, San Francisco|
|Defensive Player of the Year||Mike Singletary, Linebacker, Chicago|
|Offensive Rookie of the Year||John Stephens, Running Back, New England|
|Defensive Rookie of the Year||Erik McMillan, Safety, N.Y. Jets|
- NFL Record and Fact Book (ISBN 1-932994-36-X)
- NFL History 1981-1990 (Last accessed December 4, 2005)
- 1988 season in details
- Total Football: The Official Encyclopedia of the National Football League (ISBN 0-06-270174-6)
Early Era (1920-1969)
|1920 • 1921 • 1922 • 1923 • 1924 • 1925 • 1926 • 1927 • 1928 • 1929|
|Modern Era (1970-present)|
|1970 • 1971 • 1972 • 1973 • 1974 • 1975 • 1976 • 1977 • 1978 • 1979|