The 1997 NFL season was the 78th regular season of the National Football League. The Oilers relocated from Houston, Texas to Nashville, Tennessee. The newly-renamed Tennessee Oilers played their home games during this season at the Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium in Memphis, Tennessee while a new stadium in Nashville began construction.
This was the last season to date that TNT Broadcast NFL games, as well as the last for NBC until 2006. When the TV contracts were renewed near the end of the season, CBS took over the American Football Conference package and ESPN won the right to televise all of the Sunday night games.
San Diego Chargers – Kevin Gilbride; replaced Bobby Ross who was fired after the '96 season.
Major rule changes
When a team fakes a punt and throws the ball downfield, pass interference will not be called on the two outside defenders who are actually trying to block a coverage man from getting downfield and might not even know the ball has been thrown.
In order to reduce taunting and excessive celebrations, no player may remove his helmet while on the playing field except during timeouts and between quarters. This is known as the "Emmitt Smith rule" after the Dallas Cowboys' Running Back's habit of taking his helmet off every time he scored a touchdown.
Final regular season standings
W = Wins, L = Losses, T = Ties, PCT = Winning Percentage, PF= Points For, PA = Points AgainstClinched playoff seeds are marked in parentheses and shaded in green