|1999 National Football League season|
|Duration||September 12, 1999 – January 3, 2000|
|Start date||January 8, 2000|
|AFC Champions||Tennessee Titans|
|NFC Champions||St. Louis Rams|
|Super Bowl XXXIV|
|Date||January 30, 2000|
|Site||Georgia Dome, Atlanta, Georgia|
|Champions||St. Louis Rams|
|Date||February 6, 2000|
| National Football League seasons
The 1999 NFL season was the 80th regular season of the National Football League. The Cleveland Browns returned to the field for the first time since the 1995 season. Also, the Tennessee Oilers changed its name to Tennessee Titans, and the league retired the name "Oilers" – a first in league history.
The return of the Browns gave the league 31 teams (the first time since about 1966 that the NFL had an odd number of teams). As a result, the NFL was forced to give at least one team a bye each week. Previously, the league never gave a club the week off during the first two weeks or last seven weeks of the season (the only exception being in 1992, when the Miami Dolphins and New England Patriots had a bye in week 1, as Hurricane Andrew forced the postponement of their season-opening game to October 18, when their byes were originally scheduled). Under this new system, for ten weeks of the season (Week #1 to Week #2, and Week #10 to Week #17), exactly one team was scheduled a bye; for seven weeks of the season (Week #3 to Week #9), three teams sat out. This format would continue for the next two seasons until the Houston Texans joined the NFL in 2002 and returned the league to an even number of teams.
The start of the 1999 NFL Season was pushed back one week and started the weekend after Labor Day, a change from the previous seasons. Due to the Y2K concerns, the NFL did not want to hold the opening round of the playoffs on Saturday January 1, 2000, and did not want teams traveling on that day. Week 17 games were held on January 2, 2000, and the opening round of the playoff would be scheduled for January 8–9. The bye week before the Super Bowl was removed to accommodate the one-week adjustment. The start of the season after Labor Day would become a regular fixture for future seasons, beginning in 2001.
Major rule changesEdit
- Clipping is now illegal around the line of scrimmage just as it is on the rest of the field.
- A new instant replay system (different from the one used from 1986 to 1991) is adopted to aid officiating. The system mirrors a method used by the defunct USFL in 1985:
- In each game, each team has two challenges that will start a review. Each challenge will require the use of a team's timeout. If the challenge is successful, the timeout is restored.
- Inside of two minutes of each half, and during all overtime periods, all reviews will be initiated by a Replay Assistant. The Replay Assistant has an unlimited number of reviews, regardless of how many timeouts each team has left. And no timeout will be charged for any review by the Replay Assistant.
- All replay reviews will be conducted by the referee on a field-level monitor. A decision will be reversed only when there is indisputable visual evidence to overturn the call. The referee has 90 seconds to review the play.
- The officials will be notified of a replay request or challenge via a specialized electronic pager with a vibrating alert. Each head coach would also have a red flag to use as a backup to get the attention of the officials to challenge a play.
- The replay system will only cover the following situations:
- Scoring plays
- Pass complete/incomplete/intercepted
- Runner/receiver out of bounds
- Recovery of a loose ball in or out of bounds
- Touching of a forward pass, either by an ineligible receiver or a defensive player
- Quarterback pass or fumble
- Illegal forward pass
- Forward or backward pass
- Runner ruled not down by contact
- Forward progress in regard to a first down
- Touching of a kick
- Too many men on the field
The league also added the following then-minor rule change that became significant in the playoffs a few years later:
- When a Team A player is holding the ball to pass it forward, any intentional forward movement of his hand starts a forward pass, even if the player loses possession of the ball as he is attempting to tuck it back toward his body. Also, if the player has tucked the ball into his body and then loses possession, it is a fumble.
This new interpretation of a forward pass would later be commonly known as the "Tuck Rule".
- Baltimore Ravens – Brian Billick; replaced Ted Marchibroda who was fired after the '98 season.
- Carolina Panthers – George Seifert; replaced Dom Capers who was fired after the '98 season.
- Chicago Bears – Dick Jauron; replaced Dave Wannstedt who was fired after the '98 season.
- Cleveland Browns – Chris Palmer; hired before the season, first coach of New Browns.
- Green Bay Packers – Ray Rhodes; replaced Mike Holmgren who resigned to become Head Coach and General Manager of the Seattle Seahawks.
- Kansas City Chiefs – Gunther Cunningham; replaced Marty Schottenheimer who resigned at the end of the '98 season.
- Philadelphia Eagles – Andy Reid; replaced Ray Rhodes who was fired after the '98 season.
- San Diego Chargers – Mike Riley; replaced interim head coach June Jones who replaced Kevin Gilbride during the 1998 season.
- Seattle Seahawks – Mike Holmgren; replaced Dennis Erickson who was fired after the '98 season.
- Cleveland Browns – Team returns as an expansion team after 3 years of absence from the league. Moved into brand new Cleveland Browns Stadium.
- Tennessee Titans – Moved to brand new stadium in Nashville, TN called Adelphia Coliseum.
- Baltimore Ravens – New Raven head logo on helmets.
- Detroit Lions – Removed Honolulu blue color from road uniforms.
- New Orleans Saints – Black numbers on road uniforms and added black pants with a wide gold stripe to road uniforms.
- Tennessee Titans – New nickname (from "Oilers" to "Titans"), new logo, new uniforms.
Final regular season standingsEdit
W = Wins, L = Losses, T = Ties, PCT = Winning Percentage, PF= Points For, PA = Points Against
Clinched playoff seeds are marked in parentheses and shaded in green
|(2) Indianapolis Colts||13||3||0||.813||423||333|
|(5) Buffalo Bills||11||5||0||.688||320||229|
|(6) Miami Dolphins||9||7||0||.563||326||336|
|New York Jets||8||8||0||.500||308||309|
|New England Patriots||8||8||0||.500||299||284|
|(1) Jacksonville Jaguars||14||2||0||.875||396||217|
|(4) Tennessee Titans||13||3||0||.813||392||324|
|(3) Seattle Seahawks||9||7||0||.563||338||298|
|Kansas City Chiefs||9||7||0||.563||390||322|
|San Diego Chargers||8||8||0||.500||269||316|
|(3) Washington Redskins||10||6||0||.625||443||377|
|(5) Dallas Cowboys||8||8||0||.500||352||276|
|New York Giants||7||9||0||.438||299||358|
|(2) Tampa Bay Buccaneers||11||5||0||.688||270||235|
|(4) Minnesota Vikings||10||6||0||.625||399||335|
|(6) Detroit Lions||8||8||0||.500||322||323|
|Green Bay Packers||8||8||0||.500||357||341|
|(1) St. Louis Rams||13||3||0||.813||526||242|
|San Francisco 49ers||4||12||0||.250||295||453|
|New Orleans Saints||3||13||0||.188||260||434|
- Miami was the third AFC Wild Card ahead of Kansas City based on better record against common opponents (6–1 to Chiefs' 5–3).
- N.Y. Jets finished ahead of New England in the AFC East based on better division record (4–4 to Patriots' 2–6).
- Seattle finished ahead of Kansas City in the AFC West based on head-to-head sweep (2–0).
- San Diego finished ahead of Oakland in the AFC West based on better division record (5–3 to Raiders' 3–5).
- Dallas was the second NFC Wild Card based on better record against common opponents (3–2 to Lions' 3–3) and better conference record than Carolina (7–5 to Panthers' 6–6).
- Detroit was the third NFC Wild Card based on better conference record than Green Bay (7–5 to Packers' 6–6) and better conference record than Carolina (7–5 to Panthers' 6–6).
- Main article: 1999–2000 NFL playoffs
Music City MiracleEdit
The Music City Miracle is a famous play in the NFL Wild Card Playoffs involving the Tennessee Titans and Buffalo Bills that took place on January 8, 2000 (following the 1999 regular season) at Adelphia Coliseum in Nashville, Tennessee.
Going into the game, Bills coach Wade Phillips created a stir by starting quarterback Rob Johnson, rather than Doug Flutie, who had started 15 games, and who had led the team to the playoffs. Late in the fourth quarter, the stage was set for an exciting finish. Tennessee received the ball with 6:15 remaining. Titans receiver Isaac Byrd's 16-yard punt return and five carries from Eddie George for 17 yards set up a wobbly 36-yard field goal by Del Greco. The Titans took a 15–13 lead with 1:48 to go. On the ensuing drive, with no timeouts remaining, Bills quarterback Johnson led the Bills on a five-play, 37-yard drive to the Titans' 24 yard line. On the last two plays from scrimmage, Johnson played with only one shoe on, as he had lost one and had no time to put it back on, with the clock running out. With only 16 seconds remaining in the game, Steve Christie, the Bills' kicker, made a 41-yard field goal to put Buffalo in the lead, 16–15.
Moments later, Christie kicked off, and Titans player Lorenzo Neal received. Neal handed the ball off to Titans tight end Frank Wycheck, who then lateraled the ball across the field to another Titans player, Kevin Dyson, who then ran down the sidelines for a 75-yard touchdown. The play was named Home Run Throwback by the Titans and was developed by Special Teams Coordinator Alan Lowry. Per the instant replay rules, the play was reviewed by referee Phil Luckett since it was uncertain if the ball had been a forward pass, which is illegal on a kickoff return. However, the call on the field was upheld as a touchdown, and the Titans won the game 22–16. After the game, however, many Bills players and fans continued to insist that it was indeed an illegal forward pass. With this play, the Titans were able to get to the Super Bowl.
|Points scored||St. Louis Rams (526)|
|Total yards gained||St. Louis Rams (6,412)|
|Yards rushing||San Francisco 49ers (2,095)|
|Yards passing||St. Louis Rams (4,353)|
|Fewest points allowed||Jacksonville Jaguars (217)|
|Fewest total yards allowed||Buffalo Bills (4,045)|
|Fewest rushing yards allowed||St. Louis Rams (1,189)|
|Fewest passing yards allowed||Buffalo Bills (2,675)|
|Scoring||Mike Vanderjagt, Indianapolis (145 points)|
|Touchdowns||Stephen Davis, Washington and Edgerrin James, Indianapolis (17 TDs)|
|Most field goals made||Olindo Mare, Miami (39 FGs)|
|Rushing||Edgerrin James, Indianapolis (1,553 yards)|
|Passing||Kurt Warner, St. Louis (109.2 rating)|
|Passing touchdowns||Kurt Warner, St. Louis (41 TDs)|
|Pass receiving||Jimmy Smith, Jacksonville (116 catches)|
|Pass receiving yards||Marvin Harrison, Indianapolis (1,663)|
|Punt returns||Charlie Rogers, Seattle (14.5 average yards)|
|Kickoff returns||Tony Horne, St. Louis (29.7 average yards)|
|Interceptions||Rod Woodson, Baltimore; Sam Madison, Miami; James Hasty, Kansas City; Donnie Abraham, Tampa Bay; and Troy Vincent, Philadelphia (7)|
|Punting||Tom Rouen, Denver (46.5 average yards)|
|Sacks||Kevin Carter, St. Louis (17)|
|Most Valuable Player||Kurt Warner, Quarterback, St. Louis|
|Coach of the Year||Dick Vermeil, St. Louis|
|Offensive Player of the Year||Marshall Faulk, Running back, St. Louis|
|Defensive Player of the Year||Warren Sapp, Defensive Tackle, Tampa Bay|
|Offensive Rookie of the Year||Edgerrin James, Running Back, Indianapolis|
|Defensive Rookie of the Year||Jevon Kearse, Defensive End, Tennessee|
|NFL Comeback Player of the Year||Bryant Young, Defensive Tackle, San Francisco|
- ↑ Official Rules of the NFL, Rule 3, Section 21, Article 2, Note 2
- NFL Record and Fact Book (ISBN 1-932994-36-X)
- NFL History 1991–2000 (Last accessed October 17, 2005)
- 1999 season in details
- Total Football: The Official Encyclopedia of the National Football League (ISBN 0-06-270174-6)
- Steelers Fever – History of NFL Rules (Last accessed October 17, 2005)
- NFL introduces Instant Replay technology (Last accessed November 4, 2005)
- Tuck Rule Hard to Grasp by Mark Maske, Washington Post, October 15, 2005 (Last accessed November 4, 2005)