2003 National Football League season
Regular season
Duration September 4 to December 28, 2003
Start date January 3, 2004
AFC Champions New England Patriots
NFC Champions Carolina Panthers
Super Bowl XXXVIII
Date February 1, 2004
Site Reliant Stadium, Houston, Texas
Champions {{{sb_champions}}}
Champions New England Patriots
Pro Bowl
Date February 8, 2004
National Football League seasons
 < 2002 2004 > 

The 2003 NFL season was the 84th regular season of the National Football League.

Regular season play was held from September 4, 2003 to December 28. Due to damage caused by the Cedar Fire, Qualcomm Stadium was used as an emergency shelter, and thus the Miami DolphinsSan Diego Chargers regular season match on October 27 was instead played at Sun Devil Stadium, the home field of the Arizona Cardinals.

The playoffs began on January 3, 2004. The NFL title was eventually won by the New England Patriots when they defeated the Carolina Panthers in Super Bowl XXXVIII at Reliant Stadium in Houston, Texas on February 1.

Major rule changesEdit

  • If an onside kick inside the final five minutes of the game does not go 10 yards, goes out of bounds, or is touched illegally, the receiving team will have the option of accepting the penalty and getting the ball immediately. Previously, the kicking team was penalized, but had another chance to kick again from five yards back.
  • League officials encouraged networks to immediately cut to a commercial break if an instant replay challenge review was initiated. Previously networks rarely utilized those stoppages for their prescribed commercial periods.

Coaching changesEdit

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

AFC East
(1) New England Patriots 1420.875348238
Miami Dolphins 1060.625311261
Buffalo Bills [c] 6100.375243279
New York Jets 6100.375283299
AFC North
(4) Baltimore Ravens 1060.625391281
Cincinnati Bengals 880.500346384
Pittsburgh Steelers 6100.375300327
Cleveland Browns 5110.313254322
AFC South
(3) Indianapolis Colts [a] 1240.750447336
(5) Tennessee Titans 1240.750435324
Jacksonville Jaguars [d] 5110.313276331
Houston Texans 5110.313255380
AFC West
(2) Kansas City Chiefs 1330.813484332
(6) Denver Broncos [b] 1060.625381301
Oakland Raiders [e] 4120.250270379
San Diego Chargers 4120.250313441
NFC East
(1) Philadelphia Eagles 1240.750374287
(6) Dallas Cowboys 1060.625289260
Washington Redskins 5110.313287372
New York Giants 4120.250243387
NFC North
(4) Green Bay Packers 1060.625442307
Minnesota Vikings 970.563416353
Chicago Bears 790.438283346
Detroit Lions 5110.313270379
NFC South
(3) Carolina Panthers 1150.688325304
New Orleans Saints 880.500340326
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 790.438301264
Atlanta Falcons 5110.313299422
NFC West
(2) St. Louis Rams 1240.750447328
(5) Seattle Seahawks [g] 1060.625404327
San Francisco 49ers 790.438384337
Arizona Cardinals 4120.250225452


  • a  Indianapolis finished ahead of Tennessee in the AFC South based on better head-to-head record (2–0).
  • b  Denver clinched the AFC 6 seed instead of Miami based on better conference record (9–3 to 7–5).
  • c  Buffalo finished ahead of N.Y. Jets in the AFC East based on better division record (2–4 to 1–5).
  • d  Jacksonville finished ahead of Houston in the AFC South based on better division record (2–4 to 1–5).
  • e  Oakland finished ahead of San Diego in the AFC West based on better conference record (3–9 to 2–10).
  • f  Philadelphia clinched the NFC 1 seed instead of St. Louis based on better conference record (9–3 to 8–4).
  • g  Seattle clinched the NFC 5 seed instead of Dallas based on strength of victory (.406 to .388).

2003 ChangesEdit


Template:NFL seeds 2002-


Template:2003–04 NFL playoffs


The following teams and players set all-time NFL records during the season:

Record Player/Team Date/Opponent Previous Record Holder[1]
Most Touchdowns, Season Priest Holmes, Kansas City (27) N/A Marshall Faulk, St. Louis, 2000 (26)
Most Rushing Yards Gained, Game Jamal Lewis, Baltimore (295) September 14, vs. Cleveland Corey Dillon, Cincinnati vs. Denver, October 22, 2000 (278)
Most Consecutive Field Goals Mike Vanderjagt, Indianapolis December 28, at Houston Gary Anderson, 1997–98 (40)
Most Consecutive Road Games Lost Detroit Lions December 21, vs. Carolina Houston Oilers, 1981–84 (23)
Most Consecutive Games with a Sack Tampa Bay Buccaneers (69) November 9, 2003 Dallas Cowboys (68)

Statistical leadersEdit


Points scoredKansas City Chiefs (484)
Total yards gainedMinnesota Vikings (6,294)
Yards rushingBaltimore Ravens (2,674)
Yards passingIndianapolis Colts (4,179)
Fewest points allowedNew England Patriots (238)
Fewest total yards allowedDallas Cowboys (4,056)
Fewest rushing yards allowedTennessee Titans (1,295)
Fewest passing yards allowedDallas Cowboys (2,631)


ScoringJeff Wilkins, St. Louis (163 points)
TouchdownsPriest Holmes, Kansas City (27 TDs)
Most field goals madeJeff Wilkins, St. Louis (39 FGs)
RushingJamal Lewis, Baltimore (2,066 yards)
PassingSteve McNair, Tennessee (100.4 rating)
Passing touchdownsBrett Favre, Green Bay (32 TDs)
Pass receivingTorry Holt, St. Louis (117 catches)
Pass receiving yardsTorry Holt, St. Louis (1,696)
Punt returnsDante Hall, Kansas City (16.3 average yards)
Kickoff returnsJerry Azumah, Chicago (29.0 average yards)
InterceptionsBrian Russell, Minnesota and Tony Parrish, San Francisco (9)
PuntingShane Lechler, Oakland (46.9 average yards)
SacksMichael Strahan, New York Giants (18.5)


Most Valuable PlayerPeyton Manning, Quarterback, Indianapolis and Steve McNair, Quarterback, Tennessee Titans
Coach of the YearBill Belichick, New England
Offensive Player of the YearJamal Lewis, Running back, Baltimore
Defensive Player of the YearRay Lewis, Linebacker, Baltimore
Offensive Rookie of the YearAnquan Boldin, Wide Receiver, Arizona
Defensive Rookie of the YearTerrell Suggs, Linebacker, Baltimore
NFL Comeback Player of the YearJon Kitna, Quarterback, Cincinnati

External LinksEdit


  1. "Records". 2005 NFL Record and Fact Book. NFL. 2005. Template:Citation/identifier. 


Template:2003 NFL season by team

NFL seasons

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