1975 NFL season

Last updated

1975 National Football League season
Regular season
DurationSeptember 21 – December 21, 1975
Start dateDecember 27, 1975
AFC Champions Pittsburgh Steelers
NFC Champions Dallas Cowboys
Super Bowl X
DateJanuary 18, 1976
Site Orange Bowl, Miami, Florida
Champions Pittsburgh Steelers
Pro Bowl
DateJanuary 26, 1976
Site Louisiana Superdome, New Orleans
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NFC teams: Yellow ffff00 pog.svg West, DeepPink pog.svg Central, Green pog.svg East

The 1975 NFL season was the 56th regular season of the National Football League.


Instead of a traditional Thanksgiving Day game hosted by the Dallas Cowboys, the league scheduled a Buffalo Bills at St. Louis Cardinals contest. This was the first season since 1966 that the Cowboys did not play on that holiday.

The playoff format was changed so that the division champions with the best regular season records were made the home teams for the divisional round, with the division champion advancing to the conference championship game with the best record hosting the title game. Previously, game sites rotated by division. The caveat stipulating that a wild card team could not face its own division champion in the divisional round was kept in force.

The season ended with Super Bowl X when the Pittsburgh Steelers repeated as champions by defeating the Dallas Cowboys 21–17 at the Orange Bowl in Miami.


The 1975 NFL Draft was held from January 28 to 29, 1975 at New York City's Hilton at Rockefeller Center. With the first pick, the Atlanta Falcons selected quarterback Steve Bartkowski from the University of California.

New officials

Jerry Seeman, who would go on to serve as referee for Super Bowl XXIII and Super Bowl XXV before a 10-year tenure as the NFL's Director of Officiating from 1991–2001, was hired as a line judge. Fred Swearingen, the referee in the 1972 Raiders-Steelers playoff game which produced the Immaculate Reception, was demoted to his former position, field judge. Gene Barth, the line judge on Jim Tunney's crew the previous four seasons, was promoted.

Major rule changes

Division races

Starting in 1970, through 2001, there were three divisions (Eastern, Central and Western) in each conference. The winners of each division, and a fourth “wild card” team based on the best non-division winner, qualified for the playoffs. The tiebreaker rules were changed to start with head-to-head competition, followed by division records, records against common records, and records in conference play.

National Football Conference

WeekEasternCentralWesternWild Card
14 teams1–0–0Detroit, Minnesota1–0–04 teams0–1–04 teams1–0–0
2Dallas, Washington2–0–0Detroit, Minnesota2–0–0Los Angeles1–1–02 teams2–0–0
3Dallas3–0–0Minnesota3–0–0Los Angeles2–1–03 teams2–1–0
4Dallas4–0–0Minnesota4–0–0Los Angeles3–1–0Washington, Detroit2–1–0
5Dallas4–1–0Minnesota5–0–0Los Angeles4–1–0St. Louis, Detroit2–1–0
6Dallas5–1–0Minnesota6–0–0Los Angeles5–1–0Washington*4–2–0
7Dallas*5–2–0Minnesota7–0–0Los Angeles6–1–0Washington*5–2–0
8Washington*6–2–0Minnesota8–0–0Los Angeles6–2–0St. Louis6–2–0
9St. Louis7–2–0Minnesota9–0–0Los Angeles7–2–0Dallas, Detroit, Washington6–3–0
10St. Louis8–2–0Minnesota10–0–0Los Angeles8–2–0Dallas7–3–0
11Dallas*8–3–0Minnesota10–1–0Los Angeles9–2–0St. Louis8–3–0
12St. Louis9–3–0Minnesota11–1–0Los Angeles10–2–0Dallas8–4–0
13St. Louis10–3–0Minnesota11–2–0Los Angeles11–2–0Dallas9–4–0
14 St. Louis 11–3–0 Minnesota 12–2–0 Los Angeles 12–2–0 Dallas 10–4–0

American Football Conference

WeekEasternCentralWesternWild Card
1Baltimore, Buffalo1–0–03 teams1–0–0Denver, Oakland1–0–04 teams1–0–0
2Buffalo2–0–0Cincinnati, Houston2–0–0Denver, Oakland2–0–02 teams2–0–0
3Buffalo3–0–0Cincinnati3–0–0Oakland3–0–05 teams2–1–0
14 Baltimore 10–4–0 Pittsburgh 12–2–0 Oakland 11–3–0 Cincinnati 11–3–0

Final standings



Dec 28 – Metropolitan Stadium
4 Dallas 17
Jan 4 – Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum
1 Minnesota 14
Dec 27 – Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum
2Los Angeles7
NFC Championship
3 St. Louis 23
Jan 18 – Miami Orange Bowl
2 Los Angeles 35
Divisional playoffs
Dec 27 – Oakland Coliseum
Super Bowl X
4 Cincinnati 28
Jan 4 – Three Rivers Stadium
2* Oakland 31
Dec 28 – Three Rivers Stadium
AFC Championship
3 Baltimore 10
1* Pittsburgh 28


Most Valuable Player Fran Tarkenton, quarterback, Minnesota Vikings
Coach of the Year Ted Marchibroda, Baltimore Colts
Offensive Player of the Year Fran Tarkenton, quarterback, Minnesota Vikings
Defensive Player of the Year Mel Blount, cornerback, Pittsburgh Steelers
Offensive Rookie of the Year Mike Thomas, running back, Washington Redskins
Defensive Rookie of the Year Robert Brazile, linebacker, Houston Oilers
Man of the Year Ken Anderson, quarterback, Cincinnati Bengals
Comeback Player of the Year Dave Hampton, running back, Atlanta Falcons
Super Bowl Most Valuable Player Lynn Swann, wide receiver, Pittsburgh Steelers

Coaching changes



Stadium changes

Uniform changes


This was the second year under the league's four-year broadcast contracts with ABC, CBS, and NBC to televise Monday Night Football , the NFC package, and the AFC package, respectively. CBS restored The NFL Today title for its pregame show. Brent Musburger was named as its new host, former player Irv Cross as an analyst, and former Miss America Phyllis George as one of its reporters.

NBC's pregame show GrandStand made its debut, hosted by Jack Buck (who had left CBS after the previous season) and Bryant Gumbel. [1]

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  1. Brulia, Tim. "A CHRONOLOGY OF PRO FOOTBALL ON TELEVISION: Part 2" (PDF). Pro Football Researchers.