|Duration||September 6 – December 21, 1981|
|Start date||December 27, 1981|
|AFC Champions||Cincinnati Bengals|
|NFC Champions||San Francisco 49ers|
|Super Bowl XVI|
|Date||January 24, 1982|
|Site||Pontiac Silverdome, Pontiac, Michigan|
|Champions||San Francisco 49ers|
|Date||January 31, 1982|
The 1981 NFL season was the 62nd regular season of the National Football League. The season ended with Super Bowl XVI when the San Francisco 49ers defeated the Cincinnati Bengals 26–21 at the Pontiac Silverdome in Michigan.
The 1981 NFL Draft was held from April 28 to 29, 1981 at New York City’s Sheraton Hotel. With the first pick, the New Orleans Saints selected running back George Rogers from the University of South Carolina.
Cal Lepore, the line judge for Super Bowl III and referee for the Miracle at the Meadowlands, retired prior to the 1980 season. He would later become supervisor of officials in the United States Football League. Tom Dooley, who was assigned Super Bowl XV as line judge at the end of the 1981 season, was promoted to referee to replace Lepore.
|Jan. 2 – Texas Stadium|
|Dec. 27 – Veterans Stadium||Jan. 10 – Candlestick Park|
|Jan. 3 – Candlestick Park|
|Jan. 24 – Pontiac Silverdome|
|Wild Card playoffs||N1||San Francisco||26|
|Jan. 2 – Miami Orange Bowl|
|Super Bowl XVI|
|Dec. 27 – Shea Stadium||Jan. 10 – Riverfront Stadium|
|Jan. 3 – Riverfront Stadium|
The 1981 Baltimore Colts were one of the worst defenses in NFL history; they set five dubious defensive records:
|Points scored||San Diego Chargers (478)|
|Total yards gained||San Diego Chargers (6,744)|
|Yards rushing||Detroit Lions (2,795)|
|Yards passing||San Diego Chargers (4,739)|
|Fewest points allowed||Philadelphia Eagles (221)|
|Fewest total yards allowed||Philadelphia Eagles (4,447)|
|Fewest rushing yards allowed||Detroit Lions (1,623)|
|Fewest passing yards allowed||Philadelphia Eagles (2,696)|
|Most Valuable Player||Ken Anderson, Quarterback, Cincinnati|
|Coach of the Year||Bill Walsh, San Francisco|
|Offensive Player of the Year||Ken Anderson, Quarterback, Cincinnati|
|Defensive Player of the Year||Lawrence Taylor, Linebacker, NY Giants|
|Offensive Rookie of the Year||George Rogers, Running back, New Orleans|
|Defensive Rookie of the Year||Lawrence Taylor, Linebacker, NY Giants|
|Man of the Year||Lynn Swann, Wide Receiver, Pittsburgh|
|Comeback Player of the Year||Ken Anderson, Quarterback, Cincinnati|
|Super Bowl Most Valuable Player||Joe Montana, Quarterback, San Francisco|
The home of the San Diego Chargers, San Diego Stadium, was renamed Jack Murphy Stadium in memory of local sportswriter Jack Murphy
|September 5, 1981||8:00 PM EDT||Minnesota @ Tampa Bay|| KSTP-TV (Minnesota)|
WTOG-TV (Tampa Bay)
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