1982 NFL season

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1982 NFL season
Regular season
DurationSeptember 12, 1982 – January 3, 1983
A player's strike shortened the regular season to 9 games.
Start dateJanuary 8, 1983
AFC Champions Miami Dolphins
NFC Champions Washington Redskins
Super Bowl XVII
DateJanuary 30, 1983
Site Rose Bowl, Pasadena, California
Champions Washington Redskins
Pro Bowl
DateFebruary 6, 1983
Site Aloha Stadium
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NFC teams: Yellow ffff00 pog.svg West, DeepPink pog.svg Central, Green pog.svg East
The Redskins playing against the Dolphins in Super Bowl XVII. 1986 Jeno's Pizza - 09 - Mark Murphy (cropped).jpg
The Redskins playing against the Dolphins in Super Bowl XVII.

The 1982 NFL season was the 63rd regular season of the National Football League. A 57-day-long players' strike reduced the 1982 season from a 16-game schedule per team to an abbreviated nine game schedule. Because of the shortened season, the NFL adopted a special 16-team playoff tournament; division standings were ignored for seeding (although each division sent at least two teams, except the NFC West which had only one). Eight teams from each conference were seeded 1–8 based on their regular season records. Two teams qualified for the playoffs despite losing records (the Cleveland Browns and the Detroit Lions). The season ended with Super Bowl XVII when the Washington Redskins defeated the Miami Dolphins 27–17 at the Rose Bowl.


Before the season, a verdict was handed down against the league in the trial brought by the Oakland Raiders and the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum back in 1980. The jury ruled that the NFL violated antitrust laws when it declined to approve the proposed move by the team from Oakland to Los Angeles. Thus, the league was forced to let the officially renamed "Los Angeles Raiders" play in the second largest city in the United States, returning football to the Los Angeles area proper following a two-year absence (the Los Angeles Rams left the Coliseum for Anaheim Stadium in Orange County in 1980).

For the start of the 1982 season, the Minnesota Vikings moved from Metropolitan Stadium to the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome.

Player movement



September 18, 1982: The New Orleans Saints traded longtime starter Archie Manning to the Houston Oilers for offensive tackle Leon Gray. [2]



The 1982 NFL Draft was held from April 27 to 28, 1982, at New York City's Sheraton Hotel. With the first pick, the New England Patriots selected defensive end Kenneth Sims from the University of Texas. And with the second pick, the Baltimore Colts selected Johnie Cooks from Mississippi State.

Major rule changes

Regular season

New Sunday time slots

For the first time all Sunday afternoon games began in one of two windows: 1:00 p.m. ET/noon CT for early games, or 4:00 p.m. ET/1:00 p.m. PT for late games. From 1970 to 1981, most games began at 1 p.m. local time regardless of the home team (except in Denver, where the Broncos kick off at 2 p.m. MT). An exception to this rule was made for the Baltimore Colts, who were forced to begin Sunday home games no earlier than 2 p.m. Eastern due to a Baltimore ordinance, since repealed, which prohibited Sunday sporting events from beginning prior to that hour. That ordinance was cited by owner Robert Irsay as a burden and a factor in moving the franchise to Indianapolis in March 1984.

1982 players' strike

Players began a 57-day strike following the completion of week 2 of the regular season. As a result of the impasse, games were simply cancelled until a settlement was reached (ultimately, Weeks 3 to 10).

During the players strike, the NFLPA put on two exhibition games. One game was played at RFK Stadium in Washington DC and the other was at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Low attendance and court rulings forced the NFLPA to cancel any further games.

Upon reaching that settlement, the NFL announced that Weeks 11 to 16 would be played as scheduled, and the games originally scheduled for week 3 of the season would be played following the completion of the resumed regular season as a new week 17, with the playoffs pushed back one week. Later, the NFL decided to use the final week 17 to hold various intra-division games from cancelled Weeks 3 to 10 instead of merely playing the week-3 games. This was done to increase attendance and to allow some teams to balance out home and away games, to the extent possible (either five home and four away, or four home and five away). Because the 1982 shortened season would include only nine regular season contests for each team, the NFL announced that the three divisions in each of the two conferences would be eliminated for the purpose of determining playoff qualifications, and the regular season would be followed by an expansion of the playoffs from 10 to 16 teams. With this, each conference had 14 teams competing for 8 playoff spots, with division standings being disregarded in favor of overall conference standings. The Washington Redskins were the Super Bowl winners.

Final standings

Clinched playoff seeds are marked in parentheses and shaded in green



The Packers playing against the Cardinals in the 1982 NFC First Round Playoff game. 1986 Jeno's Pizza - 16 - Eddie Lee Ivery.jpg
The Packers playing against the Cardinals in the 1982 NFC First Round Playoff game.

Each of the first three rounds of the playoffs was pushed back one week in order to make room for the new week 17, which was originally scheduled as the Wild Card weekend. This was possible because there was an idle week between the Conference Championship games and the Super Bowl. The Super Bowl was held as originally scheduled.


Jan 9 – Riverfront Stadium
6 NY Jets 44Jan 15 – Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum
3 Cincinnati 17
Jan 8 – Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum 6NY Jets17
1LA Raiders14
8 Cleveland 10AFCJan 23 – Miami Orange Bowl
1 LA Raiders 27
Jan 9 – Three Rivers Stadium 6NY Jets0
5 San Diego 31Jan 16 – Miami Orange BowlAFC Championship
4 Pittsburgh 28
Jan 8 – Miami Orange Bowl 5San Diego13
7 New England 13
2 Miami 28Jan 30 – Rose Bowl
First Round playoffsSecond Round playoffsA2Miami17
Jan 8 – Lambeau Field Super Bowl XVII
6 St. Louis 16Jan 16 – Texas Stadium
3 Green Bay 41
Jan 9 – Texas Stadium 3Green Bay26
7 Tampa Bay 17NFC
Jan 22 – RFK Stadium
2 Dallas 30
Jan 9 – Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome 2Dallas17
5 Atlanta 24Jan 15 – RFK StadiumNFC Championship
4 Minnesota 30
Jan 8 – RFK Stadium 4Minnesota7
8 Detroit 7
1 Washington 31

Until this season, no team ever reached the post-season with a losing record. The Cleveland Browns and Detroit Lions both made playoff appearances with 4–5 records. It would be 28 years before another team with a losing record would make the postseason (however, this would be accomplished in a full season). [4]

The postseason would mark several "firsts" and "lasts" for several teams and players:


Most Valuable Player Mark Moseley, Placekicker, Washington
Coach of the Year Joe Gibbs, Washington
Offensive Player of the Year Dan Fouts, quarterback, San Diego
Defensive Player of the Year Lawrence Taylor, linebacker, NY Giants
Offensive Rookie of the Year Marcus Allen, running back, LA Raiders
Defensive Rookie of the Year Chip Banks, linebacker, Cleveland
Man of the Year Joe Theismann, quarterback, Washington
Comeback Player of the Year Lyle Alzado, defensive end, LA Raiders
Super Bowl Most Valuable Player John Riggins, running back, Washington

Coaching changes



Stadium changes

Uniform changes


ABC, CBS, and NBC each signed five-year contracts to renew their rights to broadcast Monday Night Football , the NFC package, and the AFC package, respectively. The major change was that ABC was allowed into the Super Bowl rotation beginning with Super Bowl XIX at the end of the 1984 season. [5]

Len Berman replaced Bryant Gumbel as host on NBC's pregame show NFL '82 . Pete Axthelm also joined the show as a studio analyst.

With games canceled during the players' strike, CBS sent Pat Summerall and John Madden, and some of their other regular NFL announcing crews, to instead call a few college football Division II and III games. [6] NBC acquired the rights to air the Canadian Football League for those weeks, sending Dick Enberg and Merlin Olsen, and their other regular NFL announcing crews to those games. [7]

During this season, the new Channel 4 in the United Kingdom began its coverage of the NFL [8] which was to earn a substantial following during English soccer's low point of the mid-1980s. However, the first game shown—between the Dallas Cowboys and the Pittsburgh Steelers—had been played some time before it was shown in the UK, because coverage began during the players' strike. [9]



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  1. "Stabler will play for Saints". Tuscaloosa News. (Alabama). Associated Press. August 25, 1982. p. 25.
  2. "Saints deal Manning to Oilers". Toledo Blade. (Ohio). Associated Press. September 18, 1982. p. 19.
  3. "A legend calls it quits. By Teresa Varley". Pittsburgh Steelers. Retrieved December 3, 2020.
  4. O'Neil, Danny (January 2, 2011), "Seahawks defeat Rams 16–6 to win NFC West title", The Seattle Times, retrieved January 3, 2011
  5. Quinn, Kevin G. (2011). The Economics of the National Football League: The State of the Art. Springer Science & Business Media. p. 338. ISBN   978-1-4419-6289-8.
  6. Jablonski, David (December 29, 2021). "Madden's broadcasting career took detour to Springfield for Wittenberg game in 1982". Springfield News-Sun .
  7. Cosentino, Dom (January 10, 2014). "Every Game Was Terrible: The Year The CFL Failed To Conquer America". Deadspin.
  8. "All in the game for DJ", Burton Daily Mail page 11, 6 November 1982
  9. "Channel 4", The Standard page 25, 5 November 1982