1985 USFL season

Last updated

1985 USFL season
Logo of the United States Football League.png
DurationFebruary 23 – June 24, 1985
Eastern Conference champions (regular season) championsBirmingham Stallions
Western Conference champions (regular season) championsOakland Invaders
DateJuly 14, 1985
Finals venue Giants Stadium, East Rutherford, N.J.
Finals championsBaltimore Stars

The 1985 USFL season was the third and final season of the United States Football League (USFL), and the last by a league using that name until the 2022 USFL season.


Rule changes

Adopted instant replay for the 1985 season. Under the instant-replay rule, a team may have one appeal per half in three situations: [1]

The team asking for the replay would lose a time out if they were wrong. The replay was available only in games televised by ABC. [2]

Franchise changes

General news

August 22, 1984, the owners voted to move to a fall schedule starting in 1986.

Harry Usher became the new commissioner of the USFL in January 1985.

The USFL and the United States Football League Players Association (USFLPA) agreed on a four-year agreement in March 1985. [3]

On April 29, 1985, the league's owners voted 13–2 to reaffirm their decision to begin playing a fall season in 1986. [4]

Regular season

W = Wins, L = Losses, T = Ties, PCT= Winning Percentage, PF= Points For, PA = Points Against

 y  = Division Champion,  x  = Wild Card

Eastern Conference
TeamWLTPCTPFPAStadium1985 CapacityAvg. Att.Avg. % FilledCoach
y-Birmingham Stallions 1350.722436299 Legion Field 77,00032,06542% Rollie Dotsch
x-New Jersey Generals 1170.611418378 Giants Stadium 76,89141,26854% Walt Michaels
x-Memphis Showboats 1170.611429337 Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium 50,18030,94862% Pepper Rodgers
x-Baltimore Stars 1071.583368260 Byrd Stadium 51,50014,27528% Jim Mora
x-Tampa Bay Bandits 1080.556405422 Tampa Stadium 72,81245,22062% Steve Spurrier
Jacksonville Bulls 990.500407402 Gator Bowl Stadium 80,10044,32555% Lindy Infante
Orlando Renegades 5130.278308481 Orlando Stadium 52,00024,13646% Lee Corso
Western Conference
TeamWLTPCTPFPAStadium1985 CapacityAvg. Att.Avg. % FilledCoach
y-Oakland Invaders 1341.750473359 Oakland–Alameda County Coliseum 54,61517,50932% Charlie Sumner
x-Denver Gold 1170.611433389 Mile High Stadium 75,12314,44619% Darrell "Mouse" Davis
x-Houston Gamblers 1080.556544388 Houston Astrodome 47,69519,12040% Jack Pardee
Arizona Outlaws 8100.444376405 Sun Devil Stadium 70,03017,88126% Frank Kush
Portland Breakers 6120.333275422 Civic Stadium 32,50019,91961% Dick Coury
San Antonio Gunslingers 5130.278296436 Alamo Stadium 32,00011,72137% Jim Bates/Gil Steinke
Los Angeles Express 3150.167266456 Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum 94,0008,4159% John Hadl

New Jersey finished ahead of Memphis based on a head-to-head tiebreaker advantage (2-0-0).


Home team in CAPITALS

Quarterfinals June 29–30 and July 1

Semifinals July 6–7

USFL Championship game July 14 (at East Rutherford, New Jersey)


1985 regular season stat leaders

1985 Passing Stats (all)
Name, TeamAttComp%yardsYDs/AttTDTD %INTINT %Rating
Walter Lewis, MEM1849752.715938.66168.752.799.8
Jim Kelly, HOU56736063.546238.15396.9193.497.9
Fred Besana, OAK583458.64948.51610.346.992.2
Brian Sipe, JACK895561.86857.9744.522.291.3
Cliff Stoudt, BIRM44426659.933587.56347.7194.391.2
Tim Riordan, BAL362158.32607.2212.800.090.0
Bobby Hebert, OAK45624453.538118.36306.6194.286.1
Chuck Fusina, BAL49630361.134967.05204.0142.884.0
Mike Kelley, MEM26016563.521868.4193.5145.479.1
Bob Lane, BIRM331854.52557.7313.013.077.2
Doug Williams, ARZ50927153.236737.22214.1173.376.4
Bob Gagliano, DENV35820557.326957.53133.6174.773.5
John Reaves, TB56131456.041937.47254.5295.273.2
Ed Luther, JACK40024060.027926.98153.8215.371.8
Todd Dillon, HOU22512153.814956.6594.094.071.3
Rick Neuheisel, SA42123956.830687.29184.3255.969.3
Doug Flutie, NJ28113447.721097.51134.6145.067.8
Rick Johnson, ARZ432148.83187.4037.037.067.8
Reggie Collier, ORL42722953.625786.04133.0163.766.5
Vince Evans, DENV32515748.322596.95123.7164.963.1
Steve Young, LA25013754.817416.9762.4135.263.1
Matt Robinson, POR31015650.321827.04154.8206.562.6
Buck Belue, JACK683754.42994.4034.434.462.1
Jerry Golsteyn, ORL1356548.16474.7943.075.250.4
Jimmy Jordan, TB935458.16016.4633.21111.848.6
Doug Woodward, POR1556240.08315.3631.963.948.1
Frank Seurer, LA24212049.614796.1172.9187.447.5
Fred Mortensen, SA572035.12043.5811.847.022.8
1985 Rushing leaders
Name, TeamAttYdsAve.TDs
Herschel Walker, NJ 43824115.521
Mike Rozier, JACK 32013614.312
Bill Johnson, DENV 21212615.915
Kelvin Bryant, BAL 23812075.112
Gary Anderson, TB 27612074.416
Joe Cribbs, BIRM 26710473.97
Otis Brown, AZ 22910314.512
Albert Bentley, OAK 19110205.34
John Williams, OAK 1868574.69
Buford Jordan, PORT 1658175.05
Tim Spencer, MEM 1987894.03
Curtis Bledsoe, ORL 2077813.83
Maurice Carthon, NJ 1757264.16
Reggie Collier, ORL 926066.612
Walter Lewis, MEM 655919.14
Greg Boone, TB 1115595.03
Allen Harvin, BAL 1385494.04
George Works, SA 935425.81
Mel Gray, LA 1255264.21
1985 Receiving Leaders
Name, TeamRecYdsAve.TDs
Richard Johnson, HOU 103138413.414
Leonard Harris, DENV 101143214.28
Jim Smith, BIRM 87132215.220
Clarence Verdin, HOU 84100412.09
Alton Alexis, JACK 83111813.55
Marc Lewis, DENV 75120716.16
Scott Fitzkee, BAL 7388212.13
Gary Anderson, TB 726789.44
Derrick Crawford, MEM 70105715.19
Anthony Carter, OAK 70132318.914
Larry Brodsky, TB 69107115.57
Gordon Banks, OAK 62111518.05
Perry Kemp, JACK 5991515.54
Marvin Harvey, TB 5972312.33
Gerald McNeil, HOU 58101717.56
Joey Walters, ORL 5878413.55
Greg Moser, MEM 57114520.16
Vincent White, DENV 5566612.15
Alphonso Williams, AZ 55102018.58
Mark Keel, JACK 5358511.00
Don Roberts, SA 5365312.34
Sam Harrell, HOU 514919.62
Greg Anderson, AZ 5191517.95
Mike Rozier, JACK 503667.33
JoJo Townsell, LA 4777716.56
Derek Holloway, OAK 4782417.57
Jerry Gordon, SA 4469315.87
Ken Dunek, BAL 4450811.50
Frank Lockett, PORT/SA 4379418.53
Joey Jones, BIRM 4375117.57
Jeff Smith, ORL 4252112.41
Dan Ross, PORT 4152212.75

1985 USFL regular season sortable offensive team statistics

New Jersey41823.266149342637632091238613314
Tampa Bay40522.58670937322070115846392582
San Antonio29616.41245972551417779913282015711
Los Angeles26614.81447072621220871166262014613

1985 USFL regular season sortable defensive team statistics

New Jersey37821.05568531671959109537262079
Tampa Bay42223.4105949331923901331235591986
San Antonio43624.212564531461949108436962058
Los Angeles45625.31362733491221321187414123014


See also

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">World Football League</span> Former American football league (1974–1975)

The World Football League (WFL) was an American football league that played one full season in 1974 and most of its second in 1975. Although the league's proclaimed ambition was to bring American football onto a worldwide stage, the farthest the WFL reached was placing a team – the Hawaiians – in Honolulu, Hawaii. The league folded midway through its second season, in 1975. A new minor football league began play as the World Football League in 2008 after acquiring the rights to its trademarks and intellectual property; it folded in 2011.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">United States Football League</span> Former American football league

The United States Football League (USFL) was a professional American football league that played for three seasons, 1983 through 1985. The league played a spring/summer schedule in each of its active seasons. The 1986 season was scheduled to be played in the autumn/winter, directly competing against the long-established National Football League (NFL). However, the USFL ceased operations before that season was scheduled to begin.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Portland Breakers</span> Former American football team based out of New Orleans, Louisiana and Portland, Oregon

The Portland Breakers were an American football team that played in the United States Football League (USFL) in the mid-1980s. Before moving to Portland, Oregon, the franchise was previously in Boston, Massachusetts as the Boston Breakers and New Orleans, Louisiana as the New Orleans Breakers.

The Philadelphia / Baltimore Stars were a professional American football team which played in the United States Football League (USFL) in the mid-1980s. Owned by real-estate magnate Myles Tanenbaum, they were the short-lived league's dominant team, playing in all three championship games and winning the latter two. They played their first two seasons in Philadelphia as the Philadelphia Stars before relocating to Baltimore, where they played as the Baltimore Stars for the USFL's final season. Coached by Jim Mora, the Stars won a league-best 41 regular season games and 7 playoff games.

The Orlando Renegades were a professional American football team that played in Orlando, Florida, in the United States Football League (USFL) for a single season in 1985. Before its season in Orlando, the franchise played in Washington, D.C., as the Washington Federals for two seasons, in 1983 and 1984.

The Arizona Outlaws were a professional American football team that played in the United States Football League in the mid-1980s. They were owned by Fresno banker and real estate magnate William Tatham Sr., who had briefly owned the Portland Thunder of the World Football League.

The Oakland Invaders were a professional American football team that played in the United States Football League (USFL) from 1983 through 1985. Based in Oakland, California, they played at the Oakland–Alameda County Coliseum.

The New Jersey Generals were a franchise of the United States Football League (USFL) established in 1982 to begin play in the spring and summer of 1983. The team played three seasons from 1983 to 1985, winning 31 regular season games and losing 25 while going 0–2 in postseason competition. Home games were played at Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey, which was called The Meadowlands for Generals games.

The Pittsburgh Maulers were a team that competed in the 1984 season of the United States Football League. Their most prominent player was first pick overall in the 1984 USFL Draft, running back Mike Rozier of Nebraska, who won the Heisman Trophy, collegiate football's most prestigious individual award.

The Memphis Showboats were an American football franchise in the United States Football League. They entered the league in its expansion in 1984 and made the 1985 playoffs, losing in the semifinal round to the Oakland Invaders. Perhaps the most prominent players on the Showboats' roster during their two seasons of existence were future Pro Football Hall of Fame member Reggie White and future professional wrestler The Total Package Lex Luger.

The Birmingham Stallions were a franchise in the United States Football League, an attempt to establish a second professional league of American football in the United States in competition with the National Football League. They played their home games at Birmingham, Alabama's Legion Field. They competed in all three USFL seasons, 1983–1985. During their run, they were one of the USFL's more popular teams, and seemed to have a realistic chance of being a viable venture had the USFL been better run.

The Los Angeles Express was a team in the United States Football League (USFL) based in Los Angeles, California. Playing at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, the Express competed in all three of the USFL seasons played between 1983 and 1985.

The Denver Gold was a franchise in the United States Football League, an attempt to establish a second major professional football league in the United States, playing a springtime season, from 1983 to 1985. The Gold played their home games at Mile High Stadium in Denver, Colorado; co-tenants in the spring with the Triple-A Denver Zephyrs baseball team.

On May 24, 1982, the United States Football League (USFL) reached an agreement with ABC and ESPN on television rights. The money for inaugural 1983 season would be a total of $13 million: $9 million from ABC and $4 million from ESPN.

Randall Lee Van Divier is a former American football offensive lineman. Van Divier, who played at Anaheim High School, was a captain for the 1980 Pac-10 champion Washington Huskies, and was later selected by the Baltimore Colts as the 68th overall pick in the third round of the 1981 NFL Draft. After playing in 16 games with one start, Van Divier was cut by the Colts prior to the 1982 NFL season. Van Divier then signed with the Los Angeles Raiders but did not see action during the season. In 1983, he was cut by the Raiders at the end of training camp, and went on to play for the Oakland Invaders of the United States Football League during the league's 1984 season. Following the season, he was signed and released by both the New Jersey Generals and the Portland Breakers prior to the 1985 USFL season but did not play for either team. He was re-signed by the Los Angeles Raiders but suffered a broken leg during a 1985 preseason game and was placed on season-ending injured reserve. Van Divier returned in 1986 but was waived during training camp prior to the regular season.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">1984 USFL season</span> Second season of the United States Football League

The 1984 USFL season was the second season of the United States Football League.

The following is a timeline of the expansion and evolution of franchises in the National Basketball Association (NBA). The league was formed as the Basketball Association of America (BAA) in 1946 and took its current name in 1949. The histories of NBA franchises that were also members of the American Basketball League (ABL), National Basketball League (NBL), National Pro Basketball League (NPBL), and American Basketball Association (ABA) are also included.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">1986 USFL season</span> Sports season

The 1986 USFL season would have been the fourth season of the United States Football League. Plans and a schedule had been set for a 1986 season, which would have played in the autumn and winter months, but the failure to secure a large judgment or concessions through a landmark antitrust lawsuit against the National Football League, combined with the seizure of one of the team's assets, days before the season was to begin led the league to postpone, then ultimately cancel the season and cease operations. The federal court judgement found the NFL guilty of violating antitrust guidelines on July 29, 1986, but the USFL was only awarded $1 in damages plus court costs, as the jury found that the actions of the USFL owners had done as much in detriment to themselves as did the actions of the NFL. On August 4, the 1986 season was canceled. On August 7, all players were released from their contracts.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">United States Football League (2022)</span> Professional American football league

The United States Football League (USFL) is a professional American football minor league that began play on April 16, 2022. The inaugural 2022 regular season was played in its entirety in Birmingham, Alabama. The postseason games were played in Canton, Ohio, at the Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium.


  1. "Archives". Los Angeles Times .
  2. "Archives". Los Angeles Times .
  3. "Park City Daily News - Google News Archive Search".
  4. Mizell, Hubert (April 30, 1985). "By its own hand, USFL will fall into oblivion". St. Petersburg Times. pp. 1C. Retrieved March 1, 2014.