1994 NFL season

Last updated

1994 National Football League season
NFL75th.svg
NFL 75th season anniversary logo
Regular season
DurationSeptember 4, 1994 – December 26, 1994
Playoffs
Start dateDecember 31, 1994
AFC Champions San Diego Chargers
NFC Champions San Francisco 49ers
Super Bowl XXIX
DateJanuary 29, 1995
Site Joe Robbie Stadium, Miami, Florida
Champions San Francisco 49ers
Pro Bowl
DateFebruary 5, 1995
Site Aloha Stadium
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Colts
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Patriots
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Bills
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Dolphins
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Jets
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Bengals
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Browns
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Oilers
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Steelers
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Broncos
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Chiefs
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Raiders
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Chargers
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Seahawks
AFC teams: Yellow ffff00 pog.svg West, DeepPink pog.svg Central, Green pog.svg East
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Cowboys
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Giants
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Eagles
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Cardinals
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Redskins
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Bears
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Lions
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Packers
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Vikings
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Buccaneers
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Falcons
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Rams
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Saints
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49ers
NFC teams: Yellow ffff00 pog.svg West, DeepPink pog.svg Central, Green pog.svg East

The 1994 NFL season was the 75th regular season of the National Football League. To honor the NFL's 75th season, a special anniversary logo was designed and each player wore a patch on their jerseys with this logo throughout the season. Also, a selection committee of media and league personnel named a special NFL 75th Anniversary All-Time Team, honoring the best NFL players from the first 75 seasons.

Contents

The Phoenix Cardinals changed their name to Arizona Cardinals in an attempt to widen their appeal to the entire state of Arizona instead of just the Phoenix area. The name was initially resisted by team owner Bill Bidwill.

This marked the last season until 2016 that the city of Los Angeles had an NFL team and the last one until 2017 that the city had two. Both the Rams and the Raiders left the city following the season. The Rams moved east to St. Louis, Missouri after being in Los Angeles for 49 years, while the Raiders left after twelve seasons to return to their previous home in Oakland, California. The Rams eventually returned in 2016 after failing to reach an agreement with St. Louis on a new stadium.

The season ended with Super Bowl XXIX when San Francisco defeated San Diego 49–26 at Joe Robbie Stadium. This was the first season of the 1990s to not feature the Buffalo Bills in the Super Bowl.

This was also the first time in which Christmas Day fell on a Sunday during the regular season. The league established the practice to move most of that weekend's games to the Saturday afternoon of Christmas Eve. Every NFL season afterwards with Christmas Day on a Sunday has followed this same scheduling format. Prior to the 1990 introduction of the bye week, Christmas had fallen within the postseason. In years in which Christmas was on a Sunday, that weekend's games would be split between Saturday, December 24 and Monday, December 26.

The NFL's salary cap was implemented this season. [1]

Player movement

Transactions

Trades

Retirements

Draft

The 1994 NFL Draft was held from April 24 to 25, 1994. With the first pick, the Cincinnati Bengals selected defensive tackle Dan Wilkinson from Ohio State.

Major rule changes

A package of changes were adopted to increase offensive production and scoring:

Preseason

American Bowl

A series of four pre-season games that were held at sites outside the United States. On July 31, the Los Angeles Raiders defeated Denver at Estadi Olímpic in Barcelona. On August 7, Minnesota defeated Kansas City at the Tokyo Dome in Tokyo. On August 13, the New York Giants defeated San Diego at Olympiastadion in Berlin. On August 15, Houston defeated Dallas at Estadio Azteca in Mexico City.

Hall of Fame Game

The Pro Football Hall of Fame Game, in which Atlanta defeated San Diego, was played on July 30 at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium in Canton, Ohio, the same city where the league was founded. The 1994 Hall of Fame Class included Tony Dorsett, Bud Grant, Jimmy Johnson, Leroy Kelly, Jackie Smith and Randy White.

Regular season

Scheduling formula

    Inter-conference
AFC East vs NFC Central
AFC Central vs NFC East
AFC West vs NFC West

Highlights of the 1994 season included:

Final standings

Tiebreakers

Playoffs

Dec 31 – Joe Robbie Stadium Jan 8 – Jack Murphy Stadium
6 Kansas City 17
3Miami21
3 Miami 27Jan 15 – Three Rivers Stadium
2 San Diego 22
AFC
Jan 1 – Cleveland Stadium 2San Diego17
Jan 7 – Three Rivers Stadium
1Pittsburgh13
5 New England 13AFC Championship
4Cleveland9
4 Cleveland 20Jan 29 – Joe Robbie Stadium
1 Pittsburgh 29
Wild Card playoffs
Divisional playoffs
Dec 31 – Lambeau Field A2San Diego26
Jan 8 – Texas Stadium
N1San Francisco49
5 Detroit 12 Super Bowl XXIX
4Green Bay9
4 Green Bay 16Jan 15 – Candlestick Park
2 Dallas 35
NFC
Jan 1 – Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome 2Dallas28
Jan 7 – Candlestick Park
1San Francisco38
6 Chicago 35NFC Championship
6Chicago15
3 Minnesota 18
1 San Francisco 44

Statistical leaders

Team

Points scoredSan Francisco 49ers (505)
Total yards gainedMiami Dolphins (6,078)
Yards rushingPittsburgh Steelers (2,180)
Yards passingNew England Patriots (4,444)
Fewest points allowedCleveland Browns (204)
Fewest total yards allowedDallas Cowboys (4,313)
Fewest rushing yards allowedMinnesota Vikings (1,090)
Fewest passing yards allowedDallas Cowboys (2,752)

Individual

Scoring John Carney, San Diego Chargers (135 points)
Touchdowns Emmitt Smith, Dallas Cowboys (22 TDs)
Most field goals madeJohn Carney, San Diego Chargers, and Fuad Reveiz, Minnesota Vikings (34 FGs)
Rushing Barry Sanders, Detroit Lions (1,883 yards)
Passing Steve Young, San Francisco 49ers (112.8 rating)
Passing touchdownsSteve Young, San Francisco 49ers (35 TDs)
Pass receiving Cris Carter, Minnesota Vikings (122 catches)
Pass receiving yards Jerry Rice, San Francisco 49ers (1,499)
Punt returns Brian Mitchell, Washington Redskins (14.1 average yards)
Kickoff returns Mel Gray, Detroit Lions (28.4 average yards)
Interceptions Eric Turner, Cleveland Browns, and Aeneas Williams, Arizona Cardinals (9)
Punting Sean Landeta, Los Angeles Rams (44.8 average yards)
Sacks Kevin Greene, Pittsburgh Steelers (14)

Awards

Most Valuable Player Steve Young, quarterback, San Francisco 49ers
Coach of the Year Bill Parcells, New England Patriots
Offensive Player of the Year Barry Sanders, running back, Detroit Lions
Defensive Player of the Year Deion Sanders, cornerback, San Francisco 49ers
Offensive Rookie of the Year Marshall Faulk, running back, Indianapolis Colts
Defensive Rookie of the Year Tim Bowens, defensive tackle, Miami Dolphins
Comeback Player of the Year Dan Marino, quarterback, Miami Dolphins
NFL Man of the Year Award Junior Seau, linebacker, San Diego Chargers
Super Bowl Most Valuable Player Steve Young, quarterback, San Francisco 49ers

Coaching changes

Offseason

In-season

Stadium changes

This was the final season of selected Green Bay Packers home games in Milwaukee. Recent upgrades to Lambeau Field started to make it more lucrative for the team to play full-time in Green Bay, while Milwaukee County Stadium was becoming outdated for football.

The home of the Indianapolis Colts, the Hoosier Dome, was renamed the RCA Dome after RCA acquired the naming rights

The Seattle Seahawks played their first three regular season home games at Husky Stadium because the Kingdome, the Seahawks' regular home field, was undergoing repairs for damaged tiles on its roof. The Seahawks returned to Husky for the 2000 and 2001 seasons while their new stadium was under construction.

Uniforms

Throwback uniforms and games

The league honored its 75th season by having each team wear throwback uniforms during selected games. The designs varied widely in their accuracy; many of them were not completely accurate for a number of reasons:

Some teams occasionally wore their throwbacks in additional games during the season, and the San Francisco 49ers wore them through the Super Bowl. They proved to be so popular that the New York Giants followed the lead of the Jets (who went back to their 1960s logo in 1998) and eventually returned to wearing them full-time, with very slight modifications, in 2000. After the NFL modified its rules to allow teams to wear alternate jerseys in 2002, the San Diego Chargers selected their throwbacks as their third uniforms.

Instead of wearing their throwbacks in additional games, the Dallas Cowboys celebrated their back-to-back Super Bowl titles by wearing "Double-Star" white alternative jerseys during Thanksgiving and through the playoffs. Similar to their throwbacks, they had blue sleeves and blue stars on each shoulder, but it was the modern star design with white lines and blue borders.

Wholesale team changes

Television

This was the first season that the then-eight-year old Fox network televised NFL games, taking over the NFC package from CBS. ABC, NBC, TNT, and ESPN renewed their rights to televise Monday Night Football , the NFC package, the AFC package, Sunday night games during the first half of the season, and Sunday night games during the second half of the season, respectively. All of these networks signed four-year television contracts through the 1997 season. [11] The league also signed an exclusivity agreement with the new direct broadcast satellite (DBS) service DirecTV to launch NFL Sunday Ticket, a satellite television subscription service offering every Sunday afternoon regular season NFL game.

Fox hired several members from CBS, including its lead broadcast team of Pat Summerall and John Madden; and Dick Stockton and Matt Millen to serve as Fox's #2 team. For the new Fox NFL Sunday pregame show, the network hired CBS play-by-play announcer James Brown to be the host, and Terry Bradshaw as the show's lead analyst in basically the same role he had on The NFL Today on CBS. The then-recently retired player Howie Long and head coach Jimmy Johnson also joined Fox NFL Sunday. [12]

NBC fired O. J. Simpson after he was charged with murder during the off-season. The network also hired Greg Gumbel from CBS to become the new host of NFL Live! , replacing Jim Lampley. Ahmad Rashad became the show's new co-host, while Joe Gibbs joined Mike Ditka as the show's analysts.

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References

  1. "The NFL Salary Cap Turns 25: How it Began and Where It Is Now". AthlonSports.com. August 9, 2019. Retrieved February 6, 2020.
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 "1994 NFL Transactions. Signings - July". National Football League. Retrieved March 15, 2021.
  3. "1994 NFL Transactions. Signings - August". National Football League. Retrieved March 15, 2021.
  4. "PRO FOOTBALL; Vikings Near On a Deal To Acquire Oilers' Moon". New York Times: By Frank Litsky, April 14, 1994. Retrieved December 3, 2020.
  5. "PRO FOOTBALL; The Bengals Land a Big One And Select Wilkinson at No. 1". New York Times: By Frank Litsky, April 25, 1994. Retrieved December 3, 2020.
  6. "1994 NFL Transactions. Trades - July". National Football League. Retrieved December 8, 2020.
  7. Anderson, Dave. of The Times; L.T. Decides 'It's Time For Me to Go', The New York Times, January 16, 1994, accessed March 23, 2008.
  8. 1 2 3 "NFL takes step in pulling foot out". Spokesman-Review. (Spokane, Washington). Associated Press. March 23, 1994. p. C1.
  9. 100 Things Dolphins Fans Should Know and Do Before They Die, Armando Salguero, Triumph Books, Chicago, 2020, ISBN 978-1-62937-722-3, p.157
  10. "Packers.com » History » Fast Facts » Packers Uniform History". Archived from the original on April 21, 2010. Retrieved October 1, 2008.
  11. 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.
  12. Curtis, Byran (December 13, 2018). "The Great NFL Heist: How Fox Paid for and Changed Football Forever". The Ringer.