|Duration||September 7 – December 31, 2006|
|Start date||January 6, 2007|
|AFC Champions||Indianapolis Colts|
|NFC Champions||Chicago Bears|
|Super Bowl XLI|
|Date||February 4, 2007|
|Site||Dolphin Stadium, Miami Gardens, Florida|
|Date||February 10, 2007|
The 2006 NFL season was the 87th regular season of the National Football League. Regular season play was held from September 7 to December 31, 2006.
The season began with the reigning Super Bowl XL champion Pittsburgh Steelers defeating the Miami Dolphins 28-17 in the NFL Kickoff Game.
The NFL title was eventually won by the Indianapolis Colts, when they defeated the Chicago Bears 29–17 in Super Bowl XLI at Dolphin Stadium at Miami Gardens, Florida on February 4, 2007.
On March 20, 2006, Paul Tagliabue announced his plans to retire as NFL commissioner. During an NFL meeting in Northbrook, Illinois, on August 8, league team owners selected Roger Goodell, the NFL's then-current chief operating officer, as the new commissioner. Tagliabue continued to serve as commissioner until Goodell officially replaced him on Friday September 1.
Tagliabue became NFL commissioner on October 26, 1989. During his tenure, the league added four new teams; saw four franchises move (including two franchises—the Rams and Raiders—from Los Angeles, the second-largest television market in the U.S.); the construction of seventeen new stadiums; began its own in-house television specialty cable network, the NFL Network; greatly increased television rights fees with its broadcasters, including the addition of the Fox network and its NFL programming; and maintained labor peace with the players' union.
The 2006 NFL Draft was held from April 29 to 30, 2006 at New York City's Radio City Music Hall. With the first pick, the Houston Texans selected defensive end Mario Williams from North Carolina State University.
Bernie Kukar and Tom White retired. Jerome Boger and Gene Steratore were promoted to referee.
The 2006 season marked the debut of new officiating uniforms which are supposed to be more comfortable for officials to wear in extreme weather over the old polyester uniforms. The uniforms were designed by Reebok using a proprietary material technology to keep officials both warm and dry during the winter months of the season. On the shirt, the position and number are removed from the front pocket and the lettering and numbers on the back side were black-on-white and are smaller print and the sleeve shows the uniform number. Officials also wore full-length black pants with white stripe during the winter months to stay warm, which was criticized by media. This was the first major design overhaul since 1979, when the position name was added to the shirt, but later abbreviated in 1982.
For the first time since Super Bowl IV at the conclusion of the 1969 season, the official NFL game ball was known as "The Duke" in honor of Wellington Mara, whose family owns the New York Giants. Son John is the current CEO of the team. The NFL first used "The Duke" ball in honor of owner Tim Mara (Wellington's father) made a deal with Wilson Sporting Goods to become the league's official supplier of game balls, a relationship that continued into its sixty-fifth year in 2006.
"The Duke" ball was discontinued after the 1970 AFL–NFL merger, and the merged league began using a different standardized ball made by Wilson. The only other time that "The Duke" ball name was used was during the two "Thanksgiving Classic" games in 2004.
One side of the new 2006 "Duke" football featured the NFL shield logo in gold, the words "The Duke", and the NFL commissioner's signature. The obverse side has a small NFL logo above the needle bladder hole, the conference names between the hole, and the words "National Football League" in gold. As per the custom, specially branded balls were used for the first week of the 2006 season (the "Opening Kickoff") as well as for the Thanksgiving Day, conference championships, Super Bowl XLI and Pro Bowl games.
Lamar Hunt died in Dallas, Texas on December 13 from complications from prostate cancer at the age of 74. He is credited with challenging the NFL with the formation of the American Football League, which led to the subsequent merger of the two leagues.
At 3 a.m. on January 1, 2007, Denver Broncos cornerback Darrent Williams was shot and killed in Denver, within hours after the last regular season game against the San Francisco 49ers. Less than two months after, on February 24, 2007, Broncos running back Damien Nash collapsed and died after a charity basketball game at a high school. Both players died at the age of 24.
This was the first season that the NFL used a "flexible-scheduling" for the last few weeks of the season, allowing the league flexibility in selecting games to air on Sunday night, in order to feature the current hottest, streaking teams. This was implemented to prevent games featuring losing teams from airing during primetime late in the season, while at the same time allowing NBC to rake in more money off of the higher ratings from surprise, playoff-potential teams that more fans would enjoy watching.
Under the flexible-scheduling system, all Sunday games in the affected weeks tentatively had the start times of 1 p.m. ET/10 a.m. PT, except those played in the Pacific or Mountain time zones, which will have a tentative start time of 4 p.m. ET/1 p.m. PT (or 4:15 p.m. ET/1:15 p.m. PT if it is a doubleheader weekend). On the Tuesday 12 days before the games, the league moved one game to the primetime slot, and possibly one or more 1 p.m. slotted games to the 4 p.m. slots. During the last week of the season, the league could reschedule games as late as six days before the contests so that all of the television networks will be able to broadcast a game that has playoff implications.
Within each conference, the four division winners and the two wild card teams (the top two non-division winners with the best overall regular season records) qualified for the playoffs. The four division winners are seeded 1 through 4 based on their overall won-lost-tied record, and the wild card teams are seeded 5 and 6. The NFL does not use a fixed bracket playoff system, and there are no restrictions regarding teams from the same division matching up in any round. In the first round, dubbed the wild-card playoffs or wild-card weekend, the third-seeded division winner hosts the sixth seed wild card, and the fourth seed hosts the fifth. The 1 and 2 seeds from each conference then receive a bye in the first round. In the second round, the divisional playoffs, the number 1 seed hosts the worst surviving seed from the first round (seed 4, 5, or 6), while the number 2 seed will play the other team (seed 3, 4, or 5). The two surviving teams from each conference's divisional playoff games then meet in the respective AFC and NFC Conference Championship games, hosted by the higher seed. Although the Super Bowl, the fourth and final round of the playoffs, is played at a neutral site, the designated home team is based on an annual rotation by conference.
|1||San Diego Chargers (West winner)||Chicago Bears (North winner)|
|2||Baltimore Ravens (North winner)||New Orleans Saints (South winner)|
|3||Indianapolis Colts (South winner)||Philadelphia Eagles (East winner)|
|4||New England Patriots (East winner)||Seattle Seahawks (West winner)|
|5||New York Jets (wild card)||Dallas Cowboys (wild card)|
|6||Kansas City Chiefs (wild card)||New York Giants (wild card)|
|Jan. 7 – Gillette Stadium||Jan. 14 – Qualcomm Stadium|
|4||New England||37||Jan. 21 – RCA Dome|
|Jan. 6 – RCA Dome||4||New England||34|
|Jan. 13 – M&T Bank Stadium|
|6||Kansas City||8||AFC Championship|
|3||Indianapolis||23||Feb. 4 – Dolphin Stadium|
|Wild Card playoffs|
|Jan. 7 – Lincoln Financial Field||A3||Indianapolis||29|
|Jan. 13 – Louisiana Superdome|
|6||NY Giants||20||Super Bowl XLI|
|3||Philadelphia||23||Jan. 21 – Soldier Field|
|Jan. 6 – Qwest Field||2||New Orleans||14|
|Jan. 14 – Soldier Field|
The following teams and players set all-time NFL records during the regular season:
|Record||Player/Team||Date/Opponent||Previous Record Holder|
|Most Points, Career||Morten Andersen, Atlanta||December 16 vs. Dallas||Gary Anderson, 1982–2004 (2,434)|
|Most Field Goals, Career||Morten Andersen, Atlanta||December 24 vs. Carolina||Gary Anderson, 1982–2004 (538)|
|Most Passes Completed, Career||Brett Favre, Green Bay||December 17 vs. Detroit||Dan Marino, 1983–1999 (4,967)|
|Most Touchdowns, Season||LaDainian Tomlinson, San Diego (31)||December 10 vs. Denver||Shaun Alexander, Seattle, 2005 (28)|
|Most Rushing Touchdowns, Season||LaDainian Tomlinson, San Diego (28)||December 10 vs. Denver||Shaun Alexander, 2005 |
Priest Holmes, 2003 (27)
|Most Points, Season||LaDainian Tomlinson, San Diego (186)||December 17 vs. Kansas City||Paul Hornung, 1960 (176)|
|Most Rushing Attempts, Season||Larry Johnson, Kansas City (416)||December 31 vs. Jacksonville||Jamal Anderson, Atlanta, 1998 (410)|
|Most Kick Returns for a Touchdown, Season||Devin Hester, Chicago (5; 3 punts and 2 kickoffs)||December 11 at St. Louis||Tied by 9 players (4)|
|Points scored||San Diego Chargers (492)|
|Total yards gained||New Orleans Saints (6,264)|
|Yards rushing||Atlanta Falcons (2,939)|
|Yards passing||New Orleans Saints (4,503)|
|Fewest points allowed||Baltimore Ravens (201)|
|Fewest total yards allowed||Baltimore Ravens (4,225)|
|Fewest rushing yards allowed||Minnesota Vikings (985)|
|Fewest passing yards allowed||Oakland Raiders (2,413)|
|Scoring||LaDainian Tomlinson, San Diego (186 points)|
|Touchdowns||LaDainian Tomlinson, San Diego (31 TDs)|
|Most field goals made||Robbie Gould, Chicago and Jeff Wilkins, St. Louis (32 FGs)|
|Rushing||LaDainian Tomlinson, San Diego (1,815 yards)|
|Passer rating||Peyton Manning, Indianapolis (101.0 rating)|
|Passing touchdowns||Peyton Manning, Indianapolis (31 TDs)|
|Passing yards||Drew Brees, New Orleans (4,418 yards)|
|Pass receptions||Andre Johnson, Houston (103 catches)|
|Pass receiving yards||Chad Johnson, Cincinnati (1,369 yards)|
|Punt returns||Adam "Pacman" Jones, Tennessee (12.9 average yards)|
|Kickoff returns||Justin Miller, New York Jets (28.3 average yards)|
|Interceptions||Asante Samuel, New England and Champ Bailey, Denver (10)|
|Punting||Mat McBriar, Dallas (48.2 average yards)|
|Sacks||Shawne Merriman, San Diego (17)|
|Most Valuable Player||LaDainian Tomlinson, Running Back, San Diego Chargers|
|Coach of the Year||Sean Payton, New Orleans Saints|
|Offensive Player of the Year||LaDainian Tomlinson, Running Back, San Diego Chargers|
|Defensive Player of the Year||Jason Taylor, Defensive End, Miami Dolphins|
|Offensive Rookie of the Year||Vince Young, Quarterback, Tennessee Titans|
|Defensive Rookie of the Year||DeMeco Ryans, Linebacker, Houston Texans|
|NFL Comeback Player of the Year||Chad Pennington, Quarterback, New York Jets|
|Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year||LaDainian Tomlinson, Running Back, San Diego Chargers and||Drew Brees, Quarterback, New Orleans Saints|
|Super Bowl Most Valuable Player||Peyton Manning, Quarterback, Indianapolis Colts|
|Quarterback||Drew Brees, New Orleans|
|Running back|| LaDainian Tomlinson, San Diego|
Larry Johnson, Kansas City
|Fullback||Lorenzo Neal, San Diego|
|Wide receiver|| Marvin Harrison, Indianapolis|
Chad Johnson, Cincinnati
|Tight end||Antonio Gates, San Diego|
|Offensive tackle|| Willie Anderson, Cincinnati|
Jammal Brown, New Orleans
|Offensive guard|| Alan Faneca, Pittsburgh|
Shawn Andrews, Philadelphia
|Center||Olin Kreutz, Chicago|
|Defensive end|| Jason Taylor, Miami|
Julius Peppers, Carolina
|Defensive tackle|| Jamal Williams, San Diego|
Kevin Williams, Minnesota
|Outside linebacker|| Shawne Merriman, San Diego|
Adalius Thomas, Baltimore
|Inside linebacker|| Brian Urlacher, Chicago|
Zach Thomas, Miami
|Cornerback|| Champ Bailey, Denver|
Rashean Mathis, Jacksonville
|Safety|| Brian Dawkins, Philadelphia|
Ed Reed, Baltimore
|Kicker||Robbie Gould, Chicago|
|Punter||Brian Moorman, Buffalo|
|Kick returner||Devin Hester, Chicago|
Through week 11 of the season, all NFL games had been sold out, and for the 24th time, all blackout restrictions had been lifted.The streak was ended by the Jacksonville at Buffalo game in Week 12.
This was the first season that NBC held the rights to televise Sunday Night Football , becoming the beneficiaries by negotiating the new flexible-scheduling system (it also marked the network's return to carrying NFL games since the end of the 1997 season).ESPN became the new home of Monday Night Football , replacing sister network ABC, who chose to opt out of broadcasting league games. Meanwhile, CBS and Fox renewed their television contracts to the American Football Conference and the National Football Conference packages, respectively.
Starting September 18, fans were able to download highlights of their teams' games through Apple's iTunes Store. Each video costs US$1.99 each but fans have the chance of buying a "Follow Your Team season ticket" which brings every game of that team to the fan for $24.99.
Also available will be NFL GameDay, the NFL Network's comprehensive Sunday night review which features post-game reactions and game analysis, all for $1.99 a show or $19.99 for the full season.
The National Football League (NFL) playoffs are a single-elimination tournament held after the regular season to determine the NFL champion. Seven teams from each of the league's two conferences qualify for the playoffs. A tie-breaking procedure exists if required. The tournament culminates in the Super Bowl: the league's championship game in which two teams, one from each conference, play each other to become champion of the NFL.
The 2004 NFL season was the 85th regular season of the National Football League.
The 2005 NFL season was the 86th regular season of the National Football League.
The 2002 NFL season was the 83rd regular season of the National Football League.
The 2003 NFL season was the 84th regular season of the National Football League (NFL).
The 1988 NFL season was the 69th regular season of the National Football League. The Cardinals relocated from St. Louis, Missouri to the Phoenix, Arizona area becoming the Phoenix Cardinals but remained in the NFC East division. The playoff races came down to the regular season’s final week, with the Seattle Seahawks winning the AFC West by one game, and the Philadelphia Eagles and San Francisco 49ers winning their respective divisions in a five-way tie, with the New Orleans Saints and New York Giants losing the NFC Wild Card berth to the Los Angeles Rams on tiebreakers.
The 1986 NFL season was the 67th regular season of the National Football League. Defending Super Bowl Champion Chicago Bears shared the league’s best record with the Giants at 14–2, with the Giants claiming the spot in the NFC by tiebreakers. In the AFC, the Cleveland Browns earned home-field advantage with a record of 12–4, and they hosted the New York Jets in round one of the AFC playoffs. The Jets had started the season at 10–1 before losing their final five contests. The game went to double OT, with the Browns finally prevailing 23–20. The following Sunday, John Elway and the Denver Broncos defeated the Browns by an identical score in a game known for The Drive, where Elway drove his team 98 yards to send the game to overtime to win. The Giants would defeat their rival Washington Redskins in the NFC title game, blanking them 17–0 to advance to their first Super Bowl. The season ended with Super Bowl XXI when the New York Giants defeated the Denver Broncos 39–20 at the Rose Bowl to win their first league title in 30 years.
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. 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 season ended with Super Bowl XVII when the Washington Redskins defeated the Miami Dolphins 27-17 at the Rose Bowl.
The 1980 NFL season was the 61st regular season of the National Football League.
The 1978 NFL season was the 59th regular season of the National Football League. The league expanded the regular season from a 14-game schedule to 16 games, where it has remained since. Furthermore, the playoff format was expanded from 8 teams to 10 teams by adding another wild card from each conference. The wild card teams played each other, with the winner advancing to the playoff round of eight teams.
The 1975 NFL season was the 56th regular season of the National Football League. It was the first NFL season without a tie game. The league made two significant changes to increase the appeal of the game:
The 1973 NFL season was the 54th regular season of the National Football League. The season was highlighted by O.J. Simpson becoming the first player to rush for 2,000 yards in one season.
The 1970 NFL season was the 51st regular season of the National Football League, and the first one after the AFL–NFL merger. The season concluded with Super Bowl V when the Baltimore Colts beat the Dallas Cowboys 16–13 at the Orange Bowl in Miami, Florida. The Pro Bowl took place on January 24, 1971, where the NFC beat the AFC 27–6 at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.
The 1969 NFL season was the 50th regular season of the National Football League, and its last before the AFL-NFL Merger. To honor the NFL's fiftieth season, a special anniversary logo was designed and each player wore a patch on their jerseys with this logo throughout the season.
The 2007 NFL season was the 88th regular season of the National Football League.
The 2010 NFL season was the 91st regular season of the National Football League and the 45th of the Super Bowl era.
The 2008 NFL season was the 89th regular season of the National Football League, themed with the slogan "Believe in Now."
The 2009 NFL season was the 90th season in the history of the National Football League (NFL). The 50th anniversary of the original eight charter members of the American Football League was celebrated during this season.
The 1988 Buffalo Bills season was the franchise's 29th overall season as a football team and the 19th in the National Football League. The Bills ended a streak of four consecutive losing seasons by winning the AFC East; they finished the NFL's 1988 season with a record of 12 wins and 4 losses; it was the club's first winning season since 1981, its first 12-win season since the 1964 AFL championship season, and only the fifth double-digit win season in team history. The Bills were 8–0 at home for the first time in their franchise history. On the road, the Bills were 4–4. From an attendance standpoint, the franchise set a record for attendance with 631,818 fans.
The 2012 NFL season was the 93rd regular season of the National Football League and the 47th of the Super Bowl era. It began on Wednesday, September 5, 2012, with the defending Super Bowl XLVI champion New York Giants falling to the Dallas Cowboys 24–17 in the 2012 NFL Kickoff game at MetLife Stadium, and ended with Super Bowl XLVII, the league's championship game, on Sunday, February 3, 2013, at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, with the Jim Harbaugh-coached San Francisco 49ers facing the John Harbaugh-coached Baltimore Ravens. The Ravens won 34–31. Super Bowl XLVII marked the first time two brothers were head coaches for opposing teams in the championship game.