2013 NFL season

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2013 National Football League season
Regular season
DurationSeptember 5 – December 29, 2013
Playoffs
Start dateJanuary 4, 2014
AFC Champions Denver Broncos
NFC Champions Seattle Seahawks
Super Bowl XLVIII
DateFebruary 2, 2014
Site MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, New Jersey
Champions Seattle Seahawks
Pro Bowl
DateJanuary 26, 2014
Site Aloha Stadium, Honolulu, Hawaii
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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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Ravens
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Steelers
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Browns
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Colts
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Titans
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Jaguars
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Texans
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Broncos
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Chiefs
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Raiders
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Chargers
AFC teams: Yellow ffff00 pog.svg West, Blue pog.svg North, Red pog.svg South, White pog.svg East
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Cowboys
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Giants
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Eagles
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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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Falcons
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Panthers
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Saints
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Buccaneers
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Cardinals
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Rams
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Seahawks
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49ers
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The 2013 NFL season was the 94th season in the history of the National Football League (NFL) and the 48th of the Super Bowl era. The season saw the Seattle Seahawks capture the first championship in the franchise's 38 years in the league with a lopsided victory over the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl XLVIII, the league's championship game. The Super Bowl was played at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey, on Sunday, February 2, 2014. It was the first Super Bowl hosted by New Jersey and the first to be held outdoors in a cold weather environment. The Seahawks scored 12 seconds into the game and held the lead the rest of the way on the back of their Legion of Boom defense.

Contents

Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning was named the regular season's Most Valuable Player (MVP) by the voters of the Associated Press (AP) for a record fifth time after compiling passing stats which included regular season records for passing yards and passing touchdowns. Manning also was named the Offensive Player of the Year for the second time in his career. Carolina Panthers linebacker Luke Kuechly earned Defensive Player of the Year honors.

Scoring reached historic levels throughout the league in 2013. As a whole the league set records for total points scored, points scored per game and the number of both touchdowns and field goals scored. The Broncos set a new standard for team scoring in the regular season with 606 points. In addition to the Broncos, ten other teams each scored over 400 points, the greatest number of teams to surpass that benchmark in a single year.

The regular season got underway on Thursday, September 5, 2013, with the Broncos hosting the defending Super Bowl XLVII champion Baltimore Ravens in the annual kickoff game. The game presaged the Broncos' historic offensive production with a strong performance by Peyton Manning in which he tied a league record in throwing seven touchdown passes and led the Broncos to a win. The game was the start of a disappointing season for the Ravens in which they would finish out of the playoffs with an 8–8 record, thus ensuring that there would be no repeat Super Bowl winner for a tied record ninth straight season. The regular season wrapped up on Sunday night, December 29.

The playoffs began with the wild card round which took place the first weekend of January 2014. The league's propensity for scoring did not abate in the post-season, as exemplified by the Indianapolis Colts' wild come-from-behind victory over the Kansas City Chiefs in the playoffs' opening game. The Conference Championship games featured the top seeded teams in each conference, the Seahawks in the NFC and the Broncos in the American Football Conference (AFC), hosting the San Francisco 49ers and New England Patriots respectively. Both home teams prevailed to set up just the second Super Bowl matchup of No. 1 seeds in the past 20 seasons.

Player movement

The 2013 league year began at 4 pm EST on March 12, [1] which marked the start of the league's free agency period. [2] The per-team salary cap was set at US$ 123,000,000. [3] For the first time the league instituted a negotiating period prior to the start of free agency during which time agents representing prospective unrestricted free agent players (though not the players themselves) were allowed to have contact with team representatives with the purpose of determining a player's market value and to begin contract negotiations. This period, which was referred to by some as the "legal tampering" period, began at midnight on March 9. [4]

Free agency

A total of 524 players were eligible for some form of free agency. Among the high-profile players who changed teams via free agency included:

Eight players were assigned the non-exclusive franchise tag by their teams, which ensured that the team would receive compensation were the player to sign a contract with another team. These players were Brandon Albert (Chiefs), Jairus Byrd (Bills), Ryan Clady (Broncos), Michael Johnson (Bengals), Pat McAfee (Colts), Henry Melton (Bears), Anthony Spencer (Cowboys) and Randy Starks (Dolphins). [6] None of these players changed teams.

Major trades

The following trades are notable as they involved Pro Bowl-caliber players and/or draft picks in the first three rounds:

Offseason
Percy Harvin was traded by the Vikings to the Seahawks Percy Harvin (cropped).jpg
Percy Harvin was traded by the Vikings to the Seahawks
The Jets traded Darrelle Revis to the Buccaneers Darrelle Revis ESPNWeekend2010-051.jpg
The Jets traded Darrelle Revis to the Buccaneers
In-season
Trent Richardson was acquired by the Colts Trent Richardson.jpg
Trent Richardson was acquired by the Colts

Draft

The 2013 NFL Draft was held April 25–27, 2013, in New York City. [17] Prior to the draft the NFL Scouting Combine, where draft-eligible players were evaluated by team personnel, was held in Indianapolis on February 20–26. [1] In the draft, the Kansas City Chiefs made Central Michigan University offensive tackle Eric Fisher the first overall selection. [18]

Officiating changes

Dean Blandino was named as the league's new Vice President of Officiating, succeeding Carl Johnson. [19] Referee Alberto Riveron was then promoted to the league's Senior Director of Officiating, a newly created position as a second-in-command under Blandino. [20] Bill Vinovich, who worked the previous season as a substitute referee, was then assigned to head Riveron's former on-field officiating crew.

Rule changes

The following rule changes were approved at the NFL owners' meeting on March 20, 2013: [21] [22] [23]

Player safety changes

Preseason

Training camps for the 2013 season opened in late July. The Buccaneers camp was the first to open with rookies reporting on July 17. The Cowboys were the first to open camp to veteran players on July 20. All teams were in camp by July 27. [29]

Prior to the start of the regular season, each team played at least four preseason exhibition games. The preseason schedule got underway with the Pro Football Hall of Fame Game on Sunday, August 4. The Hall of Fame game is a traditional part of the annual Pro Football Hall of Fame induction weekend celebrating new Hall of Fame members. It was played at Fawcett Stadium in Canton, Ohio, which is located adjacent to the Hall of Fame building. In the game, which was televised nationally on NBC, the Dallas Cowboys defeated the Miami Dolphins 24–20. [30] The 2013 Hall of Fame class of Larry Allen, Cris Carter, Curley Culp, Jonathan Ogden, Bill Parcells, Dave Robinson and Warren Sapp was honored during the game. [31] The 65-game preseason schedule concluded on Thursday, August 29. [32]

Regular season

The 2013 season featured 256 games played out over a seventeen-week schedule which began on the Thursday night following Labor Day. Each of the league's 32 teams played a 16-game schedule which included one bye week for each team between weeks four and twelve. The slate featured seventeen games on Monday night including a doubleheader in the season's opening week. There were also seventeen games played on Thursday, including the National Football League Kickoff game in prime time on September 5 and three games on Thanksgiving Day. The regular season wrapped up with a full slate of 16 games on Sunday, December 29, all of which were intra-divisional matchups. [33]

Scheduling formula

Under the NFL's scheduling formula, each team played each of the other three teams in their own division twice. In addition, a team played against all four teams in one other division from each conference. The final two games on a team's schedule were against the two teams in the team's own conference in the divisions the team was not set to play who finished the previous season in the same rank in their division (e.g. the team which finished first in its division the previous season would play each other team in their conference that also finished first in its respective division). The pre-set division pairings for 2013 were as follows: [34]

   Intra-conference
AFC North vs. AFC East
AFC South vs. AFC West
NFC North vs. NFC East
NFC South vs. NFC West

   Inter-conference
AFC North vs. NFC North
AFC South vs. NFC West
AFC East vs. NFC South
AFC West vs. NFC East

The 2013 regular season schedule was released on April 18, 2013. [35]

Regular season highlights

The 2013 regular season began on Thursday, September 5, with the NFL Kickoff Game in which the Denver hosted the Baltimore. The game was a rematch of a two-overtime playoff game of the previous season and broadcast on NBC. The Ravens, as the reigning Super Bowl champions, would normally have hosted the kickoff game, however, a scheduling conflict with their Major League Baseball counterparts, the Baltimore Orioles, forced the Ravens to start the season on the road (the Ravens' and Orioles' respective stadiums share parking facilities). [36] The Ravens became the first Super Bowl winner since 2003 to open their title defense on the road. [37] The Broncos defeated the Ravens 49–27 on the strength of a record-setting performance by quarterback Peyton Manning. Manning completed 27 of 42 pass attempts for 462 yards and seven touchdowns. Manning set or tied numerous league records in the game including most touchdown passes in a game (tied with five others) and records for most career games with at least six, five and four touchdown passes. [38]

There were two NFL International Series games held at Wembley Stadium in London. On September 29, the Minnesota defeated the Pittsburgh 34–27. On October 27, the San Francisco defeated the Jacksonville 42–10. This season was the first of a four-year agreement for the Jaguars to play a home game in London (an agreement which was later extended an additional four years).

The San Diego and Oakland played an unusual late night game in the season's fifth week on October 6. The game, originally scheduled to start at 1:25 pm PDT, had to be moved to the evening to accommodate stadium schedules – Major League Baseball's Oakland Athletics, co-tenants of O.co Coliseum, had hosted the Game 2 of the 2013 American League Division Series the previous night and stadium crews needed nearly 24 hours to convert the stadium from a baseball to a football configuration. [39] O.co Coliseum was only multi-purpose stadium which hosted both an NFL and an MLB team in 2013. [40] Although the stadium conversion was complete by 3:30 pm local time, an 8:36 pm kickoff was necessary to avoid conflict with NBC's Sunday Night Football, where the San Francisco hosted the Houston at Candlestick Park across the San Francisco Bay. The Chargers-Raiders game was the latest start time for a game in NFL history and was broadcast nationwide on the NFL Network. [41]

The league's traditional slate of Thanksgiving Day games was played on Thursday, November 28. The Detroit hosted the Green Bay in the early game at 12:30 pm EST, marking the Packers' 21st Thanksgiving game in Detroit. The Oakland visited the Dallas in the late afternoon game at 3:30 pm CST. The evening game featured the defending Super Bowl champion Baltimore hosting their AFC North rival Pittsburgh at 8:30 pm EST. [35]

The Buffalo hosted the Atlanta in Toronto, Ontario, Canada on December 1. The game was played at Rogers Centre one week after the 101st Grey Cup ended the 2013 Canadian Football League season. On January 9, the Bills and Rogers Communications had announced a five-year extension of the Bills Toronto Series. [42] [43]

In-season scheduling changes

The following regular season games were moved either by way of flexible scheduling, severe weather, or for other reasons:

Regular season standings

Division

Conference

#TeamDivisionWLTPCTDIVCONFSOSSOVSTK
Division winners
1 Denver Broncos West1330.8135–19–3.469.423W2
2 New England Patriots East1240.7504–29–3.473.427W2
3 [lower-alpha 1] Cincinnati Bengals North1150.6883–38–4.480.494W2
4 Indianapolis Colts South1150.6886–09–3.484.449W3
Wild cards
5 Kansas City Chiefs West1150.6882–47–5.445.335L2
6 San Diego Chargers West970.5634–26–6.496.549W4
Did not qualify for the postseason
7 [lower-alpha 2] [lower-alpha 3] Pittsburgh Steelers North880.5004–26–6.469.441W3
8 [lower-alpha 4] Baltimore Ravens North880.5003–36–6.484.418L2
9 [lower-alpha 5] New York Jets East880.5003–35–7.488.414W2
10 Miami Dolphins East880.5002–47–5.523.523L2
11 Tennessee Titans South790.4382–46–6.504.375W2
12 Buffalo Bills East6100.3753–35–7.520.500L1
13 [lower-alpha 6] [lower-alpha 7] Oakland Raiders West4120.2501–54–8.523.359L6
14 [lower-alpha 8] Jacksonville Jaguars South4120.2503–34–8.504.234L3
15 Cleveland Browns North4120.2502–43–9.516.477L7
16 Houston Texans South2140.1251–52–10.559.500L14
Tiebreakers [lower-alpha 9]
  1. Cincinnati defeated Indianapolis head-to-head (Week 14, 42–28).
  2. Pittsburgh finished with a better division record than Baltimore.
  3. Pittsburgh defeated the New York Jets head-to-head (Week 6, 19–6).
  4. Baltimore defeated the New York Jets head-to-head (Week 12, 19–3).
  5. The New York Jets finished with a better division record than Miami.
  6. Oakland and Jacksonville finished with a better conference record than Cleveland.
  7. Oakland defeated Jacksonville head-to-head (Week 2, 19–9).
  8. Jacksonville defeated Cleveland head-to-head (Week 13, 32–28).
  9. When breaking ties for three or more teams under the NFL's rules, they are first broken within divisions, then comparing only the highest ranked remaining team from each division.
#TeamDivisionWLTPCTDIVCONFSOSSOVSTK
Division winners
1 Seattle Seahawks West1330.8134–210–2.490.445W1
2 Carolina Panthers South1240.7505–19–3.494.451W3
3 Philadelphia Eagles East1060.6254–29–3.453.391W2
4 Green Bay Packers North871.5313–2–16–5–1.453.371W1
Wild cards
5 San Francisco 49ers West1240.7505–19–3.494.414W6
6 New Orleans Saints South1150.6885–19–3.516.455W1
Did not qualify for the postseason
7 Arizona Cardinals West1060.6252–46–6.531.444L1
8 [lower-alpha 1] Chicago Bears North880.5002–44–8.465.469L2
9 Dallas Cowboys East880.5005–17–5.484.363L1
10 [lower-alpha 2] [lower-alpha 3] New York Giants East790.4383–36–6.520.366W2
11 [lower-alpha 4] Detroit Lions North790.4384–26–6.457.402L4
12 St. Louis Rams West790.4381–54–8.551.446L1
13 Minnesota Vikings North5101.3442–3–14–7–1.512.450W1
14 [lower-alpha 5] Atlanta Falcons South4120.2501–53–9.553.313L2
15 Tampa Bay Buccaneers South4120.2501–52–10.574.391L3
16 Washington Redskins East3130.1880–61–11.516.438L8
Tiebreakers [lower-alpha 6]
  1. Chicago defeated Dallas head-to-head (Week 14, 45–28).
  2. The New York Giants and Detroit finished with a better conference record than St. Louis.
  3. The New York Giants defeated Detroit head-to-head (Week 16, 23–20 (OT)).
  4. Detroit finished with a better conference record than St. Louis.
  5. Atlanta finished with a better conference record than Tampa Bay.
  6. When breaking ties for three or more teams under the NFL's rules, they are first broken within divisions, then comparing only the highest ranked remaining team from each division.

Postseason

Wild card round

The wild card round of the playoffs featured the two wild card playoff qualifiers from each conference being hosted by the two lowest seeded divisional winners. The top two seeds in each conference – the Seahawks, Panthers, Broncos and Patriots – all had first-round byes. The games were played January 4–5, 2014.

The weekend's first game on Saturday featured the Colts staging the second biggest comeback in playoff history to defeat the Chiefs by a score of 45–44. The 28-point second half deficit the Colts overcame is exceeded only by the BillsOilers playoff game from January 1993 which has become known simply as "The Comeback." [59] It was the first time in any NFL game (regular or postseason) that a team won in regulation play (i.e. not overtime) after having trailed by as many as 28 points. [60] The game was also the highest scoring postseason game to have been decided by a one-point margin [60] as well as the first game in league history to finish with a 45–44 result. [61] The Colts and Chiefs combined to gain 1,049 total yards which established a new single-game postseason record, breaking the record of 1,038 yards that was set by the BillsDolphins first-round game on December 30, 1995, and matched in a SaintsLions first-round matchup on January 7, 2012. [60] The loss was the Chiefs' eighth straight in the playoffs which broke an NFL record for consecutive playoff losses the franchise had previously shared with the Lions. [62]

The Saints beat the Eagles 26–24 in the Saturday night game. It was the Saints' first ever road playoff victory. The Saints built an early 20–7 lead before the Eagles bounced back to take a 24–23 lead with less than five minutes remaining in the game. However, the Saints worked their way down the field while also working the clock on the game's final drive before Shayne Graham kicked the game-winning field goal from 32 yards out as time expired. [63]

The early game on Sunday was the only game of the weekend not decided by three or fewer points with the Chargers defeating the Bengals, 27–10. Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton committed three second-half turnovers which led to the Chargers scoring 20 unanswered points to overcome a 7–10 halftime deficit. The Bengals loss marks a league record third straight year in which the team has lost its playoff opener, and extended the Bengals' streak of playoff futility to 23 seasons. Every other current NFL team has won a playoff game since the Bengals' last playoff victory in January 1991. [64]

In the late afternoon game on Sunday the 49ers defeated the Packers 23–20 on a brutally cold day at Lambeau Field. The temperature at game time was just 5 °F (−15 °C) with a wind chill of −10 °F (−23 °C). Quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who eschewed sleeves and gloves despite the chilly conditions, passed for 227 yards and rushed for 98 more to lead the 49ers to victory in a back-and-forth game. Phil Dawson kicked the winning field goal as time expired. This was the second straight year that the Packers' season had both started and ended with losses to the 49ers. [65]

Divisional round

The divisional round games were played on January 11–12, 2014 and three of the four were rematches of regular season games – only the Patriots and Colts had not met in 2013. [66]

In the early game on Saturday, the Seahawks defeated the Saints 23–15. The Seahawks held a 16–0 lead at halftime, but the Saints came back in the second half to make the game interesting. The Seahawks were able to hold on after a late Saints comeback effort, including an onside kick recovery, fell short. The Seahawks' offense centered around a 28 carry, 140 yard rushing effort from Marshawn Lynch, who also scored on a 31-yard run in the fourth quarter. [67]

Patriots running back LeGarrette Blount and the Patriots defense were the stars of the Patriots 43–22 victory over the Colts in the Saturday night game. Blount rushed for 166 yards and a franchise-record four touchdowns while Colts quarterback Andrew Luck was intercepted four times. [68] Patriots quarterback Tom Brady broke a league record for most playoff games for a starting quarterback with 25 (a record he had previously shared with Brett Favre) and extended his own record of 18 career playoff wins. [69] The victory allowed the Patriots to reach the AFC Championship game for the third straight year as well as the eighth time with Brady and head coach Bill Belichick. [68] Belichick moved into a second-place tie with Don Shula on the all-time postseason head coaching wins list, one victory behind Tom Landry. [70] [71]

The 49ers defeated the Panthers by a score of 23–10 in the early Sunday game. The 49ers defense twice stopped the Panthers one yard short of the end zone and also recorded two interceptions and five quarterback sacks. 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick threw for one touchdown and ran for another in the game. The win put the 49ers into their third straight and fifteenth overall conference championship game, matching the Pittsburgh Steelers for most conference championship appearances. [71] Jim Harbaugh became the first head coach in NFL history to take his team to the conference championship game in each of his first three seasons. [72]

In the final game of the divisional round the Broncos beat the Chargers 24–17. It was only the fourth time in the season to date that the Broncos had been held to fewer than 30 points (three of which were against the Chargers), but the Chargers offense could not capitalize. [73] The Broncos held a 17–0 lead in the fourth quarter before the Chargers launched a comeback that was too little and too late. [74] The win put the Broncos into the AFC championship game for the first time since the 2005 season. [75]

Conference championships
Tom Brady 2011.JPG
Peyton Manning (cropped).jpg
In the AFC Championship Game Tom Brady (left) and Peyton Manning (right) met for the 15th time

The conference championships took place on Sunday, January 19, 2014.

The early game featured the Broncos hosting the Patriots in the AFC Championship Game. The game was referred to by many as Manning-Brady XV as it was the fifteenth meeting (the fourth in the playoffs) of the two starting quarterbacks, Tom Brady and Peyton Manning. [76] The Broncos defeated Brady and the Patriots 26–16 behind a 400-yard passing performance by Manning. Manning led the Broncos on two long touchdown drives where each used over seven minutes of game time and were the two longest drives in terms of game time of the Broncos season. [77] This was Manning's third career postseason game with 400 or more yards passing, equaling Drew Brees for the most such playoff games in league history. [78] Broncos head coach John Fox, who previously led the Carolina Panthers to Super Bowl XXXVIII in 2004, became the sixth head coach in NFL history to take two different franchises to the Super Bowl. [79]

The NFC Championship Game had the Seahawks hosting the 49ers in the late game. The Seahawks defense forced three turnovers in the fourth quarter which proved to be the difference in the game. The last of these was a pass intended for Michael Crabtree in the endzone which was intercepted by Seahawks linebacker Malcolm Smith off a deflection by cornerback Richard Sherman with just 22 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter. The interception preserved a 23–17 Seahawks victory. [80] In an on-field interview immediately after the game with Fox sideline reporter Erin Andrews, Sherman famously directed a rant at Crabtree whom Sherman called a "sorry receiver." [81]

Super Bowl XLVIII

Super Bowl XLVIII featured the top seeded team from each conference for just the second time in twenty years. The Broncos possessed the league's best offense (in terms of both scoring and yards) while the Seahawks had the league's top defense (also in both scoring and yardage). [82] The game was played on February 2, 2014 at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey, just outside New York City and was televised in the U.S. by Fox with kickoff at 6:32 pm EST. This was the first ever Super Bowl to be staged outdoors in a cold weather environment [28] :46 although the temperature was a mild 49 degrees at kickoff. [83]

Russell Wilson and Marshawn Lynch with the Vince Lombardi Trophy at the CenturyLink Field in Seattle, February 5, 2014 Russell Wilson, Marshawn Lynch with Lombardi Trophy.jpg
Russell Wilson and Marshawn Lynch with the Vince Lombardi Trophy at the CenturyLink Field in Seattle, February 5, 2014

The game started disastrously for the Broncos who, despite losing the coin toss, received the opening kickoff. On the game's first play from scrimmage from the Broncos' 14 yard line, Broncos center Manny Ramirez sent a shotgun snap over the head of quarterback Peyton Manning. The ball traveled into the endzone where it was covered by Broncos running back Knowshon Moreno who was touched down for a safety with just 12 seconds of game time elapsed. This was the quickest score ever in a Super Bowl. The Seahawks did not relinquish the lead in a 43–8 victory. [83]

This was the Seahawks first ever league championship since entering the NFL in 1976. Seahawks linebacker Malcolm Smith, who scored on a 69-yard interception return plus had a fumble recovery and tallied 10 tackles, was named the game's Most Valuable Player (MVP). [83]

This was the fifth Super Bowl loss for the Broncos, the most for any franchise. [84] Even in defeat, though, Peyton Manning's record-breaking year continued. He set a record for most passes completed in a Super Bowl with 34. [84] He also moved ahead of Tom Brady into first place on the career playoff passing yardage list with 6,589 yards. [85] [86] [87] In addition, Broncos wide receiver Demaryius Thomas caught 13 passes to set a single-game Super Bowl record. [84]

Playoffs bracket

Jan 5 – Lambeau Field Jan 12 – Bank of America Stadium
5 San Francisco 23
5San Francisco23
4 Green Bay 20Jan 19 – CenturyLink Field
2 Carolina 10
NFC
Jan 4 – Lincoln Financial Field 5San Francisco17
Jan 11 – CenturyLink Field
1Seattle23
6 New Orleans 26NFC Championship
6New Orleans15
3 Philadelphia 24Feb 2 – MetLife Stadium
1 Seattle 23
Wild Card playoffs
Divisional playoffs
Jan 4 – Lucas Oil Stadium N1Seattle43
Jan 11 – Gillette Stadium
A1Denver8
5 Kansas City 44 Super Bowl XLVIII
4Indianapolis22
4 Indianapolis 45Jan 19 – Sports Authority Field at Mile High
2 New England 43
AFC
Jan 5 – Paul Brown Stadium 2New England16
Jan 12 – Sports Authority Field at Mile High
1Denver26
6 San Diego 27AFC Championship
6San Diego17
3 Cincinnati 10
1 Denver 24


Pro Bowl

The Pro Bowl is the league's all-star game. The league had raised doubts about the future of the exhibition due to concerns over the game's competitiveness in recent years, [88] but on March 20, it was announced that the 2014 Pro Bowl would indeed take place, receiving a one-year reprieve. As in recent years, the game was held the week before the Super Bowl at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu, Hawaii. It was played on Sunday, January 26, and broadcast in the U.S. on NBC. [89]

The format for the game was considerably altered in an effort to improve competitiveness. The biggest changes included an "unconferenced" format in which players would be selected regardless of the conference in which their team competes, a draft format to select the teams and various tweaks to increase the excitement of the game itself. Deion Sanders and Jerry Rice served as the non-playing captains for the two competing squads. [89]

Notable events

Some NFL-related events that made headlines throughout 2013 include:

Harris Poll tabs professional football as America's favorite sport

A nationwide poll conducted by Harris Interactive in December 2013 concluded that pro football is the favorite sport of Americans. Of the respondents asked the question, "If you had to choose, which ONE of these sports would you say is your favorite?", 35% chose pro football. That is up by one percentage point over the results of the previous year. Football has taken the top spot in the annual poll each year since it was first conducted in 1985. Baseball finished second, with 14% naming it as their favorite, followed by college football at 11%. [90]

Former Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez Aaron Hernandez.JPG
Former Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez
Aaron Hernandez charged with murder

In August, former Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez was charged with the murder of Odin Lloyd. [91] Hernandez was released by the Patriots following his arrest in the murder investigation in June. [92] In an effort to further distance themselves from the troubled Hernandez, the Patriots offered fans an opportunity to trade-in Hernandez jerseys for another jersey of comparable value. [93] Hernandez would be convicted of the murder charge and sentenced to life imprisonment in April 2015. [94]

Riley Cooper incident

Eagles wide receiver Riley Cooper was caught on video using a racial slur during a music concert. After the video went viral during the team's training camp, Cooper was briefly sent away from the team to seek counseling. The Eagles also levied an undisclosed fine. [95]

Concussion litigation brought by former players

In August, just prior to the start of the season, a US$ 765,000,000 settlement proposal was announced in a class-action lawsuit brought against the league by former players who contended that the league concealed a link between head injuries sustained by players and traumatic brain injury which may only become apparent later in life. [96] [97] The judge in the case later rejected the settlement on the grounds that the amount may not be large enough to cover the needs of all the plaintiffs. [98]

Buccaneers release quarterback Josh Freeman in mid-season

In October, the Buccaneers released quarterback Josh Freeman after trying unsuccessfully to trade him. Freeman had been considered one of the league's best young quarterbacks after leading the Bucs to a 10–6 record in 2010, but he clashed with head coach Greg Schiano (who took over in 2012) and was benched earlier in the year. Despite being just 25 years old, Freeman held franchise records for touchdowns and completions and was second in passing yardage. It had come out earlier in the week that Freeman had been in the league's substance abuse program; Freeman described his participation as voluntary and a result of prescription drugs he was taking to treat ADHD. [99] Shortly after his release, Freeman was signed by the Vikings. [100] Freeman started for the Vikings in week seven, but he posted a passer rating of just 40.6 in that game and did not play another down during the season. He was inactive for nine of the Vikings' final ten games. [101]

Tampa Bay MRSA outbreak

Three Buccaneers players – kicker Lawrence Tynes, guard Carl Nicks and cornerback Johnthan Banks – were diagnosed with methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infections during the season. [102] The potentially deadly strain of staph had been encountered by other NFL teams including the Washington Redskins, St. Louis Rams and Cleveland Browns in previous seasons. [103] After the third infection was confirmed there was brief discussion as to whether the Bucs' week six home game against the Eagles would be played, but the decision was made to continue with the scheduled game. [104] The Falcons even took the step of bringing in a hazardous materials crew to disinfect the visitor's locker room after the Bucs' visited Atlanta in week seven. [105]

Dolphins bullying scandal

Dolphins offensive lineman Richie Incognito was suspended by the team in November after allegations surfaced that he bullied fellow lineman Jonathan Martin who left the team earlier in the season due to the impact of Incognito's actions. [106] [107]

The league's official investigation into the matter concluded that Martin and other Dolphins employees had been subjected to a "pattern of harassment" at the hands of Incognito as well as fellow linemen John Jerry and Mike Pouncey. The 144-page report, written by league-appointed investigator Ted Wells, called the situation a "classic case of bullying". [107] The report also implicated Dolphins offensive line coach Jim Turner in some of the abuse; Turner was fired by the team shortly after the report's release. [108]

Redskins shut down quarterback Robert Griffin III for season's final three games

Redskins head coach Mike Shanahan made a decision to bench the team's franchise quarterback, Robert Griffin III for the team's final three games of the 2013 season. Griffin had undergone knee surgery after being injured the previous season in which he was named NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year after being selected second overall in the 2012 draft. Griffin was much less productive in his second season. Shanahan stated that the decision to start Kirk Cousins over Griffin was made to protect Griffin from sustaining another injury, although there was speculation that Shanahan was unhappy about Griffin's friendly relationship with team owner Daniel Snyder. [109] Shanahan was fired after the season ended. [110]

Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson leads all players in licensed product sales

Russell Wilson the second-year quarterback of the Super Bowl champion Seahawks led all NFL players in terms of total licensed product sales (jerseys, T-shirts, figurines, photos, etc.) made from March 2013 through February 2014. The top six players on the list were quarterbacks, including, in order, Peyton Manning (who held the top spot the previous year), Colin Kaepernick, Robert Griffin III, Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady. The only non-quarterback in the top 10 was Wilson's Seahawks teammate, running back Marshawn Lynch. [111]

Deacon Jones' death
Deacon Jones in 1971. Deacon Jones in 1971 Brady Bunch promo.jpg
Deacon Jones in 1971.

Legendary Hall of Fame defensive lineman Deacon Jones died in June. [112] Shortly thereafter the league honored Jones' legacy by creating the "Deacon Jones Award" to be given annually to the player who records the most quarterback sacks. [113] Colts linebacker Robert Mathis was the inaugural winner of the honor. [114]

Bud Adams' death

Tennessee Titans owner Kenneth S. "Bud" Adams died in October. He was the only owner the franchise, which began in 1960 as the Houston Oilers in the AFL, has ever had. Adams was a second-generation oil tycoon who made his home in Houston, Texas. [115] The team was inherited in equal parts by the families of Adams' three children with Adams' son-in-law Tommy Smith succeeding Adams as the president and CEO of the franchise. [116] [117]

Other 2013 deaths

Aside from those mentioned above, the following people associated with the NFL died in 2013:

Art Donovan Art donovan.jpg
Art Donovan
Bum Phillips with former U.S. President George H. W. Bush Bum Philips with G.H.W. Bush cropped.jpg
Bum Phillips with former U.S. President George H. W. Bush
L. C. Greenwood LC Greenwood USS Albany June 13, 2007.jpg
L. C. Greenwood
Pat Summerall PatSummerallDec08.jpg
Pat Summerall
Chuck Muncie Chuck Muncie at Cal 10-25-08 01.JPG
Chuck Muncie

Records, milestones, and notable statistics

The 2013 season saw a number of league records set, most notably:*A record 11,985 points were scored during the season, with games averaging 46.8 points, the highest average in NFL history (46.5 in 1948). [119]

Week 1
Week 2
Week 4
Week 5
Week 6
Week 7
Week 8
Week 9
Week 10
Week 11
Week 12
Week 13
Week 14
Week 15
Week 16
Week 17

Playoff records/milestones

Wildcard weekend
Division weekend
Championship weekend
Super Bowl

Regular season statistical leaders

Individual [177]
Scoring leader Stephen Gostkowski, New England (158)
Most field goals made Justin Tucker, Baltimore and Stephen Gostkowski (38 FGs)
Touchdowns Jamaal Charles, Kansas (19 TDs)
Rushing LeSean McCoy, Philadelphia (1,607 yards)
Passing yards Peyton Manning, Denver (5,477 yards)
Passing touchdownsPeyton Manning, Denver (55 TDs)
Passer rating Nick Foles, Philadelphia (119.2 rating)
Pass receptions Pierre Garcon, Washington (113 catches)
Pass receiving yards Josh Gordon, Cleveland (1,646 yards)
Combined tackles Vontaze Burfict, Cincinnati (165 tackles)
Interceptions Richard Sherman, Seattle (8)
Punting Bryan Anger, Jacksonville (4,338 yards, 45.7 average yards)
Sacks Robert Mathis, Indianapolis (19.5)

Awards and statistics

Individual season awards

AP MVP & Offensive Player of the Year Peyton Manning Peyton Manning (cropped).jpg
AP MVP & Offensive Player of the Year Peyton Manning
AP Defensive Player of the Year Luke Kuechly Luke Kuechly 2014 Pro Bowl.png
AP Defensive Player of the Year Luke Kuechly

The 3rd Annual NFL Honors, saluting the best players and plays from 2013 season, was held on February 1, 2014, at Radio City Music Hall in New York City. [178]

AwardWinnerPositionTeam
AP Most Valuable Player Peyton Manning [179] Quarterback Denver Broncos
AP Offensive Player of the Year Peyton Manning [179] QuarterbackDenver Broncos
AP Defensive Player of the Year Luke Kuechly [179] Linebacker Carolina Panthers
AP Coach of the Year Ron Rivera [179] Head coachCarolina Panthers
AP Offensive Rookie of the Year Eddie Lacy [179] Running back Green Bay Packers
AP Defensive Rookie of the Year Sheldon Richardson [179] Defensive end New York Jets
AP Comeback Player of the Year Philip Rivers [179] Quarterback San Diego Chargers
Pepsi Rookie of the Year Keenan Allen [179] Wide receiverSan Diego Chargers
Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Charles Tillman [179] Cornerback Chicago Bears
PFWA NFL Executive of the Year John Dorsey [180] General manager Kansas City Chiefs
Super Bowl Most Valuable Player Malcolm Smith [181] Linebacker Seattle Seahawks

All-Pro team

The following players were named first team All-Pro by the Associated Press: [182]

Offense
Quarterback Peyton Manning, Denver
Running back LeSean McCoy, Philadelphia
Jamaal Charles, Kansas City
Fullback Mike Tolbert, Carolina
Wide receiver Calvin Johnson, Detroit
Josh Gordon, Cleveland
Tight end Jimmy Graham, New Orleans
Offensive tackle Joe Thomas, Cleveland
Jason Peters, Philadelphia
Offensive guard Louis Vasquez, Denver
Evan Mathis, Philadelphia
Center Ryan Kalil, Carolina
Defense
Defensive end J. J. Watt, Houston
Robert Quinn, St. Louis
Defensive tackle Gerald McCoy, Tampa Bay
Ndamukong Suh, Detroit
Outside linebacker Robert Mathis, Indianapolis
Lavonte David, Tampa Bay
Inside linebacker Luke Kuechly, Carolina
NaVorro Bowman, San Francisco
Cornerback Richard Sherman, Seattle
Patrick Peterson, Arizona
Safety Earl Thomas, Seattle
Eric Berry, Kansas City
Special teams
Kicker Justin Tucker, Baltimore
Punter John Hekker, St. Louis
Kick returner Cordarrelle Patterson, Minnesota

Players of the week/month

The following were named the top performers during the 2013 season:

Week/
Month
Offensive
Player of the Week/Month
Defensive
Player of the Week/Month
Special Teams
Player of the Week/Month
AFCNFCAFCNFCAFCNFC
1 Peyton Manning [126]
(Broncos)
Anquan Boldin [183]
(49ers)
Justin Houston [126]
(Chiefs)
Robert Quinn [183]
(Rams)
Nick Folk [126]
(Jets)
Dwayne Harris [183]
(Cowboys)
2 Philip Rivers [184]
(Chargers)
Aaron Rodgers [185]
(Packers)
Mario Williams [184]
(Bills)
Richard Sherman [185]
(Seahawks)
Trindon Holliday [184]
(Broncos)
Devin Hester [185]
(Bears)
3Peyton Manning [186]
(Broncos)
Jimmy Graham [187]
(Saints)
Justin Houston [186]
(Chiefs)
Greg Hardy [187]
(Panthers)
Spencer Lanning [186]
(Browns)
Sam Martin [187]
(Lions)
4Philip Rivers [188]
(Chargers)
Drew Brees [189]
(Saints)
Alterraun Verner [188]
(Titans)
Patrick Peterson [189]
(Cardinals)
Dexter McCluster [188]
(Chiefs)
Steven Hauschka [189]
(Seahawks)
SeptemberPeyton Manning [190]
(Broncos)
Jimmy Graham [191]
(Saints)
Justin Houston [190]
(Chiefs)
Richard Sherman [191]
(Seahawks)
Trindon Holliday [190]
(Broncos)
Cordarrelle Patterson [191]
(Vikings)
5 Geno Smith [192]
(Jets)
DeSean Jackson [193]
(Eagles)
Charles Woodson [192]
(Raiders)
Tramaine Brock [193]
(49ers)
Travis Benjamin [192]
(Browns)
Mason Crosby [193]
(Packers)
6 Andy Dalton [194]
(Bengals)
Nick Foles [195]
(Eagles)
Tamba Hali [194]
(Chiefs)
Thomas Davis [195]
(Panthers)
Nick Novak [194]
(Chargers)
Dwayne Harris [195]
(Cowboys)
7 Andrew Luck [196]
(Colts)
Matt Ryan [197]
(Falcons)
Mario Williams [196]
(Bills)
Sean Lee [197]
(Cowboys)
Shaun Suisham [196]
(Steelers)
Andy Lee [197]
(49ers)
8 Marvin Jones [198]
(Bengals)
Calvin Johnson [199]
(Lions)
Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie [198]
(Broncos)
Terrell Thomas [199]
(Giants)
Ryan Succop [198]
(Chiefs)
Cordarrelle Patterson [199]
(Vikings)
OctoberAndy Dalton [200]
(Bengals)
Calvin Johnson [201]
(Lions)
Robert Mathis [200]
(Colts)
Sean Lee [201]
(Cowboys)
Stephen Gostkowski [200]
(Patriots)
Mason Crosby [201]
(Packers)
9 Jason Campbell [202]
(Browns)
Nick Foles [203]
(Eagles)
Cameron Wake [202]
(Dolphins)
Shea McClellin [203]
(Bears)
Nick Folk [202]
(Jets)
Golden Tate [203]
(Seahawks)
10 Demaryius Thomas [204]
(Broncos)
Drew Brees [204]
(Saints)
Paul Posluszny [204]
(Jaguars)
Luke Kuechly [204]
(Panthers)
Justin Tucker [204]
(Ravens)
Tavon Austin [204]
(Rams)
11 Ben Roethlisberger [205]
(Steelers)
Bobby Rainey [206]
(Buccaneers)
Vontaze Burfict [205]
(Bengals)
Jason Pierre-Paul [206]
(Giants)
Adam Vinatieri [205]
(Colts)
Donnie Jones [206]
(Eagles)
12 Tom Brady [207]
(Patriots)
Carson Palmer [207]
(Cardinals)
Troy Polamalu [207]
(Steelers)
Lavonte David [207]
(Buccaneers)
Justin Tucker [207]
(Ravens)
Blair Walsh [207]
(Vikings)
NovemberBen Roethlisberger [207]
(Steelers)
Nick Foles [207]
(Eagles)
Chandler Jones [207]
(Patriots)
Thomas Davis [207]
(Panthers)
Justin Tucker [207]
(Ravens)
Tavon Austin [207]
(Rams)
13 Eric Decker [208]
(Broncos)
Russell Wilson [208]
(Seahawks)
Olivier Vernon [208]
(Dolphins)
Justin Tuck [208]
(Giants)
Kevin Huber [208]
(Bengals)
Donnie Jones [208]
(Eagles)
14Andy Dalton [209]
(Bengals)
Josh McCown [209]
(Bears)
Tamba Hali [209]
(Chiefs)
John Abraham [209]
(Cardinals)
Matt Prater [209]
(Broncos)
Phil Dawson [209]
(49ers)
15 Jamaal Charles [210]
(Chiefs)
Eddie Lacy [210]
(Packers)
Michael Thomas [210]
(Dolphins)
Richard Sherman [210]
(Seahawks)
Justin Tucker [210]
(Ravens)
Jay Feely [210]
(Cardinals)
16Peyton Manning [211]
(Broncos)
LeSean McCoy [211]
(Eagles)
Jerrell Freeman [211]
(Colts)
Luke Kuechly [211]
(Panthers)
Nick Novak [211]
(Chargers)
Josh Brown [211]
(Giants)
17 LeGarrette Blount [212]
(Patriots)
Drew Brees [213]
(Saints)
Dee Milliner [212]
(Jets)
Greg Hardy [213]
(Panthers)
Adam Vinatieri [212]
(Colts)
Phil Dawson [213]
(49ers)
DecemberPeyton Manning [214]
(Broncos)
LeSean McCoy [215]
(Eagles)
Robert Mathis [214]
(Colts)
NaVorro Bowman [215]
(49ers)
Dexter McCluster [214]
(Chiefs)
Brad Nortman [215]
(Panthers)
WeekFedEx Air
Player of the Week [216]
(Quarterbacks)
FedEx Ground
Player of the Week [216]
(Running Backs)
Pepsi Next
Rookie of the Week [217]
1 Peyton Manning (Broncos) LeSean McCoy (Eagles) PK Caleb Sturgis (Dolphins)
2 Aaron Rodgers (Packers) James Starks (Packers) QB EJ Manuel (Bills)
3Peyton Manning (Broncos) DeMarco Murray (Cowboys) RB Giovani Bernard (Bengals)
4 Drew Brees (Saints) Adrian Peterson (Vikings) LB Kiko Alonso (Bills)
5 Tony Romo (Cowboys) Jamaal Charles (Chiefs)QB Geno Smith (Jets)
6 Nick Foles (Eagles) Eddie Lacy (Packers) WR Keenan Allen (Chargers)
7 Matt Ryan (Falcons) Chris Ivory (Jets) OT D. J. Fluker (Chargers)
8Drew Brees (Saints) Andre Ellington (Cardinals)LB Sio Moore (Raiders)
9Nick Foles (Eagles) Chris Johnson (Titans)RB Eddie Lacy (Packers)
10Drew Brees (Saints) Mark Ingram II (Saints)WR Tavon Austin (Rams)
11 Ben Roethlisberger (Steelers) Bobby Rainey (Buccaneers)QB Matt McGloin (Raiders)
12 Philip Rivers (Chargers)Adrian Peterson (Vikings)WR Keenan Allen (Chargers)
13Peyton Manning (Broncos)Adrian Peterson (Vikings) TE Zach Ertz (Eagles)
14Drew Brees (Saints)LeSean McCoy (Eagles)WR Marlon Brown (Ravens)
15 Matt Cassel (Vikings)Eddie Lacy (Packers)WR Keenan Allen (Chargers)
16Peyton Manning (Broncos)LeSean McCoy (Eagles)RB Le'Veon Bell (Steelers)
17Drew Brees (Saints) LeGarrette Blount (Patriots)WR Keenan Allen (Chargers)
MonthRookie of the Month
OffensiveDefensive
September [218] DeAndre Hopkins
(Texans)
Kiko Alonso
(Bills)
October [219] Eddie Lacy
(Packers)
Tyrann Mathieu
(Cardinals)
November [207] Mike Glennon
(Buccaneers)
Sheldon Richardson
(Jets)
December [220] Cordarrelle Patterson
(Vikings)
Dee Milliner
(Jets)

Team statistical leaders

Offense [122]
Defense [221]

Head coach/front office changes

Head coach

Offseason
Team2012 head coachReason for leaving2013 replacementNotes
Arizona Cardinals Ken Whisenhunt [222] Fired Bruce Arians [223] Whisenhunt compiled a 49–53 record (including postseason games) making him the Cardinals' all-time coach with most wins. He led the team to its first Super Bowl and had just two losing seasons in his six as head coach, but the team had missed the playoffs the previous three years. [224] The Cardinals started 4–0 in 2012, but lost 11 of their final 12 games, including a franchise-worst 58–0 defeat to the Seattle Seahawks in Week 14. [225]

Arians went 9–3 as interim head coach of the Indianapolis Colts filling in for Chuck Pagano who left the team to undergo treatment for cancer. Arians's previous head coaching experience was with Temple University from 1984 through 1988. [223]

Buffalo Bills Chan Gailey [226] Doug Marrone [227] The Bills compiled a record of 16–32 (.333) and finished last in their division in each of Gailey's three seasons as head coach. [226] Gailey chose not to pursue further coaching after the dismissal and retired. [228]

Marrone had spent the past four seasons as head coach at Syracuse University. Prior to that he had been the offensive coordinator of the New Orleans Saints for three years. [227]

Chicago Bears Lovie Smith [229] Marc Trestman [230] Smith compiled a record of 84–66 (including postseason games) in nine seasons as head coach of the Bears. In the 2012 season, the Bears became the first team since the 1996 Washington Redskins to miss the playoffs following a 7–1 start to the season. [231]

Trestman had spent the previous five seasons as head coach of the Montréal Alouettes. During that tenure, he won back-to-back CFL Grey Cup championships in 2009 and 2010. He had previously coached for several NFL teams. [230]

Cleveland Browns Pat Shurmur [232] Rob Chudzinski [233] Shurmur compiled a record of 9–23 (.281) and failed to make the playoffs in two seasons as coach of the Browns.

Chudzinski had spent the previous two seasons as offensive coordinator of the Carolina Panthers and had served in the same capacity with the Browns in 2007 and 2008. [233]

Jacksonville Jaguars Mike Mularkey [234] Gus Bradley [235] Mularkey compiled a record of 2–14 (.125) in his only season as head coach of the Jaguars. [234]

Bradley was the defensive coordinator for the Seattle Seahawks the previous three seasons. Prior to that he served as linebackers coach for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2007 and 2008. He spent the first sixteen years of his coaching career toiling in the collegiate Division II and Football Championship Subdivision (previously known as Division I-AA) ranks. [235]

Kansas City Chiefs Romeo Crennel [236] Andy Reid [237] Crennel compiled a record of 4–15 (.211) in just over one season as coach of the Chiefs – he had taken over as interim head coach when Todd Haley was fired with three games remaining in the 2011 season. The Chiefs two wins in 2012 were the fewest in team history since 2008. [236]

Reid had been fired earlier in the offseason after spending the past 14 seasons as head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles. [237]

Philadelphia Eagles Andy Reid [238] Chip Kelly [239] Including postseason play, Reid compiled a record of 140–101–1 (.581) in fourteen seasons as head coach of the Eagles. The team earn nine playoff berths, appeared in the NFC Championship Game five times, and lost in Super Bowl XXXIX. He is the franchise's all-time coach with most wins. The Eagles' 4–12 record in 2012 was the team's worst in Reid's tenure. [238]

Kelly had spent the previous four seasons as head coach at the University of Oregon where he had developed a reputation as an offensive innovator in leading the team to four straight BCS bowl games. He had previously been linked to the Browns' head coaching job before backing out and announcing his intention to remain at Oregon. A few days later he had a change of heart and accepted the Eagles job. [239]

San Diego Chargers Norv Turner [240] Mike McCoy [241] Turner compiled a record of 59–43 (including 3–3 in the postseason) in six seasons as head coach of the Chargers. After making the playoffs in Turner's first three seasons (20072009), the team had missed the playoffs in each of the past three seasons. [240]

This is McCoy's first ever head coaching position. He had spent the past four years as offensive coordinator of the Denver Broncos. [241]

New Orleans Saints Joe Vitt ,
Aaron Kromer [242]
Reinstated Sean Payton [243] Payton had been suspended for the 2012 season due to his role in the New Orleans Saints bounty scandal; he was reinstated on January 22, shortly before New Orleans would host Super Bowl XLVII. [243]

In the six games (seven weeks) that Kromer served as interim head coach, the Saints compiled a record of 2–4 (.333); [242] in the ten games under Vitt, the team went 5–5 (.500).

In-season

The following head coaches were replaced in-season:

Team2013 head coachReason for leavingInterim head coachNotes
Denver Broncos John Fox [244] Medical leave
(weeks 10–13)
Jack Del Rio [245] Del Rio was named as the Broncos' interim head coach when Fox went on medical leave in mid-season. [244] Fox underwent an aortic valve replacement after becoming light headed on the golf course during the team's bye week on November 2. Fox had been aware of the heart condition, but had hoped to delay surgery until after the season. [245] Fox returned as head coach for the team's week 14 game on December 8. [246]

Del Rio, the Broncos' defensive coordinator, had previously been the Jacksonville Jaguars' head coach from 2003 through 2011. The Broncos went 3–1 under Del Rio.

Houston Texans Gary Kubiak [247] Medical leave
(weeks 9–10)

Fired
(weeks 15–17)
Wade Phillips [248] Kubiak went on medical leave to recover from a transient ischemic attack or "mini stroke", after he collapsed at halftime of the Texans' Week 9 loss to the Indianapolis Colts on November 3. Phillips took over head coaching duties for the second half of the week 9 game and served as interim head coach the following week. [249] Kubiak returned for Week 11 although he coached the next two games from the press box rather than the sidelines on the advice of his doctors. [250]

Kubiak was fired on December 6, after a loss to the Jaguars on Thursday Night Football which was a franchise record eleventh straight defeat. [247] Kubiak leaves Houston with a record of 63–66 (.488), including the franchise's only two playoff appearances.

Phillips, the Texans' defensive coordinator, has nine seasons of previous head coaching experience with the Denver Broncos, Buffalo Bills and Dallas Cowboys, and has previously served as an interim head coach with the Atlanta Falcons and New Orleans Saints. [248]

Front office

Offseason
TeamPosition2013 office holderReason for leaving2014 replacementNotes
Arizona Cardinals GM Rod Graves [222] Fired Steve Keim [251] Longtime General manager Rod Graves was dismissed along with head coach Ken Whisenhunt immediately following the 2012 season. [222] Graves had worked in the Cardinals organization for 16 years. [252] He had been the "personal assistant to the team's president" from 1997 through 2002 when he was promoted to become the vice president of football operations, which made him the team's head football decision maker, in 2003. [253] During Graves' ten years in charge of the Cardinals personnel department the team compiled a record of 65–95 (.406). [254]

Graves was replaced by Steve Keim who has been with the franchise for 14 years. Keim started as a scout in 1999 and worked his way up to become director of college scouting in 2006, then director of player personnel in 2008 and finally vice president for player personnel in 2012. Prior to joining the Cardinals Keim had a brief playing career in the NFL and CFL. [251]

Buffalo Bills GM Buddy Nix [255] Retired Doug Whaley [256] Nix stepped down as GM following the draft. He had been the team's GM since 2010 during which time the team went 16–32. He will stay with the team in a consulting role as a special assistant. [255]

Assistant GM Doug Whaley was promoted to replace Nix. The 40-year-old Whaley had been groomed as Nix' replacement since he was hired from the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2010. He becomes the Bills first black GM and the league's sixth. [256]

President Ralph Wilson [257] Russ Brandon [257] Bills owner Ralph Wilson relinquished control of the team's operations, ceding his title of president to team CEO Russ Brandon. [257] This move meant the team's general manager, who had previously reported directly to Wilson, would now report to Brandon. [257]
Cleveland Browns GM Tom Heckert, Jr. [232] Fired Michael Lombardi [258] Heckert was fired after a three-year tenure as the Browns GM during which the team went 14–43 (.292). [232] [259]

Lombardi replaced Heckert in the GM role, although he was given the title of Vice President of Player Personnel. Lombardi had previously worked in the Browns front office from 1987 through 1995. He later spent eight seasons with the Oakland Raiders and has also worked for the Philadelphia Eagles and San Francisco 49ers. Most recently he was an NFL analyst for the NFL Network and NFL.com. [258]

Jacksonville Jaguars GM Gene Smith [260] David Caldwell [261] Smith had been with the franchise since its inception in 1994 and had served as GM for the previous four seasons. The team went 22–42 (.344) under Smith including a league-worst 2–14 in the previous season. [262] Among the most often cited draft misses in Smith's career was selecting a punter (Bryan Anger) in the third round of the 2012 draft just a few selections before the Seattle Seahawks picked quarterback Russell Wilson. [260]

Smith was replaced by David Caldwell. The 38-year-old Caldwell has seventeen years of NFL front office experience, most recently as director of player personnel for the Atlanta Falcons. Prior to his five-year stint in Atlanta where he served as director of college scouting from 2008 through 2011, Caldwell has also worked for the Carolina Panthers and Indianapolis Colts. [261]

Kansas City Chiefs GM Scott Pioli [263] John Dorsey [264] Pioli was fired shortly after Andy Reid was hired as the Chief's head coach. The team had a winning season just once in Pioli's four years at the helm, posting an overall record of 23–41 (.359). [263] [265]

John Dorsey had worked in the Green Bay Packers scouting department since 1991, first as a scout and then as the team's director of college scouting since 1997. He left the Packers briefly following Mike Holmgren to the Seattle Seahawks in 1999, but returned after 14 months. He had a five-year playing career with the Packers in the 1980s. [264] [266]

New York Jets GM Mike Tannenbaum [267] John Idzik, Jr. [268] Tannenbaum was fired after the Jets completed a 6–10 season. He had been with the team for fifteen years and had served as GM for the past seven seasons. With Tannenbaum as GM, the team posted a record of 57–55 (.509) and reached the playoffs three times, though the last time they did so was in 2010. [267]

John Idzik, Jr. was hired from the Seattle Seahawks where he was the vice president for football administration. He is primarily known as a salary cap expert. Prior to the Seahawks, Idzik worked for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Arizona Cardinals in a twenty-year NFL career. [268]

San Diego Chargers GM A.J. Smith [240] Tom Telesco [269] The Chargers fired Smith on the same day they dismissed head coach Norv Turner. [240] Smith had been the Chargers GM since 2003, compiling a 95–65 (.594) regular-season record with five playoff appearances making his tenure the "most successful 10-year stretch" in team history. [270] [271]

Smith was replaced as GM by 40-year-old Tom Telesco who had been the vice president of football operations for the Indianapolis Colts' with whom he had worked for the past 15 years. [269]

Attendance

AT&T Stadium - Interior Cowboys Stadium full view.jpg
AT&T Stadium – Interior
MetLife Stadium New Meadowlands Stadium Mezz Corner.jpg
MetLife Stadium
Lambeau Field Lambeau Field.jpg
Lambeau Field
FedExField FedExField01.jpg
FedExField
Sports Authority Field at Mile High Sports Authority Field at Mile High AFC Championship game.jpg
Sports Authority Field at Mile High
2013 NFL home attendance by team [272]
TeamStadiumHome
Games
Total
Attendance
Average
Attendance
Capacity
percentage
Dallas AT&T Stadium 8704,34588,043110.4%
New York Giants MetLife Stadium 8641,14880,14897.1%
Green Bay Lambeau Field 8623,57777,947106.9%
Washington FedExField 8617,76777,22084.2%
New York Jets MetLife Stadium 8615,65676,95793.3%
Denver Sports Authority Field at Mile High 8614,97776,872101.0%
Kansas City Arrowhead Stadium 8602,87775,35998.2%
Carolina Bank of America Stadium 8587,54473,44399.5%
New Orleans Mercedes-Benz Superdome 8583,21072,90199.9%
Houston Reliant Stadium 8573,27171,658100.9%
Cleveland FirstEnergy Stadium 8569,96971,24297.3%
Baltimore M&T Bank Stadium 8569,08471,135100.2%
Atlanta Georgia Dome 8561,79570,22498.6%
San Francisco Candlestick Park 8557,85669,73299.3%
Philadelphia Lincoln Financial Field 8553,15269,144102.3%
Tennessee LP Field 8553,14469,143100.0%
New England Gillette Stadium 8550,04868,756100.0%
Seattle CenturyLink Field 8545,57768,197101.8%
Buffalo Ralph Wilson Stadium 7 [a] 463,87366,26790.7%
Indianapolis Lucas Oil Stadium 8527,60665,950104.7%
Miami Sun Life Stadium 8514,55364,31985.5%
San Diego Qualcomm Stadium 8513,64164,20590.1%
Minnesota Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome 7 [b] 448,13564,01999.8%
Detroit Ford Field 8510,36963,79698.9%
Cincinnati Paul Brown Stadium 8506,37763,29796.6%
Chicago Soldier Field 8498,86462,358101.4%
Arizona University of Phoenix Stadium 8488,27161,03396.6%
Jacksonville EverBank Field 7 [b] 419,58159,94089.2%
Tampa Bay Raymond James Stadium 8470,54858,81889.6%
Pittsburgh Heinz Field 8458,48957,31188.2%
St. Louis Edward Jones Dome 8455,65756,95787.2%
Oakland O.co Coliseum 8403,55650,44480.0%
Notes

Stadium changes

Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome 051207-MPLS-006Metrodome-crop.jpg
Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome

2013 marked the final season in which the Minnesota Vikings played their home games at the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome, as the team moved temporarily to TCF Bank Stadium (home of the University of Minnesota Golden Gophers) while their U.S. Bank Stadium was built at the same site as the Metrodome. The Vikings played the 2014 and 2015 seasons at TCF Bank Stadium and opened their new stadium for the 2016 season. [273] The Vikings had called the Metrodome home since it opened in 1982.

Candlestick Park Candlestick Park aerial.jpg
Candlestick Park

This was also the final season in which the San Francisco 49ers played their home games at Candlestick Park, as the team moved into the newly built Levi's Stadium located in Santa Clara, California, for 2014. The 49ers had played in Candlestick since 1971 and the stadium hosted Monday Night Football 36 times, including the stadium's farewell game on December 23. No other facility had as many Monday Night Football appearances. [123] With the departure of the 49ers, Candlestick Park was left without any permanent tenants. On February 3, 2013, plans to demolish Candlestick Park were announced and took place after the final 2013 49ers game. [274] [275]

Two stadiums received new naming rights: In January 2013, Cleveland Browns Stadium was renamed FirstEnergy Stadium. The FirstEnergy Corporation, an energy company based in Akron, Ohio, agreed to pay the Cleveland Browns $6 million per year for 17 years to have its name on the team's stadium. [276] In July 2013, Cowboys Stadium was re-branded as AT&T Stadium, though terms of the naming rights deal remain undisclosed. [277]

Uniforms

Several teams made changes to their uniforms or logos prior to the 2013 season:

Due to a new recommendation that a player should use the same helmet for all games, several teams were forced to make changes in their plans to use alternate and throwback jerseys, including the following:

U.S. television coverage

This was the eighth and final year of the television contracts with CBS, Fox, NBC, and ESPN before the new nine-year contracts began in 2014. CBS and Fox continued to carry the Sunday afternoon AFC and NFC packages, respectively. NBC carried Sunday Night Football, the kickoff game, and the prime-time Thanksgiving game; and ESPN aired seventeen Monday Night games in sixteen weeks. [296]

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