1991 NFL Season
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1991 NFL Season

1991 National Football League season
Regular season
DurationSeptember 1 - December 23, 1991
Start dateDecember 28, 1991
AFC ChampionsBuffalo Bills
NFC ChampionsWashington Redskins
Super Bowl XXVI
DateJanuary 26, 1992
SiteMetrodome, Minneapolis, Minnesota
ChampionsWashington Redskins
Pro Bowl
DateFebruary 2, 1992
SiteAloha Stadium

The 1991 NFL season was the 72nd regular season of the National Football League. It was the final season for legendary coach Chuck Noll. The season ended with Super Bowl XXVI when the Washington Redskins defeated the Buffalo Bills 37-24 at the Metrodome in Minnesota. This was the second of four consecutive Super Bowl losses for Buffalo.

Major rule changes

Source: Total Football: The Official Encyclopedia of the National Football League (ISBN 0-06-270174-6). pp 1583-1592.
  • The definition of a drop kick, field goal, and punt is modified: all three can only be attempted from behind the line of scrimmage.
  • If a foul by a player causes an injury to an opponent, a team time out will not be charged to the penalized team anytime during the game instead of only during the last two minutes of a half.
  • The game clock will not start until the next snap following any change of possession, even if the player went out of bounds.
  • Officials will immediately blow the play dead when a defensive player is offsides before the snap and clearly rushes beyond the offensive line in such a way that he becomes an unabated threat to the quarterback.
  • A touchback will be ruled when a player fumbles the ball in the field of play and it goes out of bounds in the opponent's end zone.
  • A touchback, not a safety, will also be ruled when a player fumbles the ball in his own end zone and the opponent is the one that knocks the fumble out of bounds in the end zone.
  • An offensive player cannot deliberately bat a backward pass forward.

Officiating changes

Art McNally resigned as the league's Director of Officiating during the offseason. He had held the position since 1968.[1] Longtime NFL referee Jerry Seeman, who worked the previous season's Super Bowl XXV, was named as McNally's replacement.[2]

Jim Tunney retired after 31 years as an NFL official. He remains the only referee to have worked consecutive Super Bowls (XI, and XII).

Gene Barth died on October 11, 1991.[3] For the remainder of the 1991 season, NFL officials wore a black armband on their left sleeve with the white number 14 to honor him.

Bernie Kukar, Larry Nemmers, and Stan Kemp were promoted to referee to replace Barth, Seeman, and Tunney.

Uniform changes

  • The NFL shield was added to the yoke of the jerseys and the left thigh of the pants. The NFL shield was also added to the right breast of the officiating uniforms.

Final regular season standings


  • N.Y. Jets finished ahead of Miami in the AFC East based on head-to-head sweep (2-0).
  • Chicago was the first NFC Wild Card based on better conference record than Dallas (9-3 to Cowboys' 8-4).
  • Atlanta finished ahead of San Francisco in the NFC West based on head-to-head sweep (2-0), and was the third NFC Wild Card ahead of Philadelphia based on better conference record (7-5 to Eagles' 6-6).


Dec. 29 - Astrodome   Jan. 4 - Mile High Stadium          
 6  NY Jets  10
 3  Houston  24
 3  Houston  17     Jan. 12 - Rich Stadium
 2  Denver  26  
Dec. 28 - Arrowhead Stadium  2  Denver  7
Jan. 5 - Rich Stadium
   1  Buffalo  10  
 5  LA Raiders  6 AFC Championship
 4  Kansas City  14
 4  Kansas City  10   Jan. 26 - Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome
 1  Buffalo  37  
Wild card playoffs  
Divisional playoffs
Dec. 29 - Soldier Field  A1  Buffalo  24
Jan. 5 - Pontiac Silverdome
   N1  Washington  37
 5  Dallas  17 Super Bowl XXVI
 5  Dallas  6
 4  Chicago  13     Jan. 12 - Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium
 2  Detroit  38  
Dec. 28 - Louisiana Superdome  2  Detroit  10
Jan. 4 - Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium
   1  Washington  41  
 6  Atlanta  27 NFC Championship
 6  Atlanta  7
 3  New Orleans  20  
 1  Washington  24  

Coaching changes





The 1991 NFL Draft was held from April 21 to 22, 1991 at New York City's Marriott Marquis. With the first pick, the Dallas Cowboys selected defensive tackle Russell Maryland from the University of Miami.

External links


  1. ^ "Forty years later, NFL official denies 'Immaculate Reception' conspiracy". USA TODAY. Retrieved 2018.
  2. ^ "Former NFL referee, league supervisor of officials Jerry Seeman dies at age 77". Associated Press. StarTribune.com. November 25, 2013. Archived from the original on November 29, 2013.
  3. ^ "Gene F. Barth Dies; Was NFL Official For 20 Years", St. Louis Post-Dispatch, October 13, 1991, Edition: L5, Page: 14F

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