The 1974 NFL season was the 55th regular season of the National Football League. The season ended with Super Bowl IX when the Pittsburgh Steelers defeated the Minnesota Vikings. Players held a strike from July 1 until August 10, prior to the regular season beginning; only one preseason game (that year's College All-Star Game) was canceled, and the preseason contests were held with all-rookie rosters.
|1974 National Football League season|
|Duration||September 15 – December 15, 1974|
|Start date||December 21, 1974|
|AFC Champions||Pittsburgh Steelers|
|NFC Champions||Minnesota Vikings|
|Super Bowl IX|
|Date||January 12, 1975|
New Orleans, Louisiana
|Date||January 20, 1975|
|Site||Orange Bowl, Miami, Florida|
In addition to the on-field rule changes, the league eliminated the "future list" of players a team could sign without placing them on an active roster. The future list had been formalized by the league in 1965 and had informally existed for over a decade before that. The concept would return in 1977, renamed the practice squad.
There were two new referees in 1974, Cal Lepore and Gordon McCarter. Lepore replaced the retired John McDonough, the referee for Super Bowl IV and the NFL's longest game, the 1971 Christmas Day playoff between the Dolphins and Chiefs which lasted 82 minutes, 40 seconds. McCarter succeeded Jack Reader, who left the field to become chief lieutenant to NFL Director of Officiating Art McNally at league headquarters in New York.
From 1970 to 2001, there were three divisions (Eastern, Central and Western) in each conference. The winners of each division, and a fourth “wild card” team based on the best non-division winner, qualified for the playoffs. The tiebreaker rules were changed to start with head-to-head competition, followed by division records, records against common opponents, and records in conference play.
|1||St. Louis, Washington, Dallas||1–0–0||Chicago, Minnesota||1–0–0||Los Angeles, San Fran.||1–0–0||4 teams||1–0–0|
|2||St. Louis||2–0–0||Minnesota||2–0–0||Los Angeles, San Fran.||2–0–0||Los Angeles, San Fran.||2–0–0|
|3||St. Louis||3–0–0||Minnesota||3–0–0||Los Angeles, San Fran.||2–1–0||4 teams||2–1–0|
|4||St. Louis||4–0–0||Minnesota||4–0–0||Los Angeles||3–1–0||Philadelphia||3–1–0|
|5||St. Louis||5–0–0||Minnesota||5–0–0||Los Angeles||3–2–0||Philadelphia||4–1–0|
|6||St. Louis||6–0–0||Minnesota||5–1–0||Los Angeles||4–2–0||Philadelphia||4–2–0|
|7||St. Louis||7–0–0||Minnesota||5–2–0||Los Angeles||5–2–0||Washington||4–3–0|
|8||St. Louis||7–1–0||Minnesota||6–2–0||Los Angeles||6–2–0||Washington||5–3–0|
|9||St. Louis||7–2–0||Minnesota||7–2–0||Los Angeles||7–2–0||Washington||6–3–0|
|10||St. Louis||8–2–0||Minnesota||7–3–0||Los Angeles||7–3–0||Washington||7–3–0|
|11||St. Louis||9–2–0||Minnesota||7–4–0||Los Angeles||8–3–0||Washington||8–3–0|
|12||St. Louis||9–3–0||Minnesota||8–4–0||Los Angeles||9–3–0||Washington||8–4–0|
|13||St. Louis||9–4–0||Minnesota||9–4–0||Los Angeles||9–4–0||Washington||9–4–0|
|14||St. Louis||10–4–0||Minnesota||10–4–0||Los Angeles||10–4–0||Washington||10–4–0|
|1||Buffalo, New England||1–0–0||Pittsburgh, Houston, Cincinnati||1–0–0||Kansas City||1–0–0||Denver, Kansas City, San Diego||1–0–0|
|2||New England||2–0–0||Pittsburgh||1–0–1||Oakland*||1–1–0||8 teams||1–1–0|
|3||New England||3–0–0||Cincinnati||2–1–0||Oakland*||2–1–0||3 teams||2–1–0|
|Divisional Playoffs||Conf. Championship Games||Super Bowl IX|
|December 22 – Three Rivers Stadium|
|December 29 – Oakland Coliseum|
|December 21 – Oakland Coliseum|
|January 12 – Tulane Stadium|
|December 22 – L.A. Coliseum|
|December 29 – Metropolitan Stadium|
|December 21 – Metropolitan Stadium|
|Most Valuable Player||Ken Stabler, Quarterback, Oakland|
|Coach of the Year||Don Coryell, St. Louis Cardinals|
|Offensive Player of the Year||Ken Stabler, Quarterback, Oakland|
|Defensive Player of the Year||Joe Greene, Defensive End, Pittsburgh|
|Offensive Rookie of the Year||Don Woods, Running Back, San Diego|
|Defensive Rookie of the Year||Jack Lambert, Linebacker, Pittsburgh|
|Man of the Year||George Blanda, Quarterback, Oakland|
|Comeback Player of the Year||Joe Namath, Quarterback, New York|
|Super Bowl Most Valuable Player||Franco Harris Running Back, Pittsburgh|
The 1974 NFL Draft was held from January 29 to 30, 1974 at New York City's Americana Hotel. With the first pick, the Dallas Cowboys selected defensive end Ed "Too Tall" Jones from the Tennessee State University.
The 1974 New York Giants season was the franchise's 50th season in the National Football League. The Giants finished in last place in the National Football Conference East Division with a 2–12 record, the team's worst since 1966.The Giants’ home venue in 1974 was the Yale Bowl in New Haven, Connecticut, and they were winless at home in seven games. They won only one of twelve games at the Yale Bowl in 1973 and 1974. The Giants played at Shea Stadium in Queens in 1975 and opened Giants Stadium in New Jersey in October 1976.2014 NFL season
The 2014 NFL season was the 95th season in the history of the National Football League (NFL). The season began on Thursday, September 4, 2014, with the annual kickoff game featuring the defending Super Bowl XLVIII champion Seattle Seahawks hosting the Green Bay Packers, which resulted with the Seahawks winning, 36-16. The season concluded with Super Bowl XLIX, the league's championship game, on Sunday, February 1, 2015, at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona, with the New England Patriots defeating the Seattle Seahawks, 28–24.Abe Gibron
Abraham "Abe" Gibron (September 22, 1925 – September 23, 1997) was a professional American football player and coach. Gibron played 11 seasons as a guard in the All-America Football Conference (AAFC) and National Football League (NFL) in the 1940s and 1950s, mostly with the Cleveland Browns. He was then hired as an assistant coach for the NFL's Washington Redskins and Chicago Bears before becoming head coach of the Bears between 1972 and 1974.
Gibron grew up in Indiana, where he was a standout athlete in high school. After graduating, he spent two years in the U.S. military during World War II, enrolling at Valparaiso University upon his discharge. He later transferred to Purdue University, where he played football for two years and was named an All-Big Ten Conference guard. Gibron's professional career began in 1949 with the Buffalo Bills of the AAFC. The league dissolved after that season, however, and he moved to the Browns in the NFL. While he was initially a substitute, Gibron developed into a strong lineman on Cleveland teams that won NFL championships in 1950, 1954 and 1955 behind an offensive attack that featured quarterback Otto Graham, end Dante Lavelli and tackle Lou Groza. He was named to the Pro Bowl, the NFL's all-star game, each year between 1952 and 1955.
After short stints with the Philadelphia Eagles and the Bears, Gibron ended his playing career and got into coaching. He served first as a line coach for the Redskins for five years, and then in a similar role for the Bears beginning in 1965. He rose to become Bears' defensive coordinator in the early 1970s, and was named head coach in 1972, replacing Jim Dooley. Gibron's three years leading the Bears were unsuccessful, however. His teams posted a combined win–loss–tie record of 11–30–1 over three seasons. Gibron was fired in 1974, and spent the following year as coach of the Chicago Winds, a team in the short-lived World Football League.
Gibron, who was known for his colorful personality and large size – he ballooned to more than 300 pounds as a coach – spent seven seasons as an assistant with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers before retiring from coaching. He stayed close to the game, however, by serving as a scout for the Seattle Seahawks in the late 1980s and as an advisor to the Buccaneers in the early 1990s. He died after suffering a series of strokes in 1997.Bob Thornbladh
Robert N. M. "Blade" Thornbladh (born September 19, 1952 in Cleveland, Ohio) is a former American football player, coach and radio color commentator. He played for the Michigan Wolverines football team from 1971 to 1973 and was an assistant coach at Michigan from 1980 to 1986. He later served as the color commentator for Michigan football broadcasts on WJR radio.Dez Bryant
Desmond Demond Bryant (born November 4, 1988) is an American football wide receiver who is currently a free agent. He played college football at Oklahoma State, where he earned All-American honors in 2008. He was drafted by the Dallas Cowboys in the first round of the 2010 NFL Draft and has earned three Pro Bowl berths and was a First-team All-Pro player in 2014.Gordon McCarter
Gordon McCarter (May 26, 1931 − December 20, 2002) was an American football official in the National Football League (NFL) from 1967 to 1995. He joined the NFL as a line judge and back judge (now known as the field judge) in 1967 before being promoted to referee with the start of the 1974 NFL season when Jack Reader was named Assistant Supervisor of Officials at NFL headquarters in New York City. McCarter is most likely remembered for a 1995 game in which Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Bill Cowher stuffed a Polaroid photo in McCarter's uniform pocket while leaving the field. McCarter wore the uniform number 48 for the majority of his career.
McCarter was a 1954 graduate of Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, now known as Case Western Reserve University, and was the star fullback and team captain on the school's football team in 1954 and also worked for the university from 1963 to 1977 as director of alumni affairs and registrar.
After officiating at school football games and amateur track meets, McCarter joined the NFL in 1967 and later was in charge of several disputed games during his last years in the league. McCarter retired from the NFL following the 1995 NFL season.
McCarter died on December 20, 2002, in Cleveland at the age of 71.Hurles Scales
Hurles Scales Jr. is a former American professional football defensive back in the National Football League.
Scales was born in Amarillo, Texas, the son of Hurles and Frankie Mae Scales.Levi Johnson
Levi Johnson (born October 30, 1950 in Corpus Christi, Texas) was a cornerback who played five seasons for the Detroit Lions in the National Football League. He had 21 interceptions in less than five years as an NFL player, returning three for touchdowns.Johnson led the Lions with five interceptions during the 1973 NFL season and the 1974 NFL season, returning two for touchdowns in 1974, including one on Thanksgiving Day against the Denver Broncos.He added another touchdown during the 1975 NFL season against the Green Bay Packers. During the season-opener, he blocked two punts and fell on one in the end zone for the score. Teammate Larry Ball picked up Johnson's other blocked punt and returned it 34 yards for another touchdown.Johnson had a career-high six interceptions in 1976, and was second on the team that season, one behind James Hunter. He also scored the final touchdown of his career, picking off Jim Zorn of the expansion Seattle Seahawks and returning it 70 yards for the score.Johnson had two interceptions in the 1977 NFL season's third game, against the Philadelphia Eagles, but sustained a knee injury and never played again in the NFL.List of Monday Night Football results (1970–89)
Beginning in the 1970 NFL season, the National Football League began scheduling a weekly regular season game on Monday night before a national television audience. From 1970 to 2005, the ABC television network carried these games, with the ESPN cable television network taking over beginning in September 2006. Listed below are games played from 1970 to 1989.Michael Basinger
Michael Basinger is a former American football player in the National Football League.Mike Hoban
Michael Angelus Hoban (born January 9, 1952) is a former American football player. A native of Chicago, Illinois, Hoban played high school football for Gordon Tech High School. He played college football as an offensive guard for the University of Michigan from 1971 to 1973. As a junior, he started all 11 games at offensive left guard for the 1972 Michigan Wolverines football team that finished with a 10-1 record, ranked No. 6 in the final AP Poll. As a senior, he helped lead the 1973 Michigan Wolverines football team to an undefeated 10-0-1 record and was selected as an All-Big Ten Conference player. After his senior year, Hoban was selected to play for the northern all-star team in the December 1973 Blue–Gray Football Classic. Hoban played as a guard for the Chicago Bears during the 1974 NFL season. Hoban and his family appeared in multiple episodes of the Family Feud, with Richard Dawson as host.Mike Holovak
Michael Joseph Holovak (September 19, 1919 – January 27, 2008) was an American football player, coach, and executive. He played college football at Boston College, where he was named an All-American at fullback in 1942. Holovak was selected in the first round of the 1943 NFL Draft by the Cleveland Rams. After serving in the U.S. Navy during World War II, he played in the National Football League (NFL) with the Rams, who had moved to Los Angeles, in 1946 and with the Chicago Bears in 1947 and 1948. Holovak served as the head football coach at his alma mater, Boston College, from 1951 to 1959, compiling a record of 49–29–3. In 1960, he joined the Boston Patriots of the American Football League as an assistant coach under Lou Saban. Holovak took over as head coach after Saban's firing midway through the 1961 season and remained as the team's head coach through the 1968 season. In 1976, he served one game as head coach for the New York Jets. He was also the general manager of the Houston Oilers from 1989 to 1993. Holovak was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame as a player in 1985.New Orleans Saints
The New Orleans Saints are a professional American football team based in New Orleans, Louisiana. The Saints currently compete in the National Football League (NFL) as a member of the league's National Football Conference (NFC) South division. The team was founded by John W. Mecom Jr., David Dixon, and the city of New Orleans on November 1, 1966. The Saints began play in Tulane Stadium in 1967.
The name "Saints" is an allusion to November 1 being All Saints Day in the Catholic faith. New Orleans has a large Catholic population, and the spiritual "When the Saints Go Marching In" is strongly associated with New Orleans and is often sung by fans at games. The franchise was founded on November 1, 1966.The team's primary colors are old gold and black; their logo is a simplified fleur-de-lis. They played their home games in Tulane Stadium through the 1974 NFL season. The following year, they moved to the new Louisiana Superdome (now the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, since Mercedes-Benz has purchased the stadium's naming rights).For most of their first 20 years, the Saints were barely competitive, only getting to .500 twice. In 1987, they finished 12–3—their first-ever winning season—and qualified for the NFL playoffs for the first time in franchise history, but lost to the Minnesota Vikings 44–10. The next season in 1988 ended with a 10–6 record, but no playoff berth. Following the 2000 regular season, the Saints defeated the defending Super Bowl champion St. Louis Rams 31–28 to notch their first-ever playoff win.
In 2005, Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans and much of the Gulf Coast region. The Superdome was used as an emergency, temporary shelter for displaced residents. The stadium suffered damage from the hurricane (notably from flooding and part of the roof being torn off as well as internal damage from lack of available facilities). The Saints were forced to play their first scheduled home game against the New York Giants at Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey (the Giants' home stadium); other home games were rescheduled at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas or Tiger Stadium in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. During the season, it was rumored that Saints' owner Tom Benson might deem the Superdome unusable and seek to legally void his contract and relocate the team to San Antonio, where he had business interests. Ultimately, however, the Superdome was repaired and renovated in time for the 2006 season at an estimated cost of US$185 million. The New Orleans Saints' first post-Katrina home game was an emotionally charged Monday Night Football game versus their division rival, the Atlanta Falcons. The Saints, under rookie head coach Sean Payton and new quarterback Drew Brees, defeated the Falcons 23–3, and went on to notch the second playoff win in franchise history.
The 2009 season was a historic one for the Saints. Winning a franchise-record 13 games, they qualified for Super Bowl XLIV and defeated the AFC champion Indianapolis Colts 31–17. To date, it is the only Super Bowl championship that they have won, and as it is the only Super Bowl the Saints have appeared in, they join the New York Jets and Tampa Bay Buccaneers as the only three NFL teams to win their lone Super Bowl appearance.
In 52 seasons (through 2018), the Saints' record was 371–446–5 (.454) overall, 362–435–5 in the regular season and 9–11 in the playoffs.PFWA All-Rookie Team
Following each National Football League (NFL) season, the Pro Football Writers Association (PFWA) compiles an honorary All-Rookie Team to recognize that season's most outstanding rookies at each position as adjudged by sportswriters of the PFWA. Teams have been selected every year since the 1974 NFL season.Pat Summerall
George Allen "Pat" Summerall (May 10, 1930 – April 16, 2013) was an American football player and television sportscaster, having worked at CBS, Fox, and ESPN. In addition to football, he also announced major golf and tennis events. In total, he announced 16 Super Bowls on network television (more than any other announcer), 26 Masters Tournaments, and 21 US Opens. He also contributed to 10 Super Bowl broadcasts on CBS Radio as a pregame host or analyst.
Summerall played football for the Arkansas Razorbacks and then in the National Football League (NFL) from 1952 through 1961. He was drafted by the Detroit Lions and played with Bobby Layne. The best playing time in his career was with the New York Giants as a kicker. After retiring as a player, he joined CBS as a color commentator the next year. He worked with Tom Brookshier and then John Madden on NFL telecasts for CBS and Fox. Although retired since 2002, he continued to announce games on occasion, especially those near his Texas home.
He was named the National Sportscaster of the Year by the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association in 1977, and inducted into their Hall of Fame in 1994. That year, he also received the Pete Rozelle Radio-Television Award from the Pro Football Hall of Fame. He was inducted into the American Sportscasters Association Hall of Fame in 1999. The "Pat Summerall Award" has been presented since 2006 during Super Bowl weekend at the NFL's headquarters hotel "to a deserving recipient who through their career has demonstrated the character, integrity and leadership both on and off the job that the name Pat Summerall represents."Rollie Dotsch
Roland Daniel Dotsch (February 14, 1933 – March 16, 1988) was an American football coach who served primarily in an assistant capacity before becoming the first coach of the United States Football League's Birmingham Stallions on September 2, 1982.
The son of politician James D. Dotsch and Lorna M. née. Boudreau, he played college football at Michigan State University, helping the 1952 Spartans win the national championship, then started during his senior year on Michigan State's squad that captured both the Big Ten Conference and Rose Bowl championships.
Dotsch first entered the coaching ranks at Escanaba High School in Michigan, then from 1958 to 1960, served as defensive coordinator at Northern Michigan University. He then went to the University of Colorado as a defensive backs coach in 1962 before moving to another school in the Big Eight Conference at the University of Missouri, where he served as offensive line coach for four years.
He returned to Northern Michigan as head coach before later taking over as athletic director. During his coaching stint, Dotsch's teams compiled a 33–15–1 mark.
When Dan Devine, who had hired him at Missouri, became head coach of the Green Bay Packers, he hired Dotsch as offensive line coach on February 22, 1971. Dotsch remained with the team through four seasons until Devine left to become head coach at the University of Notre Dame at the conclusion of the 1974 NFL season. He moved to coach the New England Patriots linebackers under former college teammate Chuck Fairbanks.
After also coaching with the Detroit Lions, Dotsch was hired by the Steelers, and was on the sidelines for their third and fourth Super Bowl titles. Following two more years with the team, Dotsch resigned to accept the head coaching position with the Stallions of the fledgeling USFL.
During the three years of the league's existence, Dotsch was 36–18 and reached the 1984 Eastern Conference title game before losing to the league's eventual champion, the Philadelphia Stars, 20–10. They would be knocked out of the playoffs in the Eastern Conference semi-finals by the Stars again in 1985, 28–14.
After the league voted to suspend play in 1986 in anticipation of a move to the fall, Dotsch was asked if the Stallions would ever play again. "I just don't know. I never say never, though. It would be a long pull."
Dotsch was also critical of league spending. "Every good coach has a game plan. In this case, the USFL got away from the game plan. There's no question we did, or I'll say the USFL did. I don't think we did or Tampa Bay did. Hindsight is much better than foresight, I know, but things were done that hurt us. We (the Stallions) didn't go crazy. We lost the fewest dollars of any USFL team. We were always the poorest team in the playoffs, but we held our own and I'm proud of that. We did a good job with what we had. We won a lot more than we lost, and that's the biggest thing".
Dotsch returned to the NFL in 1987 as running backs coach for the Minnesota Vikings. However, just as training camp began, Dotsch was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, battling the disease for just over seven months before passing away.Terry Wells (American football)
Terry Wells is a former running back in the National Football League. He first played with the Houston Oilers during the 1974 NFL season before playing the following season with the Green Bay Packers.Tom Keating (American football)
Thomas Arthur Keating (September 2, 1942 – August 31, 2012) was an American football player who played at the defensive tackle position. He played college football for the University of Michigan from 1961 to 1963. He also played 12 seasons of professional football in the American and National Football Leagues from 1964 to 1975. He was an AFL All-Star in 1966 and 1967, a key to the 1967 Oakland Raiders' defensive line that led the team to a 13-1 record and the 1967 AFL Championship, and was considered "the premier tackle in the old American Football League". He was known for his use of a distinctive four-point stance in which he lined up with both hands on the ground.Yogi Berra
Lawrence Peter "Yogi" Berra (May 12, 1925 – September 22, 2015) was an American professional baseball catcher, who later took on the roles of manager and coach. He played 19 seasons in Major League Baseball (MLB) (1946–63, 1965), all but the last for the New York Yankees. He was an 18-time All-Star and won 10 World Series championships as a player—more than any other player in MLB history. Berra had a career batting average of .285, while hitting 358 home runs and 1,430 runs batted in. He is one of only five players to win the American League Most Valuable Player Award three times. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest catchers in baseball history, and was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1972.
Berra was a native of St. Louis and signed with the Yankees in 1943 before serving in the United States Navy as a gunner's mate in the Normandy landings during World War II, where he earned a Purple Heart. He made his major-league debut at age 21 in 1946 and was a mainstay in the Yankees' lineup during the team's championship years beginning in 1949 and continuing through 1962. Despite his short stature (he was 5' 7"), Berra was a power hitter and strong defensive catcher. He caught Don Larsen's perfect game in Game 5 of the 1956 World Series.
Berra played 18 seasons with the Yankees. He spent the next season as their manager, then joined the New York Mets in 1965 as coach (and briefly a player again). Berra remained with the Mets for the next decade, serving the last four years as their manager. He returned to the Yankees in 1976, coaching them for eight seasons and managing for two, before coaching the Houston Astros. He was one of seven managers to lead both American and National League teams to the World Series. Berra appeared as a player, coach or manager in every one of the 13 World Series that New York baseball teams won from 1947 through 1981. Overall, he appeared in 22 World Series, 13 on the winning side.
The Yankees retired his uniform number 8 in 1972; Bill Dickey had previously worn number 8, and both catchers had that number retired by the Yankees. The club honored him with a plaque in Monument Park in 1988. Berra was named to the Major League Baseball All-Century Team in a vote by fans in 1999. For the remainder of his life, he was closely involved with the Yogi Berra Museum and Learning Center, which he opened on the campus of Montclair State University in 1998.
Berra quit school after the eighth grade. He was known for his malapropisms as well as pithy and paradoxical statements, such as "It ain't over 'til it's over", while speaking to reporters. He once simultaneously denied and confirmed his reputation by stating, "I really didn't say everything I said."
1974 NFL season