1983 NFL season

The 1983 NFL season was the 64th regular season of the National Football League. The season ended with Super Bowl XVIII when the Los Angeles Raiders defeated the Washington Redskins 38–9 at Tampa Stadium in Florida.

1983 National Football League season
Regular season
DurationSeptember 3 – December 19, 1983
Playoffs
Start dateDecember 24, 1983
AFC ChampionsLos Angeles Raiders
NFC ChampionsWashington Redskins
Super Bowl XVIII
DateJanuary 22, 1984
SiteTampa Stadium, Tampa, Florida
ChampionsLos Angeles Raiders
Pro Bowl
DateJanuary 28, 1984
SiteAloha Stadium

Major rule changes

  • In the last 30 seconds of a half (but not overtime), with the defensive team behind with no more time outs, a defensive foul cannot prevent the half to end except for the normal options that are available to the offensive team.
  • Pass interference will not be called if there was incidental contact, or if when players make simultaneous attempts to catch, tip, block, or bat the ball.
  • Players may not use a helmet, that is no longer worn by anyone, as a weapon to strike or hit an opponent; they risk disqualification if they do.

Regular Season games not broadcast by Network TV

Date Time Teams Local TV Announcers
October 9, 1983 4:00 PM EDT Kansas City @ Los Angeles Raiders KCTV-TV (Kansas City area)
(blacked out in Los Angeles area)
Don Fortune (play-by-play)
Len Dawson (analyst)

Division Races

Starting in 1978, ten teams qualified for the playoffs: the winners of each of the divisions, and two wild-card teams in each conference. The two wild cards would meet for the right to face whichever of the three division winners had the best overall record. The tiebreaker rules were based on head-to-head competition, followed by division records, common opponents records, and conference play.

National Football Conference

Week Eastern Central Western WildCard WildCard
1 Cowboys, Eagles 1–0 3 teams 1–0 3 teams 1–0
2 Cowboys 2–0 4 teams 1–1 Rams 2–0
3 Cowboys 3–0 Vikings, Packers 2–1 4 teams 2–1
4 Cowboys 4–0 Vikings 3–1 49ers 3–1 Redskins 3–1 6 teams 2–2
5 Cowboys 5–0 Vikings, Packers 3–2 49ers 4–1 Redskins 4–1 5 teams 3–2
6 Cowboys 6–0 Vikings 4–2 3 teams 4–2 Redskins 5–1 4 teams 4–2
7 Cowboys 7–0 Vikings 5–2 49ers, Rams 5–2 3 teams 5–2 3 teams 4–3
8 Cowboys 7–1 Vikings 6–2 49ers 6–2 Redskins 6–2 Saints, Rams 5–3
9 Cowboys 8–1 Vikings 6–3 49ers 6–3 Redskins 7–2 Saints, Rams 5–4
10 Cowboys 9–1 Vikings 6–4 3 teams 6–4 Redskins 8–2 3 teams 6–4
11 Cowboys, Redskins 9–2 Vikings, Packers 6–5 49ers, Rams 7–4 Cowboys, Redskins 9–2 49ers, Rams 7–4
12 Cowboys, Redskins 10–2 Vikings 7–5 49ers, Rams 7–5 Cowboys, Redskins 10–2 49ers, Rams 7–5
13 Cowboys, Redskins 11–2 Vikings, Lions 7–6 Rams 8–5 Cowboys, Redskins 11–2 Lions, Vikings 7–6
14 Cowboys, Redskins 12–2 Lions 8–6 49ers, Rams 8–6 Cowboys, Redskins 12–2 49ers, Rams 8–6
15 Redskins 13–2 Lions, Packers 8–7 49ers 9–6 Cowboys 12–3 4 teams 8–7
16 Washington 14–2 Detroit 9–7 San Francisco 10–6 Dallas 12–4 Los Angeles 9–7

American Football Conference

Week Eastern Central Western WildCard WildCard
1 3 teams 1–0 4 teams 0–1 3 teams 1–0
2 Dolphins 2–0 Steelers, Browns 1–1 Raiders, Broncos 2–0
3 Dolphins, Bills 2–1 Steelers, Browns 2–1 Raiders 3–0 6 teams 2–1
4 Dolphins, Bills 3–1 Browns 3–1 Raiders 4–0 3 teams 3–1 6 teams 2–2
5 4 teams 3–2 Steelers, Browns 3–2 Raiders 4–1 7 teams 3–2 4 teams 2–3
6 Bills, Colts 4–2 Steelers, Browns 4–2 Raiders 5–1 4 teams 4–2 5 teams 3–3
7 Bills 5–2 Steelers 5–2 Raiders 5–2 Dolphins, Colts 4–3 Browns, Seahawks 4–3
8 Dolphins, Bills 5–3 Steelers 6–2 Raiders 6–2 Dolphins, Bills 5–3 Broncos 5–3
9 Dolphins, Bills 6–3 Steelers 7–2 Raiders, Broncos 6–3 Dolphins, Bills 6–3 Raiders, Broncos 6–3
10 Dolphins 7–3 Steelers 8–2 Raiders 7–3 Bills, Colts 6–4 Seahawks, Broncos 6–4
11 Dolphins, Bills 7–4 Steelers 9–2 Raiders 8–3 Dolphins, Bills 7–4 5 teams 6–5
12 Dolphins 8–4 Steelers 9–3 Raiders 9–3 3 teams 7–5 3 teams 6–5
13 Dolphins 9–4 Steelers 9–4 Raiders 10–3 Browns 8–5 3 teams 7–6
14 Dolphins 10–4 Steelers 9–5 Raiders 11–3 3 teams 8–6 4 teams 7–7
15 Dolphins 11–4 Steelers 10–5 Raiders 11–4 Broncos 9–6 4 teams 8–7
16 Miami 12–4 Pittsburgh 10–6 Los Angeles 12–4 Seattle 9–7 Denver 9–7

Final standings

AFC East
W L T PCT DIV CONF PF PA STK
Miami Dolphins(2) 12 4 0 .750 6–2 9–3 389 250 W5
New England Patriots 8 8 0 .500 4–4 6–6 274 289 L1
Buffalo Bills 8 8 0 .500 4–4 7–5 283 351 L2
Baltimore Colts 7 9 0 .438 3–5 5–9 264 354 W1
New York Jets 7 9 0 .438 3–5 4–8 313 331 L2
AFC Central
W L T PCT DIV CONF PF PA STK
Pittsburgh Steelers(3) 10 6 0 .625 4–2 8–4 355 303 L1
Cleveland Browns 9 7 0 .563 3–3 7–5 356 342 W1
Cincinnati Bengals 7 9 0 .438 4–2 4–8 346 302 L1
Houston Oilers 2 14 0 .125 1–5 1–11 288 460 L1
AFC West
W L T PCT DIV CONF PF PA STK
Los Angeles Raiders(1) 12 4 0 .750 6–2 10–2 442 338 W1
Seattle Seahawks(4) 9 7 0 .563 5–3 8–4 403 397 W2
Denver Broncos(5) 9 7 0 .563 3–5 9–5 302 327 L1
San Diego Chargers 6 10 0 .375 4–4 4–8 358 462 L1
Kansas City Chiefs 6 10 0 .375 2–6 4–8 386 367 W1
NFC East
W L T PCT DIV CONF PF PA STK
Washington Redskins(1) 14 2 0 .875 7–1 10–2 541 332 W9
Dallas Cowboys(4) 12 4 0 .750 7–1 10–2 479 360 L2
St. Louis Cardinals 8 7 1 .531 3–4–1 5–6–1 374 428 W3
Philadelphia Eagles 5 11 0 .313 1–7 4–10 233 322 L2
New York Giants 3 12 1 .219 1–6–1 3–8–1 267 347 L4
NFC Central
W L T PCT DIV CONF PF PA STK
Detroit Lions(3) 9 7 0 .563 7–1 8–4 347 286 W1
Green Bay Packers 8 8 0 .500 4–4 6–6 429 439 L1
Chicago Bears 8 8 0 .500 4–4 7–7 311 301 W2
Minnesota Vikings 8 8 0 .500 4–4 4–8 316 348 W1
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 2 14 0 .125 1–7 1–11 241 380 L3
NFC West
W L T PCT DIV CONF PF PA STK
San Francisco 49ers(2) 10 6 0 .625 4–2 8–4 432 293 W3
Los Angeles Rams(5) 9 7 0 .563 5–1 8–4 361 344 W1
New Orleans Saints 8 8 0 .500 2–4 7–5 319 337 L1
Atlanta Falcons 7 9 0 .438 1–5 4–8 370 389 W1

Tiebreakers

  • Los Angeles Raiders was the first AFC seed over Miami based on head-to-head sweep (1–0).
  • Seattle was the first AFC Wild Card ahead of Denver based on better division record (5–3 to Broncos’ 3–5) after Cleveland was eliminated from the three-way tie based on head-to-head record (Seattle and Denver 2–1 to Browns’ 0–2).
  • New England finished ahead of Buffalo in the AFC East based on head-to-head sweep (2–0).
  • Baltimore finished ahead of N.Y. Jets in the AFC East based on better conference record (5–9, .357 to Jets’ 4–8, .333).
  • San Diego finished ahead of Kansas City in the AFC West based on head-to-head sweep (2–0).
  • Minnesota ended up in fourth place in the NFC Central after being eliminated from the three-way tie based on conference record (Chicago 7–7 and Green Bay 6–6 to Vikings’ 4–8).
  • Green Bay finished ahead of Chicago in the NFC Central based on better record against common opponents (4–4 to Bears’ 3–5).

Playoffs

NOTE: The Los Angeles Raiders (the AFC 1 seed) did not play the Seattle Seahawks (the 4 seed) in the Divisional playoff round because both teams were in the same division.
                                   
Divisional Playoffs
    Dec. 31 – Candlestick Park        
NFC Wild Card Game NFC Championship
 3  Detroit  23
Dec. 26 – Texas Stadium     Jan. 8 – Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium
 2  San Francisco  24  
 5  LA Rams  24  2  San Francisco  21
Jan. 1 – Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium
 4  Dallas  17      1  Washington  24   Super Bowl XVIII
 5  LA Rams  7
    Jan. 22 – Tampa Stadium
 1  Washington  51  
 N1  Washington  9
Dec. 31 – Miami Orange Bowl
AFC Wild Card Game AFC Championship    A1  LA Raiders  38
 4  Seattle  27
Dec. 24 – Kingdome     Jan. 8 – Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum
 2*  Miami  20  
 5  Denver  7  4  Seattle  14
Jan. 1 – Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum
 4  Seattle  31      1  LA Raiders  30  
 3  Pittsburgh  10
   
 1*  LA Raiders  38  

Statistical leaders

Team

Points scored Washington Redskins (541)
Total yards gained San Diego Chargers (6,197)
Yards rushing Chicago Bears (2,727)
Yards passing San Diego Chargers (4,661)
Fewest points allowed Miami Dolphins (250)
Fewest total yards allowed Cincinnati Bengals (4,327)
Fewest rushing yards allowed Washington Redskins (1,289)
Fewest passing yards allowed New Orleans Saints (2,691)

Milestones

The following players set all-time records during the season:

Most Touchdowns, Season John Riggins, Washington (24)
Most Rushing Touchdowns, Season John Riggins, Washington (24)
Most Punt Return Yards, Season Greg Pruitt, Los Angeles Raiders (666)
Most Total Field Goals Made, Season Ali Haji-Sheikh, New York Giants (35)

Awards

Most Valuable Player Joe Theismann, Quarterback, Washington
Coach of the Year Joe Gibbs, Washington
Offensive Player of the Year Joe Theismann, Quarterback, Washington
Defensive Player of the Year Doug Betters, Defensive End, Miami
Offensive Rookie of the Year Eric Dickerson, Running Back, LA Rams
Defensive Rookie of the Year Vernon Maxwell, Linebacker, Baltimore Colts
Man of the Year Rolf Benirschke, Placekicker, San Diego
Comeback Player of the Year Billy Johnson, Wide Receiver, Atlanta
Super Bowl Most Valuable Player Marcus Allen, Running Back, LA Raiders

Draft

The 1983 NFL Draft was held from April 26 to 27, 1983 at New York City's Sheraton Hotel. With the first pick, the Baltimore Colts selected quarterback John Elway from Stanford University.

Coaches

American Football Conference

National Football Conference

References

  • NFL Record and Fact Book (ISBN 1-932994-36-X)
  • NFL History 1981–1990 (Last accessed December 4, 2005)
  • Total Football: The Official Encyclopedia of the National Football League (ISBN 0-06-270174-6)
  • NFL Salaries, 1983, offense
  • NFL Salaries, 1983, defense
1983 Seattle Seahawks season

The 1983 Seattle Seahawks season was the team's eighth season with the National Football League.

The 1983 season was the first season head coach Chuck Knox coached the team. It was also the first season in which the Seahawks made the AFC playoffs, where they won the first two postseason games in franchise history, before losing in the AFC Championship Game. The AFC Championship game against the Raiders would be the only time the Seahawks would appear in the AFC Championship game, as they failed to appear in one from 1984-2001. They would not reach a conference championship again until 2005, when they were in the NFC West.

1983 USFL season

The 1983 USFL season was the inaugural season of the United States Football League.

1984 Indianapolis Colts season

The 1984 Indianapolis Colts season was the 32nd season for the team in the National Football League (NFL) and first in Indianapolis, as they relocated from Baltimore after the 1983 NFL season. The Colts finished the year with a record of 4 wins and 12 losses, and fourth in the AFC East division. In their inaugural game in Indianapolis, they lost 23-14 to the New York Jets and did not win their first game at Indianapolis until week 5, when they defeated the Buffalo Bills 31-17. The Colts would lose five games in a row (including another one to the Bills, who started the season 0-11 and finished 2-14) to end the season and miss the playoffs for the 7th straight season.

The Colts' 2,107 passing yards and 4,132 total yards gained on offense were the fewest in the league in 1984.

1984 Philadelphia Eagles season

The 1984 Philadelphia Eagles season was their 52nd in the National Football League (NFL). The team improved upon their previous output of 5–11, winning six games. Despite the improvement, the team failed to qualify for the playoffs for the third straight season.

Whatever outside chance the Birds had to make the playoffs was sunk on November 25 at St. Louis, when starting quarterback Ron Jaworski suffered a broken leg and missed the remainder of the season. It was the most serious injury the "Polish Rifle" ever suffered in his long career. Joe Pisarcik took over under center for the final three-plus games.

Ali Haji-Sheikh

Ali S. Haji-Sheikh (born January 11, 1961) is a former American football kicker. He played college football at Michigan. He was drafted in the ninth round (237th overall) in the 1983 NFL Draft by the New York Giants. He also played for the Atlanta Falcons and Washington Redskins.

While at Michigan, Haji-Sheikh set a Big Ten record with 78 consecutive extra points, and he broke the NFL record for the most field goals in a season, as a rookie during the 1983 NFL season.

Bill Nelsen

William Keith Nelsen (born January 29, 1941) is a former football player who played collegiately for the University of Southern California and professionally with both the Pittsburgh Steelers and Cleveland Browns. He was known for his leadership ability and ability to play with pain, having endured a series of knee injuries during the course of his career. He later served as an assistant coach with four NFL teams.

Bob Hollway

Robert "Bob" Hollway (January 29, 1926 – March 13, 1999) was an American football player and coach. He played college football for the University of Michigan and was a member of Michigan's undefeated 1947 and 1948 teams. He thereafter served as an assistant at the University of Maine (1951-1952), Eastern Michigan University (1953), Michigan (1954-1965) before joining the NFL with the Minnesota Vikings (1967-1970, 1978-1986), as the head coach of the National Football League's St. Louis Cardinals (1971-1972), and assistant coaching stints with the Detroit Lions (1973-1974), San Francisco 49ers (1975), and Seattle Seahawks (1976-1977).

Charlie Waters

Charlie Tutan Waters (born September 10, 1948) is a former American football player, a safety in the National Football League for twelve seasons, all with the Dallas Cowboys. He played college football at Clemson University.

Chet Parlavecchio

Chester Louis "Chet" Parlavecchio (born February 14, 1960) is an American football coach and former linebacker in the National Football League who is currently an assistant special teams coach with the Tennessee Titans of the National Football League. He was drafted by the Green Bay Packers in the sixth round of the 1982 NFL Draft and later split the 1983 NFL season between the Packers and the St. Louis Cardinals. He played college football at Penn State University. He graduated from Seton Hall Preparatory School in West Orange, New Jersey.

Chet Winters

Chet Winters is a former running back in the National Football League. He played with the Green Bay Packers during the 1983 NFL season.

Craig Dunaway

Craig Carter Dunaway (born March 27, 1961) is a former American football player. He played college football as a tight end for the University of Michigan from 1980 to 1982. In three years with Michigan, Dunaway caught 55 passes for 775 yards and eight touchdowns. He played professional football for the Pittsburgh Steelers in 1983. He appeared in 11 games, none as a starter, for the Steelers.

Daryle Skaugstad

Daryle Skaugstad is a former nose tackle in the National Football League. Skaugstad was drafted in the second round of the 1980 NFL Draft by the Houston Oilers and later played two seasons with the team. He would split the 1983 NFL season between the San Francisco 49ers and the Green Bay Packers.

Dave Simmons (linebacker, born 1957)

Dave Simmons is a former linebacker in the National Football League. He was drafted by the Green Bay Packers in the sixth round of the 1979 NFL Draft and played that season with the team. The following season, he was a member of the Detroit Lions. After a season away from the NFL, he played with the Baltimore Colts during the 1982 NFL season and the Chicago Bears during the 1983 NFL season.

Frank Hawkins

Frank Hawkins, Jr. (born July 3, 1959) is a former professional football player, a running back who played seven seasons in the NFL with the Oakland/Los Angeles Raiders, from 1981 to 1987.

Hosea Taylor

Hosea Taylor (born December 3, 1958) is a former American football defensive end for the Baltimore Colts of the National Football League (NFL). He played 16 games in the 1981 NFL season and four games in the 1983 NFL season. Taylor played college football at the University of Houston and was a 1979 All-America and 1980 All-America selection.

Taylor graduated from Longview High School in Longview, Texas in the late 1970s. His nephew, Curtis Brown, is currently a cornerback for the Pittsburgh Steelers of the National Football League.

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.

Mike Curcio

Mike Curcio is a former linebacker in the National Football League.

Paul Girgash

Paul Girgash (born c. 1961) is a retired American football linebacker. He played for the University of Michigan from 1979 to 1982. He started 36 consecutive games at inside linebacker for Michigan from 1980 to 1982, played in the 1981 and 1983 Rose Bowls, and was selected as a first-team All-Big Ten player by both the Associated Press and the United Press International in 1982. Girgash later played professional football in the USFL for the Michigan Panthers in 1984.

Toussaint Tyler

Toussaint L'Ouverture Tyler (first name pronounced "Too-San", born March 19, 1959) is a former running back in the National Football League (NFL). He played with New Orleans Saints in 1981 and 1982.

Born in Barstow, California, Tyler moved to Oceanside where he starred as halfback at El Camino High School. After receiving a number of awards following his senior season, he was recruited to the University of Washington, where he played mainly as a fullback. In his freshman season of 1977, the Huskies won the Rose Bowl, and he started for the first time in a game the following season, and took a larger role in his junior year in 1979 as the team went 10–2 and won the Sun Bowl.

Early in Tyler's senior season in 1980, injuries to the Huskies' halfbacks prompted head coach Don James to move him there from fullback. Washington finished 9–2 in the regular season and won the Pac-10 title, earning them a trip to the Rose Bowl against the Michigan Wolverines. With the score tied at zero in the first quarter, Tyler fumbled at the one-yard line; Michigan went on to win the game 23–6.

Tyler was selected 222nd overall (first in the ninth round) in the 1981 NFL Draft by the New Orleans Saints. He played two seasons with the Saints, appearing in all 23 games over those two seasons. Before the 1983 NFL season, the Saints cut him in order to meet the limit on how many players a team may have. He then went on to a short stint with the Oakland Invaders in the USFL, and then tried to make the Minnesota Vikings. He now lives in Kent, Washington, where he works as a juvenile detention officer.

1983 NFL season
Early era
(1920–1969)
Modern era
(1970–present)

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