1984 NFL season

The 1984 NFL season was the 65th regular season of the National Football League. The Colts relocated from Baltimore, Maryland to Indianapolis, Indiana before the season. The Colts new home field was the Hoosier Dome. The New York Jets moved their home games from Shea Stadium in New York City to Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey.

The season ended with Super Bowl XIX when the San Francisco 49ers defeated the Miami Dolphins 38–16 at Stanford Stadium in California. This was the first Super Bowl televised by ABC, who entered into the annual championship game rotation with CBS and NBC. This game marked the second shortest distance between the Super Bowl host stadium (Stanford, California) and a Super Bowl team (San Francisco 49ers).[1]

The 49ers became the first team in NFL history to win 15 games in a regular season and to win 18 in an entire season (including the postseason). Additionally, two major offensive records were set this season, with quarterback Dan Marino establishing a new single-season passing yards record with 5,084 (later broken by Drew Brees and Tom Brady in 2011 and by Peyton Manning in 2013), and Eric Dickerson establishing a new single-season rushing yards record with 2,105.

Also during the season, San Diego Chargers wide receiver Charlie Joiner became the all-time leader in career receptions; he set that mark in a game between the Chargers and the Pittsburgh Steelers at Pittsburgh's Three Rivers Stadium.

In a week 10 game against the Kansas City Chiefs the Seattle Seahawks set numerous NFL records for interception returns including most interception return yardage in a game and most interceptions returned for touchdowns in a game with 4 (all touchdowns over 50 yards in length). The Seahawks also tied an NFL record with 63 defensive takeaways on the season.

Salaries increased significantly over the past two seasons in the NFL, up nearly fifty percent; new Houston Oilers quarterback Warren Moon led the list at $1.1 million.[2]

1984 National Football League season
Regular season
DurationSeptember 2 – December 17, 1984
Start dateDecember 23, 1984
AFC ChampionsMiami Dolphins
NFC ChampionsSan Francisco 49ers
Super Bowl XIX
DateJanuary 20, 1985
SiteStanford Stadium, Stanford, California
ChampionsSan Francisco 49ers
Pro Bowl
DateJanuary 27, 1985
SiteAloha Stadium
1986 Jeno's Pizza - 28 - Roger Craig (cropped)
The 49ers playing against the Dolphins in Super Bowl XIX.

Major rule changes

  • Linebackers are permitted to wear numbers 90 to 99.
  • The penalty for a kickoff or onside kick that goes out of bounds is 5 yards from the previous spot and a re-kick must be made. However, if the second (or more) kickoff or onside kick goes out of bounds, the receiving team may choose instead to take possession of the ball at the out of bounds spot.
  • Leaping to try to block a field goal or an extra point is illegal unless the defensive player was lined up at the line of scrimmage.
  • A kicker or holder who fakes being roughed or run into by a defensive player can receive an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty.
  • Unsportsmanlike conduct will also be called for any prolonged, excessive, or premeditated celebration by individual players or a group of players. This is usually referred to as the “Mark Gastineau Rule” because a major reason why this change was made was to stop him from performing his signature “Sack Dance” every time after he sacked an opposing quarterback. This also referred to the Washington Redskins "Fun Bunch".

Regular Season games not broadcast by Network TV

Date Time Teams Local TV Announcers
September 3, 1984 4:00 PM EDT Cleveland @ Seattle WKYC-TV (Cleveland area)
KING-TV(Seattle area)
Phil Stone/Reggie Rucker (WKYC)
Charlie Jones/Gene Washington (KING)
October 14, 1984 4:00 PM EDT Buffalo @ Seattle WKBW-TV (Buffalo area)
KING-TV (Seattle area)
Rick Azar/Marv Levy (WKBW)
Phil Stone/Norris Weese (KING)

Final standings

AFC East
Miami Dolphins(1) 14 2 0 .875 8–0 10–2 513 298 W2
New England Patriots 9 7 0 .563 6–2 9–3 362 352 W1
New York Jets 7 9 0 .438 3–5 7–7 332 364 L1
Indianapolis Colts 4 12 0 .250 2–6 4–8 239 414 L5
Buffalo Bills 2 14 0 .125 1–7 1–11 250 454 L2
AFC Central
Pittsburgh Steelers(3) 9 7 0 .563 3–3 6–6 387 310 W2
Cincinnati Bengals 8 8 0 .500 5–1 6–6 339 339 W4
Cleveland Browns 5 11 0 .313 3–3 4–8 250 297 W1
Houston Oilers 3 13 0 .188 1–5 3–9 240 437 L2
AFC West
Denver Broncos(2) 13 3 0 .813 6–2 10–2 353 241 W2
Seattle Seahawks(4) 12 4 0 .750 5–3 8–4 418 282 L2
Los Angeles Raiders(5) 11 5 0 .688 5–3 8–4 368 278 L1
Kansas City Chiefs 8 8 0 .500 4–4 7–7 314 324 W3
San Diego Chargers 7 9 0 .438 0–8 3–9 394 413 L2
NFC East
Washington Redskins(2) 11 5 0 .688 5–3 8–4 426 310 W4
New York Giants(5) 9 7 0 .563 5–3 7–7 299 301 L2
St. Louis Cardinals 9 7 0 .563 5–3 6–6 423 345 L1
Dallas Cowboys 9 7 0 .563 3–5 7–5 308 308 L2
Philadelphia Eagles 6 9 1 .406 2–6 3–8–1 278 320 L1
NFC Central
Chicago Bears(3) 10 6 0 .625 7–1 8–4 325 248 W1
Green Bay Packers 8 8 0 .500 5–3 8–4 390 309 W3
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 6 10 0 .375 3–5 5–9 335 380 W2
Detroit Lions 4 11 1 .281 3–5 4–7–1 283 408 L3
Minnesota Vikings 3 13 0 .188 2–6 3–9 276 484 L6
NFC West
San Francisco 49ers(1) 15 1 0 .938 6–0 12–0 475 227 W9
Los Angeles Rams(4) 10 6 0 .625 3–3 7–5 346 316 L1
New Orleans Saints 7 9 0 .438 1–5 4–8 298 361 W1
Atlanta Falcons 4 12 0 .250 2–4 3–9 281 382 W1


  • N.Y. Giants finished ahead of St. Louis and Dallas in the NFC East based on best head-to-head record (3–1 to Cardinals’ 2–2 and Cowboys’ 1–3).
  • St. Louis finished ahead of Dallas in the NFC East based on better division record (5–3 to Cowboys’ 3–5).


Divisional Playoffs
    Dec. 30 – Mile High Stadium        
AFC Wild Card Game AFC Championship
 3  Pittsburgh  24
Dec. 22 – Kingdome     Jan. 6 – Miami Orange Bowl
 2  Denver  17  
 5  LA Raiders  7  3  Pittsburgh  28
Dec. 29 – Miami Orange Bowl
 4  Seattle  13      1  Miami  45   Super Bowl XIX
 4  Seattle  10
    Jan. 20 – Stanford Stadium
 1  Miami  31  
 A1  Miami  16
Dec. 30 – RFK Stadium
NFC Wild Card Game NFC Championship    N1  San Francisco  38
 3  Chicago  23
Dec. 23 – Anaheim Stadium     Jan. 6 – Candlestick Park
 2  Washington  19  
 5  NY Giants  16  3  Chicago  0
Dec. 29 – Candlestick Park
 4  LA Rams  13      1  San Francisco  23  
 5  NY Giants  10
 1  San Francisco  21  

Statistical leaders


Points scored Miami Dolphins (513)
Total yards gained Miami Dolphins (6,936)
Yards rushing Chicago Bears (2,974)
Yards passing Miami Dolphins (5,018)
Fewest points allowed San Francisco 49ers (227)
Fewest total yards allowed Chicago Bears (3,863)
Fewest rushing yards allowed Chicago Bears (1,377)
Fewest passing yards allowed New Orleans Saints (2,453)


1986 Jeno's Pizza - 12 - Walter Payton (cropped)
Walter Payton (34) pictured breaking the NFL's career rushing record on October 7, 1984..

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

Most Passing Yards Gained, Season Dan Marino, Miami (5,084)
Most Passing Touchdowns, Season Dan Marino, Miami (48)
Most Passes Completed, Season Dan Marino, Miami (362)
Most Rushing Yards Gained, Season Eric Dickerson, Los Angeles Rams (2,105)
Most Rushing Attempts, Season James Wilder, Tampa Bay (407)
Most Pass Receptions, Season Art Monk, Washington (106)
Most Receiving Touchdowns, Season Mark Clayton, Miami (18)
Most Extra Points Made, Season Uwe von Schamann, Miami (66)
Most Extra Point Attempts, Season Uwe von Schamann, Miami (70)
Most Sacks, Season Mark Gastineau, New York Jets (22.0)
Most Rushing Yards Gained, Career Walter Payton, Chicago (13,309 at the end of the season)
Most Receptions, Career Charlie Joiner, San Diego (657 at the end of the season)


Most Valuable Player Dan Marino, Quarterback, Miami
Coach of the Year Chuck Knox, Seattle
Offensive Player of the Year Dan Marino, Quarterback, Miami
Defensive Player of the Year Kenny Easley, Safety, Seattle
Offensive Rookie of the Year Louis Lipps, Wide Receiver, Pittsburgh
Defensive Rookie of the Year Bill Maas, Defensive Tackle, Kansas City
Man of the Year Marty Lyons, Defensive tackle, NY Jets
Comeback Player of the Year John Stallworth, Wide Receiver, Pittsburgh
Super Bowl Most Valuable Player Joe Montana, Quarterback, San Francisco


The 1984 NFL Draft was held from May 1 to May 2, 1984 at New York City's Omni Park Central Hotel. With the first pick, the New England Patriots selected wide receiver Irving Fryar from the University of Nebraska.


American Football Conference

National Football Conference

1984 deaths

  • November 28: Ricky Bell, former Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back (born 1955)

Notable events

  • For the only time in NFL history, two teams — the Oilers and the Bills — begin the season 0–10.[3]


  1. ^ The shortest distance was the Los Angeles Rams, whose home was the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum before moving to Anaheim the year after playing in Super Bowl XIV vs the Pittsburgh Steelers, at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Ca.
  2. ^ "NFL salaries increasing". Eugene Register-Guard. Oregon. Associated Press. January 15, 1985. p. 2B.
  3. ^ Tapp, Jerry; NFL Teams That Started the Season 0–10
  • 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)
1984 Los Angeles Rams season

The 1984 Los Angeles Rams season was the franchise's 47th season in the National Football League, their 48th overall, and their 39th in the Greater Los Angeles Area. The Rams looked to improve on their 9–7 record from 1983 and make the playoffs for the second consecutive season and 10th in the last 12. They improved on their record by one game, going 10–6, good enough for second place in the NFC West behind the 15–1 San Francisco 49ers. In the playoffs, the Rams lost a low-scoring game to the New York Giants at home, 16–13. During this season, second-year running back Eric Dickerson set the NFL record for most rushing yards in a season, with 2,105 yards.

1984 New York Giants season

The 1984 New York Giants season was the franchise's 60th season in the National Football League. With a 9–7 record, the Giants finished in a tie for second in the National Football Conference East Division and qualified for the playoffs. In the Wild Card round, New York traveled to Anaheim Stadium and defeated the Los Angeles Rams 16–13 to advance to the Divisional round. Instead of traveling across the country back to New York, the Giants spent the week in Fresno, California. They used the facilities at Fresno State to prepare for the San Francisco 49ers. However, the Giants lost to the 49ers 21–10.

1984 Seattle Seahawks season

The 1984 Seattle Seahawks season was the team's ninth season with the National Football League. The season opener was moved from Sunday to Monday afternoon on Labor Day to avoid a conflict with the Seattle Mariners baseball game.

The 1984 Seahawks were a well-balanced team on offense and defense. They scored 418 points (26.1 per game), and gave up only 282 points (17.6 per game), both ranked 5th in the NFL. Their point differential of +136 points was third in the NFL; the Seahawks' giveaway/takeway ratio was +24, best in the league. The team's 63 defensive takeaways is the most in NFL history for a 16-game schedule, and the most since the merger.The team's offense boasted a 3,000-yard passer in quarterback Dave Krieg (3,671 yards), and a 1,000-yard wide receiver in Steve Largent (74 receptions for 1,164 yards). The passing attack more than made up for the loss of star running back Curt Warner, who suffered a season-ending knee injury in the opener.

The Seahawks's defensive line generated an outstanding pass rush, with defensive ends Jeff Bryant and Jacob Green registering 14.5 and 13 sacks, respectively. Safety Kenny Easley led the team and league with 10 interceptions. Easley, Green, and NT Joe Nash made the All-Pro team.

In a wild Week Ten game against Kansas City, the Seahawks intercepted Kansas City's quarterbacks five times, and returned four of them for touchdowns. All the touchdown returns were for over 50 yards. In the game, the Seahawks set NFL records for most yards returning interceptions (325), and most interceptions-for-touchdowns in a game (four). Seattle would make the playoffs for the second straight season. They defeated the defending Super Bowl champion Los Angeles Raiders 13-7 in the wild card round. However, they were not able to advance past the Miami Dolphins, as they lost in Miami 31-10 to a powerful Dolphins squad.

1984 USFL season

The 1984 USFL season was the second season of the United States Football League.

Clay Matthews Jr.

William Clay Matthews Jr. (born March 15, 1956) is a former American football linebacker who played for the Cleveland Browns and the Atlanta Falcons of the National Football League (NFL). He was the first round draft pick of the Browns and played in 278 games over 19 NFL seasons, the 17th most appearances in league history (and most playing linebacker). Matthews had 1,561 tackles in his career, the third most in NFL history.He is the father of Clay Matthews III, an All-Pro linebacker for the Los Angeles Rams, and brother of Hall of Fame offensive lineman Bruce Matthews.

Don Dufek

Donald Patrick "Don" Dufek, Jr. (born April 28, 1954) is a former American football player who played safety and special teams for eight seasons with the Seattle Seahawks of the National Football League (NFL). He had previously played for the Michigan Wolverines football team in Ann Arbor from 1973 to 1975. He was chosen to serve as team captain for both the Seahawks and Wolverines.

At Michigan, he was following in the footsteps of his father Don Dufek, Sr. who had been a Wolverine team Most Valuable Player. As a graduate of Pioneer High School in Ann Arbor, Dufek was able to stay close to home while performing as a two-sport star at the University of Michigan where he played for the Michigan Wolverines football and hockey teams. In football, he was a member of back-to-back Big Ten Conference championship teams at Michigan and became an All-American as well as a team captain.

Dufek, was sought after as a professional athlete in two sports: Dufek was drafted by teams in the National Hockey League, World Hockey Association and National Football League. He opted for football and played his entire professional career with the Seahawks. He endured several unsuccessful seasons in Seattle, but the team made the playoffs in his final two years. In his role as a special teams player, he again became a team captain.

Dustin Colquitt

Dustin Farr Colquitt (born May 6, 1982) is an American football punter for the Kansas City Chiefs of the National Football League. He played college football at Tennessee and was selected by the Chiefs in the third round of the 2005 NFL Draft.

Dwight Hicks

Dwight Hicks (born April 5, 1956) is a former professional American football player who played safety for the Toronto Argonauts in 1978, the San Francisco 49ers from 1979 to 1985, and for the Indianapolis Colts in 1986.

Giants–Jets rivalry

The Giants–Jets rivalry is an American football rivalry in the National Football League (NFL) between the New York Giants and New York Jets. It is an intra-city, interconference matchup between the two NFL teams based in the New York metropolitan area. Since 1984, both clubs have been the only teams in the league to share a stadium at the same time (a situation that will end with the opening of Los Angeles's City of Champions Stadium in 2020).1 Thus, a Giants–Jets game can be referred to as "the shortest road trip in the league". It can also be referred to as a "sibling rivalry" since both teams play at and share the stadium.

As the teams play in different conferences, the two teams only meet during the regular season once every four years when all four AFC East clubs play all four NFC East clubs. In addition to annual preseason matchups, the only other way the two teams would meet would be in the Super Bowl, which has never occurred.

Joe Montana

Joseph Clifford Montana Jr. (born June 11, 1956), nicknamed Joe Cool and The Comeback Kid, is a former American football quarterback who played in the National Football League (NFL) for 16 seasons with the San Francisco 49ers and Kansas City Chiefs. After winning a national championship at Notre Dame, Montana started his NFL career in 1979 with San Francisco, where he played for the next 14 seasons. While a member of the 49ers, Montana started and won four Super Bowls and was the first player ever to have been named Super Bowl Most Valuable Player three times. He also holds Super Bowl career records for most passes without an interception (122 in 4 games) and the all-time highest passer rating of 127.8. In 1993, Montana was traded to the Kansas City Chiefs where he played his final two seasons, and led the franchise to its first AFC Championship Game in January 1994. Montana was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2000, his first year of eligibility.In 1989, and again in 1990, the Associated Press named Montana the NFL Most Valuable Player (MVP), and Sports Illustrated magazine named Montana the 1990 "Sportsman of the Year". Four years earlier, in 1986, Montana won the AP NFL Comeback Player of the Year Award. Montana was elected to eight Pro Bowls, as well as being voted 1st team All-Pro by the AP in 1987, 1989, and 1990. Montana had the highest passer rating in the National Football Conference (NFC) five times (1981, 1984, 1985, 1987, and 1989); and, in both 1987 and 1989, Montana had the highest passer rating in the NFL.Among his career highlights, "The Catch" (the game-winning touchdown pass vs. Dallas in the 1981 NFC Championship Game) and a Super Bowl-winning 92-yard drive against the Bengals in Super Bowl XXIII are staples of NFL highlight films.

The 49ers retired the number 16, the jersey number Montana wore while with the team. In 1994, Montana earned a spot on the NFL 75th Anniversary All-Time Team; he is also a member of the NFL 1980s All-Decade Team. In 1999, editors at The Sporting News ranked Montana third on their list of Football's 100 Greatest Players. Also in 1999, ESPN named Montana the 25th greatest athlete of the 20th century. In 2006, Sports Illustrated rated him the number-one clutch quarterback of all time.

Leonard Coleman

Leonard Coleman (born January 30, 1962) is a former American football player who played cornerback in the National Football League for the Indianapolis Colts and San Diego Chargers from 1985 to 1989. He played college football at Vanderbilt University and was drafted by the Colts in the first round of the 1984 NFL Draft, the first player drafted by the team following its relocation from Baltimore.Coleman sat out the 1984 NFL season because of a contract dispute, instead signing a deal with the Memphis Showboats of the United States Football League and completing his degree at Vanderbilt. Early in the 1985 season, however, Coleman joined the Colts after the club bought out his contract with Memphis. He started all 16 games for Indianapolis in 1986, but played in only four games in 1987. Coleman was traded to the Chargers for an undisclosed draft pick on July 9, 1988, playing 16 games in 1988 and one in 1989 before being waived on September 12, 1989.

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.

List of NFL on CBS commentator pairings

CBS Sports began televising National Football League games in 1956. The network inherited the rights to games of most of the teams from the defunct DuMont Television Network; back then, each NFL team negotiated its own television deal. From 1956 to 1967, CBS assigned their commentating crews to one team each for the entire season. Beginning in 1968, CBS instituted a semi-merit system for their commentating crews. Following the 1993 season, there was no NFL on CBS after the network lost its half of the Sunday afternoon TV package (the National Football Conference) to the Fox Broadcasting Company. However, CBS gained the American Football Conference package from NBC beginning in 1998. The names of the play-by-play men are listed first while the color commentators are listed second; sideline reporters, when used, are listed last.

Lou Rash

Lou Rash (born June 5, 1960) is a former defensive back in the National Football League.

Maurice Turner (American football)

Maurice Turner is a former running back in the National Football League. He was drafted in the twelfth round of the 1983 NFL Draft by the Minnesota Vikings and would play with the team during the 1984 NFL season before splitting the following season between the Vikings and the Green Bay Packers. After a year away from the NFL, he was a member of the New York Jets during the 1987 NFL season.

His son, Billy Turner, was an All-American offensive lineman at North Dakota State, and is currently playing for the Green Bay Packers. Another son, Bryan Kehl, also played in the NFL.

Ramsey Dardar

James Ramsey Dardar (born October 3, 1959) is a former professional American football player. Dardar played one season for the St. Louis Cardinals of the National Football League (NFL) in 1984. He attended Cecilia High School in Cecilia, Louisiana, and was an All-Southeastern Conference nose guard at Louisiana State University (LSU). He was drafted by the Cardinals in 1983. Though he only appeared in NFL games in one season, he spent three years on NFL squads. After his playing career, Dardar was arrested several times. He has been imprisoned in Louisiana for much of his post-NFL life.

The Timeline

The Timeline is a documentary series developed by NFL Films and airs on NFL Network that documents select events of the National Football League.

Tommy Hensley

Thomas B. "Tommy" Hensley (July 30, 1932 – October 30, 1994) was an American football official in the National Football League (NFL) from 1967 to 1987. During his time in the NFL, he was selected as the umpire for Super Bowl XIX in 1985. He wore uniform number 19 during his NFL career, which was later worn by Scott Green, and is currently worn by Clay Martin.

He attended Central High School in Knoxville, Tennessee where he was inducted into the Wall of Fame in November 2009. He played football at the University of Tennessee for the years. His teammates at UT included Doug Atkins and Johnny Majors.

Mr. Hensley was a lineman at Central High School, where he graduated in 1950. After graduation, he went to Virginia Tech on a football scholarship but returned to Knoxville to play tackle on the University of Tennessee football teams in 1952 and 1953. A Knoxville News Sentinel “Sports Brief” prior to his junior year said, “Tommy Hensley, age 20, 6 foot 190 pound junior (actually 6-2 and 220 pounds), from Knoxville lettered last year as a defensive tackle. His performances on

offense during the spring increased his potential value to the team. (He) has good speed and is a conscientious worker ranked with the top tackle on the squad.” He graduated with a degree in marketing. Although he owned and operated a service station in Fountain City for 15 years and was a national-accounts director for a trucking firm for five, he was known for his association with football.

Mr. Hensley officiated high school football 15 years and Southeastern Conference football for five. His first game as an NFL official was as a linesman at New Orleans in 1967. His final 20 years of NFL officiating was as an umpire, including the 1985 Super Bowl at Stanford Stadium. Hensley was the linesman, and later umpire, on the crew of referee Bernie Ulman from 1967-74.

He was recognized for his officiating by the East Tennessee Chapter of the National Football Foundation and Hall of Fame by being presented the organization's Amateur Award. He was also inducted into the Knoxville Sports Hall of Fame.

Sometimes his large, muscular frame was a positive force in his officiating. Once he backed down a huge lineman who was upset at another official. In a game against Pittsburgh, he was bowled over from behind by a Steeler defender. He dusted himself off and continued to officiate. In his rookie year a fan rushed onto the field to "hit" the official. As he approached, Tom hit him with a right cross and the fan was carried off the field. Tom was forever named "one punch Hensley" after that event, staged in front of Washington Redskins coach, Otto Graham.

Tony DeLuca

Anthony Lawrence DeLuca (November 16, 1960 – April 16, 1999) was a former nose tackle in the National Football League. He was a member of the Green Bay Packers during the 1984 NFL season.

1984 NFL season
Early era
Modern era

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