1991 NFL season

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.

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

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

AFC East
(1) Buffalo Bills 13 3 0 .813 7–1 10–2 458 318 L1
(6) New York Jets 8 8 0 .500 4–4 6–6 314 293 W1
Miami Dolphins 8 8 0 .500 4–4 5–7 343 349 L2
New England Patriots 6 10 0 .375 4–4 5–9 211 305 L1
Indianapolis Colts 1 15 0 .063 1–7 1–11 143 381 L6
AFC Central
(3) Houston Oilers 11 5 0 .688 5–1 10–2 386 251 L1
Pittsburgh Steelers 7 9 0 .438 4–2 7–5 292 344 W2
Cleveland Browns 6 10 0 .375 2–4 6–6 293 298 L3
Cincinnati Bengals 3 13 0 .188 1–5 2–10 263 435 W1
AFC West
(2) Denver Broncos 12 4 0 .750 5–3 10–4 304 235 W4
(4) Kansas City Chiefs 10 6 0 .625 6–2 8–4 316 252 W1
(5) Los Angeles Raiders 9 7 0 .563 5–3 7–5 298 297 L3
Seattle Seahawks 7 9 0 .438 2–6 6–6 276 261 W1
San Diego Chargers 4 12 0 .250 2–6 3–9 274 342 L1
NFC East
(1) Washington Redskins 14 2 0 .875 6–2 10–2 485 224 L1
(5) Dallas Cowboys 11 5 0 .688 5–3 8–4 342 310 W5
Philadelphia Eagles 10 6 0 .625 5–3 6–6 285 244 W1
New York Giants 8 8 0 .500 3–5 5–7 281 297 W1
Phoenix Cardinals 4 12 0 .250 1–7 3–11 196 344 L8
NFC Central
(2) Detroit Lions 12 4 0 .750 6–2 8–4 339 295 W6
(4) Chicago Bears 11 5 0 .688 7–1 9–3 299 269 L1
Minnesota Vikings 8 8 0 .500 3–5 8–6 301 306 L1
Green Bay Packers 4 12 0 .250 3–5 3–9 273 313 W1
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 3 13 0 .188 1–7 2–10 199 365 W1
NFC West
(3) New Orleans Saints 11 5 0 .688 4–2 8–4 341 211 W2
(6) Atlanta Falcons 10 6 0 .625 5–1 7–5 361 338 L1
San Francisco 49ers 10 6 0 .625 3–3 7–5 393 239 W6
Los Angeles Rams 3 13 0 .188 0–6 2–10 234 390 L10


  • 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




Most Valuable Player Thurman Thomas, Running Back, Buffalo
Coach of the Year Wayne Fontes, Detroit
Offensive Player of the Year Thurman Thomas, Running Back, Buffalo
Defensive Player of the Year Pat Swilling, Linebacker, New Orleans
Offensive Rookie of the Year Leonard Russell, Running Back, New England
Defensive Rookie of the Year Mike Croel, Linebacker, Denver
NFL Comeback Player of the Year Jim McMahon, Quarterback, Philadelphia
NFL Man of the Year Anthony Munoz, Offensive Tackle, Cincinnati
Super Bowl Most Valuable Player Mark Rypien, Quarterback, Washington


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 September 1, 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
1991 Seattle Seahawks season

The 1991 Seattle Seahawks season was the team's 16th season with the National Football League. The 1991 season was the last season for head coach Chuck Knox, who left to become Head Coach of the Los Angeles Rams while President and General Manager Tom Flores replaced him.

Bernie Kukar

Bernie Kukar is an American former football official in the National Football League (NFL) for 22 seasons from the 1984 to the 2005 season. He wore uniform number 86.

He was born and raised in Gilbert, Minnesota and later attended college at Saint John's University in Collegeville, Minnesota where he graduated in 1962. He played football at Saint John's under John Gagliardi, the all-time winningest coach in collegiate football history. Bernie played defensive back on defense and quarterback on offense, but was later moved to running back. He also returned punts and kicks.

He began his NFL officiating career in 1984 as a back judge and was promoted to referee seven years later at the start of the 1991 NFL season, which came after the retirement of the "Dean of Referees", Jim Tunney and the promotion of Jerry Seeman to the Director of Officiating in the NFL office. Prior to joining the NFL, he officiated four years at the high school level, and a total of 19 years at the college level with four years at Division III, 11 years at Division II, and four years in the Big Ten Conference (Division I).

He was selected to officiate in the Super Bowl twice, Super Bowl XXXIII in 1999, and Super Bowl XXXVI in 2002. He was also an alternate in Super Bowl XXX in 1996.

Brian Blankenship

Brian Blankenship (born April 7, 1963) is a retired professional American football player who spent his entire career with the Pittsburgh Steelers of the NFL.

Darryl Ingram

Darryl Ingram (born May 2, 1966) is a former American football tight end who played in the National Football League.

Don Mosebar

Donald Howard Mosebar (born September 11, 1961) is a former American college and professional football player who was a Center in the National Football League (NFL) for thirteen seasons during the 1980s and 1990s. He played college football for the University of Southern California, and earned All-American honors. Mosebar was selected in the first round of the 1983 NFL Draft, and played professionally for the NFL's Los Angeles Raiders.

Doug Lloyd

Doug Lloyd is a former running back in the National Football League. He was a member of the Los Angeles Raiders during the 1991 NFL season. Previously, he had been drafted in the sixth round of the 1989 NFL Draft by the Raiders.He attended Beaver Dam High School in Beaver Dam, Wisconsin.

Greg Clark (linebacker)

Greg Clark (born March 5, 1965) is a former linebacker who played in the National Football League.

Greg McMurtry

Gregory "Greg" Wendell McMurtry (born October 15, 1967) is a former American football player. He played college football as a wide receiver for the University of Michigan from 1986 to 1989. He caught 111 passes for 2,163 yards and 15 touchdowns for Michigan. He also played professional football as a wide receiver in the National Football League (NFL) for the New England Patriots from 1990 to 1993 and for the Chicago Bears in 1994. He caught 128 passes for 1,631 yards in 67 NFL games.

Jerry Burns

Jerome Monahan Burns (born January 24, 1927) is a former American football player and coach. He served as the head football coach at the University of Iowa, from 1961 to 1965, compiling record of 16–27–2, and for the Minnesota Vikings of the National Football League (NFL) from 1986 to 1991, tallying a mark of 52–43 in the regular season, and 3–3 in the postseason.

Jon Melander

Jon Melander is a retired American football offensive guard who played four seasons in the National Football League for the New England Patriots, the Cincinnati Bengals and the Denver Broncos. He played college football at the University of Minnesota and was drafted in the fifth round of the 1990 NFL Draft.

Larry Nemmers

Larry Nemmers is a retired educator and better known as a former American football official in the National Football League (NFL). Nemmers made his debut as an NFL official in the 1985 season and continued in this role until the end of the 2007 season. Prior to his officiating career, he was a college football player at Upper Iowa University. Nemmers is notable for officiating in Super Bowl XXV, as well as several playoff games.

List of Monday Night Football results (1990–2009)

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 1970–2005, 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 1990 to 2009.

Monte Smith

Monte Smith is a former guard in the National Football League. He was drafted in the ninth round of the 1989 NFL Draft by the Denver Broncos and played that season with the team. After a year away from the NFL, he was again a member of the team during the 1991 NFL season, but did not see any playing time in a regular season game.

Scott Green (American football official)

Scott H. Green is a former American football official in the National Football League (NFL) from the 1991 NFL season until the 2013 NFL season. He had officiated Super Bowls XXXVI in 2002, XXXVIII in 2004, and was the referee for XLIV in 2010. Green was also the head of the NFL Referees Association and led negotiations during the 2012 NFL referee lockout.Outside his part-time work in professional football, Green works as a Washington, D.C. contractor for public safety and criminal justice agencies as part of a firm he co-founded in 1994. Green announced his retirement at the conclusion of the 2013 football season.

Scott Jones (American football)

Scott Jones (born March 20, 1966) is a former offensive tackle in the National Football League.

Steve Gabbard

Stephen Edward Gabbard (born July 19, 1966) is a former offensive tackle in the National Football League.

Terry Anthony

Terrence Anthony (born March 9, 1968) is a former American football wide receiver. He played two seasons for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, after a college career at Florida State.

At FSU, Anthony was one of the members of the football team's 'Fab Four Receiving Corp,' along with future Buccaneers teammate Lawrence Dawsey, former 49er and Packer Ronald Lewis and former Arena Football League receiver Bruce LaSane.

Anthony was injured in Week 16 of the 1991 NFL season, being carted off with a knee injury against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field.

Tom Neville (guard)

Thomas Lee Neville is a former guard in the National Football League. He first played with the Green Bay Packers for three seasons. After a season away from the NFL, he played with the San Francisco 49ers during the 1991 NFL season. Following another season away from the NFL, he re-joined the Packers for the 1993 NFL season. He was also a member of the team during the next seasons, but did not see any playing time during the regular season.In 1998, Neville's life turned for the worse, and he began to engage in behavior his family members described as "bizarre". He was picked up by Fresno police, who described his behavior as paranoid. He was taken by ambulance to a hospital and later was transferred to a private psychiatric center. Two days later, he broke out of the center. Police found him hiding in an apartment complex across the street. Police negotiated with him, but he refused to surrender. Police said Neville was fatally shot when Neville tossed aside officers and tried to grab an officer's gun. Some speculated Neville's violent reaction came as an adverse reaction to medication he was prescribed. Neville's death was one of the factors that motivated his former Green Bay Packers teammate Ken Ruettgers to help establish GamesOver.org, a foundation which seeks to help professional athletes adjust to retirement.The last week of Neville's life came as a shock to many who had known him through the years, one of whom described him as "a big, gentle bear". His funeral service was held at Sacred Heart Cathedral in Fairbanks, Alaska, where he worked managing real estate and coaching high school football teams.

Tripp Welborne

Sullivan Anthony "Tripp" Welborne III (born November 20, 1968) is a former American football player.

Welborne played college football, principally as a safety and punt returner, from 1987 to 1990. He had five interceptions as a sophomore in 1988 and was selected as a unanimous first-team All-American in both 1989 and 1990. As a senior, he set a Michigan single-season record with 455 punt return yards (a record that stood until broken by Steve Breaston in 2003) and averaged 14.7 yards per return.

Welborne sustained a serious injury in the 10th game of the 1990 season that required reconstructive surgery on his right knee. He was unable to play during the 1991 NFL season, but attempted a comeback the following year. He appeared in only two games for Minnesota Vikings during the 1992 NFL season before suffering an ACL injury to his left knee that required season ending surgery.

1991 NFL season
Early era
Modern era

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