1998 NFL season

The 1998 NFL season was the 79th regular season of the National Football League.

The season culminated with Super Bowl XXXIII, with the Denver Broncos defeating the Atlanta Falcons 34–19 at Pro Player Stadium. The Broncos had won their first thirteen games, the best start since the undefeated 1972 Dolphins, and were tipped by some to have a realistic chance at winning all nineteen games.[1][2] The Minnesota Vikings became the first team since the 1968 Baltimore Colts to win all but one of their regular season games and not win the Super Bowl. After no team had won 14 regular season games since the 1992 49ers, three teams went 14–2 or better for the only time in a 16-game season.

Football Outsiders noted:

1998 was the last hurrah for the great quarterbacks who came into the league in the 1980s. The top four QBs [statistically] were all over 35: Vinny Testaverde, Randall Cunningham, Steve Young, and John Elway. Troy Aikman, age 32, was fifth. Dan Marino was 11th in his last good year.[3]
1998 National Football League season
Regular season
DurationSeptember 6 – December 28, 1998
Start dateJanuary 2, 1999
AFC ChampionsDenver Broncos
NFC ChampionsAtlanta Falcons
Super Bowl XXXIII
DateJanuary 31, 1999
SitePro Player Stadium, Miami
ChampionsDenver Broncos
Pro Bowl
DateFebruary 7, 1999
SiteAloha Stadium

Major rule changes

  • The officiating position titles of back judge and field judge were swapped to become more consistent with college and high school football. The field judge is now 20 yards deep, positioned on the same sideline as the line judge, while the back judge is 25 yards from the line of scrimmage near the center of the field.
  • Tinted visors on players' facemasks are banned except for medical need.
  • A defensive player can no longer flinch before the snap in an attempt to draw movement from an offensive lineman.
  • A team will be penalized immediately for having 12 players in a huddle even if the 12th player goes straight to the sideline as the huddle breaks.
  • During the season, the rules regarding the coin toss were changed to where the visiting team must make the call before the coin is tossed instead of while it was in the air. On Thanksgiving, the game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Detroit Lions went to overtime. During the coin toss, Steelers running back Jerome Bettis was heard calling "tails" but referee Phil Luckett claimed he said "heads". The coin landed on tails, and the Lions won the toss and eventually the game on a Jason Hanson field goal. It was later revealed that Bettis had changed his mind during the call and was originally going to call "heads" but stopped.[4] Thus, the rule change was adopted to prevent any further confusion.


New uniforms

Coaching changes


This was the first season that CBS held the rights to televise American Football Conference games, taking over the package from NBC. Meanwhile, this was the first time that ESPN broadcast all of the Sunday night games throughout the season (this was also the first season in which ESPN's coverage used the Monday Night Football themes, before reverting to using an original theme in 2001).

Final regular season standings

AFC East
(2) New York Jets 12 4 0 .750 416 266 W6
(4) Miami Dolphins 10 6 0 .625 321 265 L1
(5) Buffalo Bills 10 6 0 .625 400 333 W1
(6) New England Patriots 9 7 0 .563 337 329 L1
Indianapolis Colts 3 13 0 .188 310 444 L2
AFC Central
(3) Jacksonville Jaguars 11 5 0 .688 392 338 W1
Tennessee Oilers 8 8 0 .500 330 320 L2
Pittsburgh Steelers 7 9 0 .438 263 303 L5
Baltimore Ravens 6 10 0 .375 269 335 W1
Cincinnati Bengals 3 13 0 .188 268 452 L1
AFC West
(1) Denver Broncos 14 2 0 .875 501 309 W1
Oakland Raiders 8 8 0 .500 288 356 L1
Seattle Seahawks 8 8 0 .500 372 310 L1
Kansas City Chiefs 7 9 0 .438 327 363 W1
San Diego Chargers 5 11 0 .313 241 342 L5
NFC East
(3) Dallas Cowboys 10 6 0 .625 381 275 W2
(6) Arizona Cardinals 9 7 0 .563 325 378 W3
New York Giants 8 8 0 .500 287 309 W4
Washington Redskins 6 10 0 .375 319 421 L1
Philadelphia Eagles 3 13 0 .188 161 344 L3
NFC Central
(1) Minnesota Vikings 15 1 0 .938 556 296 W8
(5) Green Bay Packers 11 5 0 .688 408 319 W3
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 8 8 0 .500 314 295 W1
Detroit Lions 5 11 0 .313 306 378 L4
Chicago Bears 4 12 0 .250 276 368 L1
NFC West
(2) Atlanta Falcons 14 2 0 .875 442 289 W9
(4) San Francisco 49ers 12 4 0 .750 479 328 W1
New Orleans Saints 6 10 0 .375 305 359 L3
Carolina Panthers 4 12 0 .250 336 413 W2
St. Louis Rams 4 12 0 .250 285 378 L2


  • Miami finished ahead of Buffalo in the AFC East based on better net division points (6 to Bills’ 0).
  • Oakland finished ahead of Seattle in the AFC West based on head-to-head sweep (2–0).
  • Carolina finished ahead of St. Louis in the NFC West based on head-to-head sweep (2–0).


Jan. 3 – Alltel Stadium   Jan. 10 – Giants Stadium          
 6  New England  10
 3  Jacksonville  24
 3  Jacksonville  25     Jan. 17 – Mile High Stadium
 2  NY Jets  34  
Jan. 2 – Pro Player Stadium  2  NY Jets  10
Jan. 9 – Mile High Stadium
   1  Denver  23  
 5  Buffalo  17 AFC Championship
 4  Miami  3
 4  Miami  24   Jan. 31 – Pro Player Stadium
 1  Denver  38  
Wild card playoffs  
Divisional playoffs
Jan. 3 – 3Com Park  A1  Denver  34
Jan. 9 – Georgia Dome
   N2  Atlanta  19
 5  Green Bay  27 Super Bowl XXXIII
 4  San Francisco  18
 4  San Francisco  30     Jan. 17 – Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome
 2  Atlanta  20  
Jan. 2 – Texas Stadium  2  Atlanta  30*
Jan. 10 – Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome
   1  Minnesota  27  
 6  Arizona  20 NFC Championship
 6  Arizona  21
 3  Dallas  7  
 1  Minnesota  41  

* Indicates overtime victory

Statistical leaders


Points scored Minnesota Vikings (556)
Total yards gained San Francisco 49ers (6,800)
Yards rushing San Francisco 49ers (2,544)
Yards passing Minnesota Vikings (4,328)
Fewest points allowed Miami Dolphins (265)
Fewest total yards allowed San Diego Chargers (4,208)
Fewest rushing yards allowed San Diego Chargers (1,140)
Fewest passing yards allowed Philadelphia Eagles (2,720)


Scoring Gary Anderson, Minnesota (164 points)
Touchdowns Terrell Davis, Denver (23 TDs)
Most field goals made Al Del Greco, Tennessee (36 FGs)
Rushing Terrell Davis, Denver (2,008 yards)
Passing Randall Cunningham, Minnesota, (106.0 rating)
Passing touchdowns Steve Young, San Francisco (36 TDs)
Pass receiving O.J. McDuffie, Miami (90 catches)
Pass receiving yards Antonio Freeman, Green Bay (1,424)
Receiving touchdowns Randy Moss, Minnesota (17 touchdowns)
Punt returns Deion Sanders, Dallas (15.6 average yards)
Kickoff returns Terry Fair, Detroit (28.0 average yards)
Interceptions Ty Law, New England (8)
Punting Craig Hentrich, Tennessee (47.2 average yards)
Sacks Michael Sinclair, Seattle (16.5)


Most Valuable Player Terrell Davis, Running back, Denver
Coach of the Year Dan Reeves, Atlanta
Offensive Player of the Year Terrell Davis, Running back, Denver
Defensive Player of the Year Reggie White, Defensive end, Green Bay
Offensive Rookie of the Year Randy Moss, Wide receiver, Minnesota
Defensive Rookie of the Year Charles Woodson, Cornerback, Oakland
NFL Comeback Player of the Year Doug Flutie, Quarterback, Buffalo
NFL Man of the Year Dan Marino, Quarterback, Miami
Super Bowl Most Valuable Player John Elway, Quarterback, Denver


The 1998 NFL Draft was held from April 17 to 18, 1998 at New York City's Theater at Madison Square Garden. With the first pick, the Indianapolis Colts selected quarterback Peyton Manning from the University of Tennessee.


American Football Conference

National Football Conference

External links


  1. ^ "New York eyes 19–0, but there's no rush" in Minneapolis Star Tribune, November 16, 1998
  2. ^ Freeman, Mike; "Chasing Perfection and Taking Questions; Voluble Broncos Are 13–0 and Ready to Talk" in The New York Times, December 9, 1998
  3. ^ 1998 DVOA Ratings and Commentary
  4. ^ Pincus, David (November 26, 2010). "11/26/1998 - The Turkey Day coin flip". sbnation.com. Retrieved December 3, 2016.
1998 NFC Championship Game

The 1998 NFC Championship Game was a National Football League (NFL) game played on January 17, 1999, to determine the National Football Conference (NFC) champion for the 1998 NFL season. The visiting Atlanta Falcons defeated the heavily favored Minnesota Vikings 30–27 in sudden death overtime to win their first conference championship and advance to the franchise's first Super Bowl appearance. As a result of their loss, the Vikings were eliminated from the playoffs and became the first team in the history of the NFL to compile a regular season record of 15–1 and not win the Super Bowl.The game is considered one of the most memorable conference championship games in NFL history. In 1998, the Vikings were the favorite to win the Super Bowl, as they had set the NFL record for most points scored by a team in a single season. They had gone undefeated in their home stadium, the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome, during the regular season, and their placekicker, Gary Anderson, had become the first kicker in NFL history to convert every field goal and extra point attempt in a season. At a critical moment late in the game, Anderson missed a field goal for the first time that year, which, if converted, would have given the Vikings a nearly insurmountable 10-point lead. Instead, the Falcons scored a touchdown to tie the game on their ensuing drive and subsequently won by a field goal in overtime. Due to its impact on the game's outcome, Anderson's missed field goal has since become the focal point of the loss.The Falcons lost 34–19 to the Denver Broncos two weeks later in Super Bowl XXXIII. Neither the Falcons nor the Vikings would return to the Super Bowl until the 2016 NFL season, when the Falcons lost in overtime to the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LI. Although the game long stood as the proudest moment in the history of the Falcons franchise, the 1998 NFC Championship Game has been remembered for the effect it had on the Vikings players and their fan base, as it is seen by some sportswriters as one of the most devastating losses in NFL history.

1998 Seattle Seahawks season

The 1998 Seattle Seahawks season was the franchise's 23rd season in the National Football League, the 23rd playing their home games at the Kingdome and the fourth and final under head coach head coach Dennis Erickson. They matched their 8–8 record from 1997, but a late-season loss to the New York Jets came due to a controversial call when Jets quarterback Vinny Testaverde ran in a touchdown but was downed short of the goalline yet the play was ruled a touchdown; the loss helped knock Seattle out of the playoffs for the tenth consecutive season.

Bart Starr Award

The Athletes in Action/Bart Starr Award is given annually to a National Football League (NFL) player who "best exemplifies outstanding character and leadership in the home, on the field, and in the community." Nominees are gathered from the public relations directors of each NFL team, the past winners of the Bart Starr Award, the Athletes in Action Pro Staff working with NFL teams, and Bart Starr himself. Ballots are sent to each team and voting takes place at the same time as the Pro Bowl selections. The votes are tabulated and the winner is announced at the annual Super Bowl Breakfast, an NFL-sanctioned event hosted by Athletes in Action, the sports ministry of Campus Crusade for Christ. The award, bearing the name of the Pro Football Hall of Famer, honors Starr's lifelong commitment to serving as a positive role model to his family, teammates, and community.

Brian Gutekunst

Brian Willis Gutekunst is an American football executive who is currently the general manager for the Green Bay Packers of the National Football League (NFL).

Devin Wyman

Devin Edward Wyman (born August 29, 1973) is a former American football player. On March 30, 2015, he was named head coach for the Texas Revolution of the Champions Indoor Football league.

Garth DeFelice

Garth DeFelice is a former National Football League (NFL) referee who served from the 1998 NFL season until 2013. His uniform number was 53 (now worn by Sarah Thomas, the league's first-ever female official, and previously worn by Bill Reynolds and Frank Kirkland), and served in crews headed by Clete Blakeman from 2010–2013. He has also worked under Mike Carey and Bill Leavy, under whom he officiated Super Bowl XL. On May 4, 2014, it was announced that DeFelice would not return to the field for the 2014 season as he will become one of the regional supervisors for the officiating office.

Harvey Williams (American football)

Harvey Lavance Williams (born April 22, 1967), is a former professional American football running back for the Kansas City Chiefs and the Los Angeles/Oakland Raiders.

Jon Harris (American football)

Jonathan Cecil Harris (born June 9, 1974) is a former American football defensive end in the National Football League for the Philadelphia Eagles, Cleveland Browns, and the Green Bay Packers. He played college football at the University of Virginia and was drafted in the first round (25th overall) of the 1997 NFL Draft. He currently resides in Swedesboro, New Jersey.

List of Tennessee Titans broadcasters

This is a list of all current broadcasters of content related to the Tennessee Titans, a National Football League franchise based in Nashville, Tennessee, United States.

Nick Nicolau

Anthero "Nick" Nicolau (May 5, 1933 – December 6, 2014) was a longtime NFL and college football assistant coach. He graduated from Southern Connecticut State University.He spent most of the 1960s -'70s coaching at college programs such as Bridgeport (Head Coach), Massachusetts, Connecticut, Kentucky, and Kent State.

Nicolau broke into the NFL with the New Orleans Saints in 1980 under then head coach Dick Stanfel. He moved on to the Denver Broncos, coaching the running backs from 1981 through 1987. Some of the players he coached included Dave Preston, Sammy Winder, and Steve Sewell.

After a dispute that ended his tenure in Denver, he landed with the Buffalo Bills and served as their wide receivers coach from 1989–1991. There he worked with talents such as Andre Reed and Don Beebe.

In 1992, he became the offensive coordinator of the Indianapolis Colts under head coach Ted Marchibroda with whom he worked in Buffalo. He helped the Colts to a 9–7 record in 1992 and an 8–8 record in 1994. He helped develop Reggie Langhorne as a receiver and worked with quarterback Jeff George as well. In 1994, he helped turn running back Marshall Faulk as a rookie while also working with both Jim Harbaugh and Don Majkowski at quarterback.

Nicolau then spent two seasons coaching the tight ends for the Jacksonville Jaguars, helping to develop Pete Mitchell as a blocker and receiver. In 1997, Jaguars offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride became the head coach of the San Diego Chargers and Nicolau followed him to California. There he served two years as the Chargers assistant head coach before retiring after the 1998 NFL season. He died aged 81 on December 6, 2014.

Paul Janus

Paul Scott Janus is a former player in the National Football League. He played with the Carolina Panthers during the 1998 NFL season. The following year, he was a member of the Detroit Lions, but did not see any playing time during the regular season.

Percy Ellsworth

Percy Daniel Ellsworth III (born October 19, 1974 in Drewryville, Virginia) is a retired former American football safety in the National Football League for the New York Giants and the Cleveland Browns. Ellsworth joined the Giants as an undrafted free agent in 1996 after playing college football at the University of Virginia. He was teammates with Tiki Barber at both Virginia and with the Giants. Ellsworth attended Southampton High School in Courtland, Virginia, where he was a Super Prep All-American as a senior. He was the NFC Defensive Player of the Week for week 16 of the 1998 NFL season.

Ricky Proehl

Richard Scott Proehl (born March 7, 1968) is a former American football wide receiver in the National Football League. Proehl played 17 seasons with the Phoenix/Arizona Cardinals, Seattle Seahawks, Chicago Bears, St. Louis Rams, Carolina Panthers, and Indianapolis Colts. He played in four Super Bowls and won two: Super Bowl XXXIV with the Rams and Super Bowl XLI with the Colts.

After his playing career, Proehl was an assistant coach for the Carolina Panthers through the 2016 season. He returned to the Super Bowl as a coach with the Panthers in 2016.

Ronnie Anderson

Ronnie Darrell Anderson (born February 27, 1974 in Cleveland, Ohio) is a former wide receiver in the National Football League. He first was a member of the Green Bay Packers during the 1997 NFL season, but did not see any playing time during the season, instead spending the entire year on the team's practice squad. Anderson was a member of the Arizona Cardinals during the 1998 NFL season and appeared in four games.

He played on the undergraduate level at Allegheny College and finished his career as the school's career leader in receptions at the end of the 1996 season. Anderson competed in track and field for the Gators as well, and was an all-conference standout in both sports, earning multiple accolades from the NCAC.

Ronnie Anderson has played in 16 games, in his 2-year career, with the Arizona Cardinals and Green Bay Packers. He has also participated in 3 playoff games. He was not drafted.

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.

Tommy Vardell

Thomas Arthur "Touchdown Tommy" Vardell (born February 20, 1969) is a former professional American football fullback in the National Football League.

Tony Corrente

Anthony Joseph Corrente (born November 12, 1951) is an American football official in the National Football League (NFL) since the 1995 NFL season. He wears uniform number 99. He was the referee of Super Bowl XLI. He has also served as the Coordinator of Football Officiating for the Pac-12 Conference since June 2011. He resigned this position in October 2014.

Vanderbilt Stadium

Vanderbilt Stadium is a football stadium located in Nashville, Tennessee. Completed in 1922 (then named Dudley Field) as the first stadium in the South to be used exclusively for college football, it is the home of the Vanderbilt University football team. Vanderbilt Stadium hosted the Tennessee Oilers (now Titans) during the 1998 NFL season and the first Music City Bowl in 1998 and also hosted the Tennessee state high school football championships for many years.

Vanderbilt Stadium is the smallest football stadium in the Southeastern Conference, and was the largest stadium in Nashville until the completion of the Titans' Nissan Stadium in 1999.

Wayne Larrivee

Wayne Larrivee is an American sportscaster. Larrivee is currently the radio play-by-play voice of the Green Bay Packers on the Packers Radio Network alongside color commentator Larry McCarren and calls college football and basketball for the Big Ten Network on television. Despite his current job with the Packers, Larrivee has long been associated with Chicago sports, having spent time as the voice of the Chicago Cubs, over a decade as the voice of the Chicago Bears and nearly twenty years as the television voice of the Chicago Bulls.

1998 NFL season
Early era
Modern era

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