2003 NFL season

The 2003 NFL season was the 84th regular season of the National Football League (NFL).

Regular-season play was held from September 4, 2003, to December 28, 2003. Due to damage caused by the Cedar Fire, Qualcomm Stadium was used as an emergency shelter, and thus the Miami DolphinsSan Diego Chargers regular-season match on October 27 was instead played at Sun Devil Stadium, the home field of the Arizona Cardinals.

The playoffs began on January 3, 2004. The NFL title was won by the New England Patriots when they defeated the Carolina Panthers, 32–29, in Super Bowl XXXVIII at Reliant Stadium in Houston, Texas, on February 1.

This was the last season until the 2016 NFL season where neither of the previous Super Bowl participants made the playoffs.

2003 National Football League season
Regular season
DurationSeptember 4 – December 28, 2003
Start dateJanuary 3, 2004
AFC ChampionsNew England Patriots
NFC ChampionsCarolina Panthers
Super Bowl XXXVIII
DateFebruary 1, 2004
SiteReliant Stadium, Houston, Texas
ChampionsNew England Patriots
Pro Bowl
DateFebruary 8, 2004
SiteAloha Stadium

Major rule changes

Joe Theismann Joe Namath
"NFL Kickoff" event on September 4, 2003: Joe Theismann (L) and Joe Namath (R) at a military tribute
  • If an onside kick inside the final five minutes of the game does not go 10 yards, goes out of bounds, or is touched illegally, the receiving team will have the option of accepting the penalty and getting the ball immediately. Previously, the kicking team was penalized, but had another chance to kick again from five yards back.
  • League officials encouraged networks to immediately cut to a commercial break if an instant replay challenge review was initiated. Previously networks were generally not permitted to utilize those game stoppages for their prescribed commercial periods.[1]

Coaching changes

Stadium changes

Lambeau Field Warm-Ups 2003 Tennessee Titans
Tennessee at Green Bay in the preseason; both teams made the playoffs

New uniforms

Final regular-season standings

AFC East
(1) New England Patriots 14 2 0 .875 5–1 11–1 348 238 W12
Miami Dolphins 10 6 0 .625 4–2 7–5 311 261 W2
Buffalo Bills 6 10 0 .375 2–4 4–8 243 279 L3
New York Jets 6 10 0 .375 1–5 6–6 283 299 L2
AFC North
(4) Baltimore Ravens 10 6 0 .625 4–2 7–5 391 281 W2
Cincinnati Bengals 8 8 0 .500 3–3 6–6 346 384 L2
Pittsburgh Steelers 6 10 0 .375 3–3 5–7 300 327 L1
Cleveland Browns 5 11 0 .313 2–4 3–9 254 322 W1
AFC South
(3) Indianapolis Colts 12 4 0 .750 5–1 9–3 447 336 W1
(5) Tennessee Titans 12 4 0 .750 4–2 8–4 435 324 W3
Jacksonville Jaguars 5 11 0 .313 2–4 3–9 276 331 L1
Houston Texans 5 11 0 .313 1–5 3–9 255 380 L4
AFC West
(2) Kansas City Chiefs 13 3 0 .813 5–1 10–2 484 332 W1
(6) Denver Broncos 10 6 0 .625 5–1 9–3 381 301 L1
Oakland Raiders 4 12 0 .250 1–5 3–9 270 379 L2
San Diego Chargers 4 12 0 .250 1–5 2–10 313 441 W1
NFC East
(1) Philadelphia Eagles 12 4 0 .750 5–1 9–3 374 287 W1
(6) Dallas Cowboys 10 6 0 .625 5–1 8–4 289 260 L1
Washington Redskins 5 11 0 .313 1–5 3–9 287 372 L3
New York Giants 4 12 0 .250 1–5 3–9 243 387 L8
NFC North
(4) Green Bay Packers 10 6 0 .625 4–2 7–5 442 307 W4
Minnesota Vikings 9 7 0 .563 4–2 7–5 416 353 L1
Chicago Bears 7 9 0 .438 2–4 4–8 283 346 L1
Detroit Lions 5 11 0 .313 2–4 4–8 270 379 W1
NFC South
(3) Carolina Panthers 11 5 0 .688 5–1 9–3 325 304 W3
New Orleans Saints 8 8 0 .500 3–3 7–5 340 326 W1
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 7 9 0 .438 2–4 6–6 301 264 L2
Atlanta Falcons 5 11 0 .313 2–4 4–8 299 422 W2
NFC West
(2) St. Louis Rams 12 4 0 .750 4–2 8–4 447 328 L1
(5) Seattle Seahawks 10 6 0 .625 5–1 8–4 404 327 W2
San Francisco 49ers 7 9 0 .438 2–4 6–6 384 337 L1
Arizona Cardinals 4 12 0 .250 1–5 3–9 225 452 W1


  • Indianapolis finished ahead of Tennessee in the AFC South based on better head-to-head record (2–0).
  • Denver clinched the AFC 6 seed instead of Miami based on better conference record (9–3 to 7–5).
  • Buffalo finished ahead of N.Y. Jets in the AFC East based on better division record (2–4 to 1–5).
  • Jacksonville finished ahead of Houston in the AFC South based on better division record (2–4 to 1–5).
  • Oakland finished ahead of San Diego in the AFC West based on better conference record (3–9 to 2–10).
  • Philadelphia clinched the NFC 1 seed instead of St. Louis based on better conference record (9–3 to 8–4).
  • Seattle clinched the NFC 5 seed instead of Dallas based on strength of victory (.406 to .388).


Within each conference, the four division winners and the two wild card teams (the top two non-division winners with the best overall regular season records) qualified for the playoffs. The four division winners are seeded 1 through 4 based on their overall won-lost-tied record, and the wild card teams are seeded 5 and 6. The NFL does not use a fixed bracket playoff system, and there are no restrictions regarding teams from the same division matching up in any round. In the first round, dubbed the wild-card playoffs or wild-card weekend, the third-seeded division winner hosts the sixth seed wild card, and the fourth seed hosts the fifth. The 1 and 2 seeds from each conference then receive a bye in the first round. In the second round, the divisional playoffs, the number 1 seed hosts the worst surviving seed from the first round (seed 4, 5 or 6), while the number 2 seed will play the other team (seed 3, 4 or 5). The two surviving teams from each conference's divisional playoff games then meet in the respective AFC and NFC Conference Championship games, hosted by the higher seed. Although the Super Bowl, the fourth and final round of the playoffs, is played at a neutral site, the designated home team is based on an annual rotation by conference.

Playoff seeds
1 New England Patriots (East winner) Philadelphia Eagles (East winner)
2 Kansas City Chiefs (West winner) St. Louis Rams (West winner)
3 Indianapolis Colts (South winner) Carolina Panthers (South winner)
4 Baltimore Ravens (North winner) Green Bay Packers (North winner)
5 Tennessee Titans (wild card) Seattle Seahawks (wild card)
6 Denver Broncos (wild card) Dallas Cowboys (wild card)


Jan. 3 – Bank of America Stadium   Jan. 10 – Edward Jones Dome          
 6  Dallas  10
 3  Carolina  29**
 3  Carolina  29     Jan. 18 – Lincoln Financial Field
 2  St. Louis  23  
Jan. 4 – Lambeau Field  3  Carolina  14
Jan. 11 – Lincoln Financial Field
   1  Philadelphia  3  
 5  Seattle  27 NFC Championship
 4  Green Bay  17
 4  Green Bay  33*   Feb. 1 – Reliant Stadium
 1  Philadelphia  20*  
Wild card playoffs  
Divisional playoffs
Jan. 4 – RCA Dome  N3  Carolina  29
Jan. 11 – Arrowhead Stadium
   A1  New England  32
 6  Denver  10 Super Bowl XXXVIII
 3  Indianapolis  38
 3  Indianapolis  41     Jan. 18 – Gillette Stadium
 2  Kansas City  31  
Jan. 3 – M&T Bank Stadium  3  Indianapolis  14
Jan. 10 – Gillette Stadium
   1  New England  24  
 5  Tennessee  20 AFC Championship
 5  Tennessee  14
 4  Baltimore  17  
 1  New England  17  
* Indicates overtime victory
** Indicates double overtime victory


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

Record Player or team Date/Opponent Previous record holder[2]
Most Touchdowns, Season Priest Holmes, Kansas City (27) December 28, vs. Chicago Marshall Faulk, St. Louis, 2000 (26)
Most Rushing Yards Gained, Game Jamal Lewis, Baltimore (295) September 14, vs. Cleveland Corey Dillon, Cincinnati vs. Denver, October 22, 2000 (278)
Most Consecutive Field Goals Mike Vanderjagt, Indianapolis December 28, at Houston Gary Anderson, 1997–98 (40)
Most Consecutive Road Games Lost Detroit Lions December 21, vs. Carolina Houston Oilers, 1981–84 (23)
Most consecutive games with a sack Tampa Bay Buccaneers (69) November 9, 2003 Dallas Cowboys (68)

Statistical leaders


Points scored Kansas City Chiefs (484)
Total yards gained Minnesota Vikings (6,294)
Yards rushing Baltimore Ravens (2,674)
Yards passing Indianapolis Colts (4,179)
Fewest points allowed New England Patriots (238)
Fewest total yards allowed Dallas Cowboys (4,056)
Fewest rushing yards allowed Tennessee Titans (1,295)
Fewest passing yards allowed Dallas Cowboys (2,631)


Scoring Jeff Wilkins, St. Louis (163 points)
Touchdowns Priest Holmes, Kansas City (27 TDs)
Most field goals made Jeff Wilkins, St. Louis (39 FGs)
Rushing Jamal Lewis, Baltimore (2,066 yards)
Passing Steve McNair, Tennessee (100.4 rating)
Passing touchdowns Brett Favre, Green Bay (32 TDs)
Pass receiving Torry Holt, St. Louis (117 catches)
Pass receiving yards Torry Holt, St. Louis (1,696)
Pass receiving touchdowns Randy Moss, Minnesota (17 touchdowns)
Punt returns Dante Hall, Kansas City (16.3 average yards)
Kickoff returns Jerry Azumah, Chicago (29.0 average yards)
Interceptions Brian Russell, Minnesota and Tony Parrish, San Francisco (9)
Punting Shane Lechler, Oakland (46.9 average yards)
Sacks Michael Strahan, New York Giants (18.5)


Most Valuable Player Peyton Manning, quarterback, Indianapolis and Steve McNair, quarterback, Tennessee Titans
Coach of the Year Bill Belichick, New England
Offensive Player of the Year Jamal Lewis, running back, Baltimore
Defensive Player of the Year Ray Lewis, linebacker, Baltimore
Offensive Rookie of the Year Anquan Boldin, wide receiver, Arizona
Defensive Rookie of the Year Terrell Suggs, linebacker, Baltimore
NFL Comeback Player of the Year Jon Kitna, Quarterback, Cincinnati
Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Will Shields, Guard, Kansas
Super Bowl Most Valuable Player Tom Brady, Quarterback, New England


The 2003 NFL Draft was held from April 26 to 27, 2003 at New York City's Theater at Madison Square Garden. With the first pick, the Cincinnati Bengals selected quarterback Carson Palmer from the University of Southern California.


American Football Conference

National Football Conference


  1. ^ Gaughan, Mark (March 27, 2003). "Execs Plan Only Minor Procedures". The Buffalo News. Retrieved March 24, 2017.
  2. ^ "Records". 2005 NFL Record and Fact Book. NFL. 2005. ISBN 978-1-932994-36-0.


  • NFL Record and Fact Book (ISBN 1-932994-36-X)
  • NFL History 2001– (Last accessed October 17, 2005)
  • Total Football: The Official Encyclopedia of the National Football League (ISBN 0-06-270174-6)

External links

2003 Seattle Seahawks season

The 2003 Seattle Seahawks season was the franchise's 28th season in the National Football League, The second season in Qwest Field and the fifth under head coach Mike Holmgren. After going 31–33 in his first four years as head coach, the Seahawks went undefeated at home for the first time in franchise history and improved to 10–6, thus making the NFC playoffs as a wild card team, the first of nine playoff appearances in twelve seasons. However, the team fell 33-27 to the Green Bay Packers in the opening round due to an interception returned for a touchdown by Green Bay's Al Harris in overtime. Following the season, Hall of Fame defensive tackle John Randle retired after 14 seasons.

2004 NFL season

The 2004 NFL season was the 85th regular season of the National Football League.

With the New England Patriots as the defending league champions, regular season play was held from September 9, 2004 to January 2, 2005. Hurricanes forced the rescheduling of two Miami Dolphins home games: the game against the Tennessee Titans was moved up one day to Saturday, September 11 to avoid oncoming Hurricane Ivan, while the game versus the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday, September 26 was moved back 7½ hours to miss the eye of Hurricane Jeanne.

The playoffs began on January 8, and eventually New England repeated as NFL champions when they defeated the Philadelphia Eagles 24–21 in Super Bowl XXXIX, the Super Bowl championship game, at ALLTEL Stadium in Jacksonville, Florida on February 6.

2016 NFL season

The 2016 NFL season was the 97th season in the history of the National Football League (NFL). The season began on September 8, 2016, with the defending Super Bowl 50 champion Denver Broncos defeating the Carolina Panthers 21–20 in the NFL Kickoff Game. The season concluded with Super Bowl LI, the league's championship game on February 5, 2017, at NRG Stadium in Houston with the New England Patriots defeating the Atlanta Falcons 34–28 in overtime.

For the first time since the Houston Oilers relocated to Tennessee in 1997, an NFL team relocated to another state, as the former St. Louis Rams moved out of St. Louis, Missouri and returned to Los Angeles, its home from 1946 to 1994. For the first time since the 2003 NFL season, neither of the previous season's Super Bowl participants made the playoffs.The 2016 season also was the last season for the San Diego Chargers after playing in San Diego for fifty-six years before their return to the city of Los Angeles for 2017, where the franchise was based in for their first season in 1960.

Adam Treu

Adam Treu (born June 24, 1974) is a former center who played in the National Football League. He walked on to University of Nebraska-Lincoln after playing at Pius X High School in Lincoln. He won back-to-back National Championships with the Cornhuskers in 1994 and 1995 playing left tackle and performing all the long snapping duties. He was drafted by the Oakland Raiders in the 3rd round (72nd overall) of the 1997 NFL Draft.

Adrian Madise

Adrian James Madise (born March 23, 1980) is a former American football wide receiver. Madise played college football for Texas Christian University. During his junior and senior years in 2001 and 2002, he tallied 82 catches for 1,343 yards (16.4 yards per catch) and 7 touchdowns. Madise was drafted by the Denver Broncos in the fifth round of the 2003 NFL Draft. In June 2003, he signed a five-year contract with the Broncos. He played in 11 games for the Broncos during the 2003 NFL season. His longest gain for the Broncos was an 83-yard kickoff return. He signed with the Austin Wranglers in November 2006.

Bruce Smith (defensive end)

Bruce Bernard Smith (born June 18, 1963) is a former American football defensive end for the Buffalo Bills and the Washington Redskins of the National Football League. He was a member of the Buffalo Bills teams that played in four consecutive Super Bowls as AFC champions. The holder of the NFL career record for quarterback sacks with 200, Smith was enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2009, his first year of eligibility. Smith was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2006.

Craig Wrolstad

Craig Wrolstad (born in Lake Tapps, Washington) is an American football official in the National Football League (NFL) since the 2003 NFL season, wearing uniform number 4.As an official in the NFL, Wrolstad is known for working Super Bowl XLVII in 2013 as a field judge. He wore uniform number 89 and 4 as a field judge.

Kevin Mitchell (linebacker)

Kevin Danyelle Mitchell (January 1, 1971 – April 30, 2007) was an American football linebacker in the National Football League from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. He played for the San Francisco 49ers, the New Orleans Saints, and the Washington Redskins.

Lindsy McLean

J. Lindsy McLean was an athletic trainer for college and professional American football teams for nearly 50 years.

McLean's college career began as a student athletic trainer at Vanderbilt University in 1956. In 1963, he was the head athletic trainer and director of physical therapy at the University of California Santa Barbara from 1963 to 1965. Next, in 1965, he was named the head athletic trainer and assistant professor at San Jose State College. Lastly, he was the head athletic trainer at the University of Michigan for eleven years from 1968 to 1979. While at Michigan, he was named the first chair of the National Athletic Trainers Association Board of Certification and was instrumental in developing certification standards for the athletic training profession. He was a member of the athletic training staff at the 1976 Winter Olympics in Innsbruck, Austria.

In 1979, he moved to professional sports and became the head athletic trainer for the San Francisco 49ers, a position he held for 24 years. He retired at the conclusion of the 2003 NFL season. In 1988, he was inducted into the National Athletic Trainers' Association Hall of Fame. In 2005, he received the Cain Fain Memorial Award from the NFL Physician's Society and in 2008, received the Tim Kerin Award for Athletic Training Excellence. McLean has five super bowl rings with the 49ers. According to NFL records (2010), McLean and only three other people have five rings, among them Bill Belichick and player Charles Haley (49ers and Cowboys.)In February 2004, ESPN The Magazine published a feature story on McLean in which he came out publicly as gay and discussed his experiences in the world of football. He said that many players and team officials were aware of his homosexuality during his years with the 49ers. He detailed incidences of harassment from players as well, including one player who repeatedly grabbed him and performed simulated sex while other players watched.

List of National Football League annual rushing touchdowns leaders

This is a season-by-season list of National Football League players who have led the regular season in rushing touchdowns. Although rushing has both an offensive and a defensive meaning, this list charts offensive rushing touchdowns, usually scored by a running back, either a halfback or a fullback.

Record-keeping for rushing touchdowns began in 1932, when Bronko Nagurski of the Chicago Bears led the league with 4 rushing touchdowns. Since then, LaDainian Tomlinson has set the record for rushing touchdowns in a season, when he led the league in 2006, with 28 rushing touchdowns, while playing with the San Diego Chargers. Prior to Tomlinson's setting of the record, Priest Holmes of the Kansas City Chiefs and Shaun Alexander of the Seattle Seahawks, jointly held the record with 27, reaching that mark in 2003 NFL season and 2005, respectively.

Jim Brown holds the record for most league-leading seasons in rushing touchdowns, with 5 (1957, 1958, 1959, 1963, and 1965). Dutch Clark became the first player to lead the league in consecutive seasons (1936 and 1937), although in 1937 he co-led the league. The first sole rushing touchdowns leader in consecutive seasons was Johnny Drake, when he led in 1939 and 1940. Steve Van Buren was the first to lead the league in 3 consecutive seasons, from 1947 to 1949, a figure later matched by Jim Brown (1957 to 1959) and Leroy Kelly (1966 to 1968). Marcus Allen is the only player in NFL history to lead the league in rushing touchdowns while playing with 2 different teams; in 1982, Allen led the league while playing with the Oakland Raiders, and in 1993, he led the league while playing with the Kansas City Chiefs.

In 1943, Bill Paschal became the first NFL player to post a 10+ rushing touchdowns season, when playing for the New York Giants. 40 seasons later, in 1983, John Riggins posted the league's first 20+ rushing touchdowns season. Steve Van Buren was the first player to lead the league with consecutive 10+ rushing touchdowns seasons, in 1947 and 1948; he would add a third consecutive in 1949. Emmitt Smith posted the first consecutive league-leading 20+ rushing touchdowns seasons in 1994 and 1995–an achievement later matched by Priest Holmes, in 2003 and 2004.

Mike Rucker

Michael Dean Rucker (born February 28, 1975) is a former American football defensive end who played eight seasons for the Carolina Panthers of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football for the University of Nebraska, and was drafted by the Panthers in the second round of the 1999 NFL Draft.

Pete Morelli

Peter Danie Morelli (born November 18, 1951) is a former American football official in the National Football League (NFL) since the 1997 NFL season and the president of Saint Mary's High School in Stockton, California. He wore uniform number 135.As an official in the NFL, Morelli is known for working Super Bowl XXXVI in 2002 as a field judge.

Rod Gardner

Roderick F. Gardner (born October 26, 1977 in Jacksonville, Florida) is a former American college and professional football player who was a wide receiver in the National Football League (NFL) for five seasons.

Stephen Davis (American football)

Stephen Lamont Davis (born March 1, 1974) is a former American football running back who played 11 seasons in the National Football League (NFL).

Tom Rouen

Thomas Francis Rouen (born June 9, 1968, in Hinsdale, Illinois) is a former American football punter best known as the long-time punter for the Denver Broncos of the National Football League.

Tyrone Poole

Tyrone Poole (born February 3, 1972) is a retired American professional football player who played 13 seasons as a cornerback in the National Football League. He was drafted by the Carolina Panthers 22nd overall of the 1995 NFL Draft. He played college football at Fort Valley State.

Poole has also played for Indianapolis Colts, Denver Broncos, New England Patriots, Oakland Raiders and Tennessee Titans. He earned Super Bowl rings with the Patriots in Super Bowl XXXVIII and Super Bowl XXXIX.


WLOO is a MyNetworkTV-affiliated television station serving Jackson, Mississippi, United States that is licensed to Vicksburg. It broadcasts a high definition digital signal on UHF channel 36 (or virtual channel 35 via PSIP) from a transmitter on Thigpen Road in Raymond. Owned by Tougaloo College, WLOO has a joint sales agreement (JSA) with Jackson-licensed Fox affiliate WDBD (channel 40, owned by American Spirit Media). Both stations are in turn controlled by Gray Television (owner of Jackson-licensed NBC affiliate WLBT, channel 3) under a shared services agreement (SSA), with Gray providing limited engineering support to WLOO. The three stations share studios on South Jefferson Street in downtown Jackson.

On cable, WLOO can be seen on Comcast Xfinity channel 11, Cable One channel 52 and Vicksburg Video channels 11 and 265.

Walt Anderson (American football)

Walt Anderson (born c. 1952) is an American football official in the National Football League (NFL) since the 1996 NFL season. Anderson spent his first seven seasons in the NFL as a line judge before being promoted to referee for the start of the 2003 NFL season after Dick Hantak and Bob McElwee announced their retirements. He is notable for officiating Super Bowl XXXV. Anderson was also named as referee for Super Bowl XLV which was played on February 6, 2011, in Arlington, Texas, at Cowboys Stadium. He wears uniform number 66.

2003 NFL season
Early era
Modern era

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