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1999 NFL season

1999 National Football League season
Regular season
Duration September 12, 1999 – January 3, 2000
Start date January 8, 2000
AFC Champions Tennessee Titans
NFC Champions St. Louis Rams
Super Bowl XXXIV
Date January 30, 2000
Site Atlanta, Georgia
Champions St. Louis Rams
Pro Bowl
Date February 6, 2000
Site Aloha Stadium
Photo of the Green Bay vs. Denver preseason game at Camp Randall Stadium on August 23, 1999

The 1999 NFL season was the 80th regular season of the National Football League. The Cleveland Browns returned to the field for the first time since the 1995 season. Also, the Tennessee Oilers changed its name to Tennessee Titans, and the league retired the name "Oilers" – a first in league history.

The return of the Browns increased the number of teams to 31, the first time the league had played with an odd number of clubs since 1966. As a result, the NFL was forced to give at least one team a bye each week; Previously, barring extreme circumstances, a club never received a bye during the first two weeks or last seven weeks of the season. Under a new system, for ten weeks of the season (Week #1 to Week #2, and Week #10 to Week #17), one team was scheduled a bye; for seven weeks of the season (Week #3 to Week #9), three teams sat out. This format would continue for the next two seasons until the Houston Texans joined the NFL in 2002 and returned the league to an even number of teams.

The start of the 1999 NFL Season was pushed back one week and started the weekend after Labor Day, a change from the previous seasons. Due to the Y2K concerns, the NFL did not want to hold the opening round of the playoffs on Saturday January 1, 2000, and did not want teams traveling on that day. Week 17 games were held on January 2, 2000, and the opening round of the playoff would be scheduled for January 8–9. The bye week before the Super Bowl was removed to accommodate the one-week adjustment. The start of the season after Labor Day would become a regular fixture for future seasons, beginning in 2001.

The final spot in the NFC playoffs came down to an exciting final day of the season. With both the Green Bay Packers and Carolina Panthers at 7–8 and tied for the last spot in the playoffs with the Dallas Cowboys, and tied in other tiebreakers, the tie between them would be determined by best net point differential in conference games. Both the Packers and Panthers were playing at 1:00 PM Eastern on January 2, and both teams tried to outscore the other. The Packers beat the Arizona Cardinals 49–24, and the Panthers beat the New Orleans Saints 45–13. The Packers finished ahead of the Panthers by 11 points, but Dallas defeated the New York Giants later that night to claim the final playoff spot.

The St. Louis Rams, who had a losing record for each of the past nine seasons, surprised the entire league by defeating the Tennessee Titans in Super Bowl XXXIV.


  • Major rule changes 1
  • Changes 2
    • Coaching 2.1
    • Stadium 2.2
    • Uniform 2.3
  • Final regular season standings 3
    • Tiebreakers 3.1
  • Playoffs 4
  • Statistical leaders 5
    • Team 5.1
    • Individual 5.2
  • Awards 6
  • External links 7
  • References 8

Major rule changes

  • Clipping is now illegal around the line of scrimmage just as it is on the rest of the field.
  • A new instant replay system (different from the one used from 1986 to 1991) is adopted to aid officiating. The system mirrors a method used by the defunct USFL in 1985:
    • In each game, each team has two challenges that will start a review. Each challenge will require the use of a team's timeout. If the challenge is successful, the timeout is restored.
    • Inside of two minutes of each half, and during all overtime periods, all reviews will be initiated by a Replay Assistant. The Replay Assistant has an unlimited number of reviews, regardless of how many timeouts each team has left. And no timeout will be charged for any review by the Replay Assistant.
    • All replay reviews will be conducted by the referee on a field-level monitor. A decision will be reversed only when there is indisputable visual evidence to overturn the call. The referee has 90 seconds to review the play.
    • The officials will be notified of a replay request or challenge via a specialized electronic pager with a vibrating alert. Each head coach would also have a red flag to use as a backup to get the attention of the officials to challenge a play.
    • The replay system will only cover the following situations:
      • Scoring plays
      • Pass complete/incomplete/intercepted
      • Runner/receiver out of bounds
      • Recovery of a loose ball in or out of bounds
      • Touching of a forward pass, either by an ineligible receiver or a defensive player
      • Quarterback pass or fumble
      • Illegal forward pass
      • Forward or backward pass
      • Runner ruled not down by contact
      • Forward progress in regard to a first down
      • Touching of a kick
      • Too many men on the field

The league also added the following then-minor rule change that became significant in the playoffs a few years later:

When a Team A player is holding the ball to pass it forward, any intentional forward movement of his hand starts a forward pass, even if the player loses possession of the ball as he is attempting to tuck it back toward his body. Also, if the player has tucked the ball into his body and then loses possession, it is a fumble.[1]

This new interpretation of a forward pass would later be commonly known as the "Tuck Rule".




  • Cleveland Browns – Team returns as an expansion team after 3 years of absence from the league. Moved into brand new Cleveland Browns Stadium.
  • Tennessee Titans – Moved to brand new stadium in Nashville, TN called Adelphia Coliseum.


  • Baltimore Ravens – New Raven head logo on helmets.
  • Detroit Lions – Removed Honolulu blue color from road uniforms.
  • New Orleans Saints – Black numbers on road uniforms and added black pants with a wide gold stripe to road uniforms.
  • Tennessee Titans – New nickname (from "Oilers" to "Titans"), new logo, new uniforms.

Final regular season standings

W = Wins, L = Losses, PCT = Winning Percentage, PF= Points For, PA = Points Against

Clinched playoff seeds are marked in parentheses and shaded in green. No ties occurred this year.

AFC East
(2) Indianapolis Colts 13 3 .813 423 333
(5) Buffalo Bills 11 5 .688 320 229
(6) Miami Dolphins 9 7 .563 326 336
New York Jets 8 8 .500 308 309
New England Patriots 8 8 .500 299 284
AFC Central
(1) Jacksonville Jaguars 14 2 .875 396 217
(4) Tennessee Titans 13 3 .813 392 324
Baltimore Ravens 8 8 .500 324 277
Pittsburgh Steelers 6 10 .375 317 320
Cincinnati Bengals 4 12 .250 283 460
Cleveland Browns 2 14 .125 217 437
AFC West
(3) Seattle Seahawks 9 7 .563 338 298
Kansas City Chiefs 9 7 .563 390 322
San Diego Chargers 8 8 .500 269 316
Oakland Raiders 8 8 .500 390 329
Denver Broncos 6 10 .375 314 318
NFC East
(3) Washington Redskins 10 6 .625 443 377
(5) Dallas Cowboys 8 8 .500 352 276
New York Giants 7 9 .438 299 358
Arizona Cardinals 6 10 .375 245 382
Philadelphia Eagles 5 11 .313 272 357
NFC Central
(2) Tampa Bay Buccaneers 11 5 .688 270 235
(4) Minnesota Vikings 10 6 .625 399 335
(6) Detroit Lions 8 8 .500 322 323
Green Bay Packers 8 8 .500 357 341
Chicago Bears 6 10 .375 272 341
NFC West
(1) St. Louis Rams 13 3 .813 526 242
Carolina Panthers 8 8 .500 421 381
Atlanta Falcons 5 11 .313 285 380
San Francisco 49ers 4 12 .250 295 453
New Orleans Saints 3 13 .188 260 434


  • Miami was the third AFC Wild Card ahead of Kansas City based on better record against common opponents (6–1 to Chiefs' 5–3).
  • N.Y. Jets finished ahead of New England in the AFC East based on better division record (4–4 to Patriots' 2–6).
  • Seattle finished ahead of Kansas City in the AFC West based on head-to-head sweep (2–0).
  • San Diego finished ahead of Oakland in the AFC West based on better division record (5–3 to Raiders' 3–5).
  • Dallas was the second NFC Wild Card based on better record against common opponents (3–2 to Lions' 3–3) and better conference record than Carolina (7–5 to Panthers' 6–6).
  • Detroit was the third NFC Wild Card based on better conference record than Green Bay (7–5 to Packers' 6–6) and better conference record than Carolina (7–5 to Panthers' 6–6).


Jan. 8 – FedEx Field   Jan. 15 – Raymond James Stadium          
 6  Detroit  13
 3  Washington  13
 3  Washington  27     Jan. 23 – Trans World Dome
 2  Tampa Bay  14  
Jan. 9 – Humphrey Metrodome  2  Tampa Bay  6
Jan. 16 – Trans World Dome
   1  St. Louis  11  
 5  Dallas  17 NFC Championship
 4  Minnesota  37
 4  Minnesota  27   Jan. 30 – Georgia Dome
 1  St. Louis  49  
Wild Card Playoffs  
Divisional Playoffs
Jan. 8 – Adelphia Coliseum  N1  St. Louis  23
Jan. 16 – RCA Dome
   A4  Tennessee  16
 5  Buffalo  16 Super Bowl XXXIV
 4  Tennessee  19
 4  Tennessee  22     Jan. 23 – Alltel Stadium
 2  Indianapolis  16  
Jan. 9 – Kingdome  4  Tennessee  33
Jan. 15 – Alltel Stadium
   1  Jacksonville  14  
 6  Miami  20 AFC Championship
 6  Miami  7
 3  Seattle  17  
 1  Jacksonville  62  

Statistical leaders


Points scored St. Louis Rams (526)
Total yards gained St. Louis Rams (6,412)
Yards rushing San Francisco 49ers (2,095)
Yards passing St. Louis Rams (4,353)
Fewest points allowed Jacksonville Jaguars (217)
Fewest total yards allowed Buffalo Bills (4,045)
Fewest rushing yards allowed St. Louis Rams (1,189)
Fewest passing yards allowed Buffalo Bills (2,675)


Scoring Mike Vanderjagt, Indianapolis (145 points)
Touchdowns Stephen Davis, Washington and Edgerrin James, Indianapolis (17 TDs)
Most field goals made Olindo Mare, Miami (39 FGs)
Rushing Edgerrin James, Indianapolis (1,553 yards)
Passing Kurt Warner, St. Louis (109.2 rating)
Passing touchdowns Kurt Warner, St. Louis (41 TDs)
Pass receiving Jimmy Smith, Jacksonville (116 catches)
Pass receiving yards Marvin Harrison, Indianapolis (1,663)
Punt returns Charlie Rogers, Seattle (14.5 average yards)
Kickoff returns Tony Horne, St. Louis (29.7 average yards)
Interceptions Rod Woodson, Baltimore; Sam Madison, Miami; James Hasty, Kansas City; Donnie Abraham, Tampa Bay; and Troy Vincent, Philadelphia (7)
Punting Tom Rouen, Denver (46.5 average yards)
Sacks Kevin Carter, St. Louis (17)


Most Valuable Player Kurt Warner, Quarterback, St. Louis
Coach of the Year Dick Vermeil, St. Louis
Offensive Player of the Year Marshall Faulk, Running back, St. Louis
Defensive Player of the Year Warren Sapp, Defensive Tackle, Tampa Bay
Offensive Rookie of the Year Edgerrin James, Running Back, Indianapolis
Defensive Rookie of the Year Jevon Kearse, Defensive End, Tennessee
NFL Comeback Player of the Year Bryant Young, Defensive Tackle, San Francisco

External links

  • Football Outsiders 1999 DVOA Ratings and Commentary


  1. ^ Official Rules of the NFL, Rule 3, Section 21, Article 2, Note 2
  • NFL Record and Fact Book (ISBN 1-932994-36-X)
  • NFL History 1991–2000 (Last accessed October 17, 2005)
  • Total Football: The Official Encyclopedia of the National Football League (ISBN 0-06-270174-6)
  • Steelers Fever – History of NFL Rules (Last accessed October 17, 2005)
  • NFL introduces Instant Replay technology (Last accessed November 4, 2005)
  • Tuck Rule Hard to Grasp by Mark Maske, Washington Post, October 15, 2005 (Last accessed November 4, 2005)
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