1983 NFL Season
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1983 NFL Season

1983 National Football League season
Regular season
DurationSeptember 3 - December 19, 1983
Playoffs
Start dateDecember 24, 1983
AFC ChampionsLos Angeles Raiders
NFC ChampionsWashington Redskins
Super Bowl XVIII
DateJanuary 22, 1984
SiteTampa Stadium, Tampa, Florida
ChampionsLos Angeles Raiders
Pro Bowl
DateJanuary 29, 1984
SiteAloha Stadium

The 1983 NFL season was the 64th regular season of the National Football League. The season ended with Super Bowl XVIII when the Los Angeles Raiders defeated the Washington Redskins 38-9 at Tampa Stadium in Florida.

Player movement

Transactions

Trades

  • May 2, 1983: The Baltimore Colts traded John Elway for Chris Hinton, backup quarterback Mark Herrmann, and a first-round pick in the 1984 Draft, which turned into offensive lineman Ron Solt.

Retirements

Draft

The 1983 NFL Draft was held from April 26 to 27, 1983 at New York City's Sheraton Hotel. With the first pick, the Baltimore Colts selected quarterback John Elway from Stanford University.

Major rule changes

  • In the last 30 seconds of a half (but not overtime), with the defensive team behind with no more time outs, a defensive foul cannot prevent the half from ending except for the normal options that are available to the offensive team.
  • Pass interference will not be called if there was incidental contact, or if when players make simultaneous attempts to catch, tip, block, or bat the ball.
  • Players may not use a helmet, that is no longer worn by anyone, as a weapon to strike or hit an opponent; they risk disqualification if they do. This rule was instituted after Raiders defensive end Lyle Alzado swung a helmet at New York Jets tackle Chris Ward during a playoff game the previous season.

Division Races

From 1978 to 1981 & this season to 1989, ten teams qualified for the playoffs: the winners of each of the divisions, and two wild-card teams in each conference. The two wild cards would meet for the right to face whichever of the three division winners had the best overall record. The tiebreaker rules were based on head-to-head competition, followed by division records, common opponents records, and conference play.

National Football Conference

Week Eastern Central Western WildCard WildCard
1 Cowboys, Eagles 1-0 3 teams 1-0 3 teams 1-0
2 Cowboys 2-0 4 teams 1-1 Rams 2-0
3 Cowboys 3-0 Vikings, Packers 2-1 4 teams 2-1
4 Cowboys 4-0 Vikings 3-1 49ers 3-1 Redskins 3-1 6 teams 2-2
5 Cowboys 5-0 Vikings, Packers 3-2 49ers 4-1 Redskins 4-1 5 teams 3-2
6 Cowboys 6-0 Vikings 4-2 3 teams 4-2 Redskins 5-1 4 teams 4-2
7 Cowboys 7-0 Vikings 5-2 49ers, Rams 5-2 3 teams 5-2 3 teams 4-3
8 Cowboys 7-1 Vikings 6-2 49ers 6-2 Redskins 6-2 Saints, Rams 5-3
9 Cowboys 8-1 Vikings 6-3 49ers 6-3 Redskins 7-2 Saints, Rams 5-4
10 Cowboys 9-1 Vikings 6-4 3 teams 6-4 Redskins 8-2 3 teams 6-4
11 Cowboys, Redskins 9-2 Vikings, Packers 6-5 49ers, Rams 7-4 Cowboys, Redskins 9-2 49ers, Rams 7-4
12 Cowboys, Redskins 10-2 Vikings 7-5 49ers, Rams 7-5 Cowboys, Redskins 10-2 49ers, Rams 7-5
13 Cowboys, Redskins 11-2 Vikings, Lions 7-6 Rams 8-5 Cowboys, Redskins 11-2 Lions, Vikings 7-6
14 Cowboys, Redskins 12-2 Lions 8-6 49ers, Rams 8-6 Cowboys, Redskins 12-2 49ers, Rams 8-6
15 Redskins 13-2 Lions, Packers 8-7 49ers 9-6 Cowboys 12-3 4 teams 8-7
16 Washington 14-2 Detroit 9-7 San Francisco 10-6 Dallas 12-4 Los Angeles 9-7

American Football Conference

Week Eastern Central Western WildCard WildCard
1 3 teams 1-0 4 teams 0-1 3 teams 1-0
2 Dolphins 2-0 Steelers, Browns 1-1 Raiders, Broncos 2-0
3 Dolphins, Bills 2-1 Steelers, Browns 2-1 Raiders 3-0 6 teams 2-1
4 Dolphins, Bills 3-1 Browns 3-1 Raiders 4-0 3 teams 3-1 6 teams 2-2
5 4 teams 3-2 Steelers, Browns 3-2 Raiders 4-1 7 teams 3-2 4 teams 2-3
6 Bills, Colts 4-2 Steelers, Browns 4-2 Raiders 5-1 4 teams 4-2 5 teams 3-3
7 Bills 5-2 Steelers 5-2 Raiders 5-2 Dolphins, Colts 4-3 Browns, Seahawks 4-3
8 Dolphins, Bills 5-3 Steelers 6-2 Raiders 6-2 Dolphins, Bills 5-3 Broncos 5-3
9 Dolphins, Bills 6-3 Steelers 7-2 Raiders, Broncos 6-3 Dolphins, Bills 6-3 Raiders, Broncos 6-3
10 Dolphins 7-3 Steelers 8-2 Raiders 7-3 Bills, Colts 6-4 Seahawks, Broncos 6-4
11 Dolphins, Bills 7-4 Steelers 9-2 Raiders 8-3 Dolphins, Bills 7-4 5 teams 6-5
12 Dolphins 8-4 Steelers 9-3 Raiders 9-3 3 teams 7-5 3 teams 6-5
13 Dolphins 9-4 Steelers 9-4 Raiders 10-3 Browns 8-5 3 teams 7-6
14 Dolphins 10-4 Steelers 9-5 Raiders 11-3 3 teams 8-6 4 teams 7-7
15 Dolphins 11-4 Steelers 10-5 Raiders 11-4 Broncos 9-6 4 teams 8-7
16 Miami 12-4 Pittsburgh 10-6 Los Angeles 12-4 Seattle 9-7 Denver 9-7

Regular season

Scheduling formula

    Inter-conference
AFC East vs NFC West
AFC Central vs NFC Central
AFC West vs NFC East

Highlights of the 1983 season included:

  • Thanksgiving: Two games were played on Thursday, November 24, featuring Pittsburgh at Detroit and St. Louis at Dallas, with Detroit and Dallas winning.

Final standings

Tiebreakers

  • Los Angeles Raiders was the first AFC seed over Miami based on head-to-head victory (1-0).
  • Seattle was the first AFC Wild Card ahead of Denver based on better division record (5-3 to Broncos' 3-5) after Cleveland was eliminated from the three-way tie based on head-to-head record (Seattle and Denver 2-1 to Browns' 0-2).
  • New England finished ahead of Buffalo in the AFC East based on head-to-head sweep (2-0).
  • Baltimore finished ahead of N.Y. Jets in the AFC East based on better conference record (5-9, .357 to Jets' 4-8, .333).
  • San Diego finished ahead of Kansas City in the AFC West based on head-to-head sweep (2-0).
  • Minnesota ended up in fourth place in the NFC Central after being eliminated from the three-way tie based on conference record (Chicago 7-7 and Green Bay 6-6 to Vikings' 4-8).
  • Green Bay finished ahead of Chicago in the NFC Central based on better record against common opponents (4-4 to Bears' 3-5).

Playoffs

NOTE: The Los Angeles Raiders (the AFC 1 seed) did not play the Seattle Seahawks (the 4 seed) in the Divisional playoff round because both teams were in the same division.
Dec. 31 - Candlestick Park
3 Detroit 23
Dec. 26 - Texas Stadium Jan. 8 - RFK Stadium
2 San Francisco 24
NFC
5 LA Rams 24 2 San Francisco 21
Jan. 1 - RFK Stadium
4 Dallas 17 1 Washington 24
NFC Championship
5 LA Rams 7
Jan. 22 - Tampa Stadium
1 Washington 51
Divisional playoffs
Wild Card playoffs N1 Washington 9
Dec. 31 - Miami Orange Bowl
A1 LA Raiders 38
Super Bowl XVIII
4 Seattle 27
Dec. 24 - Kingdome Jan. 8 - Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum
2* Miami 20
AFC
5 Denver 7 4 Seattle 14
Jan. 1 - Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum
4 Seattle 31 1 LA Raiders 30
AFC Championship
3 Pittsburgh 10
1* LA Raiders 38

Notable events

  • Kansas City Chiefs running back Joe Delaney dies after attempting to rescue three boys who were drowning in a makeshift swimming pool at a construction site.
  • LA Raiders Super Bowl win would be the AFC's last win until the 1997 season when the Denver Broncos defeated the Green Bay Packers.

Milestones

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

Most Touchdowns, Season John Riggins, Washington (24)
Most Rushing Touchdowns, Season John Riggins, Washington (24)
Most Punt Return Yards, Season Greg Pruitt, Los Angeles Raiders (666)
Most Total Field Goals Made, Season Ali Haji-Sheikh, New York Giants (35)

Statistical leaders

Team

Points scored Washington Redskins (541)
Total yards gained San Diego Chargers (6,197)
Yards rushing Chicago Bears (2,727)
Yards passing San Diego Chargers (4,661)
Fewest points allowed Miami Dolphins (250)
Fewest total yards allowed Cincinnati Bengals (4,327)
Fewest rushing yards allowed Washington Redskins (1,289)
Fewest passing yards allowed New Orleans Saints (2,691)

Awards

Coaching changes

Offseason

In-season

Stadium changes

Schaefer Stadium is renamed Sullivan Stadium after New England Patriots founder and owner Billy Sullivan

Uniform changes

  • The New Orleans Saints' jersey numbers were slightly modified, adding a thin inner border which matched the jersey color between the gold outer border and the number itself, similar to the numbers on the San Diego Chargers' jerseys.
  • The Seattle Seahawks revised their jerseys for the first time since joining the NFL in 1976. The new jerseys moved the TV numbers from the sleeves to the shoulders, with the helmet logo duplicated on the sleeves.

Regular season game not broadcast by Network TV

Date Time Teams Local TV Announcers
October 9, 1983 4:00 PM EDT Kansas City Chiefs @ Los Angeles Raiders KCTV-TV (Kansas City area)
(blacked out in Los Angeles area)
Don Fortune (play-by-play)
Len Dawson (analyst)

References

  1. ^ Teresa Varley (January 11, 2019). "His Swann song". steelers.com. Retrieved 2021.

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.

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