The Full Wiki

1978 NFL season: Wikis

Advertisements
  

Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.

Encyclopedia

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

1978 National Football League season
Regular season
Duration September 2, 1978–December 18, 1978
Playoffs
Start date December 24, 1978
AFC Champions Pittsburgh Steelers
NFC Champions Dallas Cowboys
Super Bowl XIII
Date January 21, 1979
Site Orange Bowl, Miami, Florida
Champions Pittsburgh Steelers
Pro Bowl
Date January 29, 1979
Site Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum
National Football League seasons
 < 1977 1979 > 

The 1978 NFL season was the 59th regular season of the National Football League. The league expanded the regular season from a 14-game schedule to 16. Furthermore, the playoff format was expanded from 8 teams to 10 teams by adding another wild card from each conference. The wild card teams would play each other with the winner advancing to the playoff round of eight teams.

The season ended with Super Bowl XIII when the Pittsburgh Steelers defeated the Dallas Cowboys.

Contents

Major rule changes

  • To open up the passing game, defenders are permitted to make contact with receivers only to a point of five yards beyond the line of scrimmage. Previously, contact was allowed anywhere on the field. This is usually referred to as the "Mel Blount Rule"
  • The offensive team may only make one forward pass during a play from scrimmage, but only if the ball does not cross the line and return behind the line prior to the pass.
  • Double touching of a forward pass is legal, but batting a pass towards the opponent's end zone is illegal. Previously, a second offensive player could not legally catch a deflected pass unless a defensive player had touched it. This is usually referred to as the "Mel Renfro Rule". During a play in Super Bowl V, Baltimore Colts receiver Eddie Hinton tipped a pass intended for him. Renfro, the Cowboys defensive back, made a stab at the ball and it was ruled that he tipped it ever so slightly (which he denied) into the arms of Colts tight end John Mackey, who ran for a touchdown. Later, this rule was also the one in question during the Immaculate Reception in 1972. But despite these two incidents, the rule change did not occur until this season.
  • The pass blocking rules were extended to permit extended arms and open hands.
  • The penalty for intentional grounding is reduced from a loss of down and 15 yards to a loss of down and 10 yards from the previous spot (or at the spot of the foul if the spot is 10 yards or more behind the line of scrimmage). If the passer commits the foul in his own end zone, the defense scores a safety.
  • Hurdling is no longer a foul.
  • A seventh official, the Side Judge, is added to the officiating crew to help rule on legalities downfield.

Division Races

Starting in 1978, 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 tiebraker 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 3 teams 1-0 Chi,GB 1-0 3 teams 1-0
2 Dal,Was 2-0 Chi,GB 2-0 L.A. 2-0
3 Wash. 3-0 Chi. 3-0 L.A. 3-0
4 Wash. 4-0 G.B. 3-1 L.A. 4-0 Chi. 3-1 Dal. 3-1
5 Wash. 5-0 G.B. 4-1 L.A. 5-0 Chi. 3-2 3 tms 3-2
6 Wash. 6-0 G.B. 5-1 L.A. 6-0 Dal. 4-2 Chi. 3-3
7 Wash. 6-1 G.B. 6-1 L.A. 7-0 Dal. 5-2 Phi. 4-3
8 Wash. 6-2 G.B. 6-2 L.A. 7-1 Dal. 6-2 NYG 5-3
9 Wash. 7-2 G.B. 7-2 L.A. 7-2 Dal. 6-3 Atl 5-4
10 Wash. 7-3 G.B. 7-3 L.A. 8-2 Atl. 6-4 Min. 6-4
11 Wash. 8-3 Min. 7-4 L.A. 9-2 Atl. 7-4 Dal. 7-4
12 Wash. 8-4 Min. 7-5 L.A. 10-2 Dal. 8-4 Atl. 7-5
13 Dal. 9-4 Min. 7-5-1 L.A. 10-3 Atl. 8-5 Wash. 8-5
14 Dal. 10-4 Min. 8-5-1 L.A. 11-3 G.B. 8-5-1 Atl. 8-6
15 Dal. 11-4 Min. 8-6-1 L.A. 11-4 Atl. 9-6 G.B. 8-6-1
16 Dal. 12-4 Min. 8-7-1 L.A. 12-4 Atl. 9-7 Phi. 9-7

American Football Conference

Week Eastern Central Western WildCard WildCard
1 NYJ 1-0 Cle,Pit 1-0 3 teams 1-0
2 NYJ 2-0 Cle,Pit 2-0 4 teams 1-1
3 NYJ 2-1 Cle,Pit 3-0 Den. 2-1 Cle,Pit 3-0 Hou 2-1
4 NYJ 2-2 Pitt 4-0 Den. 3-1 Cle. 3-1 Hou 2-2
5 Mia. 3-2 Pitt 5-0 Den. 4-1 Hou. 3-2 N.E. 3-2
6 Mia. 4-2 Pitt 6-0 Den. 4-2 N.E. 4-2 Oak. 4-2
7 Mia. 5-2 Pitt 7-0 Den. 5-2 N.E. 5-2 Oak. 5-2
8 N.E. 6-2 Pitt 7-1 Den. 5-3 Hou. 5-3 NYJ 5-3
9 N.E. 7-2 Pitt 8-1 Den. 6-3 Mia. 6-3 Hou. 5-4
10 N.E. 8-2 Pitt 9-1 Den. 6-4 Mia. 7-3 Hou. 6-4
11 N.E. 8-3 Pitt 9-2 Den. 7-4 Mia. 8-3 Hou. 7-4
12 N.E. 9-3 Pitt 10-2 Den. 8-4 Hou. 8-4 Mia. 8-4
13 N.E. 10-3 Pitt 11-2 Den. 8-5 Hou. 9-4 Mia. 8-5
14 N.E. 10-4 Pitt 12-2 Den. 9-5 Hou. 9-5 Mia. 9-5
15 N.E. 11-4 Pitt 13-2 Den. 10-5 Hou. 10-5 Mia. 10-5
16 N.E. 11-5 Pitt 14-2 Den. 10-6 Mia. 11-5 Hou. 10-6

Final standings

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

  x  - clinched wild card berth,   y  - clinched division title

AFC East
Team W L T PCT PF PA
y-New England Patriots 11 5 0 .688 358 286
x-Miami Dolphins 11 5 0 .688 372 254
New York Jets 8 8 0 .500 359 364
Buffalo Bills 5 11 0 .313 302 354
Baltimore Colts 5 11 0 .313 239 421
AFC Central
Team W L T PCT PF PA
y-Pittsburgh Steelers 14 2 0 .875 356 195
x-Houston Oilers 10 6 0 .625 283 298
Cleveland Browns 8 8 0 .500 334 356
Cincinnati Bengals 4 12 0 .250 252 284
AFC West
Team W L T PCT PF PA
y-Denver Broncos 10 6 0 .625 282 198
Oakland Raiders 9 7 0 .563 311 283
Seattle Seahawks 9 7 0 .563 345 358
San Diego Chargers 9 7 0 .563 355 309
Kansas City Chiefs 4 12 0 .250 243 327
NFC East
Team W L T PCT PF PA
y-Dallas Cowboys 12 4 0 .750 384 208
x-Philadelphia Eagles 9 7 0 .563 270 250
Washington Redskins 8 8 0 .500 273 283
St. Louis Cardinals 6 10 0 .375 248 296
New York Giants 6 10 0 .375 264 298
NFC Central
Team W L T PCT PF PA
y-Minnesota Vikings 8 7 1 .531 294 306
Green Bay Packers 8 7 1 .531 249 269
Detroit Lions 7 9 0 .438 290 300
Chicago Bears 7 9 0 .438 253 274
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 5 11 0 .313 241 259
NFC West
Team W L T PCT PF PA
y-Los Angeles Rams 12 4 0 .750 316 245
x-Atlanta Falcons 9 7 0 .563 240 290
New Orleans Saints 7 9 0 .438 281 298
San Francisco 49ers 2 14 0 .125 219 350


Advertisements

Tiebreakers

  • New England finished ahead of Miami in the AFC East based on better division record (6-2 to Dolphins' 5-3).
  • Buffalo finished ahead of Baltimore in the AFC East based on head-to-head sweep (2-0).
  • Oakland, Seattle, and San Diego finished 2nd, 3rd, and 4th, respectively, in the AFC West based on better record against common opponents (6-2 to Seahawks' 5-3 and Chargers' 4-4).
  • Minnesota finished ahead of Green Bay in the NFC North based on better head-to-head record (1-0-1).
  • Los Angeles was top NFC seed over Dallas based on better head-to-head record (1-0).
  • Detroit finished ahead of Chicago in the NFC Central based on better division record (4-4 to Bears' 3-5).
  • Atlanta was the first NFC Wild Card based on better conference record than Philadelphia (8-4 to Eagles' 6-6).
  • St. Louis finished ahead of N.Y. Giants in the NFC East based on better division record (3-5 to Giants' 2-6).

Playoffs

*Note: Two teams from the same division were not allowed to play against each other in the Divisional playoff round.
                                   
Divisional Playoffs
    December 31 - Foxboro Stadium        
AFC Wild Card Game AFC Championship
 5  Houston  31
December 24 - Miami Orange Bowl     January 7 - Three Rivers Stadium
 2*  New England  14  
 5  Houston  17  5  Houston  5
December 30 - Three Rivers Stadium
 4  Miami  9      1  Pittsburgh  34   Super Bowl XIII
 3  Denver  10
    January 21 - Miami Orange Bowl
 1*  Pittsburgh  33  
 A1  Pittsburgh  35
December 30 - Texas Stadium
NFC Wild Card Game NFC Championship    N2  Dallas  31
 4  Atlanta  20
December 24 - Atlanta Fulton County Stadium     January 7 - L.A. Memorial Coliseum
 2*  Dallas  27  
 5  Philadelphia  13  2  Dallas  28
December 31 - L.A. Memorial Coliseum
 4  Atlanta  14      1  L.A. Rams  0  
 3  Minnesota  10
   
 1*  L.A. Rams  34  

References

  • NFL Record and Fact Book (ISBN 1-932994-36-X)
  • NFL History 1971-1980 (Last accessed December 4, 2005)
  • 1978 season in details
  • Total Football: The Official Encyclopedia of the National Football League (ISBN 0-06-270174-6)
1978 NFL season
AFC East Central West East Central West NFC
Baltimore Cincinnati Denver Dallas Chicago Atlanta
Buffalo Cleveland Kansas City NY Giants Detroit Los Angeles
Miami Houston Oakland Philadelphia Green Bay New Orleans
New England Pittsburgh San Diego St. Louis Minnesota San Francisco
NY Jets Seattle Washington Tampa Bay
1978 NFL DraftNFL PlayoffsPro BowlSuper Bowl XIII

Advertisements






Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address
Message