1982 NFL season

1982 National Football League season
Regular season
Duration September 12 – January 3, 1983
A player's strike shortened the regular season to 9 games.
Start date January 8, 1983
AFC Champions Miami Dolphins
NFC Champions Washington Redskins
Super Bowl XVII
Date January 30, 1983
Site Rose Bowl, Pasadena, California
Champions Washington Redskins
Pro Bowl
Date February 6, 1983
Site Aloha Stadium

The 1982 NFL season was the 63rd regular season of the National Football League. A 57-day-long players' strike reduced the 1982 season from a 16-game schedule per team to an abbreviated nine game schedule. Because of the shortened season, the NFL adopted a special 16-team playoff tournament; division standings were ignored (although each division except the NFC West sent at least two teams to the playoffs, and the NFC Central sent four of five). Eight teams from each conference were seeded 1–8 based on their regular season records. Two teams qualified for the playoffs despite losing records (the Cleveland Browns and the Detroit Lions). The season ended with Super Bowl XVII when the Washington Redskins defeated the Miami Dolphins 27-17 at the Rose Bowl.

Before the season, a verdict was handed down against the league in the trial brought by the Oakland Raiders and the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum back in 1980. The jury ruled that the NFL violated antitrust laws when it declined to approve the proposed move by the team from Oakland to Los Angeles. Thus, the league was forced to let the officially renamed Los Angeles Raiders play in the second largest city in the United States, returning football to the Los Angeles area proper following a two-year absence (the Los Angeles Rams left the Coliseum for Anaheim Stadium in Orange County in 1980).

For the start of the 1982 season, the Minnesota Vikings moved from Metropolitan Stadium to the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome.

Major rule changes

  • The penalty for incidental grabbing of a facemask that is committed by the defensive team is changed from 5 yards and an automatic first down to just 5 yards.
  • The penalties for illegally kicking, batting, or punching the ball are changed from 15 yards to 10 yards.
  • The league discontinued the 1979 numbering system for officials, with officials numbered separately by position, and reverted to the original system where each NFL official was assigned a different number. Also the officials' position was now abbreviated on the back of the uniform instead of being spelled out.
  • This was the first season that the NFL began having the sack as an official statistic.
  • For the first time all Sunday afternoon games began in one of two windows: 1 p.m. Eastern/Noon Central for early games, or 4 p.m. Eastern/3 p.m. Central/2 p.m. Mountain/1 p.m. Pacific for late games. From 1970-81, most games began at 1 p.m. local time regardless of the home team, (except in Denver, where the Broncos kicked off at 2 p.m. Mountain). The exception to this rule were the Colts, who were forced to begin no earlier than 2 p.m. Eastern due to a Baltimore ordinance which prohibited sporting events from beginning prior to that hour on Sundays. That ordinance was cited by owner Robert Irsay as a burden when he moved the franchise to Indianapolis in March 1984.

Final standings

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

Clinched playoff seeds are marked in parentheses and shaded in green

(1) Los Angeles Raiders 810.889260200
(2) Miami Dolphins 720.778198131
(3) Cincinnati Bengals 720.778232177
(4) Pittsburgh Steelers 630.667204146
(5) San Diego Chargers 630.667288221
(6) New York Jets 630.667245166
(7) New England Patriots 540.556143157
(8) Cleveland Browns 450.444140182
Buffalo Bills 450.444150154
Seattle Seahawks 450.444127147
Kansas City Chiefs 360.333176184
Denver Broncos 270.222148226
Houston Oilers 180.111136245
Baltimore Colts 081.056113236
(1) Washington Redskins 810.889190128
(2) Dallas Cowboys 630.667226145
(3) Green Bay Packers 531.611226169
(4) Minnesota Vikings 540.556187198
(5) Atlanta Falcons 540.556183199
(6) St. Louis Cardinals 540.556135170
(7) Tampa Bay Buccaneers 540.556158178
(8) Detroit Lions 450.444181176
New Orleans Saints 450.444129160
New York Giants 450.444164160
San Francisco 49ers 360.333209206
Chicago Bears 360.333141174
Philadelphia Eagles 360.333191195
Los Angeles Rams 270.222200250


  • AFC
    • Miami finished ahead of Cincinnati based on better conference record (6–1 to Bengals' 6–2).
    • Pittsburgh finished ahead of San Diego based on better record against common opponents (3–1 to Chargers' 2–1) after N.Y. Jets were bumped to the 6th seed from three-way tie based on conference record (Pittsburgh and San Diego 5–3 to Jets' 2–3).
    • Cleveland finished ahead of Buffalo and Seattle based on better conference record (4–3 to Bills' 3–3 to Seahawks' 3–5).
    • Buffalo finished ahead of Seattle based on better conference record (3–3 to Seahawks' 3–5).
  • NFC


First RoundSecond RoundConf. Championship GamesSuper Bowl XVII
January 9 – Riverfront Stadium
6) N.Y. Jets44
January 15 – L.A. Memorial Coliseum
3) Cincinnati17
6) N.Y. Jets17
January 8 – L.A. Memorial Coliseum
1) L.A. Raiders14
8) Cleveland10
January 23 – Miami Orange Bowl
1) L.A. Raiders27
6) N.Y. Jets0
January 9 – Three Rivers Stadium
2) Miami14
5) San Diego31
January 16 – Miami Orange Bowl
4) Pittsburgh28
5) San Diego14
January 8 – Miami Orange Bowl
2) Miami34
7) New England13
January 30 – Rose Bowl
2) Miami28
A2) Miami17
January 8 – Lambeau Field
N1) Washington27
6) St. Louis16
January 16 – Texas Stadium
3) Green Bay41
3) Green Bay26
January 9 – Texas Stadium
2) Dallas37
7) Tampa Bay17
January 22 – RFK Stadium
2) Dallas30
2) Dallas17
January 9 – Metrodome
1) Washington31
5) Atlanta24
January 15 – RFK Stadium
4) Minnesota30
4) Minnesota7
January 8 – RFK Stadium
1) Washington21
8) Detroit7
1) Washington31

Bold type indicates the winning team.

Until this season, no team ever reached the post-season with a losing record. The Cleveland Browns and Detroit Lions both made playoff appearances with 4–5 records. It would be 28 years before another team with a losing record would make the post-season (however, this would be accomplished in a full season).[1]


Most Valuable PlayerMark Moseley, Placekicker, Washington
Coach of the YearJoe Gibbs, Washington
Offensive Player of the YearDan Fouts, Quarterback, San Diego
Defensive Player of the YearLawrence Taylor, Linebacker, NY Giants
Offensive Rookie of the YearMarcus Allen, Running Back, LA Raiders
Defensive Rookie of the YearChip Banks, Linebacker, Cleveland
Man of the YearJoe Theismann, Quarterback, Redskins
Comeback Player of the YearLyle Alzado, Defensive End, LA Raiders
Super Bowl Most Valuable PlayerJohn Riggins, Running Back, Washington


The 1982 NFL Draft was held from April 27 to 28, 1982 at New York City's Sheraton Hotel. With the first pick, the New England Patriots selected defensive end Kenneth Sims from the University of Texas.


American Football Conference

National Football Conference


  1. O'Neil, Danny (January 2, 2011), "Seahawks defeat Rams 16–6 to win NFC West title", The Seattle Times, retrieved January 3, 2011
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