1984 NFL season

1984 National Football League season
Regular season
Duration September 2 – December 17, 1984
Start date December 23, 1984
AFC Champions Miami Dolphins
NFC Champions San Francisco 49ers
Super Bowl XIX
Date January 20, 1985
Site Stanford Stadium, Stanford, California
Champions San Francisco 49ers
Pro Bowl
Date January 27, 1985
Site Aloha Stadium

The 1984 NFL season was the 65th regular season of the National Football League. The Colts relocated from Baltimore, Maryland to Indianapolis, Indiana before the season. The Colts new home field was the Hoosier Dome. The New York Jets moved their home games from Shea Stadium in New York City to Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey.

The season ended with Super Bowl XIX when the San Francisco 49ers defeated the Miami Dolphins 38–16 at Stanford Stadium in California. This was the first Super Bowl televised by ABC, who entered into the annual championship game rotation with CBS and NBC. This game marked the second shortest distance between the Super Bowl host stadium (Stanford, California) and a Super Bowl team (San Francisco 49ers).[1]

The 49ers became the first team in NFL history to win 15 games in a regular season and to win 18 in an entire season (including the postseason). Additionally, two major offensive records were set this season, with quarterback Dan Marino establishing a new single-season passing yards record with 5,084 (later broken by Drew Brees and Tom Brady in 2011 and by Peyton Manning in 2013), and Eric Dickerson establishing a new single-season rushing yards record with 2,105.

Also during the season, San Diego Chargers wide receiver Charlie Joiner became the all-time leader in career receptions; he set that mark in a game between the Chargers and the Pittsburgh Steelers at Pittsburgh's Three Rivers Stadium.

Salaries increased significantly over the past two seasons in the NFL, up nearly fifty percent; new Houston Oilers quarterback Warren Moon led the list at $1.1 million.[2]

Major rule changes

  • Linebackers are permitted to wear numbers 90 to 99.
  • The penalty for a kickoff or onside kick that goes out of bounds is 5 yards from the previous spot and a re-kick must be made. However, if the second (or more) kickoff or onside kick goes out of bounds, the receiving team may choose instead to take possession of the ball at the out of bounds spot.
  • Leaping to try to block a field goal or an extra point is illegal unless the defensive player was lined up at the line of scrimmage.
  • A kicker or holder who fakes being roughed or run into by a defensive player can receive an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty.
  • Unsportsmanlike conduct will also be called for any prolonged, excessive, or premeditated celebration by individual players or a group of players. This is usually referred to as the “Mark Gastineau Rule” because a major reason why this change was made was to stop him from performing his signature “Sack Dance” every time after he sacked an opposing quarterback.

Regular Season games not broadcast by Network TV

Date Time Teams Local TV Announcers
September 3, 1984 4:00 PM EDT Cleveland @ Seattle WKYC-TV (Cleveland area)
KING-TV(Seattle area)
Phil Stone/Reggie Rucker (WKYC)
Charlie Jones/Gene Washington (KING)
October 14, 1984 4:00 PM EDT Buffalo @ Seattle WKBW-TV (Buffalo area)
KING-TV (Seattle area)
Rick Azar/Marv Levy (WKBW)
Phil Stone/Norris Weese (KING)

Final standings


  • N.Y. Giants finished ahead of St. Louis and Dallas in the NFC East based on best head-to-head record (3–1 to Cardinals’ 2–2 and Cowboys’ 1–3).
  • St. Louis finished ahead of Dallas in the NFC East based on better division record (5–3 to Cowboys’ 3–5).


Divisional Playoffs
    Dec. 30 – Mile High Stadium        
AFC Wild Card Game AFC Championship
 3  Pittsburgh  24
Dec. 22 – Kingdome     Jan. 6 – Miami Orange Bowl
 2  Denver  17  
 5  LA Raiders  7  3  Pittsburgh  28
Dec. 29 – Miami Orange Bowl
 4  Seattle  13      1  Miami  45   Super Bowl XIX
 4  Seattle  10
    Jan. 20 – Stanford Stadium
 1  Miami  31  
 A1  Miami  16
Dec. 30 – RFK Stadium
NFC Wild Card Game NFC Championship    N1  San Francisco  38
 3  Chicago  23
Dec. 23 – Anaheim Stadium     Jan. 6 – Candlestick Park
 2  Washington  19  
 5  NY Giants  16  3  Chicago  0
Dec. 29 – Candlestick Park
 4  LA Rams  13      1  San Francisco  23  
 5  NY Giants  10
 1  San Francisco  21  

Statistical leaders


Points scoredMiami Dolphins (513)
Total yards gainedMiami Dolphins (6,936)
Yards rushingChicago Bears (2,974)
Yards passingMiami Dolphins (5,018)
Fewest points allowedSan Francisco 49ers (227)
Fewest total yards allowedChicago Bears (3,863)
Fewest rushing yards allowedChicago Bears (1,377)
Fewest passing yards allowedNew Orleans Saints (2,453)


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

Most Passing Yards Gained, SeasonDan Marino, Miami (5,084)
Most Passing Touchdowns, SeasonDan Marino, Miami (48)
Most Passes Completed, SeasonDan Marino, Miami (362)
Most Rushing Yards Gained, SeasonEric Dickerson, Los Angeles Rams (2,105)
Most Rushing Attempts, SeasonJames Wilder, Tampa Bay (407)
Most Pass Receptions, SeasonArt Monk, Washington (106)
Most Receiving Touchdowns, SeasonMark Clayton, Miami (18)
Most Extra Points Made, SeasonUwe von Schamann, Miami (66)
Most Extra Point Attempts, SeasonUwe von Schamann, Miami (70)
Most Sacks, SeasonMark Gastineau, New York Jets (22.0)
Most Rushing Yards Gained, CareerWalter Payton, Chicago (13,309 at the end of the season)
Most Receptions, CareerCharlie Joiner, San Diego (657 at the end of the season)


Most Valuable PlayerDan Marino, Quarterback, Miami
Coach of the YearChuck Knox, Seattle
Offensive Player of the YearDan Marino, Quarterback, Miami
Defensive Player of the YearKenny Easley, Safety, Seattle
Offensive Rookie of the YearLouis Lipps, Wide Receiver, Pittsburgh
Defensive Rookie of the YearBill Maas, Defensive Tackle, Kansas City
Man of the YearMarty Lyons, Defensive tackle, NY Jets
Comeback Player of the YearJohn Stallworth, Wide Receiver, Pittsburgh
Super Bowl Most Valuable PlayerJoe Montana, Quarterback, San Francisco


The 1984 NFL Draft was held from May 1 to May 2, 1984 at New York City's Omni Park Central Hotel. With the first pick, the New England Patriots selected wide receiver Irving Fryar from the University of Nebraska.


American Football Conference

National Football Conference

1984 deaths

  • November 28: Ricky Bell, former Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back (born 1955)

Notable events

  • For the only time in NFL history, two teams — the Oilers and the Bills — begin the season 0–10.[3]


  1. The shortest distance was the Los Angeles Rams, whose home was the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum before moving to Anaheim the year after playing in Super Bowl XIV vs the Pittsburgh Steelers, at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Ca.
  2. "NFL salaries increasing". Eugene Register-Guard. Oregon. Associated Press. January 15, 1985. p. 2B.
  3. Tapp, Jerry; NFL Teams That Started the Season 0–10
  • NFL Record and Fact Book (ISBN 1-932994-36-X)
  • NFL History 1981–1990 (Last accessed December 4, 2005)
  • Total Football: The Official Encyclopedia of the National Football League (ISBN 0-06-270174-6)
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