1992 NFL season

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1992 National Football League season
Regular season
DurationSeptember 6 – December 28, 1992
Start dateJanuary 2, 1993
AFC ChampionsBuffalo Bills
NFC ChampionsDallas Cowboys
Super Bowl XXVII
DateJanuary 31, 1993
SiteRose Bowl, Pasadena, California
ChampionsDallas Cowboys
Pro Bowl
DateFebruary 7, 1993
SiteAloha Stadium

The 1992 NFL season was the 73rd regular season of the National Football League. Due to the damage caused by Hurricane Andrew, the New England Patriots at Miami Dolphins game that was scheduled for September 6 at Joe Robbie Stadium was rescheduled to October 18. Both teams originally had that weekend off. This marked the first time since the 1966 NFL season and the AFL seasons of 1966 and 1967 that there were byes in week 1; in those years, byes were necessary every week since there were an odd number of teams, which would happen again between 1999 and 2001. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Dolphins also had their 2017 season opener postponed due to Hurricane Irma.

The season ended with Super Bowl XXVII when the Dallas Cowboys defeated the Buffalo Bills 52–17 at the Rose Bowl. This would be the third of the Bills’ four consecutive Super Bowl losses; as of 2021, no team has ever lost three OR four Super Bowls in a row (the earliest possible date that these figures could be matched would be either 2023 or 2024, and that would only happen if the Kansas City Chiefs--who lost Super Bowl LV in February 2020--lost in the Super Bowl for the next 2-3 seasons). Buffalo would join the Miami Dolphins of the early 1970s as the only team to reach three straight Super Bowls and not until the New England Patriots of the late 2010s would another team reach three in a row.

Player movement



  • August 13: Washington traded quarterback Stan Humphries to the San Diego Chargers[3]
  • August 27: The San Francisco 49ers traded Pro Bowl Defensive End Charles Haley to the Dallas Cowboys.[3]
  • August 28: The Chicago Bears trade offensive lineman Jay Hilgenberg to the Cleveland Browns [3]
  • September 1: The defending AFC Champion Buffalo Bills trade Defensive Tackle Leon Seals to the Philadelphia Eagles.[4]
  • September 12: The Atlanta Falcons trade wide receiver Shawn Collins to the Cleveland Browns. [4]
  • September 21: The Pittsburgh Steelers trade Thomas Everett to the Dallas Cowboys.[4]


The 1992 NFL Draft was held from April 26 to 27, 1992 at New York City's Marriott Marquis. With the first pick, the Indianapolis Colts selected defensive tackle Steve Emtman from the University of Washington.

Referee changes

After one season as referee, Stan Kemp stepped down after he was diagnosed with Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Tom Dooley also retired during the off-season. Gary Lane and Ed Hochuli were then promoted to referee.

Major rule changes

  • The NFL ceases to use the instant replay system that was in effect since the 1986 NFL season to review questionable on-field calls, due to many reviews taking up long periods of time. Instant replay would not return to the league until a more comprehensive instant replay review system with time limits was introduced in the 1999 NFL season.
  • To reduce injuries, any offensive player who is lined up in the backfield before the snap cannot chop block a defensive player who is already engaged above the waist by another offensive player.
  • A maximum of six captains are allowed at midfield for the coin toss. This was in response to Atlanta Falcons coach Jerry Glanville sometimes sending out his entire squad, and Washington Redskins coach Joe Gibbs sending eight captains to midfield at Super Bowl XXVI.

1992 deaths

  • Frank Akins: A selection of the Washington Redskins in the 1943 NFL Draft, Akins died on July 6, 1992.
  • Eric Andolsek: An offensive lineman with the Detroit Lions, Andolsek was working in the yard of his Thibodaux, Louisiana home when a semi-trailer truck ran off Louisiana Highway 1 in front of his house and struck and killed him on June 23.[5]
  • Lyle Alzado: On May 14, 1992 at age 43, Alzado died after a battle with brain cancer. He was buried at River View Cemetery in Portland, Oregon.[6]
  • Mel Branch: A starter for the Dallas Texans for the 1962 AFL Championship Game, Branch was also a charter member of the Miami Dolphins in 1966. He died on April 21, 1992
  • Jerome Brown: A two-time All-Pro with the Philadelphia Eagles, Brown died on June 25, 1992, at the age of 27, following an automobile accident in Brooksville, in which both he and his 12-year-old nephew were killed when Brown lost control of his ZR1 Chevrolet Corvette at high speed and crashed into a palm tree. Brown was buried in his hometown of Brooksville.[7]
  • Shane Curry: A selection of the Indianapolis Colts in the 1991 NFL Draft, Curry was shot and killed outside a Cincinnati nightclub during an argument over a blocked vehicle on May 4, 1992.[8][9]
  • Mike Wise: Was a backup for the Raiders before being released after a fight instigated by a teammate, and had serious injuries which made it impossible for him to resume his career. Committed suicide at his home in California.

Members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame


American Bowl

A series of National Football League pre-season exhibition games that were held at sites outside the United States, a total of three games were contested.

Date Winning Team Score Losing Team Score Stadium City
August 2, 1992 Houston Oilers 34 Dallas Cowboys 23 Tokyo Dome Japan Tokyo
August 15, 1992 Miami Dolphins 31 Denver Broncos 27 Olympiastadion Germany Berlin
August 16, 1992 San Francisco 49ers 17 Washington Redskins 15 Wembley Stadium United Kingdom London

Regular season

Scheduling formula

AFC East vs NFC West
AFC Central vs NFC Central
AFC West vs NFC East

Highlights of the 1992 season included:

  • Thanksgiving: Two games were played on Thursday, November 26, featuring Houston at Detroit and the New York Giants at Dallas, with Houston and Dallas winning.
  • Week 16: The San Diego Chargers became the first (as of 2021 the only) team to start 0-4 and made the playoffs and they achieve that feat by beating The Los Angeles Raiders.

Final standings

There was an unusual deviation between good teams and bad teams in the NFL in 1992. Only one team, the Denver Broncos; finished with eight wins and eight losses, nine teams had at least 11 wins, and eight teams had at least 11 losses. Only six teams had between seven, eight or nine wins in 1992.


  • Pittsburgh was the top AFC playoff seed, and Miami was the second AFC playoff seed ahead of San Diego, based on conference record (10–2 to Dolphins’ 9–3 to Chargers’ 9–5).
  • Miami finished ahead of Buffalo in the AFC East based on better conference record (9–3 to Bills” 7–5).
  • Houston was the second AFC Wild Card based on head-to-head victory over Kansas City (1–0).
  • Washington was the third NFC Wild Card based on better conference record than Green Bay (7–5 to Packers' 6–6).
  • Tampa Bay finished ahead of Chicago and Detroit in the NFC Central based on better conference record (5–9 to Bears’ 4–8 and Lions’ 3–9).
  • Atlanta finished ahead of L.A. Rams in the NFC West based on better record against common opponents (5–7 to Rams’ 4–8).


Jan. 3 – Rich Stadium Jan. 9 – Three Rivers Stadium
5 Houston 38
4 Buffalo 24
4 Buffalo 41* Jan. 17 – Joe Robbie Stadium
1 Pittsburgh 3
Jan. 2 – Jack Murphy Stadium 4 Buffalo 29
Jan. 10 – Joe Robbie Stadium
2 Miami 10
6 Kansas City 0 AFC Championship
3 San Diego 0
3 San Diego 17 Jan. 31 – Rose Bowl
2 Miami 31
Wild Card playoffs
Divisional playoffs
Jan. 3 – Louisiana Superdome A4 Buffalo 17
Jan. 10 – Texas Stadium
N2 Dallas 52
5 Philadelphia 36 Super Bowl XXVII
5 Philadelphia 10
4 New Orleans 20 Jan. 17 – Candlestick Park
2 Dallas 34
Jan. 2 – Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome 2 Dallas 30
Jan. 9 – Candlestick Park
1 San Francisco 20
6 Washington 24 NFC Championship
6 Washington 13
3 Minnesota 7
1 San Francisco 20

* Indicates overtime victory; see The Comeback (American football)


Most Valuable Player Steve Young, quarterback, San Francisco
Coach of the Year Bill Cowher, Pittsburgh
Offensive Player of the Year Steve Young, Quarterback, San Francisco
Defensive Player of the Year Cortez Kennedy, Defensive Tackle, Seattle
Offensive Rookie of the Year Carl Pickens, Wide Receiver, Cincinnati
Defensive Rookie of the Year Dale Carter, Cornerback, Kansas City
NFL Comeback Player of the Year Randall Cunningham, Quarterback, Philadelphia
NFL Man of the Year John Elway, Quarterback, Denver
Super Bowl Most Valuable Player Troy Aikman, Quarterback, Dallas

Coaching changes

Stadium changes

The Atlanta Falcons played their first season in the new Georgia Dome, replacing Atlanta–Fulton County Stadium. The Falcons would play at the Georgia Dome until 2016.

Uniform changes

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers began wearing orange pants with their white jerseys

External links


  1. ^ "Football". Retrieved February 19, 2020.
  2. ^ "Transactions". Retrieved February 19, 2020.
  3. ^ a b c "1992 NFL Transactions. Trades - August". National Football League. Retrieved December 3, 2020.
  4. ^ a b c "1992 NFL Transactions. Trades - September". National Football League. Retrieved December 3, 2020.
  5. ^ "Lion Lineman Hit by Truck in Yard, Killed". latimes.com.
  6. ^ "River View Cemetery". Archived from the original on June 11, 2011. Retrieved May 18, 2011.
  7. ^ http://articles.philly.com/1994-04-24/sports/25863114_1_corvette-heller-and-mike-golic-eagles
  8. ^ "Curry of Colts is Fatally Shot". New York Times. May 4, 1992. Retrieved September 16, 2007.
  9. ^ "History of The Indianapolis Colts". The Indianapolis Star. February 5, 2007. Archived from the original on January 18, 2013. Retrieved September 16, 2007.
  10. ^ Tucker, Doug (July 17, 1992). "Former Chiefs' standout Buck Buchanon is dead". Nevada Daily Mail. Missouri. Associated Press. p. 8.
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