1985 National Football League season
Regular season
Duration September 8, 1985-December 23, 1985
Start date December 28, 1985
AFC Champions New England Patriots
NFC Champions Chicago Bears
Super Bowl XX
Date January 26, 1986
Site Louisiana Superdome, New Orleans, Louisiana
Champions Chicago Bears
Pro Bowl
Date February 2, 1986
Site Aloha Stadium
National Football League seasons
 < 1984 1986 > 

The 1985 NFL season was the 66th regular season of the National Football League. The season ended with Super Bowl XX when the Chicago Bears defeated the New England Patriots.

Major rule changesEdit

  • Whenever a team time out is called after the two minute warning of each half, it should only last 60 seconds instead of 90.
  • A play is immediately dead anytime the quarterback performs a kneel-down (the quarterback immediately kneels down after receiving the snap) after the two minute warning of each half, or whenever the player declares himself down by sliding feet first on the ground. The ball is then spotted at the point where the player touches the ground first.
  • Pass interference is not to be called when a pass is clearly uncatchable.
  • Both "Roughing the kicker" and "Running into the kicker" fouls are not to be called if the defensive player was blocked into the kicker.
  • The definition of a valid fair catch signal is clearly defined as one arm that is fully extended above the head and waved from side to side.
  • Goaltending (leaping up to deflect a kick as it passes through the goal posts) is illegal.
  • The officials' uniform changed slightly. Instead of wearing black stirrups with white stripes over white sanitary hose, the officials began wearing a one-piece sock similar to those worn by players, black with white stripes on top and solid white on the bottom.

Final standingsEdit

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
y-Miami Dolphins 1240.750428320
x-New York Jets 1150.688393264
x-New England Patriots 1150.688362290
Indianapolis Colts 5110.313320386
Buffalo Bills 2140.125200381
AFC Central
y-Cleveland Browns 880.500287294
Cincinnati Bengals 790.438441437
Pittsburgh Steelers 790.438379355
Houston Oilers 5110.313284412
AFC West
y-Los Angeles Raiders 1240.750354308
Denver Broncos 1150.688380329
Seattle Seahawks 880.500349303
San Diego Chargers 880.500467435
Kansas City Chiefs 6100.375317360
NFC East
y-Dallas Cowboys 1060.625357333
x-New York Giants 1060.625399283
Washington Redskins 1060.625297312
Philadelphia Eagles 790.438286310
St. Louis Cardinals 5110.313278414
NFC Central
y-Chicago Bears 1510.938456198
Green Bay Packers 880.500337355
Minnesota Vikings 790.438346359
Detroit Lions 790.438307366
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 2140.125294448
NFC West
y-Los Angeles Rams 1150.688340277
x-San Francisco 49ers 1060.625411263
New Orleans Saints 5110.313294401
Atlanta Falcons 4120.250282452


  • Los Angeles Raiders was the first AFC seed ahead of Miami based on better record against common opponents (5-1 to Dolphins' 4-2).
  • N.Y. Jets was the first AFC Wild Card based on better conference record (9-3) than New England (8-4) and Denver (8-4).
  • New England was the second AFC Wild Card ahead of Denver based on better record against common opponents (4-2 to Broncos' 3-3).
  • Cincinnati finished ahead of Pittsburgh in the AFC Central based on head-to-head sweep (2-0).
  • Seattle finished ahead of San Diego in the AFC West based on head-to-head sweep (2-0).
  • Dallas finished ahead of N.Y. Giants and Washington in the NFC East based on better head-to-head record (4-0 to Giants' 1-3 and Redskins' 1-3).
  • N.Y. Giants was the first NFC Wild Card based on better conference record (8-4) than San Francisco (7-5) and Washington (6-6).
  • San Francisco was the second NFC Wild Card based on head-to-head victory over Washington (1-0).
  • Minnesota finished ahead of Detroit in the NFC Central based on better division record (3-5 to Lions' 2-6).


Home team in capitals


  • Wild-Card playoff: New England 26, N.Y. JETS 14
  • Divisional playoffs: MIAMI 24, Cleveland 21; New England 27, LOS ANGELES RAIDERS 20
  • AFC Championship: New England 31, MIAMI 14 at Orange Bowl, Miami, Florida, January 12, 1986


  • Wild-Card playoff: N.Y. GIANTS 17, San Francisco 3
  • Divisional playoffs: L.A. RAMS 20, Dallas 0; CHICAGO 21, N.Y. Giants 0
  • NFC Championship: CHICAGO 24, L.A. Rams 0 at Soldier Field, Chicago, Illinois, January 12, 1986

Super BowlEdit


Most Valuable PlayerMarcus Allen, Running Back, L.A. Raiders
Coach of the YearMike Ditka, Chicago
Offensive Player of the YearMarcus Allen, Running Back, L.A. Raiders
Defensive Player of the YearMike Singletary, Linebacker, Chicago
Offensive Rookie of the YearEddie Brown, Wide Receiver, Cincinnati
Defensive Rookie of the YearDuane Bickett, Linebacker, Indianapolis


1985 NFL seasonv · d · e
AFC East Central West East Central West NFC
Buffalo Cincinnati Denver Dallas Chicago Atlanta
Indianapolis Cleveland Kansas City NY Giants Detroit LA Rams
Miami Houston LA Raiders Philadelphia Green Bay New Orleans
New England Pittsburgh San Diego St. Louis Minnesota San Francisco
NY Jets Seattle Washington Tampa Bay
1985 NFL DraftNFL PlayoffsPro BowlSuper Bowl XX
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