1991 National Football League season
Regular season
Duration September 1, 1991–December 23, 1991
Start date December 28, 1991
AFC Champions Buffalo Bills
NFC Champions Washington Redskins
Super Bowl XXVI
Date January 26, 1992
Site Metrodome, Minneapolis, Minnesota
Champions Washington Redskins
Pro Bowl
Date February 2, 1992
Site Aloha Stadium
National Football League seasons
 < 1990 1992 > 

The 1991 NFL season was the 72nd regular season of the National Football League. The season ended with Super Bowl XXVI when the Washington Redskins defeated the Buffalo Bills.

Major rule changesEdit

Source: Total Football: The Official Encyclopedia of the National Football League (ISBN 0-06-270174-6). pp 1583-1592.
  • The definition of a drop kick, field goal, and punt is modified: all three can only be attempted from behind the line of scrimmage.
  • If a foul by a player causes an injury to an opponent, a team time out will not be charged to the penalized team anytime during the game instead of only during the last two minutes of a half.
  • The game clock will not start until the next snap following any change of possession, even if the player went out of bounds.
  • Officials will immediately blow the play dead when a defensive player is offsides before the snap and clearly rushes beyond the offensive line in such a way that he becomes an unabated threat to the quarterback.
  • A touchback will be ruled when a player fumbles the ball in the field of play and it goes out of bounds in the opponent's end zone.
  • A touchback, not a safety, will also be ruled when a player fumbles the ball in his own end zone and the opponent is the one that knocks the fumble out of bounds in the end zone.
  • An offensive player cannot deliberately bat a backward pass forward.
  • The NFL shield was added to the yoke of the jerseys and the left thigh of the pants.

Final regular season standingsEdit

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

AFC East
(1) Buffalo Bills 1330.813458318
(6) New York Jets 880.500314293
Miami Dolphins 880.500343349
New England Patriots 6100.375211305
Indianapolis Colts 1150.063143381
AFC Central
(3) Houston Oilers 1150.688386251
Pittsburgh Steelers 790.438292344
Cleveland Browns 6100.375293298
Cincinnati Bengals 3130.188263435
AFC West
(2) Denver Broncos 1240.750304235
(4) Kansas City Chiefs 1060.625322252
(5) Los Angeles Raiders 970.563298297
Seattle Seahawks 790.438276261
San Diego Chargers 4120.250274342
NFC East
(1) Washington Redskins 1420.875485224
(5) Dallas Cowboys 1150.688342310
Philadelphia Eagles 1060.625285244
New York Giants 880.500281297
Phoenix Cardinals 4120.250196344
NFC Central
(2) Detroit Lions 1240.750339295
(4) Chicago Bears 1150.688299269
Minnesota Vikings 880.500301306
Green Bay Packers 4120.250273313
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 3130.188199365
NFC West
(3) New Orleans Saints 1150.688341211
(6) Atlanta Falcons 1060.625361338
San Francisco 49ers 1060.625393239
Los Angeles Rams 3130.188234390


  • N.Y. Jets finished ahead of Miami in the AFC East based on head-to-head sweep (2-0).
  • Chicago was the first NFC Wild Card based on better conference record than Dallas (9-3 to Cowboys' 8-4).
  • Atlanta finished ahead of San Francisco in the NFC West based on head-to-head sweep (2-0), and was the third NFC Wild Card ahead of Philadelphia based on better conference record (7-5 to Eagles' 6-6).


Home team in capitals


  • Wild-Card playoffs: KANSAS CITY 10, L.A. Raiders 6; HOUSTON 17, N.Y. Jets 10
  • Divisional playoffs: DENVER 26, Houston 24; BUFFALO 37, Kansas City 14
  • AFC Championship: BUFFALO 10, Denver 7 at Rich Stadium, Buffalo, New York, January 12, 1992


  • Wild-Card playoffs: Atlanta 27, NEW ORLEANS 20; Dallas 17, CHICAGO 13
  • Divisional playoffs: WASHINGTON 24, Atlanta 7; DETROIT 38, Dallas 6
  • NFC Championship: WASHINGTON 41, Detroit 10 at RFK Stadium, Washington, D.C., January 12, 1992

Super BowlEdit


Most Valuable PlayerThurman Thomas, Running Back, Buffalo
Coach of the YearWayne Fontes, Detroit
Offensive Player of the YearThurman Thomas, Running Back, Buffalo
Defensive Player of the YearPat Swilling, Linebacker, New Orleans
Offensive Rookie of the YearLeonard Russell, Running Back, New England
Defensive Rookie of the YearMike Croel, Linebacker, Denver


1991 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 Phoenix Minnesota San Francisco
NY Jets Seattle Washington Tampa Bay
1991 NFL DraftNFL PlayoffsPro BowlSuper Bowl XXVI
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