1995 NFL season was the 76th regular season of the National Football League. The league expanded to 30 teams with the addition of the Carolina Panthers and the Jacksonville Jaguars. The two expansion teams were slotted into the two remaining divisions that had only four teams (while the other four had five teams): the AFC Central (Jaguars) and the NFC West (Panthers).
Meanwhile, the two teams in
Los Angeles relocated to other cities: the Rams transferred to St. Louis and the Raiders moved back to Oakland. During the course of the season it emerged that the Cleveland Browns would relocate to Baltimore for the 1996 season. The Raiders move was not announced until after the schedule had been announced, which resulted in a problem in the third week of the season when both the Raiders and the San Francisco 49ers had games scheduled to air on NBC which ended up overlapping each other.
The season ended with
Super Bowl XXX when the Dallas Cowboys defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers to become the first team in NFL history to win three Super Bowls in four years.
Major rule changes
An eligible receiver forced out of bounds by a defensive player may return to the field and automatically become eligible to legally be the first player to touch a forward pass.
Quarterbacks may now receive communications from the bench from a small radio receiver in their helmets, partly repealing a rule that had been in force since 1956
Final regular season 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
Indianapolis finished ahead of Miami in the AFC East based on head-to-head sweep (2–0).
San Diego was the first AFC Wild Card based on head-to-head victory over Indianapolis (1–0).
Cincinnati finished ahead of Houston in the AFC Central based on better division record (4–4 to Oilers' 3–5).
Seattle finished ahead of Denver and Oakland in the AFC West based on best head-to-head record (3–1 to Broncos' 2–2 and Raiders' 1–3).
Denver finished ahead of Oakland in the AFC West based on head-to-head sweep (2–0).
Philadelphia was the first NFC Wild Card ahead of Detroit based on better conference record (9–3 to Lions' 7–5).
San Francisco was the second NFC playoff seed ahead of Green Bay based on better conference record (8–4 to Packers' 7–5).
Atlanta was the third NFC Wild Card ahead of Chicago based on better record against common opponents (4–2 to Bears' 3–3).
St. Louis finished ahead of Carolina and New Orleans in the NFC West based on best head-to-head record (3–1 to Panthers' 1–3 and Saints' 2–2).
Carolina finished ahead of New Orleans in the NFC West based on better conference record (4-8 to 3–9).
Home team in capitals Winner in bold
BUFFALO 37, Miami 22; Indianapolis 35, SAN DIEGO 20 Divisional playoffs:
PITTSBURGH 40, Buffalo 21; Indianapolis 10, KANSAS CITY 7 AFC Championship: PITTSBURGH 20, Indianapolis 16 at Three Rivers Stadium, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania January 14, 1996
PHILADELPHIA 58, Detroit 37; GREEN BAY 37, Atlanta 20 Divisional playoffs:
Green Bay 27, SAN FRANCISCO 17; DALLAS 30, Philadelphia 11 NFC Championship: DALLAS 38, Green Bay 27 at Texas Stadium, Irving, Texas, January 14, 1996
Points scored San Francisco 49ers (457)
Total yards gained Detroit Lions (6,113)
Yards rushing Kansas City Chiefs (2,222)
Yards passing San Francisco 49ers (4,608)
Fewest points allowed Kansas City Chiefs (241)
Fewest total yards allowed San Francisco 49ers (4,398)
Fewest rushing yards allowed San Francisco 49ers (1,061)
Fewest passing yards allowed New York Jets (2,740)
Scoring Emmitt Smith, Dallas (150 points)
Touchdowns Emmitt Smith, Dallas (25 TDs)
Most field goals made Norm Johnson, Pittsburgh (34 FGs)
Rushing Emmitt Smith, Dallas (1,773 yards)
Passing Jim Harbaugh, Indianapolis (100.7 rating)
Passing touchdowns Brett Favre, Green Bay (38 TDs)
Pass receiving Herman Moore, Detroit (123 catches)
Pass receiving yards Jerry Rice, San Francisco (1,848)
Punt returns David Palmer, Minnesota (13.2 average yards)
Kickoff returns Ron Carpenter, New York Jets (27.7 average yards)
Interceptions Orlando Thomas, Minnesota (9)
Punting Rick Tuten, Seattle (45.0 average yards)
Sacks Bryce Paup, Buffalo (17.5)
The following players set all-time records during the season:
Most Touchdowns, season Emmitt Smith, Dallas (25)
Most Passing Attempts, career Dan Marino, Miami (6,531 at the end of the season)
Most Passes Completed, career Dan Marino, Miami (3,913 at the end of the season)
Most Passing Yards, career Dan Marino, Miami (48,841 at the end of the season)
Most Touchdown Passes, career Dan Marino, Miami (352 at the end of the season)
Most Pass Receptions, career Jerry Rice, San Francisco (942 at the end of the season)
Most Pass Receiving Yards Gained, career Jerry Rice, San Francisco (15,123 at the end of the season)
Most Valuable Player Brett Favre, Quarterback, Green Bay
Coach of the Year Ray Rhodes, Philadelphia
Offensive Player of the Year Brett Favre, Quarterback, Green Bay
Defensive Player of the Year Bryce Paup, Linebacker, Buffalo
Offensive Rookie of the Year Curtis Martin, Running Back, New England
Defensive Rookie of the Year Hugh Douglas, Defensive End, New York Jets